- Virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies have grown in popularity as they can immerse users in novel situations and environments by simulating the necessary stimuli.
- However, when using VR or AR technologies such as head-worn displays, users frequently report symptoms of nausea, disorientation, and sleepiness.
- This is more commonly referred to as cybersickness, a form of motion sickness that has been caused by the use of technology.
Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of the Neuroimaging Center at NYU Abu Dhabi Bas Rokers and a team of researchers have evaluated the state of research on cybersickness and formulated a research and development agenda to eliminate cybersickness, allowing for broader adoption of immersive technologies.
In the paper titled Identifying Causes of and Solutions for Cybersickness in Immersive Technology: Reformulation of a Research and Development Agenda, published in the International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction, Rokers and his team discuss the process of creating a research and development agenda based on participant feedback from a workshop titled Cybersickness: Causes and Solutions and analysis of related research. The new agenda recommends prioritizing the creation of powerful, lightweight, and untethered head-worn displays, reducing visual latencies, standardizing symptom and aftereffect measurement, developing improved countermeasures, and improving the understanding of the magnitude of the problem and its implications for job performance.
The results of this study have identified a clear path towards finding a solution for cybersickness and allowing for the widespread use of immersive technologies. In addition to its use in entertainment and gaming, VR and AR have significant applications in the domains of education, manufacturing, training, health care, retail, and tourism. For example, it can enable educators to introduce students to distant locations and immerse themselves in a way that textbooks cannot. It can also allow healthcare workers to reach patients in remote and underserved areas, where they can provide diagnostics, surgical planning and image-guided treatment.