Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality (VAMR) Experiences
The formative evaluation identifies design issues that may lead to higher levels of cybersickness. It involves expert evaluators examining a VAMR application / attraction and judging its compliance with our proprietary cybersickness best practices and design guidelines that have been developed based on decades of cybersickness research. Results include a documented summary of VAMR content and experience design issues that may be contributing to cybersickness and redesign recommendations.
With user testing, a VAMR application / attraction is tested by immersing representative users in the VAMR experience. Typically, participants will experience the VAMR application / attraction while expert observers watch, listen, and take notes. After VAMR exposure, the participant completes a survey assessing subjective adverse reactions. The goal is to identify the extent of cybersickness problems via the collection of qualitative data and determine the impact of the VAMR application / attraction on participants. The results include a documented subjective assessment of cybersickness, as well as the provision of a Simulation-Immersion- Comfort (SIC) Rating of the VAMR content (i.e., comfortable, moderate, intense).
With PCSI evaluations, a VAMR application / attraction is tested by immersing representative users in the VAMR experience while simultaneously monitoring physiological measures (e.g., Electrocardiogram [ECG], Electrogastrogram [EGG], Electrodermal Activity [EDA]) throughout VAMR exposure. The goal is to identify the extent of cybersickness problems during exposure via the collection of quantitative physiological data and determine the impact of the VAMR application / attraction on participants. The results include a documented objective assessment of cybersickness based on our PCSI, as well as the provision of a physiologically-based Simulation-Immersion-Comfort (P-SIC) Rating of the VAMR content (i.e., comfortable, moderate, intense).
VAMR exposure is associated with aftereffects, which can render the exposed individual ill-equipped to operate in their normal environment for a period of time after exposure. These aftereffects can manifest as postural ataxia, visual displacements (e.g., altered vestibulo-ocular reflex), and altered hand-eye coordination, among others, and can last for extended periods beyond VAMR exposure. We use a set of proprietary measures of these aftereffects to provide a Lingering-After-Simulation-Hangover (LASH) Rating of your VAMR content, which is equated to blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) level.
The results include a documented summary of cybersickness VAMR design guidelines, which assist VAMR design professionals with understanding general human physiology as it relates to cybersickness, recommend design approaches that address cybersickness, provide an objective basis for review, and increase awareness of cybersickness-related design concerns.
Extensive review of peer reviewed published papers, research studies, and previously collected data to assemble required data to derive a summary of theory-based VAMR design parameters (hardware and software) that are expected to minimize cybersickness and long-term adverse aftereffects. The results include a documented summary of cybersickness VAMR design guidelines.
PCSI predicts the onset of cybersickness. This helps virtual training content developers improve training effectiveness, avoid aftereffects that impact performance and reduces development cost.
The PCSI uses a suite of physiological sensors to identify the onset of cybersickness. Heart-rate variability, tachygastria and bradygastria responses along with electrodermal activity are collected via external, non-invasive sensors. The patent-pending PCSI algorithm processes data in real-time, identifying the precursors of cybersickness. The results allow content developers to reduce the long-lasting maladaptive effects associated with cybersickness, such as nausea and changes to hand-eye coordination and balance.
Thousands of hours of physiological data were collected during exposure to virtual content in multiple government and commercial cybersickness research efforts.
Approximately 80 - 95% of those exposed to VAMR report some level of symptomology post-exposure, which may be as minor as a headache to as severe as vomiting or vertigo. Effects such as nausea, dizziness, headaches, drowsiness and fatigue can last hours and even days after a VAMR experience. Identifying these early ‘warning signs’ via the PCSI can inform VAMR content development. As a result, Cybersickness and long lasting aftereffects can be assessed and mitigated, which can reduce the cost of content development, improve training effectiveness, and enhance the user experience.