With virtual reality head-mounted displays rapidly becoming accessible to mass audiences, there is growing interest in new forms of natural input techniques to enhance immersion and engagement for players. Research has explored physiological input for enhancing immersion in single player games through indirectly controlled signals like heart rate or galvanic skin response. In this project, we propose breathing as a directly controlled physiological signal that can facilitate unique and engaging play experiences through natural interaction in single and multiplayer virtual reality games. We designed four intuitive active breath control actions as additional input channels in the game:

  • Gale is strong and sustained blowing out (imagine a dragon breathing out fire or someone blowing out candles on a birthday cake)
  • Waft is air blown out slowly for a short duration with an open mouth (like blowing on a window to fog up the surface
  • Gust is a transient but strong jet of air blown from the mouth (similar to blowing dust away from objects
  • Calm is a temporary decline in breathing rate to zero (holding your breath)

  • Figure 1: The four breathing actions.

    BreathVR: Leveraging Breathing as a Directly Controlled Interface for Virtual Reality Games. CHI 2018.(To appear)