Using immersive technologies to improve user engagement in sensory testing
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Food Science and Technology Undergraduate Research Theses; 2014
Failed product launches are the source of significant financial losses for many food and beverage companies. It is believed that consumer data collected from sensory testing are poor in quality and contribute to product failure by providing companies with information that is unreliable and misleading. To improve quality of consumer data, a study was designed to increase user engagement during testing with the use of immersive technology. Subjects tasted coffee samples and completed an engagement survey in both a traditional sensory testing environment and a virtual environment designed to mimic a coffee shop. Results from the engagement surveys show that seven out of the eight dimensions assessing engagement were positively influenced by the virtual environment. The dimensions of environmental aesthetics, involvement, immersion, sensory and realism factors all yielded significantly more positive scores in the virtual environment than in the traditional sensory booth. The combined total engagement score for the virtual environment was also significantly higher than the sensory booth score, suggesting that the virtual environment is more engaging. If further testing shows the data from virtual environments are also reliable, this technology can be applied to commercial sensory testing to guide more successful and cost efficient product development.
Academic Major: Food Science and Technology
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