Enhancing VR experiences

As someone who spent more time observing others immersed in the VR world during the recent sessions, what I absolutely loved about the whole experience was the incredible capacity of the brain to complete unconnected stimuli and form a coherent impression of the immediate world. For example, standing on the edge of Vesper Peak was enough to trigger the fear of heights in one particular user, despite them being at no risk of falling down a cliff. When Kimiko slightly nudged another user off balance, their brain combined the vision of being on the edge of a mountain and being unstable to very dangerous and hence, they started flailing. This also reminded me of some of the VR rides in Universal Studios where the roller-coaster car is not actually moving anywhere but by tilting it and creating an impression of motion combined with synchronized virtual imagery, it conveys to the brain that you are actually in an animated roller-coaster. This begs the question as to why some rollercoasters (Six Flags) have VR headsets on riders as they seem to underestimate the capacity of the brain to connect these virtual stimuli.

What I liked least about the VR experience was there are still audio limitations where it becomes difficult to create a completely immersive experience. The trouble with headphones was that users would not be able to listen to the conductors of the experiment. How users may benefit from an immersive audio experience is that they might start to spatially relate the source of sound and this creates a greater validation of the virtual space as being something realistic. The most intuitive solution would be to include a small microphone for the moderator to lead the user through the experiment; however, this solution would require validation on whether users prefer to be more disconnected with the real world when navigating the virtual world.

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