Users of virtual reality (VR) may develop motion sickness indicators, often known as VR sickness or even cybersickness. Consumers’ VR experiences may become less pleasurable due to symptoms such as eye fatigue, disorientation, and nausea. Even though several researchers have tried to ease the pain, their outcomes have been inconsistent and have ranged from mild to severe VR sickness.
As a creator or designer of XR experiences, and more especially virtual reality (VR) occasions, a company would want to provide not only an intriguing and engaging concept but also a fantastic user experience. The ability to design amazing experiences comes with considerable responsibility to make sure the user has a good time. Therefore, a smart VR design should take into account methods to lessen or minimize the instances of cybersickness.
Virtual reality in gaming market has gained immense traction since the last few years. This led to increase in the cases of cybersickness. Motion sickness that is caused by being engaged in an atmosphere created by computers, such as virtual reality, is known as cybersickness. Cybersickness symptoms can appear when the motion depicted in the viewport matches the motion perceived by our vestibular perception but is different from the motion detected by the visual sense.
Disorientation, oculomotor pain (such as eyestrain), and nausea are possible symptoms. Dizziness and a loss of coordination are some side effects that users may have after a VR session. One wouldn’t want any of these signs to be connected to their VR experiences.
Factors that contribute to this state
The VR program itself and how the user communicates with it can either produce cybersickness symptoms or worsen those brought on by system issues, so it’s not simply the technology. The top four applications and interaction between users factors are as follows:
- Visual Vection: The length and degree of velocity in a viewport tend to enhance vection, which can exacerbate the symptoms of cybersickness.
- Inability to Control: In a VR app, the user’s ability to manipulate their location and orientation (such as navigation or perspective) aids in anticipating impending visual motion. Users may notice an increase in symptoms, much like in other circumstances when users are unable to predict or regulate visual motion (such as on roller coasters or aircraft).
- Head Motion: The frequency and severity of head movement have been shown to aggravate symptoms. As a consequence, users may seek to restrict their head motions to prevent cybersickness.
- Duration: Longer virtual reality encounters are likely to aggravate symptoms. However, research suggests that gradually increasing exposure and length over several days might occasionally assist users in adapting and reducing their symptoms.
Approaches to avoid such Sickness
Here are a few things to consider while building and designing the VR experience that may decrease or avoid it:
- Visual Indicators: Display visual indications or motion trajectories (for example, arrows indicating the forthcoming travel direction) to allow users to predict upcoming visual motions.
- Rest-Frame Cue: Display visual signals that are stable even as the individual using their moves. This offers users fixed locations that can aid in motion judgment. There are two sorts of cues that you may use:
- Foreground: alerts that stay locked in the viewport while the user moves (for example, cockpit, automobile dashboard, helmet, etc.);
- Background: items that are fixed to the user’s inertial frame for reference (for example, clouds, mountains, and the horizon).
If developers and designers recognize their role in fostering cybersickness and try to relieve it, it will not only improve the user experience, but will also help grow VR’s reputation as a joyful and useful medium, expanding opportunities for everyone.