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How To Solve VR Simulation Sickness: Strap People Into Rollercoasters 36

An anonymous reader writes: Theme park owners are trying to breathe new life into old rides by adding VR headsets, according to IEEE Spectrum. In the latest such ride from the UK's Alton Towers, sensors in the seats allow the virtual action to be synched with the rollercoaster's movements on a per-headset basis. As a side effect, this also eliminates the simulation sickness some VR users suffer from when making rapid movements through a virtual space, because the user's body is actually experiencing those movements. Is this cheating or the future of action VR? Counterexample: I haven't (yet!) gotten sick from VR, and generally love roller coasters, but had trouble keeping down my lunch (and then felt bad for for hours) after a vigorous flight simulator at the -- highly recommended! -- Strategic Air & Space Museum, near Omaha, Nebraska.
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How To Solve VR Simulation Sickness: Strap People Into Rollercoasters

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    VR is a scam.

  • Having been "in the bag" for most of the flight on my one-and-only ACM (Air Combat Maneuvering) flight at VT10 in Pensacola, I can say with some certainty that having the visual experience match the physical one is no guarantee of a steady stomach. Nor is standing on the rail of a rolling ship even when you can SEE the ship moving exactly the way you can FEEL the ship moving.

    VR for roller coasters sounds like a great idea.

    • From the summary

      Counterexample: I haven't (yet!) gotten sick from VR, and generally love roller coasters, but had trouble keeping down my lunch (and then felt bad for for hours) after a vigorous flight simulator at the -- highly recommended! -- Strategic Air & Space Museum, near Omaha, Nebraska.

      Flight simulators often use spinning to get the G forces. Spinning is the thing that gets to my stomach, not side to side or up and down shifts.

      • by swb ( 14022 )

        Yes, it's the spinning. The first time I rode "Mission to Mars" I picked the "intense" flavor of the ride and the spinning very nearly had me losing my lunch. Fortunately I paid attention to the instructions that said to focus on the display, but for the half-second or so I drifted away from it I nearly puked.

  • by Calydor ( 739835 ) on Sunday March 27, 2016 @03:40AM (#51785823)

    This has got to be the next natural step of On-Rails gameplay.

  • Motion sickness can be overcome, I used to get airsick in gliders for the first year or so, particularly after negative G.
    After 150 hours, no problem, and doing aerobatics with glee.

    • There's a large psychological component. The more you think about getting/being sick, the greater your chances of getting sick. Every time I've gotten seasick while deep sea fishing, it went away if we started catching lots of fish and my mind got distracted from being seasick.

      For that reason, I don't say anything to discourage the people who use things like those acupressure wrist beads to ward off seasickness. If the peace of mind they get from believing those things help keeps their mind off seasic
  • I don't think that VR will take off as hoped... because of motion sickness. Impatient business critics might even claim it an expensive flop. (Pity, 'cos my experiences of VR have mostly been quite fun, when I don't feel ill.)

    I have not tried AR, but I expect much less motion sickness with AR. Also, I can think of more uses for AR than VR.

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

    You solve it by solving the freaking LAG issue. Sorry but the lag from the time I move my head to when the video moves is still huge and the the biggest problem.

    Get it down to 10ms and the sickness mostly goes away. the problem is that takes either lower resolutions or an epic buttload of processing and graphics card power. Insane amount of graphics memory to store all the textures in ram, for your location but at a full 360 view.

    This is why I laugh like hell that sony is going to sell a VR system for t

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      that takes either lower resolutions

      Not going to happen that way. Because VR is being sold to the gamer set and they obsess over things like resolution.

      I vaguely recall an incident at least a decade ago related to the release of a new graphic card. It was state of the art at the time, offering a major increase in frame rates from something like 60 fps to 90 (my recollection might be wrong). The gamers loved it, posting how it eliminated flicker and, stopped triggering their migraines. Almost a year after the card's release, a bug was discove

  • Having tried all manner of VR attempts going back to the early 1990s, there are a number of things that developers keep missing. They mainly can be attributed to not engaging all the senses. No wind is a big one. No proper G forces is another. The first would be fairly easy to do and Disney did it in Soaring along with smell. Accurate G forces just can't be accomplished with your standard hydraulic motion table base. But there is another one that IMHO causes VR and 3D in general to fall apart and that

  • by sbaker ( 47485 ) on Sunday March 27, 2016 @11:36AM (#51786903) Homepage

    I'm not surprised that adding motion from a flight simulator wouldn't help the VR sickness effect. The flight sim only produces a very limited range of motion...I used to work on them and we called it "cartoon motion". It has as many of the real effects as is possible with a machine that can only move a few feet in each direction and only tilt by maybe 60 degrees in each axis - but it suffers from those limitations.

    Besides, there are many causes of VR sickness - and lack of physical motion is only one of them.

    The inability of the 3D objects in a VR headset to drive the eye's focussing mechanism is another rather fundamental one.

    There is a classic paper on this subject produced by the US Navy about 15 to 20 years ago - using VR helmets that were considerably better than the current generation of devices. They concluded that no only do a significant proportion of people get sick and disoriented after more than a few minutes of use - but also that this disorientation was still noticeable 24 hours after a session using them. US Navy pilots are not allowed to fly real aircraft for 24 hours after using one of these contraptions - and they are strongly advised not to drive cars either.

    Honestly - I think the same rules should be applied to driving after VR use in civilians too.

  • What if the person gets motion sickness in the rollercoasters like me? I even get carsickness like if I try to read and watch stuff. :(

  • VR roller-coasters have been in operation at least since September 2015, see e.g. this advertisement from Europapark in Germany []. The linked article doesn't reveal anything new about such rides, the surprisingly low motion-sickness effect of such VR rides was also described 6 months ago.

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