Test whether or not you need a Dramamine when you use a VR headset


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/03/19/test-whether-or-not-you-need-a.html


a drama mine?


It’s worth noting that this is really only a test for the latter. Real VR headsets intentionally have very high refresh rates because lower refresh rates cause motion sickness. Basically if you try this and don’t get sick, you’re fine, but if you do get sick then you may still be fine.


The point of whether you get sick is moot; it’s whether you buy the headset from the bb store.


Also worth noting, I own something very much like this. Looks almost identical, but a different brand.

Some vr apps really require a hardware button to be decently usable, which I bought a bundled remote for it (which so far I haven’t been able to configure properly). Google cardboard actually I guess pairs via bluetooth and has a hardware button, and also manages to be $12. Probably not as comfy or adjustable as this.


Whether or not you get sick in VR is determined by exactly one thing: your visual cortex disagreeing with your galvanic vestibular system. If what your inner ear doesn’t match up with what you see, you puke. Hypotheses as to why include an evolutionary response to ingesting neurotoxins
High frame rate helps, and so do the various algorithms that predict the rendered frame based on acceleration and orientation of the headset, but the best ways to keep people from getting sick are all in the design of the experience: Don’t move the camera if you can avoid it, and if you must move the camera, do not accelerate or decelerate it. This seems to jibe with the poison thing: In VR, teleportation works because there’s no natural equivalent to that stimulus, and therefore no evolutionary response to it.
Nausea is only one factor. Another big one is that VR headsets don’t handle vergence or accommodation, meaning that while you aim your eyes differently based on depth, they will always focus on the fixed depth of the display through the lenses. Eventually this causes eye strain and headaches. But dramamine can’t fix that.


Better that than a drama mime.


And now there’s a galvanic vestibular stimulation system that actually resolves the motion sickness issue by making the eye and inner ear agree. Yet I’m not aware of a single headset manufacturer who is including that technology in their products. Which seems like a big mistake, given that the lack of camera movement seems like a fatal limit on VR experiences. “You can have any kind of virtual experience you can imagine - so long as you don’t move the camera!”?


Such “experience” runs counter to what I like VR for, which is better integration in competitive gaming environments. These often involve deliberately rapid changes in perspective. Overcoming the vomit comet is a learned skill.

What disturbs me is that now as VR becomes more prevalent, it is being used as an excuse to get rid of the kinds of gameplay I wanted it for in the first place.


You, my dear, just made my day with that pun. Magnificent.


I never got sick in Dactyl Nightmare back in 92 and thankfully don’t get motion sick with Minecraft on Oculus rift.


I’ve seen that. I’m trying to get one for our lab at work. :smile:
Mass adoption will come down to its efficacy and whether or not it’s regulated as a medical device. I would think the opportunity for litigation with something like that is a factor.


@popobawa4u I agree. I’m just biased toward mass adoption, mostly for selfish and economic reasons. I try to keep people from having their first VR experience be a bad one so they’ll eventually learn to tolerate more extreme stuff. WRT moving the camera, there are ways to do it that aren’t jarring (no acceleration), and there’s been some cool work done by Ken Perlin’s lab on using leaning for locomotion. When leaning drives your locomotion, it doesn’t set off the alarm bells The neuroscience of VR is fascinating, especially how forgiving it is once you get past the usual perceptual gatekeepers.


Well, I know they’re trying to license out the GVS system technology for VR, but it seems like VR headset manufacturers are still working off of their gameplans from several years ago, before the tech was viable. I’m not sure this round of VR will last long enough for adoption to happen.


I haven’t tried it, and I’m fine too.:wink:


My version of the test was a ferry crossing the Irish Sea during an overnight storm. I spent the trip drinking Guinness and laughing at the sick people.




I’ve been on a small boat from Bluff to Stewart Island on a day that the locals called “a bit lumpy out there” with no problems. But 5 minutes of Amnesia: The Dark Descent and I’m ready to blow chunks.


closed #22

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.