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IEEE VR '19 Conference Paper
Reducing virtual reality sickness using head-worn haptic devices


Virtual Reality (VR) sickness occurs when exposure to a virtual environment causes symptoms that are similar to motion sickness, and has been one of the major user experience barriers of VR. To reduce VR sickness, prior work has explored dynamic field-of-view modification and galvanic vestibular stimulation (GVS) that recouples the visual and vestibular systems.

We propose a new approach to reduce VR sickness that applies alternating haptic cues that are synchronized to users' footsteps in VR. Our prototype consists of two servos with padded swing arms, one set on each side of the head, that lightly taps the head as users walk in VR.

We conducted a three-session, multi-day user study with 30 participants to evaluate its effects as users navigate through a VR environment while physically being seated. Results show that our approach significantly reduces VR sickness during the initial exposure while remaining comfortable to users.


  • 1st author, presenter
  • Software prototyping in Unity: Camera oscillation, controller-based movement, replicating mechanism from prior work, study scene implementation
  • Hardware prototyping: Arduino and servo motors
  • Designed and conducted pilot and formal experiments
  • Quantitive data analysis
  • Paper writing and revision


Thanks Prof. Neng-Hao Yu, Prof. Liwei Chan and Prof. Mike Y Chen for their ideation and supervision of the project; Yi-Hao Peng for his assistance on writing the paper; friends from NCCU IUI Lab for helping with the studies.