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article imageWill we start to suffer from virtual reality sickness?

By Tim Sandle     Jun 17, 2016 in Technology
More companies are investing in virtual reality technology and media, making it the next advance in gaming and interactive media. Is virtual reality sickness likely?
With virtual reality sickness this occurs when exposure to a virtual environment causes symptoms that are similar to motion sickness symptoms. The condition, also called cybersickness, can lead to a range of symptoms including headache, stomach ache, nausea, vomiting, sweating, fatigue, drowsiness, and disorientation. A twitter user, Kyle Buchanan (@TKyleBuchanan) connects "Virtual reality sickness, same as sea sickness!"
At present, if someone develops these symptoms they'll simply not use virtual reality headsets. However, with a big push on to expand the use of virtual reality systems the issue is something produces of virtual reality products are starting to address. The risk is virtual reality sickness could become a major barrier to using virtual reality and hence the "VR revolution" simply won't happen. As an example, many people reported feeling sick after engaging with both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets.
To overcome these issues, Columbia University researchers have discovered that rates of sickness can be reduced via a simple field of view alteration. By testing 30 volunteers, the researchers found when a user's field of view was restricted when moving in a virtual environment, users were happier to stay in virtual reality for longer and they reported fewer feelings of sickness.
The technique is outlined in the following video:
Reacting to this, tech guru Paul Brown (@thepaulpbrown) tweeted: "VR sickness thing of the past...? #vr #tech."
Speaking with BBC Science, Professor Steven Feiner explained "it is critical that the experience be both comfortable and compelling, and we think we've found a way."
More about Virtual reality sickness, nausea, Sickness, Tech, Games
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