Effects of Latency Jitter on Simulator Sickness in a Search Task

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PubDate: August 2018

Teams: University of Würzburg

Writers: Jan-Philipp Stauffert; Florian Niebling; Marc Erich Latoschik

PDF: Effects of Latency Jitter on Simulator Sickness in a Search Task


Low latency is a fundamental requirement for Virtual Reality (VR) systems to reduce the potential risks of cybersickness and to increase effectiveness, efficiency and user experience. In contrast to the effects of uniform latency degradation, the influence of latency jitter on user experience in VR is not well researched, although today’s consumer VR systems are vulnerable in this respect. In this work we report on the impact of latency jitter on cybersickness in HMD-based VR environments. Test subjects are given a search task in Virtual Reality, provoking both head rotation and translation. One group experienced artificially added latency jitter in the tracking data of their head-mounted display. The introduced jitter pattern was a replication of a real-world latency behavior extracted and analyzed from an existing example VR-system. The effects of the introduced latency jitter were measured based on self-reports simulator sickness questionnaire (SSQ) and by taking physiological measurements. We found a significant increase in self-reported simulator sickness. We therefore argue that measure and control of latency based on average values taken at a few time intervals is not enough to assure a required timeliness behavior but that latency jitter needs to be considered when designing experiences for Virtual Reality.