Few months back, I started to work on exploring usage of the Kinect with Maya, but lately was asked to worked on many of the Autodesk Cloud Services implementation and a WEBGL implementation for the Autodesk 3D viewer. While working on this project, I had the chance to try few others things, like a VR experience using the 3d viewer (source code posted here). The 3d viewer technology was not design for VR, nor it was intended to be in future, but it turned out to be fairly easy to implement using google cardboard, or an Oculus Rift. I’ll probably talk about this in a future post, but today I wanted to share my experience with the Oculus Rift or Samsung Gear.
If you ever tried the Oculus rift before or similar devices, you probably suffered from the ‘motion sickness’ after few minutes. Motion sickness due to virtual reality is very similar to simulation sickness and motion sickness due to films. In virtual reality, however, the effect is made more acute as all external reference points are blocked from vision, the simulated images are three-dimensional and in some cases stereo sound that may also give a sense of motion. The NADS-1, a simulator located at the National Advanced Driving Simulator, is capable of accurately stimulating the vestibular system with a 360-degree horizontal field of view and 13 degree of freedom motion base. Studies have shown that exposure to rotational motions in a virtual environment can cause significant increases in nausea and other symptoms of motion sickness. A conflict between signals from a person's eyes (which are moving around a virtual environment) and ears (which do not register any movement) can quickly lead to disorientation and motion sickness. But this really depends of the person, the scene in which you are, as well as the environment. The worse example for me is the Oculus ‘Tuscany’ demo because of the graphics quality and the game play (this demo is a Unity engine demo plugged with Oculus rift).
Great demo, but I am getting sick very quickly,… like 10 seconds after getting in the house There is a lot of legend around the causes of the Motion Sickness with the Oculus Rift, but remember that it is an aggregation of multiple factors and depends of the people. People tried to find ways to solve the problem with mixed successes, one of the suggestions I got from a colleague to cure motion sickness in virtual reality headset is to add a virtual nose into the scene. A very serious article was posted there to explain the reasoning behind.
I tried this in my own code, but I had to admit that wasn’t enough to make me feel better, so I spent a fair amount of time to find a good alternative which would work for everyone. I started the fact it worked well in 2d, read tons of articles and tricks people were trying/implementing to get rid of this problem, but taking into account that the resources are limited. I finally came to the a novel idea which is very cheap, easy to implement on all system, and immediately effective. Here is the final prototype I came up with. Once you put the Samsung Gear or Oculus rift on, you won’t suffer anymore from Motion sickness. Truly working and effective. Why is it so effective? Simply because you are goig to relax your brain from trying to catch-up with the sense of motion made by 3d content. Here is the resulting prototype before heading the VR device.
Read more on the prototype and open design associated here.
Final word, a colleague challenged me asking what if I am still sick with that solution. My straight answer was, you could try putting a second one on.