“These are not my hands!”: Effect of Gender on the Perception of Avatar Hands in Virtual Reality

“These are not my hands!”: Effect of Gender on the Perception of Avatar Hands in Virtual Reality

February 22, 2017

Rendering the user’s body in virtual reality increases immersion and presence – the illusion of ‘being there’. Recent technology enables determining the pose and position of the hands to render them accordingly while interacting within the virtual environment. Virtual reality applications often use realistic male or female hands, mimic robotic hands, or cartoon hands. However, it is unclear how users perceive different hand styles. We conducted a study with 14 male and 14 female participants in virtual reality to investigate the effect of gender on the perception of six different hands. Quantitative and qualitative results show that women perceive lower levels of presence while using male avatar hands and male perceive lower levels of presence using non-human avatar hands. While women dislike male hands, men accept and feel presence with avatar hands of both genders. Our results highlight the importance of considering the users’ diversity when designing virtual reality experiences.

Our paper received an Honorable Mention Award and will be presented at CHI’2017 in Denver, CO

Read the paper here.

Schwind, Valentin; Knierim, Pascal; Tasci, Cagri; Franczak, Patrick; Haas, Nico; Henze, Niels

“These are not my hands!”: Effect of Gender on the Perception of Avatar Hands in Virtual Reality Inproceedings

CHI '17 Proceedings of the 2017 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction, ACM Press, New York, NY, USA, 2017, ISBN: 9781450346559, (Honorable Mention Award).

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