Probably unworkable idea for motion sickness, foveated rendering idea

Probably unworkable idea for motion sickness, foveated rendering idea

Not sure where to put this.

I had an idea about VR sickness and how part of it could be overcome in later versions of VR software.

The short: Peripheral vision should have a higher refresh rate than the central binocular part of your vision. This could be accomplished by an expansion on foveated rendering.

The long: In games comfort mode is used to help with VR sickness by blacking out your peripheral vision. Some people surmise that a lower FOV improves sickness. It is also a well established fact that higher refresh rates improve sickness but at a rendering cost. The truth of the matter is you don’t really need too much fps in your central vision but it is more important in your peripheral vision.

The reason why comfort mode works is probably not as people would think in that movement in your peripheral vision upsets your brain because your body isn’t moving. But then why would the peripheral be any worse than movement looking straight ahead? The reason is that your eye is FASTER in your peripheral vision so your brain is upset by the low fps even more.

This was easily proven to me when I recently installed dimmable LED bulbs in my living room. When I look at the lights straight on they are steady but if I am watching TV I can see them flickering in the edges of my vision. If I only have them switched on, and not the other lights, and do this I don’t feel too well after a while.

Your eyes are designed to work faster and detect movement better in your peripheral vision to help you hunt and to help you react to danger. This can be done because the resolution there is so poor it can afford to be faster. On the other hand your Binocular vision part has all of it’s resources spent on detail or resolution and colour. It can’t afford to work as fast. So too then with VR gaming. It is analogous.

Foveated rendering frees up processing power by only requiring the level of detail in your central vision. The peripherals are rendered at a lower resolution which would give some headroom to render them at a higher FPS. A balance could be struck by lowering the FPS slightly in your binocular field to increase it in your peripheral. Now this might be hard to accomplish because it might be hard to render two separate FPS rates and might increase processing costs overall. Only the peripheral parts would need to be rendered the second time but what Pitool might do is use the brainwarp/smart smoothing to double the frame rate in only the peripheral portion of the image. As well as helping with sickness it would improve the VR experience overall as the brain will be a lot more comfortable with the increased frame rate leading to a greater immersion, which is why we have wide FOV headsets in the first place right?

So foveated rendering=normal fps, high resolution in central vision. High fps and low resolution in peripheral.


Now you mean fps? As far as I understand it you can’t vary the refresh rate across the display but you can vary fps as this was a complaint I believe was with one of the Dirt Rally games. Where the steering wheel was rendered at a much lower fps than other objects in the scene.

Yes but of course it doesn’t have to vary across the display in the headset. Instead only at the rendering stage. The central part of the display could just display double frames to keep up with the higher fps at the peripherals.


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