How MONKEYmedia’s BodyNav Can Solve VR Motion Sickness Issue?
One of the major and global challenge with virtual reality nowadays are the length of duration they can stay in the virtual world. Most of the complaints around 25% to 40% said they cannot stay longer because of the VR motion sickness. After using it for a while they can get nausea, dizzy, eye discomfort and headache. This is not good for the VR industry since it will be hard to sell the useful hardware, software and apps to the mass market.
Many techniques have been introduced to overcome this problem. Such examples are by showing the virtual hands, legs, nose, increasing the frame rate but it still does not eliminate the problem at much bigger scale. However, recently there is a company called MONKEYmedia that kinda found a breakthrough to resolve this popular VR motion sickness issue. For your info, MONKEYmedia is an independent R&D (Research and Development) lab which develop user friendly and interactive technology such as “Walk-in Theater“, “Teleport“for drone pilots and “Seamless TV“. And the first two mentioned use the company’s patented product called BodyNav.
How Does BodyNav Resolve the VR Motion Sickness?
BodyNav software is a body-based navigation technology that can reduce sensory imbalances. With BodyNav, you do not need any other peripheral such as gamepad, joystick and handheld controller to move inside the virtual world. You just use your body and head to tilt, rotate, turn and lean. Hence, by slightly moving your head, you are able to perform the movement such as sideways, forward, backward and also to aim for a new direction.
The trick is that, with just a small movement of your body, BodyNav will also trigger the movement to the virtual environment. Since our body, visual and environment display is now synchronized, it is believed that this method would be able to reduce the VR motion sickness among the users. The image in the beginning of this article can help you to visualize it easier.
Traditionally, the VR headset will perform the orientation and the handheld controller perform the locomotion. But with BodyNav’s new approach, the headset now perform both the orientation and locomotion functions. This is done by decoupling and remapping back the headset axes. And also by playing with the angle of the VR headset display to the user’s face to achieve this.
Perhaps, the downside of this is too much body and head activities might introduce other sickness such as head muscle strain or neck pain. Other thing is, we still need the handheld controller especially to perform the operation such as pointing and selecting the object. Using head to point does not come natural to us since we have already familiar with using our index finger or laser pointer for that purpose.
To conclude, this kind of initiative might help to increase the VR adoption to the consumer market. Furthermore, just a few lines of code is required to use this software by the developers. Definitely we would like to give this a try to experience and see the result ourselves. You can also follow their progress at their YouTube channel. For more info, you can read it at:
1) The Official MONKEYmedia Website.
1) “A Possible Cure for Virtual Reality Motion Sickness” from Fortune.
2) “MONKEYmedia® Tackles Virtual Reality Motion Sickness with Launch of Transformative Body-Based Navigation Technology” from Business Wire.