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Avoidance of motion sickness in VR mit CUREO

Updated: May 9, 2022

In this blog post, we'd like to explore what motion sickness is, how it occurs, what treatment options are available, what virtual reality has to do with it, and how advanced VR therapy systems like CUREO prevent motion sickness.

What is Motion Sickness?

Motion Sickness (German: "Bewegungskrankheit" or "Reisekrankheit") and is also technically known as kinetosis. It usually occurs when the sensory organs perceive different impressions and the brain cannot process them. A well-known example is the discomfort some feel when they travel. The body perceives movement, senses an air pocket or bumps in the road, for example, but sometimes does not see them.

Motion Sickness VR

Meanwhile, motion sickness is also named as a side effect while using some VR games. It is important to distinguish between systems here. Such appliations, whose primary focus is on the playful character and take less physiological aspects into account, can cause the discomfort. This is also referred to as cyber-sickness or gaming sickness.

Our sophisticated VR therapy with CUREO, on the other hand, was designed from the beginning to avoid motion sickness.

Cause Motion Sickness

Although different factors can contribute to motion sickness, the lack of correspondence of signals coming from individual sensory organs such as the eyes or ears, but also from joints as well as mechanoreceptors, seems to be the main cause.

The discrepancy between the balance perceived through the inner ear and the visual movement cannot be properly processed by the brain. Thus, the discomfort mostly occurs in means of locomotion such as car, airplane or ship. But the symptoms can also be caused by the use of computer or VR games that are not yet fully developed.

Motion Sickness symptoms

The symptoms of motion sickness can be many and vary from individual to individual.

  • Dizziness

  • Drowsiness

  • Headache

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

Motion Sickness: What to do?

For the treatment of motion sickness, it helps to look for fixed points and, for example, fixate the horizon when you are in the car. In addition, there are now some medications that can be used to treat the discomfort or nausea. Getting enough sleep, not drinking alcohol the night before, and drinking enough water also help counteract motion sickness.

While using VR applications, it is usually most helpful to close the program and remove the VR goggles. After a short time, the symptoms should disappear when the motion stops.

Avoidance of motion sickness in VR

We often hear that users who have already tested other VR applications repeatedly experience motion sickness and are therefore initially critical of VR therapy. However, our therapy system CUREO is far from being comparable to classic VR games. CUREO was developed in an iterative process over several years with doctors, scientists, therapists and patients. From the very beginning, we made sure that CUREO is not only fun, but that our users feel comfortable and do not experience motion sickness or other symptoms. So far, we are not aware of any case of motion sickness. On the contrary, a survey of the use of CUREO proved that 95% out of more than 270 patients did not experience any side effects at all.

We took measures on various levels, optimized the visual design and the motion display, and tested them intensively.

One of the key factors is the low latencies. This means that the patient's movements are transferred directly into virtual reality. This is because it is often the delay of movement and its mapping in VR that causes motion sickness to occur.

Avoid Motion Sickness VR

What's more, when CUREO is launched, the user is guided through a calibration process that brings the real world into line with the virtual environment, so that, for example, the floor height matches or the real table is also correctly positioned in VR.

Calm, relaxing landscapes, such as those in our relax module, are also ideally suited to getting patients used to VR. Here he can look around in peace and familiarize himself with the new impressions.

If motion sickness does occur, CUREO can be stopped immediately by removing the glasses or interrupting the program.

Thanks to the unique combination of our technology, we can almost completely eliminate motion sickness during VR therapy with CUREO.


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