Rivalry and Interference with a Head Mounted Display


Perceptual factors that affect monocular, transparent (a.k.a "see-thru") head-mounted displays include binocular rivalry, visual interference, and depth of focus. We report the results of an experiment designed to evaluate the effects of these factors on user performance in a table look-up task. Two backgrounds were used. A dynamic moving background was provided by a large screen TV and an untidy bookshelf was used to provide a complex static background. With the TV background large effects were found attributable to both rivalry and visual interference. These two effects were roughly additive. Smaller effects were found with the bookshelf. In conclusion we suggest that monocular transparent HMDs may be unsuitable for use in visually dynamic environments. However when backgrounds are relatively static, having a transparent display may be preferable to having an opaque display.

Publication Date


Journal or Conference Title

ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (CHI)


9, No. 3



Publisher Place

New York, NY, USA


Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Document Type

Journal Article