Measuring the Phenomenon of Presence with a Break-in-Presence Counter
The paper presents a methodology of presence state estimation for virtual reality environments based on presence counter method. The presence counter is based on counting breaks in presence: moments when the subject just experienced presence, was subjectively inside virtual reality (state V), but this state was broken, and the subject felt himself in ordinary reality, in the laboratory (state R). A generalized mathematical model based on Markov random processes is given, which allows to calculate the probability of presence state on the basis of discrete data using continuous time. The description of a pilot experiment in virtual reality, conducted to verify the described methodology. As part of a pilot experiment, subjects move around a virtual Asian park and shoot at round vases they see. The hits are being counted. Also, sound distractors are turned on for the subjects - signals that return them from state V (the sence of being in virtual reality) to state R (the sence of being in ordinary reality), in fact, stimulating breaks in presence. The results of the pilot study and its prospects are discussed.
Virtual reality, presence phenomenon, Markov chains, break in presence