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Heroic Explorer
Status: New Idea

I came across an instance where a person, while deeply immersed in a VR game, became very engrossed and inadvertently swung their controller toward the ground. Due to the virtual environment—they misjudged the actual distance to the ground and ended up smashing their controller against it.

This is easily possible while an Avatar is floating in the sky and the ground beneath is vacant with no vertical reference. Or when the depth of the virtual ground level is beneath the real ground.

Currently, VR systems like the Meta Quest have feedback systems that provide alerts when users approach the edges of their play area. However, these systems do not offer warnings when controllers are moved close to the ground or other low obstacles.

Suggested Improvement

A potential enhancement could involve providing visual feedback when the controller is nearing any physical object—be it the ground, furniture, or walls.

This feedback could be represented as a partial Passthrough feature, allowing users to see a glimpse of the real world to prevent collisions before they occur. A similar mechanism is already in place for when users step out of the designated play area, where the display switches to full Passthrough.

Extending this concept to include proximity to ground level and nearby objects could significantly reduce the risk of damage to controllers and injuries to users.

This would be optimised to ensure that immersion is only minimally disrupted when absolutely necessary. Exploring alternative feedback methods like haptic warnings or subtle visual cues within the VR environment itself could also be considered to minimize reliance on Passthrough and maintain immersion.