Technology

Start-up eliminates virtual reality motion sickness

27 August 2019

A Bristol software start-up claims to have eliminated the motion sickness many users experience with virtual reality headsets.

The company, VRGO, has developed a chair which complements the natural locomotion of the body so that users can move within the virtual reality world simply by leaning in the desired direction of travel.

The VRGO chair can connect wirelessly to both PC and Mac and mobile phone HMD headsets via Bluetooth, and creates a highly responsive hands-free experience which delivers deeper levels of immersion for VR users.

VRGO founder and director Joe Ryan says: “It’s no secret that one of the biggest issues currently facing the VR industry is that of movement within the virtual world. Most of the interest and development to date has been from people with video gaming backgrounds, who make their headsets for people experienced with video games, who can easily use a controller. But by moving away from stick yaw control, w, a ,s, d [keyboard] and mouse inputs and towards hands-free alternatives, we can unlock new experiences that allow for deeper levels of presence.

“So if an architect wants to show a client a virtual mock-up of a building they have made, then they can use the VRGO chair to allow them to navigate the space in depth, while not feeling queasy.”

The VRGO’s ergonomic design was inspired by a Weeble toy and has been engineered for strength, control and comfort. Built from aircraft-grade materials, it benefits from the same posture enhancing effects as an exercise ball. Being weighted at the bottom keeps the centre of gravity low for extra stability. 

The VRGO is smaller than an office chair and is light enough to be moved around easily.

In a further development, the company has also created the VRGO Mini, a small wireless-connected pad that can sit on any chair or surface and produce the same VR immersion when users tilt their body forwards and backwards and side to side, without inducing motion sickness.

As well as walking clients and contractors through building designs, VRGO believes its chair and the Mini will also be of value for safety training courses.