1. Novelty was the primary driver behind desire to participate.
2. Heavy handed content left many participants feeling victimized.
3. Participants became unwitting performers drawing audiences.
4. Nausea, imbalance, blurred vision and unbearable disorientation were common complaints.
Next, I experimented with HTC Vive, Google Cardboard and similar devices. I learned that while the binocular lenses common to these systems allow for a rich immersive experience, they also produce nausea and other unwanted effects that limit engagement. I would have to develop something substantially different to meet the challenge and decided to begin with the physical platform, resolving questions of ergonomics, materiality, and aesthetics.
Platform: I wanted to create a system with potential for audio, kinetic, and other elements beyond the visual interface. I looked at hats, straps, headbands, and medical devices, but helmets quickly became the obvious solution. I considered motorsport, military, cycling, rafting, and mountaineering options, but they had limited sizing variability and contained materials difficult to sanitize. I settled on construction hard hats which have mechanisms that adjust to fit most head sizes, are easy to clean, affordable, and come in an array of colors and styles.