How to create effective locomotion systems to prevent motion sickness (VR)

Written on 02/07/2022
Diana Olynick

Motion sickness is one of the most common negative side effects of VR experiences. It is triggered when a patient is subjected to particular types of motion and often dissipates quickly once the motion is ceased. It is a natural reaction to motion stimuli when traveling. Although nausea is a common symptom, the condition comprises many symptoms, from mild malaise to severe incapacitating disease. 

These symptoms, which might interfere with the patient's amusement, employment, and personal safety, can appear within minutes of motion and linger for several hours after it ceases. Despite the introduction of traveling through VR and experiencing enriching moments, motion sickness can only be minimized and cannot yet be removed completely from the cynical side effects that also include headache, eyestrains, and dizziness. 

VR uses devices that track the user's actions and mimic them onto the avatar, such as CyberShoes that sense the user's motion and allow them to 3D explore the virtual environment. However, this physically-in-walking can be tiresome and may contribute to motion sickness along with using a touchpad, joystick, or other such controller input to move around in virtual space, inducing the artificial feeling of flying riding, driving, etc. 

Even though this is the most common type of locomotion that can be found in VR experiences, it is by far the most likely to make people sick. It has been suggested by multiple before to provide a comfort mode in settings and alternate types of locomotion to minimize motion sickness and allow users to enjoy the VR experience. 


Prevention by effective systems


The question remains, how exactly can effective locomotive systems be created that can eliminate motion sickness and serve an illness-free experience? Several aspects may chip in the elimination if improved. The list includes:

  •  user control in the virtual environment 

  • Determining the speed of the VR to match with that of the user’s along with several other inputs by the user as it surely takes two to clap. 


User Control over VR 


In terms of allowing the user complete control over their virtual environment, the settings of the device must be set accordingly. The blink of an eye must be used to process teleportation as blinking is a natural process and, thus, is easier for the human brain to regard and match track with its surroundings. On the same note, fading the periphery of the surroundings when the avatar is walking may help to reduce the risk of motion sickness as well as allow the user to focus better on its target since motion in the vision is a major cause of motion sickness in VR as it strains the eye and interferes with brain activity. Acceleration and Deceleration must also be handled with care, and the speed shall be calculated by the user input to minimize any possible harm and/or cause strain to the eyes. 


What to avoid in VR


For any newbies to virtual reality, a set timer must be ticked down to proffer practice-walking-in-place or try any other actions such as head tracking or teleportation to execute commands and familiarize with the invention before jumping into the real deal and minimizing motion sickness. However, the individual must ensure to mainly use head tracking and gaze to control their direction of movement and turn their head to change the view, such as the actions in 360 video technology. Several other measures that can be taken consist of the following:

  • assembling a fan to face you throughout the virtual experience

  • Do not eat large portion size meals before VR

  • Consume medication an hour or two before the joyride

  • Wear pressure bands to exert force on acupressure points as it has been proven to relieve nausea 


Virtual reality locomotion is the technology that permits the movement of the avatar or user across the completely virtual set-up environment utilizing a mere real-world space. Locomotion (the act of moving from place to place) is one of the cornerstones of a fantastic and fulfilled VR experience; nonetheless, artificial locomotion retains the highest risk of motion sickness in all types of locomotion in VR. The above-stated solutions may assist you in maximizing your euphoric experience in virtual reality with minimal side effects on health. Happy VR Experiences!


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