So many people suffer from the nauseous effects of virtual reality viewing there’s a name for it ‘rift sickness’.
It must be a worry for any CEO who discovers that a product, central to the company, has such a sizeable problem. The Oculus Rift version “DevKit 1” was so bad that a forum was set up for sufferers to share their experiences.
We have to ask, how can this be? The wearer is largely standing or sitting in one place and doesn’t leave the room let alone leave the house and travel mile after mile along bending roads or rails. We can’t refer to this problem as travel sickness or motion sickness so it will have to be “simulator or simulation sickness”.
There were many suggestions along the lines of home remedies such as drinking beer before using it, to gradually building up the time spent using it to the point where the user becomes adjusted to the effects. Users explained how they felt motion sickness symptoms of dizziness, nausea, sweating and, in extreme cases, vomiting. These are the symptoms you would expect to hear from people who suffer from travel sickness.
Visual information overload
What causes nausea? Those who suffer from chronic motion sickness should be well aware that the problem is caused by conflicting messages sent to the brain. The delicate sensors in the inner ear send information that conflicts with how the eyes see. This triggers the body into ‘thinking’ that poison has been ingested followed by vomiting to expel the perceived toxins.
New version of Oculus Rift
For Oculus Rift the search is on to find out how to cure motion sickness. The solution, thus far, is to develop a new version, “DevKit 2” which has been tweaked to provide clearer imagery and a faster frame rate to keep up with the movement of the wearer.
The problem is clearly visual
This entire episode reiterates our message that much of the challenging information that reaches the brain is sent from the eyes. In a road or rail travelling situation, managing this information is necessary to reduce overload to the brain.
This is precisely what the GAMLIN Travel Visor does. By reducing the fast-moving information the wearer only sees the slow moving distant view thus preventing travel sickness symptoms. Enough of a view can be seen to appreciate the journey, blocking out the rest of the view is a small price to pay when you consider that at the end of the journey you won’t even have a headache.
We need Oculus Rift
Let’s hope that the problems that Oculus has been having can be rectified for the benefit of all because the potential of it is huge. It isn’t just good for entertainment and games, consider the massive opportunities for learning. Students can be placed in almost any virtual situation where they can be coached by instructors all being conducted in a safe and thoroughly informative arena.
If you know anyone who suffers from travel sickness, please share.
By Tom Gamlin – from ideas come designs.