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Vive VR: Valve’s Gabe Newell says ‘zero per cent’ of people feel sick after use

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Gabe Newell

Valve claims it has finally dealt with the problem of virtual reality-induced motion sickness with the Vive headset.

Speaking in an interview at GDC 2015 (via NYT), Valve’s boss Gabe Newell said ‘zero percent of people get motion sick’ using the new headset.

The Valve lead also claimed that most other headset demonstrations left him feeling like VR units were ‘the world’s best motion sickness inducers’.

So what makes the Vive different? It uses a motion-tracking technology called Lighthouse, which helps track users as they move in a space.

Lighthouse works by using 70 motion sensors to accurately map a person’s 360-degree real-world movements in the virtual world.

Motion sickness is caused by a disconnect between the motion that you perceive through your eyes, and the motion that actually takes place.

By accurately tracking an individual’s movements and replicating that on the VR headset display, motion sickness can be drastically minimised.

Related: Samsung Gear VR review

The most common complaint about other VR headsets, like the Oculus Rift for instance, is that they produce motion sickness. That’s turned many developers off.

If Valve really has cracked the problem with its Vive headset, we should see plenty more progress on the developer front, which will inevitably lead to greater consumer adoption.

What’s more, Valve has also revealed it will be offering the Lighthouse technology to other manufacturers for free, which should speed up progress in the sector.

Valve unveiled the Vive earlier this week, revealing its fledgling VR headset had been developed in partnership with Taiwanese electronics manufacturer HTC.

We don’t know exact details on release date and pricing just yet, but HTC says the Vive headset will be sold to consumers before the end of the year.

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