Virtual reality (VR) applications, especially those where the user is untethered to a computer, are becoming more prevalent as new hardware is developed, computational power and artificial intelligence algorithms are available, and wireless communication networks are becoming more reliable, fast, and providing higher reliability. In fact, recent projections show that by 2022 the number of VR users will double, suggesting the sector was not negatively affected by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. The success of any immersive communication system is heavily dependent on the user experience it delivers, thus now more than ever has it become crucial to develop reliable models of immersive media experience (IMEx). In this paper, we survey the literature for existing methods and tools to assess human influential factors (HIFs) related to IMEx. In particular, subjective, behavioural, and psycho-physiological methods are covered. We describe tools available to monitor these HIFs, including the user’s sense of presence and immersion, cybersickness, and mental/affective states, as well as their role in overall experience. Special focus is placed on psycho-physiological methods, as it was found that such in-depth evaluation was lacking from the existing literature. We conclude by touching on emerging applications involving multiple-sensorial immersive media and provide suggestions for future research directions to fill existing gaps. It is hoped that this survey will be useful for researchers interested in building new immersive (adaptive) applications that maximize user experience.
Cybersickness; Immersive media experience; Mulsemedia; Quality of experience; Virtual reality.