Virtual Environments Group

Our research group builds and evaluates software and technology for a variety of applications in virtual environments

VR Headset

Publication Highlight

Using Audio Reverberation to Compensate Distance Compression in Virtual Reality

Yi-Hsuan Huang, Roshan Venkatakrishnan, Rohith Venkatakrishnan, Sabarish V. Babu, Wen-Chieh Lin (2021)

Virtual Reality (VR) technologies are increasingly being applied to various contexts like those gaming, therapy, training, and education. Several of these applications require high degrees of accuracy in spatial and depth perception. Contemporary VR experiences continue to be confronted by the issue of distance compression wherein people systematically underestimate distances in the virtual world, leading to impoverished experiences. Consequently, a number of studies have focused on extensively understanding and exploring factors that influence this phenomenon to address the challenges it poses. Inspired by previous work that has sought to compensate distance compression effects in VR, we examined the potential of manipulating an auditory stimulus' reverberation time (RT) to alter how users perceive depth. To this end, we conducted a two action forced choice study in which participants repeatedly made relative depth judgements between a pair of scenes featuring a virtual character placed at different distances with varying RTs. Results revealed that RT influences how users perceive depth with this influence being more pronounced in the near field...

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Our work is funded through grants provided by the National Science Foundation and through the support of Clemson University.

Tiger Paw

Our Lab

These are photos of our lab.

McAdams Hall

Our building

Room 111B

Our lab

Wide Area Tracking Space

For projects that require extra room

Small Area Tracking Space

Separated spaces for individual projects

VR Headset and Tracker

Helmet with tracker is used for tracking head-motion without the HMD


These are some of our ongoing projects.

Objects May Be Farther Than They Appear: Depth Compression Diminishes Over Time with Repeated Calibration in Virtual Reality

Kristopher Kohm

In this contribution, we conducted a novel empirical evaluation of how calibration affects perception-action coordination over time. We recruited novice VR users and they completed eight sessions of a depth perception reaching experiment over the course of 12 weeks. During these experiments, we examined how participants' ability to estimate depth in a virtual environment changed as they gradually gained experience. While previous literature has shown that participants tend to underestimate distances, we found that this underestimation diminished over time as they gained experience in the virtual environment. Our study highlights the need for carrying out VR studies over time and the influence that longitudinal calibration can have on spatial perception in long-term VR experiences.

Evaluating the Prior Experience Effect on Locomotion and Navigation in Virtual Reality

Moloud Nasiri

This series of studies highlight the need to consider the experience of users in locomotion and navigating desktop VEs when designing navigation aids and studying their effectiveness. Unfortunately, most of the experimental studies available in the literature on navigation aids do not distinguish between experienced and inexperienced users. As a result, the conclusions they reach often risk being overgeneralized. Navigation aids that are appropriate for experienced users may actually not provide a suitable level of support for inexperienced users, and solutions that may improve the navigation performance of inexperienced users may not benefit experienced users beyond a certain degree. Our results will benefit the design of VR applications based on the users' capabilities and needs.

Prisma Health iHeartU mHealth Phone Application

Alex Schlesener

The mHealth phone application includes a digital human or embodied conversational agent (ECA) interface for reporting health status. It will be used for the remote monitoring of Prisma Health patients who suffer from pulmonary distress or heart failure. Additionally, we will measure the users' subjective impressions towards the embodied conversational agent (ECA) and the system usability.

Investigating a Combination of Input Modalities, Canvas Geometries, and Inking Triggers on On-Air Handwriting in VR

Roshan Venkatakrishnan, Rohith Venkatakrishnan

This work attempts at laying a foundation for future investigations that seek to understand and further improve the on-air writing experience in immersive virtual environments. We study the effects of canvas geometry, inking triggers and input modalities on on-air writing performance, outlining guidelines and good practices to abide by when designing such interfaces.

Investigating the Effects of Secondary Tasks on Cybersickness in Virtual Reality

Rohith Venkatakrishnan, Roshan Venkatakrishnan

Cybersickness, a malady like motion sickness strongly manifests in virtual experiences that involve locomotion. This work attempts to study how cybersickness is affected when secondary tasks have to additionally be performed in VR. We further evaluate whether secondary tasks affect other aspects of the VR experience.

Investigating the Effects of End Effector Representations on Interactions in VR

Roshan Venkatakrishnan, Rohith Venkatakrishnan

End effectors represent the tools with which users perform actions and interact with the virtual world. This work seeks to investigate how end effector representations affect the efficacy of performance in interaction tasks in immersive virtual environments.

Effects of Self-Avatars on Near-Field Size Perception in XR

Chandni Murmu, Roshan Venkatakrishnan, and Rohith Venkatakrishnan

Focus of this project is to study effects of presence of users' end effectors and sensory modalities on the perception of tangibles in virtual reality (VR). Through this study we are trying to determine if the perception of size of the tracked tangibles are improved by providing the user's hand avatar in the VR environment.

Travel and Navigation in VR through the lens of Fitts' Law

Chandni Murmu

Tradeoff between efficiency and accuracy while performing cornering tasks, in a VR environment of randomly arranged maze, is being studied.

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