Adding Proprioceptive Feedback to Virtual Reality Experiences Using Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation
PubDate: May 2019
Teams: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Writers: Misha Sra；Abhinandan Jain；Pattie Maes
We present a small and lightweight wearable device that enhances virtual reality experiences and reduces cybersickness by means of galvanic vestibular stimulation (GVS). GVS is a specific way to elicit vestibular reflexes that has been used for over a century to study the function of the vestibular system. In addition to GVS, we support physiological sensing by connecting heart rate, electrodermal activity and other sensors to our wearable device using a plug and play mechanism. An accompanying Android app communicates with the device over Bluetooth (BLE) for transmitting the GVS stimulus to the user through electrodes attached behind the ears. Our system supports multiple categories of virtual reality applications with different types of virtual motion such as driving, navigating by flying, teleporting, or riding. We present a user study in which participants (N = 20) experienced significantly lower cybersickness when using our device and rated experiences with GVS-induced haptic feedback as significantly more immersive than a no-GVS baseline.