Virtual reality is coming. With a raft of announcements from Sony, HTC, Valve and Oculus, it's so close you can almost taste the fake bowl of fruit sitting beyond the lenses of the goggle. But one problem has to be nailed before consumers will trust VR, and that's the issue of motion sickness. Valve's Gabe Newell claims the Steam-focussed HTC Vive has cracked it.
Even with high-resolution displays, virtual reality headsets can cause naseua in their users due to input lag -- your brain expects your view of the virtual world to shift as soon as your head does, but the hardware can only react a fraction too late, making users feel ill. The Vive headset, however, uses a new "Lighthouse" technology which tracks motion with such accuracy that Newell can confidently claim "zero percent of people get motion sick" when using it. It's a claim that our own hands-on test seems to support.
Perhaps the best part? If the the technology lives up to the claim, any other interested VR partners can adopt Lighthouse, with the company giving it away for free. This could speed up the spread of commercial VR units, and guarantee a standardised, enjoyable experience when using them. [New York Times]