One of the guiding values to building good virtual reality has always been comfort. Content needs to provide a compelling immersive experience, but at the same time, needs to offer a safe environment where technology does not interfere with reality, or make us feel nauseous or uncomfortable.

For this reason, Cognitive3D has been investing in a number of industry benchmarks, including ‘Cognitive Comfort’, a score created in part to help guide developers and researchers to behaviors and insights that cause their users to have a low level of comfort.

We started this journey by looking at ‘what are the things that make people uncomfortable’, and identified several quantitatively accessible metrics that could be evaluated and aggregated. We look at some of the following to build our scoring system:

  • Oculusion events (HMD or controllers)
  • Temporary or longterm drops in frames-per-second (FPS)
  • Premature removal of headset
  • Interaction with chaperones or boundries
  • Controller collision events
  • Recentering of HMD

We started by looking at the number of events collecting over the life of a session and quickly realized through user testing and qualitative reporting that discomfort was not a persistent state – it’s something that grows and wanes based off recorded behaviors.

For this reason, we created comfort as a time-series metric that starts at 100%, and drops based on some of the events described above, but will begin to grow towards 100% again if comfort events are lesser in other areas of the session. For this reason, our customers are able to identify areas of a scene or level that actually draw the least amount of comfort from customers, and can take corrective action.

 

Comfort is certainly a critical component for building entertainment experiences, but we also see strong applicability in enterprise, especially for consumer research where the key concern is ensuring that technology is getting in the way of user engagement and the clearest results possible.

Comfort is just one metric in a series of new metrics focused on understanding and quantifying 3D space. If you are interested in learning more, Book a Demo!

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