“Quantifying immersion in virtual reality” by Pausch, Proffitt and Williams

  • ©Randy Pausch, Dennis R. Proffitt, and George Williams




    Quantifying immersion in virtual reality



    Virtual Reality (VR) has generated much excitement but little formal proof that it is useful. Because VR interfaces are difficult and expensive to build, the computer graphics community needs to be able to predict which applications will benefit from VR. In this paper, we show that users with a VR interface complete a search task faster than users with a stationary monitor and a hand-based input device. We placed users in the center of the virtual room shown in Figure 1 and told them to look for camouflaged targets. VR users did not do significantly better than desktop users. However, when asked to search the room and conclude if a target existed, VR users were substantially better at determining when they had searched the entire room. Desktop users took 41% more time, re-examining areas they had already searched. We also found a positive transfer of training from VR to stationary displays and a negative transfer of training from stationary displays to VR.

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