The iMotions software is used by both academic and commercial researchers working within fields such as psychology, medical research, usability, tech, engineering, and marketing. According to the two companies, the combination of Varjo’s VR-1 headset with the iMotions platform provides an opportunity for research to be carried out within each of these fields, in high-fidelity virtual environments that are otherwise too costly, impractical, or even impossible to recreate in the real world.
The iMotions platform allows the collection of synchronized data from multiple biosensors, including the Varjo VR-1’s eye tracking. Eye tracking data can be synchronized with signals from biosensors, such as EDA (electrodermal activity), EMG (electromyography), ECG (electrocardiography), and EEG (electroencephalography). The use of multimodal biosensor data in the iMotions platform can provide insights about the user’s emotional and physiological states as they experience the virtual environment.
Varjo’s VR-1 device has a resolution of more than 60 pixels per degree, and comes with advanced integrated eye tracking, enabling high-precision analytics and interaction with human-eye resolution VR content.
“We are proud to partner with iMotions to usher in an entirely new way of conducting research through the use of virtual reality,” said Urho Konttori, Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder of Varjo. “The unmatched eye tracking technology built into our VR-1 device, coupled with the power of iMotions’ 8.0 platform to analyze data from various biosensor sources delivers an exciting opportunity for researchers to create simulated environments and capture new insights that weren’t possible before.”
The VR-1 is only available for businesses and academic institutions, and is designed to support the most demanding use scenarios where visual fidelity is paramount. Examples of use within iMotions include measuring physiological responses to stress of pilots or drivers, investigating biomarkers related to phobias, and capturing emotional responses to simulated architectural environments.
“Immersive virtual environments can dramatically broaden the reach of the scientific study of behavior, by bringing into reach contexts that would be difficult or impossible to create or study physically,” said Scott Greenwald, President and CEO of CoVR Solutions (a spin-off company of the MIT Media Lab) which collaborated with iMotions and Varjo on the integration.
“However, as long as there are significant perceptible differences between virtual and real environments, the results of these studies will require additional validation. The Varjo VR-1 gives us a glimpse into the future where virtual worlds are indistinguishable from real ones. The combination of this technology with the iMotions platform will supercharge the advancement of new, more powerful behavioral research.”
Key features of the integration of the Varjo VR-1 headset in the iMotions software include:
- Synchronized data collection. The iMotions software has been designed to make advanced human behavior research with multiple biosensors as simple as possible. Use single or multiple biosensors to understand the physiological and emotional responses to any virtual environment;
- A single platform for virtual experiments. The entire experimental process can be carried out within iMotions, from study design, to stimuli exposure, to data collection, analysis, and export. All with a range of biosensors that can provide insights into ongoing physiological and emotional responses;
- With a sub-degree accuracy, Varjo’s proprietary 20/20 Eye Tracker and stereo eye tracking technology delivers precision and accuracy for interactivity, data collection and analysis in human-eye resolution;
- Fully flexible in any environment. It’s possible to use the iMotions API to collect data from the virtual environment, and combine with biosensor measurements – this data can be sent back to modify or alter the environment.
Image credit: Varjo/iMotions