3DoF vs. 6DoF Virtual Reality: Which Is Better?

Degrees of freedom (DoF) determines how learners can move in a virtual reality (VR) environment. There are two options when it comes to DoF in VR: 3 degrees of freedom (3DoF) or 6 degrees of freedom (6DoF). 

  • 3DoF, also known as 360° VR, uses video recordings or a fully modeled environment to give learners a fixed, all-encompassing perspective of a VR environment.
  • 6DoF, also known as Full VR, builds off of 3DoF by giving learners more freedom to move around their environment and interact with objects more realistically. 

In general, 3DoF is better suited for static environments where learners observe scenarios (e.g. soft skills training), while 6DoF is ideal for learning that involves physically navigating the virtual space and direct interactions (e.g. technical training).

Virtual reality (VR) is becoming increasingly well-known, with roughly 78% of Americans now being familiar with the technology. While you may know what VR is, do you know of the two types: 3 degrees of freedom (3DoF) or 6 degrees of freedom (6DoF)? 

At Roundtable Learning, we’re a trusted provider of VR training programs for organizations across the globe. We work with clients to evaluate their training needs and determine the optimal solution that fits their learning needs. 

This article will explain what degrees of freedom are, differentiate between 3DoF and 6DoF, and explore which is better suited for your organization’s training needs. 

 

 

What Are Degrees Of Freedom?

Degrees of freedom refers to the number of ways that a rigid object can move within a virtual reality (VR) training space. Within a VR training environment, you can have either 3DoF or 6DoF. 

 

How Do Degrees Of Freedom Affect Virtual Reality Experiences? 

DoF affects the following factors when it comes to the production of a VR activity and learners’ abilities within the environment: 

  • The cost of required equipment or softwares
  • The time it takes to develop the experience
  • Whether or not learners can physically walk around their VR environment
  • The ability to interact with various objects in the VR training experience

Now that we know what DoF is and what DoF affects within a VR experience, let’s break down the two types of DoF: 3DoF and 6DoF. 

 

Differences Between 3 Degrees Of Freedom And 6 Degrees Of Freedom

 

How To Use 3 Degrees Of Freedom For Virtual Reality Training

3DoF, also known as 360° VR, uses video recordings or a fully modeled environment to give learners a fixed, all-encompassing perspective of a VR environment. 3DoF gives learners a 360° perspective of their environment that’s viewed in a panoramic style. 

3DoF VR training has the following characteristics: 

  • 3DoF_BlackPuts learners in a fixed location
  • Allows learners to look left and right, up and down, and rotate their head
  • Uses pre-recorded video taken on a 360° camera or a fully modeled environment
  • Displays an existing environment that can’t be manipulated or altered

Ultimately, 3DoF is better suited for static environments where only choice selection is needed, not physical interactions. 3DoF is an effective option for organizations looking to give learners an all-encompassing view of a real-world environment with authentic human interactions. 

For example, observational soft skills training (e.g. coaching and feedback) is more effective with 3DoF because learners can focus on the experience as a spectator, observe the situation from different perspectives, or experience the situation first-hand in their own role. 

 

 

How To Use 6 Degrees Of Freedom For Virtual Reality Training

6DoF, also known as Full VR, gives learners more freedom to move within their virtual environment and interact with objects and people. 

6DoF has the following characteristics:

  • 6DoF_BlackAllows learners to move freely throughout their environment
  • Learners can look left and right, up and down, and rotate their head
  • Requires more in-depth development and programming
  • Allows learners to move digital objects throughout the environment

6DoF is ideal for experiences where the learner is physically moving through the virtual space and directly interacting with the environment. For example, technical skills training (e.g. pallet stacking) may be more effective in 6DoF because learners will feel like they’re in their actual work environment interacting with real-life objects and performing complex tasks. 

Read More: When to level up from 360-degree video to 6DoF VR

 

 

Which Is Better: 3 Degrees Of Freedom Or 6 Degrees Of Freedom?

When it comes to different training topics, there are better use cases for either 3DoF or 6DoF. Industry experts believe that 3DoF is better suited for soft skills training in areas, including leadership and employee coaching, while 6DoF is more appropriate for technical skills training in areas that require more hands-on practice. 

Cost-wise, custom 3DoF VR training materials can cost $20,000 – $75,000 or more, while custom 6DoF VR training materials can cost $50,000 – $150,000 or more.

While choosing between 3DoF and 6DoF is highly dependent on your organization’s specific training needs, we can provide you with this general guideline for picking between the two: As soon as a learning experience requires an interaction from the employee with some component of the simulation (e.g. equipment, objects, people), it’s safe to say that it’s time to level-up from 3DoF to 6DoF.

Read More: Six Degrees of Freedom: Why More is Better in Virtual Reality

 

To What Degree Does Your Training Program Need To Go To?

In this article, we’ve covered the two types of VR technology options: 3DoF and 6DoF. We hope that by reading this article, your organization feels more confident moving forward with your VR training process.

Ready to get started with your custom VR training program? Schedule a meeting with one of our experts today and start creating a VR training program your learners are sure to enjoy! 

 

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