Personality characteristics can affect how much presence an individual experiences in virtual reality, and researchers have explored how it may be possible to prime users to increase their sense of presence. A personality characteristic that has yet to be explored in the VR literature is imaginative suggestibility, the ability of an individual to successfully experience an imaginary scenario as if it were real. In this paper, we explore how suggestibility and priming affect presence when consulting an ancient oracle in VR as part of an educational experience -- a common VR application. We show for the first time how imaginative suggestibility is a major factor which affects presence and emotions experienced in VR, while priming cues have no effect on participants' (n=128) user experience, contrasting results from prior work. We consider the impacts of these findings for VR design and provide guidelines based on our results.
While VR, through decades of research, has shown to successfully improve young children’s lives, more research needs to examine the appropriateness of VR for children, including its design. The type of character in combination with the perceptual realism of virtual reality (VR) may influence children’s perceptions of VR experiences. A within-participant experiment examined 5- to 9-year-old children’s (N = 25) perceptions of three different character types in VR (i.e., human, animal, and anthropomorphized creature) based on their level of social realism. Results showed that character type impacted children’s (a) social-emotional descriptions of the VR experience, (b) if VR’s realism was an asset or a hindrance, and (c) primed thoughts about fantasy versus reality. However, children experienced the embodiment and personification of the characters similarly across all character types. Finally, children recalled the salient aspects of the characters they remembered and identified elements to improve the VR characters’ design.
Object manipulation in 3D space, meaning translating, rotating, and scaling, is ubiquitous in virtual reality (VR), and several interaction techniques have been developed in the past to optimize the task performance and usability. However, preliminary research indicates that individual spatial abilities also have an impact. Yet, it was never investigated if users’ spatial abilities influence VR object manipulation. We assessed this in a user study (N=66) using 21 manipulation tasks defined in a Fitts’ law-related approach. As interaction techniques, we chose gizmos for simultaneously manipulating 1 and 3 degrees of freedom (DOF) and a handle bar metaphor for 7 DOF. Higher spatial abilities resulted in significantly shorter task completion time and more targeted manipulations, while task accuracy was unaffected. However, an optimized interaction technique could compensate individual disadvantages. We propose seven guidelines on spatial abilities in interaction technique design and research to personalize and improve VR applications.
First-Person View (FPV) drone is a recently developed category of drones designed for precision flying and for capturing exhilarating experiences that could not be captured before, such as navigating through tight indoor spaces and flying extremely close to subjects of interest. FPV viewing experiences, while exhilarating, typically have frequent rotations that can lead to visually induced discomfort. We present TurnAhead, which uses 3-DoF rotational haptic cues that correspond to camera rotations to improve the comfort, immersion, and enjoyment of FPV experiences. It uses headset-mounted air jets to provide ungrounded rotational forces and is the first device to support rotation around all 3 axes: yaw, pitch, and roll. We conducted a series of perception and formative studies to explore the design space of timing and intensity of haptic cues, followed by user experience evaluation, for a combined total of 44 participants (n=12, 8, 6, 18). Results showed that TurnAhead significantly improved overall comfort, immersion, and enjoyment, and was preferred by 89% of participants.
Presence is one of the most studied and most important variables in immersive virtual reality (VR) and it influences the effectiveness of many VR applications. Separate bodies of research indicate that presence is determined by (1) technical factors such as the visual realism of a virtual environment (VE) and the field of view (FoV), and (2) human factors such as emotions and agency. However, it remains unknown how technical and human factors may interact in the presence formation process. We conducted a user study (n=360) to investigate the effects of visual realism (high/low), FoV (high/low), emotions (focusing on fear) and agency (yes/no) on presence. Counter to previous assumptions, technical factors did not affect presence directly but were moderated through human factors. We propose TAP-Fear, a structural equation model that describes how design decisions, technical factors and human factors combine and interact in the formation of presence.
Mid-air gestures, widely used in today's Augmented Reality (AR) applications, are prone to the “gorilla arm” effect, leading to discomfort with prolonged interactions. While prior work has proposed metrics to quantify this effect and means to improve comfort and ergonomics, these works usually only consider simplistic, one-dimensional AR interactions, like reaching for a point or pushing a button. However, interacting with AR environments also involves far more complex tasks, such as rotational knobs, potentially impacting ergonomics. This paper advances the understanding of the ergonomics of rotational mid-air interactions in AR. For this, we contribute the results of a controlled experiment exposing the participants to a rotational task in the interaction space defined by their arms' reach. Based on the results, we discuss how novel future mid-air gesture modalities benefit from our findings concerning ergonomic-aware rotational interaction.