Evaluating Virtual Reality Experiences Through Participant Choices

IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces

By: María Murcia López, Tara Collingwoode-Williams, William Steptoe, Raz Schwartz, Timothy Loving, Mel Slater

Abstract

When building virtual reality applications teams must choose between different configurations of the hardware and/or software aspects, and other factors, of the experience. In this paper we extend a framework for assessing how these factors contribute to quality of experience in an example evaluation. We consider how four factors related to avatar expressiveness affect quality of experience: Eye Gaze, Eye Blinking, Mouth Animation, and Microexpressions. 55 participants experienced an avatar delivering a presentation in virtual reality. At fixed times participants had the opportunity to spend a virtual budget to modify the factors to incrementally improve their quality of experience. They could stop making transitions when they felt further changes would make no further difference. From these transitions a Markov matrix was built, along with probabilities of a factor being present at a given level on participants’ final configurations. Most participants did not spend the full budget, suggesting that there was a point of equilibrium which did not require maximizing all factor levels. We discuss that point of equilibrium and present this work as an extended contribution to the evaluation of people’s responses to immersive virtual environments.