Scientists can Predict People’s Tolerance of VR Motion Sickness

Motion sickness remains one of the many hurdles holding back virtual reality adoption. New scientific developments courtesy of University of Waterloo researchers show this is not an insurmountable problem. In fact, they claim to predict who will suffer from motion sickness even prior to putting on a VR headset. An interesting form of research with potentially widespread consequences.

Predicting VR Motion Sickness is Critical

An interesting situation is created when one is excited about VR, only to find out motion sickness spoils the experience. Albeit the VR hardware in question can help address this problem, for the most part, knowing if one will suffer from cybersickness is critical. Researchers at the University of Waterloo have come up with a fairly reliable test to determine if a person would suffer from this side effect.

Several sensorimotor measures have been collected from a group of test subjects. They then exposed the participants to virtual reality in order to predict their severity of motion sickness. By using a regression model, the predictions came true in nearly all cases. It is a remarkable step forward, albeit there is still a need for actual solutions in this regard.

Neuroscience professor Michael Barnett-Cowan adds:

“Knowing who might suffer from cybersickness, and why, allows us to develop targeted interventions to help reduce, or even prevent, the onset of symptoms. Considering this technology is in a growth phase with industries such as gaming, design, medicine and automotive starting to use it, understanding who is negatively impacted and how to help them is crucial.”

With so many users suffering from motion sickness, research like this can make a world of difference given enough time. It primarily depends on how people use their vision to control their balance. Virtual reality technology tends to shake up the way people do this the normal way, which causes motion sickness to occur in the process. Assessing an individual’s tolerance for VR will help create custom-tailored VR experiences which are pleasant for everyone.

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By JP Buntinx

JP Buntinx is a FinTech, VR, and Bitcoin enthusiast living in Belgium.