Evoking affordances in virtual environments via sensory-stimuli substitution

David C. Gross, Kay M. Stanney, Lt Joseph Cohn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Artifacts in an environment afford to their observers utility and function directly through specific object characteristics (e.g., mediums, surfaces, substances). Virtual environments (VEs) similarly seek to afford specific utility to their users, whether it is for training, education, or entertainment, thus it seems natural to consider basing VE designs on affordances. Such affordance-based design should yield significant benefits by providing designs that behave in more understandable and intuitive manners. These designs should be easier to learn, adapt better to user tasks, and frustrate users less by allowing use of the same skills acquired via real-world interactions. In order to realize affordance-based VE designs, the types of appropriate affordances and means of realizing these affordances must be identified. Currently, however, affordances lack a theoretical and operational basis for such application. The present paper suggests functions that affordances should support and provides a conceptual model for realizing affordances based on sensorystimuli-substitution schemes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)482-491
Number of pages10
JournalPresence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition


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