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Inside the Mind of the Audience: Measuring Immersion in Visual Media

7 November 2017

In work financed through an Impact Accelerator grant and the BVI EPSRC Platform Grant, Dr Stephen Hinde, supervised by Professor Iain Gilchrist and Professor David Bull, are working on research into the psychological measurement of immersion while audiences watch media.

This research is a collaboration between the Bristol Vision Institute, Aardman Animation, BBC R&D and the Watershed. Media here includes both programmes for the broadcast industry and film for the cinema industries.

In an initial broadcast media experiment with BBC R&D, we have compared levels of immersion between audiences watching Planet Earth 2 in High Dynamic Range Format with Standard Definition Format.

An initial cinema immersion experiment, was run with an audience at the Society for the Cognitive Study of Moving Image Conference in Helsinki in June, followed by a talk including the results. Each audience member had an iPhone App for measuring their level of immersion during the film viewing.

Results showed people who had not seen the film before watched it differently to people who had. Two further cinema audience experiments are scheduled in Bristol. One at the scheduled for the first week of November with an audience watching the film Moon. The second will be at the Watershed in December, with a film from the Watershed December programme, yet to be announced.

People who wish to be part of either of these experiments should contact Stephen Hinde.

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