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Trust Building using 360° VR in Sharing Economy

Using 360° VR to create trust among the students and the landlords leading to higher intention to rent

CLIENT ETTTAK AB - MASTER THESIS PROJECT

THE CHALLENGE

To build trust among the students and the landlords leading to higher intention to rent

RESULTS

Usability study shows strong favor for 360° VR over regular platforms and better preparedness to meet face to face with the landlord

ARRIVING AT THE RESEARCH QUESTION

A project kickstarted with a general problem tackled by Etttak. It was the difficulty in finding proper accommodation by students in large cities such as Stockholm in Sweden. Past literature was helful to narrow these these points:

  • Sharing economy depends on two kinds of factors influencing trust. Users’ attributes and Product or Service’s attributes
  • Virtual Reality can create a sense of being in the place called Place Illusion

RESEARCH QUESTION What is the impact of innovative interaction techniques like VR 360° video on trustworthiness among tenants and landlords leading to the intention to rent a home?

THEORITICAL FOUNDATION

Adapted model on how trust would work in sharing economies involving interactions such as immersive 360° video

solution

It touches trust based on interaction with the technology, with the person called as interpersonal trust and product attributes

PRE-STUDY

User research interviews were conducted with 5 students to gather the requirements and expectations of students. Three distinct themes were found using thematic analysis

  • Expectations from the accommodation: Revolving around pictures, amenities, location and price
  • Expectations from the landlord: Kind of relationship, Nature, Similar Interests
  • Improvements in the current methods: Detailed descriptions of the home and landlord, establishing trust
UNITY PROTOTYPE

360° camera was used to record a raw footage which was edited in Adobe Premiere Pro

solution

solution

Unity app which could be viewed on a mobile using a VR headset like Google Cardboard

solution

solution
RESULTS

The usability study was conducted with 6 students and they were required to give a short survey and an interview about their experienceof using 360° VR

solution

solution

Post study interviews revealed 5 distinct themes as below

  • Felt very immersive as if students were there in the house
  • 4 Students enjoyed the 360° experience
  • 2 Students points out the video could be of better quality
  • 2 Students felt dizziness and did not want to continue
  • Intention varied - 1 was ready to use it. Others would wait for VR to become mainstream
DISCUSSION AND FUTURE WORK
  • 360° video is strongly favored for immersion factor. Seen as better than 2D pictures and information on websites
  • Students wanted a full tour of the house including kitchen and bathroom
  • Less “Early Adopters”. Intention to rent by just seeing the 360° video alone is low unless VR is mainstream. Possible use of the 360° VR as a supplement to face to face meetings
  • The project focused on trust from student's perpective. Future work can also focus on landlord's perspective
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