Video games are getting more immersive these days thanks to cheap virtual reality goggles, and even movies optimized for such displays may soon be coming out. In medicine, virtual reality has actually been used successfully for years in a number of applications, including reducing pain during bandage changes of burn victims. Yet, lots of people suffer from nausea simply by being completely visually immersed in another world. This happens because the visual sense is out of tune of the other senses, creating sensory confusion that the brain fails to resolve. Researchers at Purdue have come up on a simple, but brilliant solution that seems to help reduce simulator sickness.
Turns out that our noses provide us with a point of reference that the brain uses to help us orient ourselves. Simply drawing a virtual nose within the virtual field seems to do the same. Having come up with this idea, they recruited a group of 41 volunteers that played video games and rode a wild virtual roller coaster while wearing an immersive headset. Some of the players had a virtual nose within the field of view, while others did not. Impressively, those that had the virtual nose could play one simulation on average 94 seconds longer before getting sick. The roller coaster, one the other hand, was more manageable by only 2.2 seconds with the nasum virtualis.
(hat tip: Engadget)