Scientists think they've figured out how to fix VR sickness, so we don't hurl in our virtual worlds

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Jun 30, 2016, 11:38 AM EDT

There’s no denying virtual reality is the future, and though it took a few decades, the technology is finally catching up to the promise. There’s just one problem: It can make you really, really nauseous. But scientists might’ve just found a fix.

Ars Technica reports a new approach to virtual reality that could help eliminate that queasy feeling that comes with moving your head and seeing a world that isn’t really there. The trick? The concept aims to recognize the rapid movement during a VR experience (i.e. moving quickly, a change of elevation, etc.), then gradually black out the peripheral edges of the headset lenses to reduce the motion sickness.

The Columbia research team putting the proposal up only had two dozen participants for an experiment, but found the data indicated “FOV restrictors helped participants stay in the virtual environment longer and feel more comfortable than they did in the control condition.” Most didn’t even notice the view was being limited, and all who did notice said they believe it helped. Again, a small sample size, but everyone in the test preferred the view limitations.

The findings are obviously still early, but they could go a long way toward tweaking the 2.0 experiences for a lot of the tech hitting the market now, so you might be able to skip that Oculus Rift-branded barf bag.

Check out a video of the experiment below:


(Via Ars Technica, Popular Science)