... we are interested in how to create systems where the user loses the sense of mediation, and begins to respond to being immersed in a blended physical/virtual as if it was a single “world.”
Our approach to exploring AR and Presence has been to develop an AR presence questionnaire in parallel with a physiological presence experiment analogous to the UNC VR “pit” experiment, which leverages a strong physiological reaction (fear of heights) to measure presence.
The experiment asked the participants to preform certain tasks around that pit, while their heart rate, galvanic skin response and skin temperature were measured. By doing so, the researchers hoped to develope a quantitative measurement of how immersive was the AR experience. Sadly, they don't report on their results yet, but you can tell from the video that some participants were shaken by the event.
Next time, they'll confront volunteers with an approaching virtual train and have paramedics on stand-by.
More details here.