NYUAD researcher aids in the development of a pathway to solve cybersickness

This research guides the way for the widespread use of immersive technologies such as virtual and augmented reality in a variety of industries

  
  • Virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies have grown in popularity as they can immerse users in novel situations and environments by simulating the necessary stimuli.
  • However, when using VR or AR technologies such as head-worn displays, users frequently report symptoms of nausea, disorientation, and sleepiness.
  • This is more commonly referred to as cybersickness, a form of motion sickness that has been caused by the use of technology.

Abu Dhabi: Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of the Neuroimaging Center at NYU Abu Dhabi Bas Rokers and a team of researchers have evaluated the state of research on cybersickness and formulated a research and development agenda to eliminate cybersickness, allowing  for broader adoption of immersive technologies.

In the paper titled Identifying Causes of and Solutions for Cybersickness in Immersive Technology: Reformulation of a Research and Development Agenda, published in the International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction, Rokers and his team discuss the process of creating a research and development agenda based on participant feedback from a workshop titled Cybersickness: Causes and Solutions and analysis of related research. The new agenda recommends prioritizing the creation of powerful, lightweight, and untethered head-worn displays, reducing visual latencies, standardizing symptom and aftereffect measurement, developing improved countermeasures, and improving the understanding of the magnitude of the problem and its implications for job performance.

The results of this study have identified a clear path towards finding a solution for cybersickness and allowing for the widespread use of immersive technologies. In addition to its use in entertainment and gaming, VR and AR have significant applications in the domains of education, manufacturing, training, health care, retail, and tourism. For example, it can enable educators to introduce students to distant locations and immerse themselves in a way that textbooks cannot. It can also allow healthcare workers to reach patients in remote and underserved areas, where they can provide diagnostics, surgical planning and image-guided treatment.

“As there are possible applications across many industries, understanding how to identify and evaluate the opportunities for mass adoption and the collaborative use of AR and VR is critical,” said Rokers. “Achieving the goal of resolving cybersickness will allow the world to embrace the potential of immersive technology to enhance training, performance, and recreation.”

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About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and science campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly-selective liberal arts, engineering and science curriculum with a world center for advanced research and scholarship enabling its students to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from more than 115 nations and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.

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