‘Sightline’ Dev Wants Your Feedback on Experimental ‘Holosphere’ Locomotion

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Tomáš ‘Frooxius’ Mariančík, the developer behind the outstanding Sightline: The Chair and World of Comenius projects has devised a new locomotion system for VR, and he needs your help to make it better.

The prolific and irritatingly talented VR developer Tomáš Mariančík, the mind behind VR experience Sightline and educational initiative World of Comenius, has directed his attention to a hot topic amongst the VR development community: How do you move around virtual spaces without causing nausea?

His solution is called ‘Holosphere‘ and it’s based on the theory that, should your brain have a consistent frame of reference whilst in the world during VR transit, it should aid in easing the disconnect between sensations of movement perceived by the brain not matching the information coming from you body. To this end, Holosphere draws a geodesic sphere around your virtual viewpoint, and blurs everything else in the world – again, giving you that fixed viewpoint.

holosphere-2

In the video above, Mariančík demonstrates some different forms of the new locomotion technique. The most interesting is the utilisation of Leap Motion as a input capture device, reaching into the virtual world and ‘pulling’ yourself through it by clenching your fist. However, Mariančík is hopeful this technical will be adaptable to most input forms, so you can also witness Holosphere in use with a standard Xbox 360 gamepad. Mariančík also speculates that the Leap Motion could be adapted for use with other motion controllers, like Oculus Touch and SteamVR controllers.

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Mariančík has a problem. In order to gauge the effectiveness of Holosphere as a widely effective technique, he needs guinea pigs. He’s calling out to fellow developers and VR enthusiasts to join him in an open beta experiment involving Holosphere.

Mariančík has produced a special build of the now famous Tuscany demo which incorporates Holosphere locomotion. He’d like as many people as possible to download the new demo, try it and then send him valuable feedback.

Interested in helping Tomáš push the boundaries of VR locomotion? Then follow these simple steps:


1) Download the demo here:

Download Holosphere Demo

2) Play the demo using an Oculus Rift DK2 and headset mounted Leap Motion controller or Xbox 360 controller.

3) Fill in the short Google Form below, detailing your experience with Holosphere.

Fill in the Form


We’ll report back with Mariančík’s findings once he’s had time to make sense of it all and in the mean time, feel free to drop your thoughts about the demo in the comments section below.

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  • superjaycool

    Useless Shit!!

    • brandon9271

      That’s no way to feel about yourself.

  • CURTROCK

    This guy is a trailblazer in the VR revolution. Much respect, Frooxius.

  • Rainfox Wolfstone

    is it just me or does it want to pull you up I can’t stop moving up as soon as I start the demo, triggers cancel out movement but as soon as you let go , up like a balloon again, I thought my controller was broken

    • Rainfox Wolfstone

      Xbox One controller, connected via Micro USB charge cable, Xbox Branded, Windows 10 Build 10586.29, Oculus Runtime 0.8.0

  • VR Cat

    This has been going on for years now. I think what we’re learning is that there is no magic software solution to VR motion sickness. If there were, we’d have found it by now. Breaking immersion every time you want to move is not the answer. Normal people are eventually just going to buy a VR treadmill. And you know what? That will be more fun anyway, and probably healthier too.

    • Orangeunderpants

      Actually there is a magic cure. Nvidia and Stanford are creating HMD VR using stacked displays to create a natural 3d image.

      • VR Cat

        I’m all for more natural looking VR, but won’t that make it even worse? The more realistic it appears, the greater the cognitive dissonance when your character moves while your body feels nothing.

        • user

          what do you want to feel while you move?

          • VR Cat

            It’s not something we feel consciously, like pain or heat. It’s a subconscious thing called proprioception. All your limbs are connected to your brain with nerves, and the brain keeps track of where each limb is relative to the other. That’s important because you often don’t see where your limbs are. People who lack proprioception (can happen after a brain injury) have to look at their hands/feet before they can move them. With VR, your brain knows if your legs aren’t moving the same way that your character’s are, and assumes something is wrong, giving you signals to stop (sickness). If your eyes tell you your character is strafing, your legs need to be strafing. Same for walking forwards and backwards. That’s why you need a VR treadmill that lets you go omnidirectionally.

