Seeing your hands in VR is already a good step to increase the level of presence. Adding the sense of touch is just a natural progression.
What better way to do so than bringing real props in the equation? Yes we have the controllers already! Although they can appear as a sword and a shield, those are stuck in your hands and don’t really bring the feeling of affordances. Instead, if our hands were free, we could naturally grab a door handle to open a door physically and virtually at the same time. In that spirit, Doraemon has done some promising experiment with the “Anywhere door” as seen on roadtoVR.
The power of a door doesn’t stop with its affordance. The door is also a metaphor to bring someone from one room to the next. What is exciting with VR is that those rooms don’t have to be physically adjacent. They can be any kind of place, anywhere. From a living room, the door can lead you to the beach or Jupiter. Furthermore, by using two doors cleverly juxtaposed as in a booth, you can redirect the participant to maximize the use of the constraint physical space.
Doctor Who’s Tardis find new meaning with VR. At the Virtual Reality Show in April 2017, I was able to try a mobile VR setup, no string attached, just a space delimited by a ceiling full of sticky stars. (StarTrackerVR) Those stickers were reflecting an accurate location without the need of cameras. The main trick of the experience was based on a set of virtual booth with one door to get in and one door to get out. Each booth was a gate from one virtual scene to the next; and it was also redirecting the participant to keep him inside the perimeter. However, in this case, they were no physical door.
Either way, physical or virtual, or both, the door is only one architectural element among a dozen that can be used in VR as a way to convey the participant through an experience or a story.