Google Research

Effect of latency on simulator sickness in smartphone virtual reality

Journal of the Society for Information Display, vol. 27 (2021), pp. 561-572


Virtual reality (VR) technologies have experienced rapid development in recent years, leading to low-cost consumer smartphone VR systems (with 3DoF tracking). One issue with the smartphone VR systems, which rely on existing generic displays, is simulator sickness, which arises due to factors that induce sensory conflicts, especially related to visual–vestibular conflict. Display update latency with respect to head position is one of the most widely implicated factors for simulator sickness. However, studies of the effects of latency on simulator sickness have given inconsistent results. Moreover, these studies were done on systems with latencies much higher than current smartphone VR systems. Therefore, it is hard to generalize those results to today's VR systems. To address this, we present in this paper a study on the effect of latency on simulator sickness for latency levels around 20 ms. We present a systematic evaluation of simulator sickness in smartphone VR, testing for a difference between conditions with latencies of 18 and 28 ms, on a task of natural game playing in smartphone VR. We noted differences between individuals in their reported simulator sickness for the two latency conditions but no sample-wide significant difference.

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