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Using biomechanics to investigate the effect of VR on eye vergence system
journal contributionposted on 2019-11-01, 00:00 authored by J Iskander, Mohammed Hossny, Saeid NahavandiSaeid Nahavandi
Vergence-accommodation conflict (VAC) is the main contributor to visual fatigue during immersion in virtual environments. Many studies have investigated the effects of VAC using 3D displays and expensive complex apparatus and setup to create natural and conflicting viewing conditions. However, a limited number of studies targeted virtual environments simulated using modern consumer-grade VR headsets. Our main objective, in this work, is to test how the modern VR headsets (VR simulated depth) could affect our vergence system, in addition to investigating the effect of the simulated depth on the eye-gaze performance. The virtual scenario used included a common virtual object (a cube) in a simple virtual environment with no constraints placed on the head and neck movement of the subjects. We used ocular biomechanics and eye tracking to compare between vergence angles in matching (ideal) and conflicting (real) viewing conditions. Real vergence angle during immersion was significantly higher than ideal vergence angle and exhibited higher variability which leads to incorrect depth cues that affects depth perception and also leads to visual fatigue for prolonged virtual experiences. Additionally, we found that as the simulated depth increases, the ability of users to manipulate virtual objects with their eyes decreases, thus, decreasing the possibilities of interaction through eye gaze. The biomechanics model used here can be further extended to study muscular activity of eye muscles during immersion. It presents an efficient and flexible assessment tool for virtual environments.