back to article Biggest problem with virtual reality: It can be a little too real for people

The biggest brake now on virtual reality isn't the hardware or the software, but the wetware, a panel of experts told the Intel Capital Global Summit this week. All the panelists agreed that 2016 will be the year virtual reality takes off, thanks to a combination of affordable hardware from the likes of Oculus and software …

  1. Dazed and Confused

    But didn't

    people make exactly the same comment about moving pictures when they first appeared?

    Now everyone is used to them.

    1. mi1400

      Re: But didn't

      Plz AlReg stop shoving ur misleading headline down the throats of ppl.. its not the "too real" case .. the main problem is the glass is at a static distance in front of eye and the objects VR pretend to show must appear a varying distances from eyes as human eye will tend to focus it at "that" distance at which it is not.. all the distances in the LCD are at same distances so u get dizzy. there is a manufacturer who is trying to fix this by multi layered LCD to show far object in that farther layer untill that happens u r stuck with single plane lcds like slapping phones/oculus etc on ur face.

      Plz tell ur UK audience how glorious ur LOHAN project is ... AlReg like what PiedPiper is taking god knows what fools behind them of look we are going to make LOHAN... yay lets eat shit! and rejoice and thank heavens! ... when they could use the makerbot/3d-printing fever in constructive use; say server class laptops (makerbot+seamicro) ... alReg never tires from praising seamicro but instead of keeping itself with IT using these concepts .. they keep choosing to yank off for some space odessy... afterall they have to milk money on their home turf from starwars fanboys/pons

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: But didn't @mi1400

        This is an English language site. Please use English.

        1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

          This is an English language site for English language people

          This is an English language site. Please use English.

          Virtual versions of it are sometimes accepted, outside the UK and Northern Ireland. (And we don't always use Northern Ireland.)

        2. Afernie

          Re: But didn't @mi1400

          "This is an English language site. Please use English."

          He never has before, I can't see him starting to do so now.

        3. Fungus Bob

          Re: Please use English.

          He did use English. Used and degraded it

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But didn't

      "people make exactly the same comment about moving pictures when they first appeared?"

      It is probable that early projection systems used a relatively slow frame rate with pronounced gaps between each image. Therefore the flicker would be a nausea or headache trigger for people like myself who are susceptible. IIRC if you get down to about 12 frames a second then some people will suffer epileptic type attacks.

      1. Little Mouse Silver badge

        Re: But didn't

        Re: "slow frame rate"

        I find the opposite when gaming. A super-smooth high framerate is far more likely to induce chundering in me.

        I first realised this when I upgraded from 386 to 486 and found that I could no longer play Doom II for hours at a time.

  2. John Sanders

    A cable connected to the brain is what is needed...

    Matrix style, so the UK government can ban encryption of your thoughts, your thinking becomes all compliant and they get to pass it through some IPS machine where they store your thoughts for 12 months.

    1. Steven Roper

      Re: A cable connected to the brain is what is needed...

      Yep. This is the real tragedy of technology.

      When I was younger I used to fantasise about full-immersion VR. The worlds I'd create! I'd be like Reginald Barclay from Star Trek - I'd never come out of the holodeck! I'd be willing to spend my whole life in there, building my perfect world.

      Now? No fucking way. Not with the way the likes of Google or Microsoft or Facebook will implement it, every thought, every action monitored and profiled and fed through analytics software in order to milk every last possible penny out of me, or to "treat my illness" if my fantasies stray too far from normative ideals.

      It was a beautiful dream, as usual ruined by human greed and opportunism.

      1. Roq D. Kasba

        Re: A cable connected to the brain is what is needed...

        Max Headroom, now that was proper VR! Looked almost human at times!

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon

          Re: A cable connected to the brain is what is needed...

          Max Headroom on Government taking liberties:

          Give them an inch and they'll take a mile-mile-mileometer

  3. zebm

    Ever tried a rollercoaster?

    I went to a few months ago and they had a VR headset with a rollercoaster ride that the kiddies were trying. Eventually I got a go for a about a minute, made me want to throw up. So I suppose that is a feature otherwise I would never have got to play...

    1. Drat

      Re: Ever tried a rollercoaster?

      Sounds like a success to me, real rollercoatsers also make people want to throw up!

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Ever tried a rollercoaster?

      Those virtual roller-coasters have been around for years (possibly decades) - the ones where the chairs judder and so on?

      The thing there is how real it feels... maybe simply the slight movement of the chair is enough to trick the ear, because I'm not aware they normally induce sickness in the same way VR does?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't see the problem, my hand eye coordination might need to adjust though.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Neither do I which is the core of the problem. I'm quite used to having differing reports between my visual reasoning and my sense of balance. I had no problem making the rounds in my destroyer even with 36 to 60 foot swells outside. Actually I rather enjoyed despite the whole ship smelling like puke. So, VR isn't likely to bother me that way. Corrective lens definitely will.

      There are going to be a lot (not necessarily in per-centage terms) that are comfortable with it. Whether children exposed at any given time of life adapt better is what I'm interested in.

