17 January 2024

Exploring Field of View (FoV) in Extended Reality: A Sneak Peek into the Spatial Design Experience

Exploring Field of View (FoV) in Extended Reality: A Sneak Peek into the Spatial Design Experience

In the world of Extended Reality (XR), a crucial aspect that often goes unnoticed by users but plays a significant role in their immersive experiences is the Field of View (FoV). FoV serves as the window through which we perceive the virtual or augmented environments presented to us through headsets and devices. In this blog, we'll take a closer look at what FoV is, its implications in both Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), and how it shapes the spatial design experience.

Understanding Field of View

What is Field of View (FoV)?

Field of View (FoV) within the realm of Extended Reality (XR) pertains to the degree or range of the virtual or augmented environment that can be seen through a headset or device at any particular moment. It's the "viewfinder" through which we peer into the digital realm, and it plays a pivotal role in determining how immersive and realistic our XR experiences feel.

Field of View in AR

In the realms of augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), or extended reality (XR), the FoV serves as the window through which digital enhancements are applied to the real world. When the FoV is wider, it allows for a larger portion of your surroundings to be enriched with digital overlays, resulting in a more comprehensive and captivating experience.

However, there's a delicate balance to strike, as technical limitations come into play. Factors like the size of the device, user comfort, and the processing power required need to be considered when determining the optimal FoV. This often leads to a trade-off between achieving a wide FoV and ensuring a practical and enjoyable user experience.

Field of View in VR

In contrast, the Field of View (FoV) in virtual reality (VR) tends to be broader compared to augmented reality (AR). This wider FoV in VR enables a more extensive view, contributing to heightened immersion and a greater sense of realism within the virtual environment. VR typically offers a significantly wider FoV, typically ranging from 90 to 110 degrees, and some high-end VR models can even reach FoVs of 120 degrees or more. Recognizing the impact of this wider field of view is crucial as it plays a pivotal role in enhancing the overall sense of immersion, making VR experiences feel more convincing and engaging.

Impact of FoV on User Experience

The Field of View (FoV) has a substantial impact on the user experience in both Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), with several key considerations:

1. Immersion

A broader FoV in VR enhances the sense of immersion by filling more of the user's natural field of vision. This creates a more encompassing and realistic virtual world, making users feel like they are truly inside it. Conversely, a limited FoV can create a "tunnel vision" effect, reminding users that they are looking through a device.

2. Spatial Awareness

A wider FoV in VR improves spatial awareness, enabling users to navigate and interact more naturally with the virtual environment. In AR, a narrower FoV may limit the amount of augmented content visible without head movement.

3. Realism in AR

FoV affects the seamless integration of digital content into the real world. A narrow FoV may make augmented elements feel disjointed, while a wider FoV enhances their integration.

4. Comfort and Presence

Achieving the right FoV is crucial for user comfort. An excessively wide FoV can lead to neck strain or dizziness, as users may need to move their heads excessively. Conversely, a narrow FoV can strain the user's eyes, as they have to focus on a small area.

5. User Interface and Interaction Design

FoV influences how content and interfaces are designed. A narrow FoV requires central placement of critical elements, while a wider FoV allows for a more spread-out arrangement.

6. Accessibility

A wider FoV can be more inclusive, accommodating users with various visual capabilities and preferences. However, this must be balanced with considerations such as headset weight and comfort.

7. Motion Sickness

A mismatch between perceived and expected visual input can lead to motion sickness. It's crucial for VR FoV settings to match the user's natural FoV to mitigate this issue.


The Field of View (FoV) may be a technical aspect of extended reality, but it profoundly influences the way we perceive and interact with digital environments. Whether you're diving into the immersive world of virtual reality or enhancing your surroundings with augmented reality, understanding and optimizing FoV is key to creating compelling XR experiences. Spatial designers, developers, and users alike should keep this important element in mind as XR technology continues to evolve, shaping the way we experience the digital and physical worlds together.