Sam Blissard, Ben Jaques, Mark Olsen, Marcus Stewart
Article: Oculus Rift Nausea is “an ongoing challenge” That May Always Be a Problem | Although virtual reality technology has made leaps in the fidelity of the experience it provides, there are quirks in the physical experience that can induce motion sickness on its users.
The Oculus Rift, along with other Virtual Reality technologies, induces motion sickness and nausea among certain users. This is primarily a user-specific issue, but problems also arise when developers attempt to recreate environments that would produce motion sickness, whether in virtual reality or not. (For example, there exists pilot demos wherein users are flying extremely fast jets. This potentially induces motion sickness for everyone.) From a technological standpoint, the head tracking appears to be the primary problem for many people. If the motion is not one-to-one with what the user’s mind expects (i.e. turning your head should feel natural and fluid), the user’s perception is immediately subverted and they can begin to feel sick.
Design Method: A.E.I.O.U.
Activities: VR Demos both replicating experiences which are possible and impossible in real life (riding a roller coaster, teleporting, etc.).
Interactions: User wearing a VR-headset (namely Oculus Rift) with head and body motion tracking, moving in the virtual environment by physically moving or with a controller for input.
Objects: Headset, headphones, possibly a controller.
Environments: A stationary, open area with enough room for head gestures and movement.
User: People susceptible to motion sickness or have a history with motion sickness. Their role is to interact with the virtual reality headset and give feedback on when they begin to feel sick during their experience.
Developers should produce interactive “training” modes that allow users to ingratiate themselves naturally into their new, virtual environment. Users must go through this every time they begin the experience, but ideally, this “training” mode would appear subtly, or as a background process within the environment. This allows the application to adapt to each user by calibrating that user’s movement speed, giving them a customizable experience when it comes to motion tracking.