The Fusion Works

From Computer Laboratory Group Design Projects
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Contacts David Russell <> and Lindsay Manning <>

1) VR Motion Sickness

Motion sickness in VR is an imprecise science. There's a number of factors that don't necessarily impact everyone in the same way. Possible causes include;

Your brain trying to process movement whilst your body is still Images being slightly out of sync with your actions e.g. turning my head and imagery being more than 50 milliseconds behind Refresh rates on the LCD screens inside the headsets Field of view (or lack of) within a headset

We've been caught out by it on a recent VR development and we consider ourselves experienced VR developers. NASA have recently been caught out, they did a VR app to allow users to explore the International Space Station. There was a great deal of feedback about it causing motion sickness. However some experiences do VR successfully with minimal motion sickness. An example of this would be a recent game called Star Wars Squadrons which is a mass market VR game. It contains many elements that should cause motion sickness but don’t seem to. One of my colleagues believes this is due to a device they've included in-game which is a bobble head figure on your cockpit dashboard. The bobble head responds to the direction you steer your aircraft which might help in tricking the user’s brain.

There’s general guidelines e.g. don’t use VR if you have blocked sinuses and take frequent breaks but these relate to the symptoms rather than trying to stop it happening in the first place.

This is of particular interest to us. Whilst VR is linked to gaming, it's not really our interest. We're doing more and more work with VR in other fields e.g. visualising architectural designs and CAD models, using VR within a medical or therapeutic for treating phobias or mental health issues. May users will be experiencing Virtual Reality for the first time and it's desirable to minimise motion sickness effects.

I'm not sure what the end deliverable for a student project might be. A prototype VR application demonstrating best practice for example??


VR is usually popular with students, and we don’t have any VR projects for next year. On the other hand, the VR headsets we have around the Lab are rapidly ageing (Oculus Rifts, largely DK1), and in the COVID era, it’s a lot less attractive to strap things on your face that are being passed around students! I can imagine that students might create a reference implementation of a VR experience that is predicted to reduce motion sickness, although verifying this experimentally would make the project more appropriate for a dissertation than a group design project.

2) Web RTC

Feel free to ignore this bit… it’s more notes for me… I’m not sure how to turn this into something that students could work on…

Web RTC is a subset of the HTML5 spec and enables real time communications between browsers and devices. This might be audio/video or a real time peer to peer messaging mechanism. Whilst it’s been in-use for the last decade by major sites (e.g. Facebook) the Web RTC standards have only recently been finalised. It’s free, it’s open source, it enables experiences that weren’t possible and it’s not tied to any proprietary software/company. It should, over time, begin to revolutionise web development.

Web RTC development is hard. By it’s nature its asynchronous. This is not the same kind of asynchronism as AJAX calls that many web apps currently use; those are simple by comparison. Instead, its many calls layered over each other with ever changing local and remote data. Developing, testing and debugging is tricky… how might we improve on this…


Would Web RTC be suitable for taking multiple MIDI streams from different sources, time-stamping, and reassembling into a synchronised band at the other end? I recently heard a fairly impressive session at the Network Music Festival, where the band set up a four-bar riff, then each player added improvisations that would be layered on the *next* four bars. This could be set up as a blues jam, where you get on-screen queues on what chord the song is up to, and you add MIDI notes that are stored and forwarded for integration at the right time.

Previous involvement when company name was Altfusion