Immersive 360° video user experience: impact of different variables in the sense of presence and cybersickness

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Miguel Correia Melo
José Vasconcelos Raposo
António Coelho
David Gonçalves Narciso
Maximino Bessa
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Virtual Reality (VR) has been recently gaining interest from researchers and companies, contributing to the development of the associated technologies that aim to transport its users to a virtual environment by the stimulation of their senses. Technologies such as Head-Mounted Displays (HMD), capable of presenting 360° video in 3D, are becoming affordable and, consequently, more common among the average consumer, potentiating the creation of a market for VR experiences. The purpose of this study is to measure the influence of (a) video format (2D/monoscopic vs 3D/stereoscopic), (b) sound format (2D/stereo vs 3D/spatialized), and (c) gender on users’ sense of presence and cybersickness, while experiencing a VR application using an HMD. Presence and cybersickness were measured using questionnaires as subjective measures. Portuguese versions of the Igroup Presence Questionnaire for presence and the Simulator Sickness Questionnaire for cybersickness were used. Results revealed no statistically significant differences between (a) VIDEO and (b) SOUND variables on both senses of presence and cybersickness. When paired with (a) VIDEO, the independent variable (c) Gender showed significant differences on almost all subscales of presence. Results suggest that the widely acknowledged differences in spatial ability between genders were a major factor contributing to this outcome. © 2017 Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany