Heart Rate Variability for Non-Intrusive Cybersickness Detection

Reyero Lobo, Paula and Perez, Pablo (2022). Heart Rate Variability for Non-Intrusive Cybersickness Detection. In: ACM International Conference on Interactive Media Experiences, ACM.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3505284.3529973


Cybersickness involves all the adverse effects that can occur during a Virtual Reality (VR) immersion, which can compromise the quality of the user experience and limit the usability, functionality and duration of use of VR systems. Standardised protocols help detect stimuli that may cause cybersickness in multiple users but do not fully discriminate which specific users experience cybersickness. Of the biometric measures used to monitor cybersickness in an individual, Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is one of the most used in previous work. However, these only considered its temporal components and did not allow for rest periods between sessions, even though these can affect users’ immersion. Our analysis addresses these limitations in that changes in HRV can measure specific levels of discomfort or ”alertness” associated with the initial cybersickness stimulus induced in the 360 videos. Primarily, our empirical results show significant differences in the frequency components of HRV in response to cybersickness stimuli. These initial measurements can compete with standard subjective assessment protocols, especially for detecting whether a subject responds to a VR immersion with cybersickness symptoms.

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