Reducing Visual Discomfort with HMDs
Using Dynamic Depth of Field

Sample screenshots of the test scenes. The temple (top) and mountainous landscape (bottom) were displayed with DoF enabled (left) and disabled (right).


Although head-mounted displays (HMDs) are ideal devices for personal viewing of immersive stereoscopic content, exposure to VR applications on them results in significant discomfort for the majority of people, with symptoms including eye fatigue, headaches, nausea, and sweating. A conflict between accommodation and vergence depth cues on stereoscopic displays is a significant cause of visual discomfort. This article describes the results of an evaluation used to judge the effectiveness of dynamic depth-of-field (DoF) blur in an effort to reduce discomfort caused by exposure to stereoscopic content on HMDs. Using a commercial game engine implementation, study participants report a reduction of visual discomfort on a simulator sickness questionnaire when DoF blurring is enabled. The study participants reported a decrease in symptom severity caused by HMD exposure, indicating that dynamic DoF can effectively reduce visual discomfort.


Kieran Carnegie, Taehyun Rhee
"Reducing Visual Discomfort with HMDs Using Dynamic Depth of Field"
IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, 2015
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