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Advances in Human-Computer Interaction
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 2937632, 14 pages
Research Article

Evaluating the Authenticity of Virtual Environments: Comparison of Three Devices

1University of Jyväskylä, P.O. Box 35, 40014 University of Jyväskylä, Finland
2Aalto University, 02150 Espoo, Finland

Received 30 November 2015; Revised 3 February 2016; Accepted 11 February 2016

Academic Editor: Mariano Alcañiz

Copyright © 2016 Aila Kronqvist et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Immersive virtual environments (VEs) have the potential to provide novel cost effective ways for evaluating not only new environments and usability scenarios, but also potential user experiences. To achieve this, VEs must be adequately realistic. The level of perceived authenticity can be ascertained by measuring the levels of immersion people experience in their VE interactions. In this paper the degree of authenticity is measured via an authenticity index in relation to three different immersive virtual environment devices. These devices include (1) a headband, (2) 3D glasses, and (3) a head-mounted display (HMD). A quick scale for measuring immersion, feeling of control, and simulator sickness was developed and tested. The HMD proved to be the most immersive device, although the headband was demonstrated as being a more stable environment causing the least simulator sickness. The results have design implication as they provide insight into specific factors which make experience in a VE seem more authentic to users. The paper emphasizes that, in addition to the quality of the VE, focus needs to be placed on ergonomic factors such as the weight of the devices, as these may compromise the quality of results obtained when examining studying human-technology interaction in a VE.