VR usability from elderly cohorts: Preparatory challenges in overcoming technology rejection

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.


School of Science




Coldham, G., & Cook, D. M. (2017, September). VR usability from elderly cohorts: Preparatory challenges in overcoming technology rejection. In Information Technology Conference (NITC), 2017 National (pp. 131-135). IEEE. Available here


Virtual Reality (VR) usability is an emerging area that has made rapid progress among early adopters, but has so far failed to address the concerns of late adopters. In particular, elderly cohorts stand to benefit greatly from VR technologies as they enter areas of assistive technology, gerontechnology, and authentic modes of training. This study examined technology rejection criteria from a sample of 19 retired persons by comparing normative and VR practices for the fundamental learning of navigation using Google Earth mapping. This research discovered that three dimensional fear was a major factor in determining the acceptance and rejection of VR as a usable instrument for training elderly people in the use of navigation by means of enhanced mapping. This study examines the hypothesis that in combination, physical and pseudo physical realities require a range of preparatory exercises to acclimatize older users towards a stress-free approach to VR adoption. This study aimed to reveal new understanding about technology rejection in older populations, in particular where the physical presence of the wearing of VR equipment, in combination with the psychological and mental fear of the 3D experience, brought about high levels of technology rejection. Hesitation to accept VR equipment across both physical and perceptual boundaries is problematic for elderly users where rich 3D experiences are a requirement for successful, purposeful, and authentic tasking.



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