Media Technology MSc

Seeing Through Virtual Windows


Previous research from environmental psychology shows that human well-being suffers in windowless environments in many ways. In addition, research shows that a window view of nature is psychologically and physiologically beneficial to humans. Current window substitutes, still images and video, lack three dimensional properties necessary for a realistic viewing experience. In this research we look at the efficacy of binocular disparity in creating a realistic virtual see-through experience. An innovative system was designed using true stereoscopic 3D imaging combined with motion parallax. Evaluation data obtained from a group of subjects suggest that the virtual window prototype, containing the binocular disparity depth cue, gives a more convincing illusion that one is looking ‘through’ a window. The viewing conditions with binocular disparity were rated significantly higher when compared to a static picture or motion parallax and therefore our main hypotheses were supported. Test subjects had not expected the system prototype to be such a natural and realistic representation of a real window.


Frank A. de Boer and Fons J. Verbeek, Seeing Through Virtual Windows: Measuring Binocular Cues and New Technology. In: Proceedings of the CHI Sparks Conference 2011, June 2011, Arnhem (The Netherlands)