Creating Presence Experiment
I worked with Erin and Yuan for this assignment. We attempted to make the user feel that they are very close to a volcano.
The visual component is a 360 video from inside a volcano. It was ripped from this video from youtube. It was then run on an android phone using VR Media Player and Google cardboard. The user has to hold the cardboard to their face to use it.
The audio component is sounds of a volcano downloaded online separately. It was played on wireless headphones which the user was asked to wear.
Other components involved heat. We asked the user to take off their shoes and stand on a heat pad. We also blew a hot hair dryer at the user’s face from the direction of the center of the volcano.
We tested the experience with 2 people: Huiyi and Simon. The heat pad wasn’t working when setting up the first test. Huiyi also told us that the headphones weren’t playing anything. Huiyi felt that the air blowing from the hair dryer was uncomfortable due to how close it was. However, she said she did feel like she was standing in the environment (vs being an invisible floating camera). Due to the heat pad not working, her feet felt cold which took her out of the experience.
The second time, the heatpad was working and the headphones were playing sound. Simon felt that he was in the environment and that he was with the 2 people in the video. He especially thought the blow dryer added a lot to the experience. However, he pointed out that the sudden jump from the ‘real world’ to the virtual experience was jarring and made it difficult to feel truly present in the virtual environment.