Virtual reality is the next big thing in gaming, but wearing the headsets causes motion sickness for some. Even I’ve experienced a little motion sickness while playing despite the fact I never struggled with it in the past (no barfing yet). If you’re worried about hurling, there are a few things you can do to make the experience more pleasant.
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Without going too deep into the science of it all—you can read more on that here—the cause of most types of motion sickness is sensory mismatching. Basically, your body thinks it’s sitting still because you’re not flexing muscles or showing other signs of motion, but your eyes and vestibular system are saying something different. If you’ve ever experienced a queasy feeling when trying to read in a moving car, you have an idea of what VR motion sickness is like.
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Signals - Headaches - Flashes - Researchers - Body
The mixed signals can cause headaches or induce hot flashes and sweating too, but researchers still aren’t completely sure why the body responds this way. Some of the more plausible theories out there suggest that the body mistakes the confusion as a warning you’ve ingested something toxic (like when you get “the spins” after having a few too many cocktails.) So, to be safe, your body makes you hurl. This physical reaction is also more prevalent in women for reasons that are still unknown (nearly four times as likely than it is for men). So ladies, take extra care when gearing up to try VR for the first time.
Hack Your Nervous System
Motion sickness is tied to your nervous system, so there are things you can do to prevent it from going haywire. All you need is a quick lesson in acupressure . There's a pressure point on your inner arm, known as the Pericardium 6 (P-6) or Neiguan, that can be used to relieve nausea and vomiting . Before you cry "Fooey!" and spit in a can, this technique has been shown to be fairly effective, and is often taught to cancer patients going through chemotherapy . Here's how to do it:
- Hold your arm up with your palm facing you and fingers straight.
- Place the first three fingers of your other hand-index, middle, and ring-across the your wrist.
- Then place your thumb on the point just below them and remove your fingers. You should feel two large tendons in your arm where your thumb is.
- Use your thumb to firmly press and massage this point in a circular motion for two to three minutes.
- Repeat the process for the other wrist.
If you find this trick helps but you have to do it constantly, consider acquiring something that presses on the P-6 point for you. Sea-Bands , for example, are wristbands that massage that pressure point for you. You can strap them on your wrists, put on your headset, and play without having to stop too often.
What Causes Motion Sickness?
VR - Headset - Breaks - Fact - Games
If you read the manual for any VR headset they all greatly encourage taking regular breaks as you play. In fact, most games share a disclaimer when you start playing, or have warning messages on loading screens. These are not the same as Nintendo’s suggestive “Hey, why don’t you take a... Read Full story
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