It would be hard to find someone who hasn't taken a personality test (i.e. Meyers Briggs, DISC assessment, Big Five personality tests, etc.). The problem is that the vast majority of these tests are not evidence-based and lack any predictive power. Also, people are often given these tests under high-stakes (job interview process) and are incentivized to modify their responses to fit into a certain group. To cut through the noise, we wanted to build personality profiles based on initial, gut reactions to simulated situations using VR.

What it does

Jump into a series of curated VR situations aimed at understanding your initial, gut reactions to difficult and ethical situations. While you are immersed, we are measuring a multitude of performance metrics! Our goal is to have around 10 fast-paced experiences that cover topics ranging from stress management, adaptability, creativity, problem solving, and philosophy. Over the past 24 hrs, we built two highly-polished scenarios to test the concept.

Target audience

We imagine that while this tool provides value, the initial investment in the VR setup is high. As a result, our target audience at first would be organizations (businesses, non-profits, military, law enforcement, government).

How we built it

Game engine: Unreal Engine 4

Using C++ scripts attached to Unreal, we were able to record performance metrics during the experience.

3D modeling: 3DS Max

Texturing: Substance Painter

VR headset: HTC Vive

Challenges we ran into

We wanted to collect biofeedback information such as respiratory rate or heart rate in addition to in-game performance metrics. We did a deep dive on heart rate using optical sensors, EKG breakout boards, and even tried to reverse engineer a pulse oximeter. In the end, we ran out of time on integrating biofeedback, but we learned a lot in the process!

Accomplishments that we are proud of

  • Amount of data that we were able to collect
  • The insights that we gathered
  • Examined data from 40 individuals
  • The amount of work that we were able to complete
  • Being able to collaboratively work to develop a strong idea
  • Utilizing VR as a predictive tool for personality tests

What we learned


  • How to correct for visual anomalies that occur in VR, such as spacial awareness
  • How to record performance in real-time in Unreal Engine
  • That VR can be a powerful tool for organizations that goes beyond its initial novelty and hype-factor


  • That optical pulse sensor is susceptible to motion artifacts
  • Typical 3 lead EKG sensors do not allow for freedom of motion either

Usability testing

  • People's reactions vary greatly to physiological and psychological tasks
  • What measurements would be valuable for feedback in next generations

What's next for ApperceptionVR

  • Adding biofeedback (heart rate and/or respiratory rate)
  • Building out a set of validated and curated situations (~10)
  • Measure interpersonal metrics by enabling multiplayer support
  • Record verbal reaction to tasks
  • Watch eye movement
  • Record extraneous movements of the limbs
  • Record task speed
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