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Analyzing Spatial Memory in a Virtual Reality-Based Subterranean Scenario: Implication for Military Augmented Reality Systems
SessionvVE1: Virtual Environments
DescriptionUtilizing virtual reality (VR) has allowed the testing of new technology for military missions not available previously, such as using head-mounted augmented reality (AR) to support complicated subterranean (sub-t) missions. Additionally, due to advances in wearable technology, the military will soon offer Soldiers the ability to wear AR head-mounted displays while conducting missions (Freedberg, 2019). Therefore, it is essential to understand how this technology will impact Soldiers’ spatial memory for sub-t environments. This paper describes the methods and preliminary results of in-progress work that uses VR and the Gardony Map Drawing Analyzer (Gardony et al., 2016) to analyze spatial memory following navigation in sub-t missions. Subjects completed a series of tasks in VR while utilizing simulated AR displays that provided navigation aid, such as a compass and an inertial navigation system (bird’s eye trace). After each mission, subjects sketched a diagram of the tunnel system they just explored. We use these sketches to measure how well subjects understood their environment and their recall and ability to recreate the environment for future intelligence purposes.