VU – UTNews & agendaNewsThe impact of interface novelty in VR experiments

The impact of interface novelty in VR experiments

In the field of human behaviour research, Head-Mounted Display Virtual Reality (HMD-VR) has rapidly emerged as a powerful tool. However, its growing popularity is accompanied by a unique challenge – the novelty it presents to research participants. Participants may become fascinated and curious simply because they are new to the VR interface, regardless how the VR environment has been designed. This can in turn bias research outcomes.

A team within the Smart Societies Coalition, led by Marcello Gómez-Maureira (Human Media Interaction, UT) and Tilo Hartmann (Virtual Reality and Communication, VU Amsterdam), are investigating how to deal with this impact with the help of 10 students of Creative Technology.

Waiting Room

The idea is to add a baseline VR scene before the actual VR experiment, in the form of an interactive waiting room. This waiting room will allow prospective participants to explore fundamental VR functions and to familiarize themselves with the interface.

VR setup

While in this waiting room, participants’ biometrics will also be collected, such as their eye gazes, heart rate, facial responses and movements. Taken together, they inform the baseline of exploring an interactive VR environment. The CreaTe student team is currently constructing the VR setup and is also exploring how to capture biometric data from participants wearing VR headsets.

Interested in this project? Please contact Marcello A. Gómez-Maureira at