Inducing Flow with VR
How might you effectively repeat an environment to achieve a flow state?
This research explores how VR environments affect flow state. Using Unity, I prototyped a VR app in which the physics of the environment change depending on the user's emotional and mental state.
Created individually (2 months)
People are estimated to waste 2 hours a day at work from distractions. One of the best solutions to this problem is being able to achieve flow, a state of complete immersion. I sought to tackle how to better achieve flow through independent research under Dr. Leidy Klotz. I became interested in how virtual reality could induce flow in a quick and repeatable manner. After doing research in the behavioral insights needed to achieve flow primarily from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's "Flow", I began to design environments in VR that a user could completely and creatively control. Coding in C and using Unity, I began prototyping various models to achieve flow. I based success on achieving flow on two factors: heartbeats per minute, and qualitative feedback. One of the key aspects of the project was that the physics engine and settings are defined by your emotional state.
Testing environment for VR engagement.
Users walked around a forest, playing a simple game of hide and seek, but from a foot off the ground.
Takeaways from experiments.