A Very Strange Way To Stop People Getting Sick Using VR

Illustration for article titled A Very Strange Way To Stop People Getting Sick Using VR

If you haven't used one of the newer virtual reality headsets before, and you're tired of reading everyone's glowing reports on them, here's something else to consider: they also make some folks sick.

Whether it's the field of view or just the act that VR is simulating, certain people (obviously not everyone) find riding on a fake roller-coaster or flying a fake starfighter a bit nauseous, which is something that researchers working on VR have been struggling to overcome.

A team at Purdue University think they've found a solution, though it's not one that's going to please developers (or artists); seems inserting a digital nose in front of the player's helps cure most people's VR sickness.


It works by "grounding" the player's senses; much of the sickness player's experience is the result of their eyes experiencing a different sensation to the rest of the body, which throws everything off. If you can see a nose in the game, though, it gives your brain something to calibrate alongside.

"Our suspicion is that you have this stable object that your body is accustomed to tuning out, but it's still there and your sensory system knows it," says David Whittinghill, from Purdue University's Department of Computer Graphics Technology.

Curiously, given how prominent the nose appears in the above screenshot (which is an actual screen from Purdue's testig), Whittinghill also says "Surprisingly, subjects did not notice the nasum virtualis while they were playing the games, and they were incredulous when its presence was revealed to them later in debriefings."

(via Daily Dot)

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I get nauseous when I attempt to play First-Person shooters, and the only one I could even stomach getting through was the Metroid Prime Trilogy, simply because it was more adventure/exploration and less shooting. Does this mean that someone like me would have a horrible time with VR? If so, I am glad that it's not going to take off any time soon.

And before anyone comments, I do NOT play games on PC. I spend enough time in front of my computer for work/school. The last thing I want to do is play games on the damned thing.