Atmosphaeres – 360° Video Environments for Stress and Pain Management
The Atmosphaeres project aims to reduce sufferers’ stress and pain levels by using 360° video environments that are presented in a highly immersive Head-Mounted Display (HMD). Here we report first insights of our prototype combination of the 360° video environments and the Oculus Rift, the HMD used for our project. We find that our ‘Atmosphaeres’ are capable of truly transporting the user to another, virtually created location, however, there were a number of restrictions with the first system, including image quality and nausea which we hope to eliminate with the system we present in this paper. There are also a number of research questions that need to be considered for the use of the Atmosphaeres in stress and pain management or for general relaxation purposes. These questions include whether 360° video environments are capable of reducing stress and experienced pain and whether changes to the Oculus Rift DK2 do in fact reduce the nausea that was often caused by the DK1. Sound is another important yet often under-considered factor in many Virtual Reality applications and questions we seek to answer revolve around how the quality and type of audio contribute to users’ feeling of presence and ultimately their stress and pain levels.
KeywordsImmersive Virtual Environments Head-Mounted Displays Restorative Virtual Environments Stress Management Pain Reduction
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