skip to main content

Title: Assessing vignetting as a means to reduce VR sickness during amplified head rotations
Redirected and amplified head movements have the potential to provide more natural interaction with virtual environments (VEs) than using controller-based input, which causes large discrepancies between visual and vestibular self-motion cues and leads to increased VR sickness. However, such amplified head movements may also exacerbate VR sickness symptoms over no amplification. Several general methods have been introduced to reduce VR sickness for controller-based input inside a VE, including a popular vignetting method that gradually reduces the field of view. In this paper, we investigate the use of vignetting to reduce VR sickness when using amplified head rotations instead of controllerbased input. We also investigate whether the induced VR sickness is a result of the user’s head acceleration or velocity by introducing two different modes of vignetting, one triggered by acceleration and the other by velocity. Our dependent measures were pre and post VR sickness questionnaires as well as estimated discomfort levels that were assessed each minute of the experiment. Our results show interesting effects between a baseline condition without vignetting, as well as the two vignetting methods, generally indicating that the vignetting methods did not succeed in reducing VR sickness for most of the participants and, instead, lead to a significant increase. We discuss the results and potential explanations of our findings.
Authors:
; ;
Award ID(s):
1564065
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10105867
Journal Name:
ACM Symposium on Applied Perception 2018
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
1 to 8
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Introduction Social media has created opportunities for children to gather social support online (Blackwell et al., 2016; Gonzales, 2017; Jackson, Bailey, & Foucault Welles, 2018; Khasawneh, Rogers, Bertrand, Madathil, & Gramopadhye, 2019; Ponathil, Agnisarman, Khasawneh, Narasimha, & Madathil, 2017). However, social media also has the potential to expose children and adolescents to undesirable behaviors. Research showed that social media can be used to harass, discriminate (Fritz & Gonzales, 2018), dox (Wood, Rose, & Thompson, 2018), and socially disenfranchise children (Page, Wisniewski, Knijnenburg, & Namara, 2018). Other research proposes that social media use might be correlated to the significant increase inmore »suicide rates and depressive symptoms among children and adolescents in the past ten years (Mitchell, Wells, Priebe, & Ybarra, 2014). Evidence based research suggests that suicidal and unwanted behaviors can be promulgated through social contagion effects, which model, normalize, and reinforce self-harming behavior (Hilton, 2017). These harmful behaviors and social contagion effects may occur more frequently through repetitive exposure and modelling via social media, especially when such content goes “viral” (Hilton, 2017). One example of viral self-harming behavior that has generated significant media attention is the Blue Whale Challenge (BWC). The hearsay about this challenge is that individuals at all ages are persuaded to participate in self-harm and eventually kill themselves (Mukhra, Baryah, Krishan, & Kanchan, 2017). Research is needed specifically concerning BWC ethical concerns, the effects the game may have on teenagers, and potential governmental interventions. To address this gap in the literature, the current study uses qualitative and content analysis research techniques to illustrate the risk of self-harm and suicide contagion through the portrayal of BWC on YouTube and Twitter Posts. The purpose of this study is to analyze the portrayal of BWC on YouTube and Twitter in order to identify the themes that are presented on YouTube and Twitter posts that share and discuss BWC. In addition, we want to explore to what extent are YouTube videos compliant with safe and effective suicide messaging guidelines proposed by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC). Method Two social media websites were used to gather the data: 60 videos and 1,112 comments from YouTube and 150 posts from Twitter. The common themes of the YouTube videos, comments on those videos, and the Twitter posts were identified using grounded, thematic content analysis on the collected data (Padgett, 2001). Three codebooks were built, one for each type of data. The data for each site were analyzed, and the common themes were identified. A deductive coding analysis was conducted on the YouTube videos based on the nine SPRC safe and effective messaging guidelines (Suicide Prevention Resource Center, 2006). The analysis explored the number of videos that violated these guidelines and which guidelines were violated the most. The inter-rater reliabilities between the coders ranged from 0.61 – 0.81 based on Cohen’s kappa. Then the coders conducted consensus coding. Results & Findings Three common themes were identified among all the posts in the three social media platforms included in this study. The first theme included posts where social media users were trying to raise awareness and warning parents about this dangerous phenomenon in order to reduce the risk of any potential participation in BWC. This was the most common theme in the videos and posts. Additionally, the posts claimed that there are more than 100 people who have played BWC worldwide and provided detailed description of what each individual did while playing the game. These videos also described the tasks and different names of the game. Only few videos provided recommendations to teenagers who might be playing or thinking of playing the game and fewer videos mentioned that the provided statistics were not confirmed by reliable sources. The second theme included posts of people that either criticized the teenagers who participated in BWC or made fun of them for a couple of reasons: they agreed with the purpose of BWC of “cleaning the society of people with mental issues,” or they misunderstood why teenagers participate in these kind of challenges, such as thinking they mainly participate due to peer pressure or to “show off”. The last theme we identified