Written by IEEE | June 3, 2016 | Updated: March 30, 2017
Movies, TV shows and video games all have rating systems that let us know if the content is appropriate for specific ages and the amount of violence to expect. As virtual reality headsets and VR content become more mainstream, the need for a different type of rating system has emerged—one that ranks motion or nausea risk.
Similar to the warning placards in amusement parks about health restrictions for certain attractions, VR experiences might benefit from these types of ratings for people who are prone to motion sickness. Early adopters and testers have had symptoms of motion sickness after wearing VR headsets for long periods of time or after watching specific types of content.
There are many factors that trigger motion sickness or related illness for those who embrace VR technology. For example, the proximity of the device to your face and the constant movement of images can all be triggers.
Oculus Rift, a company that has particularly strong name recognition in the VR industry, is operating ahead of the curve by releasing a comfort rating system. Their color and shape-based system helps to classify the content in their store as Comfortable, Moderate or Intense. They want to avoid discomfort when users consume content on Oculus headsets. While the Oculus Rift rating system focuses on comfort, it paves the way for the potential of setting an industry standard in comfort as it extends to motion sensitivity.