The eye blink rate, a major human physiological response, directly affects ocular diseases, such as keratitis and dry eye syndrome. It has been shown that the eye blink rate in normal eyes has a certain frequency for individuals, from 6–30 times/min. It was suggested in a previous study that the eye blink rate can be decreased during the viewing of high-intensity and realistic content. Therefore, in this paper, we examine the change of the eye blink rate during the HMD (head-mounted display) viewing of VR (virtual reality) contents; accordingly, we propose an algorithm to measure the eye blink rate as well as compare and analyze this rate in three different environments (natural, monitor, and HMD). We confirmed that IPD (interpupillary distance) and phoria affected the eye blink rate in each environment. In this experiment, 21 subjects (28.38 ± 6.87 years) were selected, and a paired t
-test was performed for changes in the eye blink rate over 1 min for each environment. The IPD and phoria effects on the eye blink rate were confirmed using the Spearman’s correlation coefficient. In this experiment, the eye blink rate was decreased in the monitor and HMD environments compared with the natural environment, while that in the HMD environment was decreased compared with the monitor environment. The results of the correlation analysis of far IPD and the eye blink rate show no statistical significance or correlation. The correlation analysis of near IPD and the eye blink rate showed a strong positive correlation of the eye blink rate in the monitor environment. The correlation analysis of distance phoria and the eye blink rate showed a strong negative correlation of the eye blink rate in the HMD environment. The correlation analysis of near-field phoria and the eye blink rate showed a strong negative correlation of the eye blink rate in the HMD environment. It is expected that the results of this study will be used as a VR-viewing recommendation.
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