Since 2003, Jeremy Bailenson, a cognitive psychologist who leads Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, has been at the forefront of studying the use and potential impacts of AR and VR. His work touches on how the technologies can change human perception and the ways that they can be leveraged to monitor and understand our minds.
In a recent interview with The Information, Bailenson told me about one of his most recent efforts, a consulting gig with HP Labs on a new VR headset coming out next month that is equipped with sensors and software that are geared for academic research and enterprise training purposes. The $1,250 headset, the Reverb G2 Omnicept, has trackers for the face, eyes and pupil size along with a heart rate sensor. Bailenson helped shape how the Omnicept’s software uses those sensors to measure cognitive load, a measure of how mentally engaging or exhausting given tasks are for people.