Optical dreams, virtual reality

Can VR technology vanquish its long-term nemesis of motion sickness?

by Jeff Hecht

From the low-cost Google Cardboard to the high-end Oculus Rift, virtual-reality headsets—and some eye-popping applications—are finally reaching the consumer market. But can VR technology vanquish its long-term nemesis of motion sickness?

After decades of development and years of false starts, the time for 3-D head-mounted displays seems to have come at last. Schools are now testing an app, called “Expeditions,” that uses the cheap Google Cardboard attachment to take students on virtual field trips with their smartphones. Theme parks are reviving their aging roller coaster rides by adding virtual-reality (VR) headsets, so riders can take a synchronized tour of outer space or fly along with Superman.


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