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Reducing Cybersickness in 360-degree Virtual Reality

journal contribution
posted on 14.12.2021, 07:16 authored by Iqra Arshad, Paulo De Mello, Martin Ender, Jason D. McEwen, Elisa R. Ferré

Despite the technological advancements in Virtual Reality (VR), users are constantly combating feelings of nausea and disorientation, the so-called cybersickness. Cybersickness symptoms cause severe discomfort and hinder the immersive VR experience. Here we investigated cybersickness in 360-degree head-mounted display VR. In traditional 360-degree VR experiences, translational movement in the real world is not reflected in the virtual world, and therefore self-motion information is not corroborated by matching visual and vestibular cues, which may trigger symptoms of cybersickness. We have evaluated whether a new Artificial Intelligence (AI) software designed to supplement the 360-degree VR experience with artificial six-degrees-of-freedom motion may reduce cybersickness. Explicit (simulator sickness questionnaire and FMS rating) and implicit (heart rate) measurements were used to evaluate cybersickness symptoms during and after 360-degree VR exposure. Simulator sickness scores showed a significant reduction in feelings of nausea during the AI-supplemented six-degrees-of-freedom motion VR compared to traditional 360-degree VR. However, six-degrees-of-freedom motion VR did not reduce oculomotor or disorientation measures of sickness. No changes have been observed in FMS and heart rate measures. Improving the congruency between visual and vestibular cues in 360-degree VR, as provided by the AI-supplemented six-degrees-of-freedom motion system considered, is essential to provide a more engaging, immersive and safe VR, which is critical for educational, cultural and entertainment applications.