In the history of film, there has been picture, sound, colour, 3D, and most recently, high-definition vibro-kinetic input, invented by Québec company D-BOX Technologies. This motion-based cinematic experience is attracting a loyal clientele, but what do the vibrations really provide? Tech3Lab, an applied management-science research laboratory associated with HEC Montréal that studies the user experience in their interaction with various technologies, has provided the answer.

Tech3Lab combines artificial intelligence, psychology and cognitive science. For the research team co-led by Professor Pierre-Majorique Léger, facial micro-expression measures, electroencephalography and other vital signs all provide biophysical data from which deep-learning algorithms can deduce a user’s emotional and cognitive immersion.

Tech3Lab research gives credibility to D-BOX by providing scientific confirmation that high-definition vibro-kinetic motion is not a gadget; it enhances the viewing experience.

Michel Paquette

Vice-President, Corporate Affairs, D-BOX

This approach was used to understand the contribution of vibro-kinetic experiences to virtual reality. Certain subjects who experienced virtual reality on a seat without this tactile input felt discomfort referred to as cyber sickness (nausea). It results from dissonance between the motion suggested by the audiovisual stimuli transmitted by the headset and the idleness felt by the inner ear. Unconsciously, the spectator fights this discomfort, trying to reverse it intuitively and, in doing so, detaches from the virtual-reality experience. This unconscious reaction is revealed by characteristic biophysical data. On a seat equipped with D-BOX vibro-kinetics, the dissonance disappears thanks to the motion cleverly synchronized with the audio-visual stimuli. Biophysical data shows that the user not only ceases to experience discomfort, but their emotions are amplified. When vibro-kinetics is incorporated into a seat, users are no longer just spectators in virtual reality; they are experiencing it.

Biophysiological datasets provide fascinating learning bases for algorithms, which will progressively improve their ability to identify human emotions.

Pierre-Majorique Léger

Professor, HEC Montréal

The same goes for movies: biophysical data indicates that on a D-BOX seat, the viewer becomes immersed in the film.


Pierre-Majorique Léger

Professeur titulaire

HEC Montréal

Industry stakeholder