Was I There? Impact of Platform and Headphones on 360 Video Immersion

A Tse, Charlene Jennett, J Moore, Z Watson, Jake Rigby, Anna Cox
in CHI 2017, Conference proceeding, Denver, Colorado


Virtual reality industries claim that 360 videos are a powerful tool for creating empathy because they are an immersive medium, and wearing headphones is encouraged for the full immersive experience. To investigate these claims, we carried out a 2x2 between subjects lab study (n=40) to explore whether 360 viewing platform (magic window / google cardboard) and headphone use (with / without) have an effect on Film-Immersion for the 360 video Fire Rescue. Our results reveal a significant interaction effect: headphones increased immersion for google cardboard, but decreased immersion for magic window. However, not all dimensions of the immersive experience were affected. This suggests that head-mounted displays increase presence, but do not necessarily lead to more empathy and greater interest in the 360 video. Thematic analysis of interview data suggests contributing factors such as fear of missing out (FOMO). These findings have implications for film makers and researchers of 360 videos.