He spoils the life of many a passenger, and prevents the virtual reality (VR) really take off. The sickness – caused by the discrepancy between what the eye sees and what you see with our inner ear – affects more than 3 million French people with chronic. To get rid of it, each has his method. Some are pushing the air out. Other chew a gum or swallow drugs. But these remedies are imperfect, may soon disappear in favor of more effective solutions devised by start-up and some big names of the automotive. Would this soon be the end of the nausea, and feelings of ill-being ? The challenge is enormous.
“The sickness affects 70% of the passengers,” says Spencer Salter, a researcher in technology at Jaguar Land Rover. And the situation is likely to worsen with the arrival of autonomous cars. “In these vehicles, we will be reading and watching screens on seats which may be rear-facing. From the point of view of the evil of transport, it is the worst configurations,” explains Antoine Jeannin, co-founder of Boarding Ring, a start-up that caused the disappearance of the nausea his horse of battle.
Retrain the brain
In partnership with Citroën, the young company – which has just introduced two years in a row its technology at the ces in Las Vegas – has developed glasses look strange, intended to eliminate the sickness in the life of every day. Composed of four rings filled half full with a liquid blue, these frames recreate it as an artificial horizon.
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“It gives to the eye the information of the movement which is lacking to him. When you are in a vehicle, the gaze is confined. The inner ear, however, feels the acceleration, cornering… This creates a conflict of sensory that makes people sick,” says Antoine Jeannin. The glasses, created by Boarding Ring eliminate the sensation of discomfort in a few minutes. Better, the more one carries, the less it becomes sensitive to motion sickness. “They rééduquent the brain in some way,” explains the head of the company.
Boarding Ring tests at the university hospital of Nice (Alpes-Maritimes), in order to accurately measure the long term effects related to the use of the product. But reproducing a horizon or artificial is not the only track followed by the start-up in order to fight against the evil of transport. Some seek to deflect attention from the brain. The american Otolith Labs, for example, is developing a device that emits vibrations. This device is part of a headband placed around the head. Thus equipped, the passenger of a vehicle gets a “white noise” almost inaudible, intended to drown the inner ear signals, thus reducing sensations of discomfort. Still in the testing phase, Otolith Labs hopes to obtain the approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the health authority, u.s., by the end of the year.
Monitor the temperature… of the cheekbones
And for those who dream of a device, less binding, other solutions are in development. Boarding Ring imagine, for example, columns of light embedded in the interior of cars or boats. A first prototype is already functioning in a boat cabin laboratory Energy Observe. For its part, Uber has patented a system of light flashes intended to prevent passengers when an autonomous car is poised to change direction. This device can be supplemented by an automatic reclining seats and small jets of compressed air in order to reduce to a minimum the feelings of unease.
columns Of light can be used to recreate an artificial horizon in the cabin of the boat
“there is a real issue for autonomous cars,” says Guillaume Devauchelle, director of innovation at Valeo. Initially, the vehicles will not be fully automatic. After you let go of the steering wheel in some places – in a traffic jam for instance-the driver must be able to take back control and not be sick ! Valeo, which is already testing such vehicles in the streets of Paris, monitors, therefore, the degree of discomfort of the passenger by measuring the temperature difference between their nose and their cheek bones !
At Jaguar Land Rover, an algorithm determines a score of well-being from sensors. As soon as the discomfort is spotted, the smart car reacts by adjusting the position of the seats or by turning the ventilation on. But not any : the latest models will charge the ambient air ionized particles that have a positive effect proven on the well-being of passengers. Still little widespread in Europe, this equipment is already a hit in Asia. With its 24 000 kilometres of testing, Jaguar Land Rover considers to be capable of reducing the sickness of 60 %. Yet a few efforts, and the customers of the brand will be able to wrap the laces in the mountains without any headache.
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The gamers then they could finally get rid of the nausea caused by the immersion in the games, thanks to the Boarding, VAR, a unit designed also by Boarding Ring, and which has received an innovation award at the last ces in Las Vegas. This equipment comes to be set on a virtual reality helmet. It consists of a housing, which picks up the slackvements of the head, and two mini-screens placed at the level of the temples of the user. When it leans, the device sends instructions to the screens so that they recreate a kind of artificial horizon using pulses of light. What to put in the consistency of the information received by the eye and the inner ear. “The signals remain discrete as to not ruin the experience, but they are visible,” explains Antoine Jeannin. The unit will he be better than the soles that allow you to “feel the floor” or platforms electromagnetic designed to put the headquarters of the players in levitation, they are also in the process of development ? “It works. We did tests on type games roller coaster [roller coaster], and the evil in the heart decreases significantly, ensures Antoine Jeannin. The start-up hope now of a new thrill… in raising funds.