Researchers detect horror in virtual reality with a mask that mimics suffocation

In an ideal world, virtual reality brings with it the thrilling potential of unique, fun experiences that are easily accessible to the masses. But we do not live in an ideal world, instead we have researchers who use virtual reality equipment to imitate a horrible experience about drowning in a fire.

This is not the first time that researchers are looking for ways to upgrade their virtual reality apparatus to simply dread the simulated experience. Last month, A team from Carnegie Mellon University’s Future Interfaces Group has revealed: VR headset used with ultrasonic converters it could recreate the feeling of touch in the wearer’s mouth և around him, but one research application showed a huge virtual spider dripping poison that users could feel falling on their lips. This is not the future we have signed for.

This time, This is a team of researchers from the University of Applied Sciences in Salzburg, Austria, who seem to have good intentions but may have missed out because detailed in the published article For the recent CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing. They created a device called the AirRes Mask, which is designed to be worn next to consumer-friendly VR headphones, such as Meta Quest 2, and serves as an additional means of interacting with the virtual experience through the user’s breath.

AirRes Mask works in two ways. The first approach, և one that is less likely to traumatize users, uses the mask as a way to control their breathing և to incorporate it into the VR experience to enhance the sense of immersion. The programs include simple daily activities such as blowing a virtual candle, blowing a balloon or even playing an instrument on your own, using your own breath. The mask can also be used to adjust how VR behaves based on the user’s breathing rate. Hitting a target, for example when launching a virtual arrow from a bow, becomes much easier when the user holds his breath and stabilizes..

The other approach uses the mask’s ability to increase the wearer’s ability to breathe. Suffocation does not seem to be a fun way to escape reality, but researchers believe that the AirRes Mask could also be used as a more realistic workout. Firefighters may physically experience a lack of oxygen in the room as wildfires consume it, including mimic side effects when the human body is not getting enough oxygen, such as the beginning of tunnel vision, but without the added risk of a real fire. The mask can also make flight simulators feel more realistic, as the increased g-forces of the high-speed particles make it difficult for the pilot to breathe.

It certainly does not seem like much fun to experience VR as moving the virtual spotlight to the rhythm of your favorite song, but as scary as it sounds, it helps to show the unique potential of VR in the future – sometimes its ability to force us. to feel really uncomfortable without endangering ourselves.

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