was that most of these users tend to speak in detail about someone who already participated in BWC. These videos and posts provided information about their demographics and interviews with their parents or acquaintances, who also provide more details about the participant’s personal life. The evaluation of the videos based on the SPRC safe messaging guidelines showed that 37% of the YouTube videos met fewer than 3 of the 9 safe messaging guidelines. Around 50% of them met only 4 to 6 of the guidelines, while the remaining 13% met 7 or more of the guidelines. Discussion This study is the first to systematically investigate the quality, portrayal, and reach of BWC on social media. Based on our findings from the emerging themes and the evaluation of the SPRC safe messaging guidelines we suggest that these videos could contribute to the spread of these deadly challenges (or suicide in general since the game might be a hoax) instead of raising awareness. Our suggestion is parallel with similar studies conducted on the portrait of suicide in traditional media (Fekete & Macsai, 1990; Fekete & Schmidtke, 1995). Most posts on social media romanticized people who have died by following this challenge, and younger vulnerable teens may see the victims as role models, leading them to end their lives in the same way (Fekete & Schmidtke, 1995). The videos presented statistics about the number of suicides believed to be related to this challenge in a way that made suicide seem common (Cialdini, 2003). In addition, the videos presented extensive personal information about the people who have died by suicide while playing the BWC. These videos also provided detailed descriptions of the final task, including pictures of self-harm, material that may encourage vulnerable teens to consider ending their lives and provide them with methods on how to do so (Fekete & Macsai, 1990). On the other hand, these videos both failed to emphasize prevention by highlighting effective treatments for mental health problems and failed to encourage teenagers with mental health problems to seek help and providing information on where to find it. YouTube and Twitter are capable of influencing a large number of teenagers (Khasawneh, Ponathil, Firat Ozkan, & Chalil Madathil, 2018; Pater & Mynatt, 2017). We suggest that it is urgent to monitor social media posts related to BWC and similar self-harm challenges (e.g., the Momo Challenge). Additionally, the SPRC should properly educate social media users, particularly those with more influence (e.g., celebrities) on elements that boost negative contagion effects. While the veracity of these challenges is doubted by some, posting about the challenges in unsafe manners can contribute to contagion regardless of the challlenges’ true nature.« less
  2. Third-person is a popular perspective for video games, but virtual reality (VR) seems to be primarily experienced from a first-person point of view (POV). While a first-person POV generally offers the highest presence; a third-person POV allows users to see their avatar; which allows for a better bond, and the higher vantage point generally increases spatial awareness and navigation. Third-person locomotion is generally implemented using a controller or keyboard, with users often sitting down; an approach that is considered to offer a low presence and embodiment. We present a novel thirdperson locomotion method that enables a high avatar embodiment bymore »integrating skeletal tracking with head-tilt based input to enable omnidirectional navigation beyond the confines of available tracking space. By interpreting movement relative to an avatar, the user will always keep facing the camera which optimizes skeletal tracking and keeps required instrumentation minimal (1 depth camera). A user study compares the performance, usability, VR sickness incidence and avatar embodiment of our method to using a controller for a navigation task that involves interacting with objects. Though a controller offers a higher performance and usability, our locomotion method offered a significantly higher avatar embodiment.« less
  3. Background: Drivers gather most of the information they need to drive by looking at the world around them and at visual displays within the vehicle. Navigation systems automate the way drivers navigate. In using these systems, drivers offload both tactical (route following) and strategic aspects (route planning) of navigational tasks to the automated SatNav system, freeing up cognitive and attentional resources that can be used in other tasks (Burnett, 2009). Despite the potential benefits and opportunities that navigation systems provide, their use can also be problematic. For example, research suggests that drivers using SatNav do not develop as much environmentalmore »spatial knowledge as drivers using paper maps (Waters & Winter, 2011; Parush, Ahuvia, & Erev, 2007). With recent growth and advances of augmented reality (AR) head-up displays (HUDs), there are new opportunities to display navigation information directly within a driver’s forward field of view, allowing them to gather information needed to navigate without looking away from the road. While the technology is promising, the nuances of interface design and its impacts on drivers must be further understood before AR can be widely and safely incorporated into vehicles. Specifically, an impact that warrants investigation is the role of AR HUDS in spatial knowledge acquisition while driving. Acquiring high levels of spatial knowledge is crucial for navigation tasks because individuals who have greater levels of spatial knowledge acquisition are more capable of navigating based on their own internal knowledge (Bolton, Burnett, & Large, 2015). Moreover, the ability to develop an accurate and comprehensive cognitive map acts as a social function in which individuals are able to navigate for others, provide verbal directions and sketch direction maps (Hill, 1987). Given these points, the relationship between spatial knowledge acquisition and novel technologies such as AR HUDs in driving is a relevant topic for investigation. Objectives: This work explored whether providing conformal AR navigational cues improves spatial knowledge acquisition (as compared to traditional HUD visual cues) to assess