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How to Stop Virtual Reality From Making You Want to Puke

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person wearing virtual reality headset

Credit: Inverse

Stanford University professor Gordon Wetzstein and his colleagues are developing a virtual reality (VR) headset that is designed to solve one of the persistent problems of modern VR technology: its tendency to make some people nauseous. The problem is caused by the fact that most modern VR headsets use stereoscopic three-dimensional (3-D) technology in which each eye is shown an image that is slightly off-set from the one shown to the other eye, creating the illusion of 3-D space. However, some people's eyes have difficulty focusing on these images, especially when trying to focus on something in the foreground, which makes them nauseous.

Wetzstein's team is solving the problem by presenting the eye with more images. Rather than two slightly-offset images, Wetzstein's headset uses two liquid-crystal display screens to create what is called a "lightfield," which in this case presents each eye with a five-by-five grid of slightly different two-dimensional images. Their technique creates a deeper virtual space the user's eyes can look around in a much more natural way, which Wetzstein says is not normally possible with most VR headsets.

Although Wetzstein's headset is relatively simple and made from inexpensive parts, it is only capable of sub-high-definition resolutions.

From Technology Review
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