Stanford University

Immersion and Presence

As virtual reality technology moves from laboratories to living rooms, the question, “how immersive is enough” has become uniquely important. For governments and corporations who seek to build systems, it is critical to know exactly how immersive these systems need to be. Inspired by an exhaustive meta-analysis on the qualities that make up an ideal virtual experience, the Immersion at Scale project seeks to explore the degree of immersion required for an ideal virtual experience through the use of mobile virtual reality systems.

This project intends to utilize the flexibility of mobile virtual reality “suitcase” systems by recruiting a large national sample. The question of immersion will be explored through three lenses: spatial, social, and learning, each of which will place participants in vastly different (and physiologically arousing) virtual environments. Hardware manipulations of interest include Field of View (FOV), Image Persistence, Update Rate, Latency, and Tracking Level. Data will be collected through optical and magnetic tracking of head and body movement, and physiological sensors will be used to record heart rate and skin conductance.


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