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Tackling VR Motion Sickness With Body-Based Navigation Technology

Thursday, February 08, 2018

(AP, AUSTIN, Texas, BUSINESS WIRE) - MONKEYmedia, Inc., an independent R&D lab with a 25-year track record of developing award-winning, user-friendly technology experiences, announced the launch of its patented body-based navigation solution for hands-free virtual reality interactions. 

BodyNav leverages the existing on-board sensors of smartphones and advanced 3D headsets in novel and unanticipated ways to engage the body’s innate center of gravity. This human-centered interaction approach reduces motion sickness artifacts and enhances navigation abilities in virtual and augmented realities (VR/AR), as well as first-person view (FPV) drone aviation contexts.

Rob Bamforth, Principal Analyst at research and analysis company Quocirca, explains that “making the physical experience align with human expectations, as I experienced with MONKEYmedia’s BodyNav technology, is critical not only for an effective VR experience, but also for avoiding digitally induced motion sickness.”

The Motion Sickness Challenge

Motion sickness has long been a complaint amongst virtual reality gamers and drone pilots. Traditional stereoscopic headset interfaces use multiple sensor axes (e.g. rotate left/right, pivot up/down, tip left/right) to establish viewer orientation, while requiring handheld controllers (e.g., joysticks, gamepads, keyboards, etc.) for locomotion. Visually “moving” through space while in a sedentary posture creates sensory imbalances that can cause dizziness and nausea in the viewer. Oculus’ former Chief Scientist goes so far as to call hand controllers "sickness generators." Addressing this problem, MONKEYmedia’s patented, hands-free BodyNav technology creates more intuitive virtual interactions by remapping control axes to accomplish both orientation and locomotion with natural body movement. This provides the organic equilibrium needed to circumvent sensory imbalances.

How BodyNav Works

Without any custom hardware, BodyNav uses distinct sensor axes for independent functions to maintain equilibrium in the body’s proprioceptive system. Viewers simply lean, using either their head or torso, to move themselves through virtual spaces, or to move their drones through remote physical spaces. This allows the sensory receptors, which receive stimuli internally and relate to the body’s position and movement, to properly engage with virtual or remote content, synchronizing visual and vestibular senses and reducing motion sickness-inducing factors.

Use Cases

BodyNav can be readily adapted to modernize a user experience with just a few lines of code. For developers like Garriott, it enhances first-person gaming by freeing the hands from managing avatar movement to focus on other tasks. It will also amplify multi-camera performances and sporting events, control of remote vehicles, video conferencing and telepresence applications, street-view maps, augmented reality, architectural simulations, and 3D user interfaces for browsing data models, documents and images – all while keeping users comfortable, engaged and entertained. 


About MONKEYmedia: MONKEYmedia, Inc. is an award-winning, independent R&D lab committed to user-friendly technology experiences.   Copyright © 2018 MONKEYmedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

View source version on businesswire.com:http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180206005408/en/