Virtual Reality | April 11, 2015
As explained in part I VR Sickness: WHAT & WHY, Virtual Reality (VR) Sickness, as proposed by Jason Jerald in The VR Book, is an all encompassing term for motion, cyber- and simulation sicknesses caused during playing around in VR. Now, in part II let’s consider how to prevent it, using tricks based on previously presented theory.
… This is part II of VR Sickness topic. I recommend reading part I: VR Sickness: WHAT & WHY first to catch up on definitions and theories, since they are used as basis for this article…
Using virtual nose as rest frame, source: trustedreviews.com
VR Sickness is an elusive phenomenon. It is not easy to measure it and even more difficult to predict it. There are 3 key challenges if you want to measure it in your experience:
Now, there are 2 very well standardized methods to measure severity of VR Sickness. First, lets talk about one of the more convincing questionnaires I have ever seenÌ¢âÂÊ—Ì¢âÂÊand believe me, I had seen my share…
The Kennedy Simulator Sickness Questionnaire (SSQ), published in 1993, was tested on more than 1000 users in 10 different flight simulators! For scientific standards this is… a Utopian Dream. Anyhow, as a result of study using this questionnaire, 16 symptoms were identified. They clustered into 3 categories:
In the end, by using SSQ we can know exact total severity of VR sickness and the level of other 3 clusters of symptoms. Easy, right? Don’t forget to give this questionnaire to your users only AFTER the experience, since reading about symptoms my actually induce them! (Kennedy et. al, 1993).
An easier and less cumbersome measurement of motion sickness is a behavioral test called Sharpened Romberg Stance. Have you even been stopped by police while driving a car, and asked to walk a straight line, so that Man in Blue can check if you are sober or not? Well, this test is pretty much that. The task is to put one foot in front of the other with heel touching toe, weight evenly distributed between the legs, arms folded across the chest, chin up. The number of times a user breaks the stance is the postural instability measure. In other wordsÌ¢âÂÊ—Ì¢âÂÊthe harder it is to keep balance, the worse VR sickness effects are.
<——- Sharpened Romberg Stance, source: Ossama M. (2013)
First, some facts (provided by my beloved VR encyclopediaÌ¢âÂÊ—Ì¢âÂÊThe VR Book):
What are the design rules that decrease motion sickness? Well, this is well described in every Best Practices Guide for VR out there (Oculus and Leap Motion have some pleasant lecture available), so no point in reinventing the wheel here. Lets look instead at some tricks that developers tried out already:
locomotionVR, flying around Hogwarts myself
I know I know, this is just a tip of an iceberg. There are so many other things people tried out. The difference is I can vouch for methods described above, as opposed to many others I did not have a chance to test. Now that HTC Vive has been finally on sale (yeah! my company got 2 of them!!! 24/7 leaving in office, here I come! :P) I will have a chance to personally test the most interesting, consumare grade solutions! After that, I may compile a new list of anti-VR-sickness-proof-tested-solutions out there
If you don’t want or don’t have time to read, or possibly you simply like to listen, I encourage you to check out our podcast ResearchVR
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We write about the use of Virtual Reality for non-gaming applications.