Mental Workload Assessment in Virtual Reality Environment Based Ship Navigating Operations
Authors: Yu Zhang, Chongbin Li, Quan Ding, Jie Chen
Abstract: With the development of virtual reality technology and human-computer interaction technology, workload assessment in a virtual reality environment become a reality. Using virtual reality technology to design digital models to simulate products and verify related solutions can reduce costs, shorten the development cycle, and improve the quality of product design. The goal of this paper is to verify the effectiveness of workload assessment in a virtual reality environment. In this study, the ship console system is an example to conduct a comparative experiment in the virtual prototype and physical prototype. Workload assessment indicators include task performance (task completion rate, task completion time), eye tracking measures (gaze entropy, pupil change rate and fixation rate of AOI, etc.), and subjective scales (NASA_TLX). According to a ship console’s size, display interface, and environment, a digital model and the experimental environment were built in Unity engine. The data were collected to verify the consistency of the experimental results of the VR prototype and the physical prototype. There was no significant difference in task completion rate, NASA_TLX scores, fixation rate of AOI, pupil change rate, gaze entropy, and blink rate between the two prototype systems. The results show that the VR prototype can be used to replace the physical prototype for workload assessment to some extent.
Keywords: Human-computer interaction, workload assessment, virtual reality, eye tracking
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