Effects of optical combiner and IPD change for convergence on near-field depth perception in an optical see-through HMD

Sangyoon Lee, Xinda Hu, Hong Hua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Many error sources have been explored in regards to the depth perception problem in augmented reality environments using optical see-through head-mounted displays (OST-HMDs). Nonetheless, two error sources are commonly neglected: the ray-shift phenomenon and the change in interpupillary distance (IPD). The first source of error arises from the difference in refraction for virtual and see-through optical paths caused by an optical combiner, which is required of OST-HMDs. The second occurs from the change in the viewer's IPD due to eye convergence. In this paper, we analyze the effects of these two error sources on near-field depth perception and propose methods to compensate for these two types of errors. Furthermore, we investigate their effectiveness through an experiment comparing the conditions with and without our error compensation methods applied. In our experiment, participants estimated the egocentric depth of a virtual and a physical object located at seven different near-field distances (40∼200 cm) using a perceptual matching task. Although the experimental results showed different patterns depending on the target distance, the results demonstrated that the near-field depth perception error can be effectively reduced to a very small level (at most 1 percent error) by compensating for the two mentioned error sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7127036
Pages (from-to)1540-1554
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Near-field depth perception
  • mixed/augmented reality
  • optical see-through head-mounted display

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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