July 2018
Volume 59, Issue 9
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2018
Effect of Fixed versus Adjustable Pupillary Distance (PD) on User Visual Comfort for Virtual Reality viewers
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Breck Dakin
    Kentucky College of Optometry, University of Pikeville, Pikeville, Kentucky, United States
  • Shantel Nunez
    Kentucky College of Optometry, University of Pikeville, Pikeville, Kentucky, United States
  • Catherine Donaldson
    Kentucky College of Optometry, University of Pikeville, Pikeville, Kentucky, United States
  • Adam Hickenbotham
    Kentucky College of Optometry, University of Pikeville, Pikeville, Kentucky, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Breck Dakin, None; Shantel Nunez, None; Catherine Donaldson, None; Adam Hickenbotham, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science July 2018, Vol.59, 2968. doi:
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      Breck Dakin, Shantel Nunez, Catherine Donaldson, Adam Hickenbotham; Effect of Fixed versus Adjustable Pupillary Distance (PD) on User Visual Comfort for Virtual Reality viewers. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(9):2968.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose : Although Virtual Reality (VR) viewers are becoming commonplace for enjoyment and recreation, symptoms of nausea, dizziness, headaches, and discomfort often accompany their use. These viewers come in two types: Adjustable Pupillary Distance (PD) and One-Size-Fits-All viewers with a fixed standard pupillary distance based on the population mean. This experiment tested the hypothesis that Adjustable PD VR viewers will decrease the likelihood of VR sickness compared to Fixed PD VR viewers.

Methods : Subjects consisted of students at the Kentucky College of Optometry (n=60, 34 females, 26 males, mean age±SD=24.9±4.2 years). Students were asked to use the VR viewers and report the amount of dizziness, headaches, nausea, and eye discomfort before and after use. Symptoms were reported as (0) none, (1) mild, (2) medium, or (3) intense. Students completed the experiment with the Fixed PD VR viewers (64 mm) and with adjustable PD VR viewers set by the user for comfort.

Results : The mean comfortable viewing times for the Fixed VR viewers were shorter (4.8±2.7 minutes) compared to the Adjustable VR viewers (5.9±2.9 minutes) (p-value=0.0002). The subjective ratings on symptoms of dizziness, headaches, nausea, and eye discomfort were lower for the Adjustable PD VR viewers (1.0, 0.8, 1.08, and 1.1) compared to the Fixed VR viewers (1.2, 0.9, 1.12, and 1.3). These reductions were significant for dizziness and visual discomfort (p-values=0.04 and 0.05). Most subjects (58%) had longer comfortable viewing times using the Adjustable PD VR viewers although some found no difference (23%) or even had longer comfortable viewing times with the fixed viewers (11%).

Conclusions : Fixed PD viewers are designed to function well for individuals with an average pupillary distance. In this study, the Fixed PD viewers worked well for a third of participants. For the other two-thirds, dizziness, headaches, nausea, and eye discomfort were reduced by using Adjustable PD VR viewers. Although the amount of VR sickness was reduced, it was not resolved completely.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2018 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 29 - May 3, 2018.

 

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