“Reality Anchors”: Bringing Cues from Reality into VR on Public Transport to Alleviate Safety and Comfort Concerns

Bajorunaite, L., Brewster, S. and Williamson, J. R. (2022) “Reality Anchors”: Bringing Cues from Reality into VR on Public Transport to Alleviate Safety and Comfort Concerns. In: CHI EA '22: CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, New Orleans, LA, USA, 29 Apr - 05 May 2022, p. 383. ISBN 9781450391566 (doi: 10.1145/3491101.3519696)

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Virtual Reality (VR) headsets have the unique capability to create private virtual content anywhere around the user, going beyond the capacities of traditional devices, but are not widely used while travelling, due to safety and comfort concerns. Showing objects from reality - "Reality Anchors" - could help reduce these concerns. We present a user study (N=20) that investigates how the use of real-world cues and different VR environments affect users’ feelings of safety, social acceptability, awareness, presence, escapism and immersion, which are key barriers to VR adoption. Our findings show that knowing where other people are on the bus could significantly reduce concerns associated with VR use in transit, resulting in increased feelings of safety, social acceptability and awareness, but with the concession that the user's immersion may be reduced. The VR environment also affected the level of immersion and the feelings of escapism, with a 360-video environment returning higher scores than a 2D one.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Brewster, Professor Stephen and Bajorunaite, Ms Laura and Williamson, Dr Julie
Authors: Bajorunaite, L., Brewster, S., and Williamson, J. R.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Journal Name:CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Extended Abstracts
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 Association for Computing Machinery
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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