23 February 2012 Visual discomfort with stereo 3D displays when the head is not upright
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Abstract
Properly constructed stereoscopic images are aligned vertically on the display screen, so on-screen binocular disparities are strictly horizontal. If the viewer's inter-ocular axis is also horizontal, he/she makes horizontal vergence eye movements to fuse the stereoscopic image. However, if the viewer's head is rolled to the side, the onscreen disparities now have horizontal and vertical components at the eyes. Thus, the viewer must make horizontal and vertical vergence movements to binocularly fuse the two images. Vertical vergence movements occur naturally, but they are usually quite small. Much larger movements are required when viewing stereoscopic images with the head rotated to the side. We asked whether the vertical vergence eye movements required to fuse stereoscopic images when the head is rolled cause visual discomfort. We also asked whether the ability to see stereoscopic depth is compromised with head roll. To answer these questions, we conducted behavioral experiments in which we simulated head roll by rotating the stereo display clockwise or counter-clockwise while the viewer's head remained upright relative to gravity. While viewing the stimulus, subjects performed a psychophysical task. Visual discomfort increased significantly with the amount of stimulus roll and with the magnitude of on-screen horizontal disparity. The ability to perceive stereoscopic depth also declined with increasing roll and on-screen disparity. The magnitude of both effects was proportional to the magnitude of the induced vertical disparity. We conclude that head roll is a significant cause of viewer discomfort and that it also adversely affects the perception of depth from stereoscopic displays.
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David Kane, David Kane, Robert T. Held, Robert T. Held, Martin S. Banks, Martin S. Banks, "Visual discomfort with stereo 3D displays when the head is not upright", Proc. SPIE 8288, Stereoscopic Displays and Applications XXIII, 828814 (23 February 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.912204; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.912204
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