Listen up! White noise device may make VR motion sickness a thing of the past

vr motion sickness fix vrmotionfix01
VR Motion Corp/UploadVR

VR Motion Corp. and automotive giant Jaguar Land Rover are both conducting trials a new device which developer Otolith Labs claims could solve the problem of virtual reality motion sickness. The small device, which can be worn on a VR headset headband, transmits a form of white noise to the inner ear, helping it to cope with the occasional disparity found in moving within virtual worlds, while not actually moving in the real world.

VR motion-induced nausea has been a problem for the virtual reality industry since the early days of prototype Oculus headsets. Higher refresh rate screens and motion controllers have done a lot to help our brains come to terms with virtual movements not corresponding to real-world movements —  we experience something similar when traveling in cars or planes. But there are those who are still very susceptible to feeling sick after even brief periods of VR. Otolith Labs’ new technology could change that.

Called the OtoTech, the device generates “virtually silent” vibrations which flood the inner ear with a form of white noise, causing the brain to reject its inputs, making for a more comfortable virtual reality experience. As UploadVR points out, this is a different, and arguably far simpler technique, than one leveraged by galvanic vestibular simulator technology, which can send electrical signals that simulate the direction you’re moving.

Although still in the testing stages, OtoTech is currently undergoing trials by VR training supply firm VR Motion. Typically, between 20 and 30 percent of its users experience some form of nausea while in VR, but Otolith claims that its device improves that. The firm has yet to say by how much, however, suggesting that it would want to wait for the device to receive FDA approval before giving any more of an endorsement.

Jaguar Land Rover conducted its own double-blind study using the device and claimed that the results were positive, though it too has yet to release any specific findings to back up these statements.

Otolith reportedly works equally effectively in seated, standing, and roomscale experiences. If and when it receives FDA approval, it could be turned into a consumer product or incorporated into future virtual reality headset designs.

Other attempts to fix motion sickness in VR have met with mixed success, so a blanket solution that works in all use cases would be a welcome addition to the VR accessory marketplace.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Gaming

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our favorites, with all the features you want.
Social Media

A Facebook, Instagram bug exposed millions of passwords to its employees

Facebook, Facebook Lite, and Instagram passwords weren't properly encrypted and could be viewed by employees, the company said Thursday. The network estimates millions of users were affected.
Home Theater

Here’s how to watch Apple’s March 25 product reveal event live

It's almost here: Apple's much anticipated March 25 event, where it is widely expected to announce several streaming services, including on-demand and live TV with original programming. Here's how to watch it live.
Smart Home

Walmart serves up a rare deal on the Google Home Max at $100 off

Some deals are predictable and others are pre-announced, but today Walmart posted a rare deal: $100 off the powerful Google Home Max. Since it rarely goes on sale, waiting may not be prudent. If you want one, grab it.
Computing

Intel gives a peek at what its Arctic Sound GPU could look like

A new set of concept images shown at GDC 2019 is providing a peek at what Intel's upcoming modern discrete GPU, code-named. Arctic Sound, could end up looking like when released in 2020.
Mobile

Nokia phones are being investigated for allegedly sending data to China

Nokia could be in some hot water. According to recent reports, Nokia 7 models may be secretly sending data to China without the user knowing about it. Nokia says that the issue was a software bug and that it has been fixed.
Movies & TV

HBO’s Deadwood movie rustles up a trailer and a release date

This spring, HBO's long-awaited Deadwood movie will explore what happened 10 years after the events of HBO's award-winning drama, giving the series a finale 13 years after the show was canceled.
Mobile

Diesel’s denim-inspired smartwatch straps are a casual, colorful must-own

Diesel will release two new versions of the On Full Guard 2.5 smartwatch later this year, with seriously cool, denim-inspired straps in classic Diesel colors. We tried them on at the Baselworld 2019 show.
Emerging Tech

Scientists use drone to map Icelandic cave in preparation for Mars exploration

Researchers from the SETI Institute and Astrobotic Technology have demonstrated a way that astronauts may be able to map Martian caves using a Lidar-equipped drone that can travel autonomously without GPS.
Gaming

Nintendo Labo: VR Kit has a ton of games you can play with starting April 12

Nintendo Labo: VR Kit has a plethora of games to play after you're done building the Toy-Cons. From an on-rails alien shooter to a deep sea photography adventure, here's what you can play with Labo: VR Kit. You can even make your own games.
Mobile

How three simple words could be the difference between life and death

What3Words’ app-based address system gives a three-word code to every three-meter-square patch on the planet, with its accuracy and ease of use now catching the attention of first responders in the U.K.