Updated 06:31 AM EST, Sun, Dec 05, 2021

Virtual Reality Headset Developed at Stanford to Bypass Nausea

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The Virtual Reality storm is indeed coming and while the idea entices a lot of people, the nauseating truth seems to be ignored.

Oculus "Rift," Sony's "Project Morpheus," Razer "OSVR," Zeiss "VR One," "Fove VR," HTC "Vive," Avegant Glyph and Nintendo's "NX" are some of the most popular virtual reality headsets that are set for a 2016 release. The biggest technology-oriented corporations are throwing in their pitches for a VR headset. The market is that big.

The promise of an immersive, augmented-reality experience is ever enticing to most people. Even now, just a year after its release, the whole concept still seems futuristic and this allure has sparked the interest of a lot of enthusiasts. The market has so much potential that even if the headsets are still in development, some of the much highly-anticipated VR peripherals are already out.

The hype for VR is so massive that it seems to overshadow reality. People seem to forget one tiny detail - wearing a VR headset is nauseating. The YouTube channel SourceFedNerd has reviewed some of the VR headsets. The video below compiles their experience with different virtual reality head mounts.

The presenter explains that virtual reality sickness occurs when the brain gets confused by the moving signals sent from the eyes while the inner ear still thinks that the body is stationary. The confusion leads to disorientation and thus, nausea is experienced. The presenter highlights the solution that was discovered by researchers from the Purdue University: a "fixed point" of reference.

David Wittinghill, an assistant professor in Purdue University's department of Computer Graphics Technology, had an interview with WIRED. "We've discovered putting a virtual nose in the scene seems to have a stabilizing effect," the assistant professor shared.

"It never occurred to us that they wouldn't perceive it, but they were almost universally baffled about what we were even talking about," he added.

Recently, another solution for VR sickness has surfaced. A team of researchers at Stanford University, spearheaded by Assistant Professor Gordon Wetzstein, determined that the VR sickness is caused by the discrepancy between what is naturally seen, to that of the immersive environment shown in a virtual reality headset causing nausea. The team addresses the problem by recreating a more natural environment inside the augmented reality.

"To achieve a comfortable viewing experience, we have to recreate a visible light field to the eye. The visible light field aims to recreate all possible rays entering the pupil so we can focus correctly, as if in the real world," said Fu-Chung Huang, visiting electrical engineer for Stanford University.

"We've built an inexpensive two-layer display that emits virtual light field so our eye can naturally and correctly focus and converge within the headset," he added.

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