Whenever you use a virtual reality simulator you are likely to feel sickness inducing vertigo and sometimes nausea but new research findings point to a potential strategy to ease the affliction. Researchers at Purdue University’s Department of Computer Graphics Technology, have discovered that a virtual nose, or “nasum virtualis,” reduces simulator sickness when inserted into popular games. The findings were presented earlier this month during the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco by undergraduates Bradley Ziegler, James Moore and Tristan Case.
“Simulator sickness is very common,” said David Whittinghill, an assistant professor in Purdue University’s Department of Computer Graphics Technology. “The problem is your perceptual system does not like it when the motion of your body and your visual system are out of synch. So if you see motion in your field of view you expect to be moving, and if you have motion in your eyes without motion in your vestibular system you get sick.”
With findings that simulator sickness is less intense when games contain fixed visual reference objects – such as a car’s dashboard or an airplane’s cockpit – located within the user’s field of view. “But you can’t have a cockpit in every VR I’m glad to see people are working on VR sickness,simulation,” Whittinghill said.
Undergraduate student Bradley Ziegler suggested inserting the image of a virtual human nose in the centre of the video display. “It was a stroke of genius,” said Whittinghill, who teaches video game design. “You are constantly seeing your own nose. You tune it out, but it’s still there, perhaps giving you a frame of reference to help ground you.”
The research is ongoing, but I have used a few virtual reality devices and always found virtual reality sickness hit me so I’m glad to see people are working on VR sickness.
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