the plausibility and justification for investment in generating larger FOV AR HUDs with potentially multiple focal planes. Methods: This study employed a 2x2 between-subjects design in which twenty-four participants were counterbalanced by gender. We used a fixed base, medium fidelity driving simulator for where participants drove while navigating with one of two possible HUD interface designs: a world-relative arrow post sign and a screen-relative traditional arrow. During the 10-15 minute drive, participants drove the route and were encouraged to verbally share feedback as they proceeded. After the drive, participants completed a NASA-TLX questionnaire to record their perceived workload. We measured spatial knowledge at two levels: landmark and route knowledge. Landmark knowledge was assessed using an iconic recognition task, while route knowledge was assessed using a scene ordering task. After completion of the study, individuals signed a post-trial consent form and were compensated $10 for their time. Results: NASA-TLX performance subscale ratings revealed that participants felt that they performed better during the world-relative condition but at a higher rate of perceived workload. However, in terms of perceived workload, results suggest there is no significant difference between interface design conditions. Landmark knowledge results suggest that the mean number of remembered scenes among both conditions is statistically similar, indicating participants using both interface designs remembered the same proportion of on-route scenes. Deviance analysis show that only maneuver direction had an influence on landmark knowledge testing performance. Route knowledge results suggest that the proportion of scenes on-route which were correctly sequenced by participants is similar under both conditions. Finally, participants exhibited poorer performance in the route knowledge task as compared to landmark knowledge task (independent of HUD interface design). Conclusions: This study described a driving simulator study which evaluated the head-up provision of two types of AR navigation interface designs. The world-relative condition placed an artificial post sign at the corner of an approaching intersection containing a real landmark. The screen-relative condition displayed turn directions using a screen-fixed traditional arrow located directly ahead of the participant on the right or left side on the HUD. Overall results of this initial study provide evidence that the use of both screen-relative and world-relative AR head-up display interfaces have similar impact on spatial knowledge acquisition and perceived workload while driving. These results contrast a common perspective in the AR community that conformal, world-relative graphics are inherently more effective. This study instead suggests that simple, screen-fixed designs may indeed be effective in certain contexts.« less
  4. The number of people who own a virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) has reached a point where researchers can readily recruit HMD owners to participate remotely using their own equipment. However, HMD owners recruited online may differ from the university community members who typically participate in VR research. HMD owners (n=220) and non-owners (n=282) were recruited through two online work sites-Amazon's Mechanical Turk and Prolific-and an undergraduate participant pool. Participants completed a survey in which they provided demographic information and completed measures of HMD use, video game use, spatial ability, and motion sickness susceptibility. In the context of themore »populations sampled, the results provide 1) a characterization of HMD owners, 2) a snapshot of the most commonly owned HMDs, 3) a comparison between HMD owners and non-owners, and 4) a comparison among online workers and undergraduates. Significant gender differences were found: men reported lower motion sickness susceptibility and more video game hours than women, and men outperformed women on spatial tasks. Men comprised a greater proportion of HMD owners than non-owners, but after accounting for this imbalance, HMD owners did not differ appreciably from non-owners. Comparing across recruitment platform, male undergraduates outperformed male online workers on spatial tests, and female undergraduates played fewer video game hours than female online workers. The data removal rate was higher from Amazon compared to Prolific, possibly reflecting greater dishonesty. These results provide a description of HMD users that can inform researchers recruiting remote participants through online work sites. These results also signal a need for caution when comparing in-person VR research that primarily enrolls undergraduates to online VR research that enrolls online workers.« less
  5. Virtual reality sickness typically results from visual-vestibular conflict. Because self-motion from optical flow is driven most strongly by motion at the periphery of the retina, reducing the user’s field-of-view (FOV) during locomotion has proven to be an effective strategy to minimize visual vestibular conflict and VR sickness. Current FOV restrictor implementations reduce the user’s FOV by rendering a restrictor whose center is fixed at the center of the head mounted display (HMD), which is effective when the user’s eye gaze is aligned with head gaze. However, during eccentric eye gaze, users may look at the FOV restrictor itself, exposing themmore »to peripheral optical flow which could lead to increased VR sickness. To address these limitations, we develop a foveated FOV restrictor and we explore the effect of dynamically moving the center of the FOV restrictor according to the user’s eye gaze position. We conducted a user study (n=22) where each participant uses a foveated FOV restrictor and a head-fixed FOV restrictor while navigating a virtual environment. We found no statistically significant difference in VR sickness measures or noticeability between both restrictors. However, there was a significant difference in eye gaze behavior, as measured by eye gaze dispersion, with the foveated FOV restrictor allowing participants to have a wider visual scan area compared to the head-fixed FOV restrictor, which confined their eye gaze to the center of the FOV.« less