          • Bryan Ischo

            I guess that would make sense if we never did things like, ride a bicycle where you can coast forward without moving your legs at all, or riding in a car where the same is true, or riding in a train seated facing the windows and watching the landscape glide by without moving any part of your body at all.

            In my experience, the weird feelings in VR come when there is movement on screen that you don’t feel in real life. However, I have found that it is something that you can “get over” with experience, to a large degree. I couldn’t play Windlands at all at first, it made me feel very strange and uncomfortable, but after a week or two of playing a little each day, I got to the point where I could run around, jump, strafe, fly up into trees, fall 200 feet to the ground, etc, all without feeling significant discomfort (that being said, flying towards a wall at an apparent 40 mph made me cringe as I struck and it was uncomfortable, not because it made me feel sick, but because it felt so much like I was about to smash into a wall, and that was a *good* kind of discomfort to feel, very realistic).

            What I noticed was that, at first, if I ran forward or jumped, and then closed my eyes, I would “feel” like I was moving, a residual feeling that lasted a few seconds. After enough “training”, I found that when I ran forward or jumped, and then closed my eyes, I felt nothing. My brain and been trained to disassociate what I was seeing from what I expected to be feeling. That was the key to reducing sickness.

            Some things still make me feel weird though, more unusual motions like being thrown upwards and backwards. I probably need more practice and more daily “training” to keep my VR sickness resistance going.

          • user

            have you read thomas metzinger?

        • Orangeunderpants

          No. I don’t mean more realistic graphics. The design uses multiple display planes to create a natural 3d which is much better for the brain. Current VR HMD like Oculus and Vive display the image on a single display at one depth. Thus part of what the brain needs to create a 3d image is missing.

          • VR Cat

            I figured that you meant multiple focal planes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to that as it sounds like it should help with eye comfort and make it more realistic, I just don’t see how that will solve locomotion induced sickness.

          • Orangeunderpants

            Locomotion sickness is reduced with high refresh and accurate body tracking. I have a friend who gets sick playing games even without VR. In fact he’s never tried VR but he can’t play any games with 60hz refresh. 120hz is perfectly ok with him.

    • Frooxius

      Treadmill won’t really help you that much either. The issue is that there’s a difference between change in acceleration you see and change in acceleration you feel. With treadmill you are still pretty much stationary, so you don’t feel the right acceleration either. That said, I can’t wait for my treadmill.

      Regarding the method, I have actually designed it to be immersive and part of the world. It’s like a futuristic vehicle which materializes around you anytime you move and is the one that’s transporting you through the environment. You still have full stereoscopic&tracked view outside, as if looking through frosted glass.

      • VR Cat

        Hey Frooxius, I do respect your efforts BTW. My feeling is just that I don’t think comfort modes should replace the standard ‘right analogue stick’ movement scheme, because the typical consumer is not going to want anything that breaks immersion. It will be a big turn-off for them, so the only hope of VR being anything other than static is if we support VR treadmills. Their uptake needs to closely match that of dedicated HMDs, since they do help with cognitive dissonance. Not only is motion being triggered by natural leg movements (missing proprioception is one of the problems otherwise), you’re also stimulating your vestibular system when you lean forward, backward, or to the side, or jumping. That double whammy cures sim-sickness, and solves the other elephant in the room – player safety. How are players going to run up a virtual hill/flight of stairs without leaning instinctively and falling over? It’s unrealistic to expect everyone to play with a minder watching them the whole time so they can catch them.

  • Orangeunderpants

    I don’t like the ugly sphere and blurring but I don’t suffer any nausea so it doesn’t matter to me I guess.