"How big an issue is the nausea problem for Virtual Reality products?" is the title of a really fascinating if disturbing Quora post by Steve Baker, who's been working in VR for over two decades, primarily for the military and defense contractors, who got into the virtual reality business way back during the Cold War. Baker carefully analyzes the nausea problems associated with VR, argues they are fundamentally unsolvable, and then drops this jaw-dropping factoid taken from a military study of test subjects' reaction to long term use of a flight simulator:
Anecdotal data continues to be received indicating there is a part of the aviation population that experiences delayed problems beyond the simulator exposure and for periods that exceed 6 to 8 hours for approximately 8 percent of the population and l-to-2 days for an even smaller population... an aviator should wait postflight before piloting an actual aircraft or even driving a car.
"Yeah," Baker observes, "the US Navy believes that some people shouldn’t drive a car within one to two DAYS of being inside a VR environment."
In conclusion, he raises a liability issue I brought up from another direction a few weeks ago:
If these devices are in pretty much every home - then there are huge problems in store for the industry in terms of product liability. There have been plenty of warnings from the flight simulation industry - there are no excuses for not reading the Wikipedia article on the subject. If people are driving “under the influence” and the VR companies didn’t warn them about that - then they’re in deep trouble.
Or like I put it, Matrix-like blurring between the virtual and the real is all fun and games until someone loses an eye.
Hat tip: Rubiyat Shatner.
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