Arindam Dey, Hao Chen, Chang Zhuang, Mark Billinghurst, and Robert Lindeman.
Effects of sharing real-time multi-sensory heart rate feedback in different immersive collaborative virtual environments.
In Proceedings of the IEEE International Symposium for Mixed and Augmented Reality 2018 (To appear). 2018.
Collaboration is an important application area for virtual reality (VR). However, unlike in the real world, collaboration in VR misses important empathetic cues that can make collaborators aware of each other's emotional states. Providing physiological feedback, such as heart rate or respiration rate, to users in VR has been shown to create a positive impact in single user environments. In this paper, through a rigorous mixed-factorial user experiment, we evaluated how providing heart rate feedback to collaborators influences their collaboration in three different environments requiring different kinds of collaboration. We have found that when provided with real-time heart rate feedback participants felt the presence of the collaborator more and felt that they understood their collaborator's emotional state more. Heart rate feedback also made participants feel more dominant when performing the task. We discuss the implication of this research for collaborative VR environments, provide design guidelines, and directions for future research.