  5. Boothy

    Try a different game then

    I wasn't keen on 1st person games on the DK2, made me feel a little off :-/

    But anything with a cockpit, car, plane, spacecraft and I was fine for hours.

    Something to do with a visible cockpit keeping relative to what your brain, rather than sight, thinks you're doing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Try a different game then

      I could see first person games benefitting from something like, a visible part of the player - think Metroid Prime helmet. Just to "ground" your vision, to help avoid this side effect.

  6. Jim84

    Just buy a giant mechanical powered hamsterball and stick in in your garage.

  7. MrDamage Silver badge

    Heard it before.....

    All the panelists agreed that 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 will be the year virtual reality takes off.

    1. dotdavid

      Re: Heard it before.....

      When we're all playing Half-Life 3 on our Linux desktops!

  8. Allan George Dyer

    "use electromagnetic waves to focus on the inner ear"

    Too dangerous!

    I propose using a small tethered black hole to provide a perfectly natural gravitational field that can be moved around as the VR experience requires.

    1. Lamb0

      Re: "use electromagnetic waves to focus on the inner ear"

      "small tethered black hole"?!?

      Not on THIS planet Buster! Some of us are here in Reality... Get Your Virtuality OFF MY LAWN!

      (In any case, properly phased subsonics with proper reference audibles and variable nodal visual technologies such as liquid VR are FAR safer. ;<)

      1. Allan George Dyer

        Re: "use electromagnetic waves to focus on the inner ear"

        @Lamb0 - Really? Really! <rant>Don't talk to me about safety, there have been no, NO, NO!! recorded cases of tethered black holes causing injuries to humans, but your phased subsonics have been implicated in vision impairment, nausea, vomiting and other side-effects. Immersion in liquids has been linked to drowning and DEATH!. No doubt you're advocating these technologies to soften us up for invasion!!!</rant>

        My coat, please. Oooh, nice, this one buttons up at the back.

        1. Lamb0

          Re: "use electromagnetic waves to focus on the inner ear"

          OOPS, my bad! That was supposed to be LOW LEVEL phased subsonics. (Hehe)

          Have your new friend fetch me another cold one on your way out. ;<)

    2. Crisp

      Re: "using a small tethered black hole"

      Good idea, but why go to all the trouble when you can simply tile the floor in gravity plating?

      1. Anonymous Blowhard
        Black Helicopters

        Re: "using a small tethered black hole"

        "gravity plating"? This should still be locked up in Area 51; please wait patiently for your free helicopter ride to safety.

    3. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: "use electromagnetic waves to focus on the inner ear"

      FAR too dangerous, see here. Better play it safe and use the tethered micro black holes. Bonus side effect: the relationistic effect of a large gravitational force in this context means more game time.

  9. Fraggle850

    Mainstream VR? Fuggedaboutit...

    ...certainly in 2016. I suspect that IF it becomes 'mainstream' in the niche that is hardcore gamers (and that in itself is a big if) then it may eventually trickle down into the wider gaming community.

    Getting from there to standard consumer product? Well, how many people do you know who regularly use those 3D glasses that came with their 3D TV?

    I think that solving motion sickness is the least of their worries.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It has been suggested that motion sickness is an evolutionary protection mechanism. The idea is that if you get a disjunction between the orientation cues of your eyes and the inner ear - then you are likely to have eaten poisonous berries, The alkaloids cause the disorientation - and vomiting is the quick solution.

    Some people suffer nausea when exposed to rapidly changing light levels. Personally I cannot walk quickly through the shadows cast by railings in bright sunshine without instantly feeling queasy. I suspect VR is not for me.

  11. AbelSoul

    Different for everyone

    I have a Gear VR and spend several hours a week using it, usually without any problems. On the other hand, I've had a couple of friends start to feel sick after just a few minutes. From a personal point of view, motion sickness has never happened. I have, however, had some stomach lurch similar to going over a humpback bridge in a car.

    Even that is pretty rare for me and the intensity of it varies depending on the game / experience and my own condition (e.g. if I'm a bit pished, it's more likely). The worst it has ever been was the first time I tried a roller-coaster app; I'd had a few light refreshments and just as it went over the drop my stomach lurched so much that I had to rip the headset off. Tried it again five minutes later and I was fine.

    Another one is Temple Run VR. I can usually play it and not notice anything but if I've had a few then there's usually a very mild stomach lurch which I actually find quite pleasant (I'm weird that way ;-)).

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "What I worry about is that people will say 'I paid a lot of money for something that freaks the hell out of me,'" said Ray Davis.

    Ummmm, I thought that was why people wanted VR headsets?

  13. davycrocket

    Use It Properly!

    Oh dear - the rollercoaster demo, the "special" demo which takes you up in the air and asks you to step off and the demo entitled "puke-me-VR" make people feel sick.

    There's a surprise.

    Did you all know that radios give me a headache? Yes, every time i smashed myself over the head with one. Now i just listen to radio shows and have found i can enjoy a radio once in a while.

  14. Nocroman

    Side effects only happen to people with weak minds.

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