Benefits of Immersion

A large number of immersive virtual environments (IVEs) have been prototyped in research labs, but only a few have been commercially adopted. One of the major reasons for this phenomenon is that industries perceive immersive technologies to have a very high cost relative to their benefit. We want to demonstrate that immersive technologies have attractive cost-benefit ratios by separating the components of immersion and determining the benefits of each component.

Determining the Benefits of Immersion

In order to determine the benefits of immersion, its components must first be separated. There are several components of immersion to consider: field of view (FOV), field of regard (FOR), display size, display resolution, stereoscopy, head-based rending, frame rate, refresh rate, etc. As proposed and used in previous studies, we can use a CAVE to separate these components and evaluate the effects of each separately and the interactions between. 

Another question that has been raised by previous research is whether the directness of interaction has a greater effect than the level of immersion. So for this research, we will also examine the effect of different interaction techniques that use various levels of directness. 

For this research we are concerned with the benefits of immersion and directness on user performance and will use a game context, specifically a first-person shooter context. We plan to use the Cube engine as the context for evaluating these benefits.