Current 360° VR experiences allow the user to look around a scene but not to move within the scene. Lack of support for positional motion breaks the sense of presence and induces cyber motion sickness.

In technical jargon, current-generation experiences support only 3 degree-of-freedom (DOF) rotational motion where the virtual scene reflects changes in the rotation of the user’s head only, as shown in the image below.

Current-generation experiences support rotational motion only, which provides 3 DOF motion.

Current-generation experiences do not support positional (i.e. translational) motion that would allow the user to move within the scene, for example to lean or take a step forward. Positional motion is illustrated in the image below.

Current-generation experiences do not support positional motion, which provides another 3 DOF motion.

The holy grail of 360° VR experiences is to allow the user to move freely in the scene by supporting 6 DOF motion that comes from supporting both rotational and positional motion (3 DOF from rotation + 3 DOF from position = 6 DOF). The following illustration (from Alex4d) shows the full range of motion provided by supporting 6 DOF motion (note that the user could move much greater distances than shown in this illustration).

Full range of motion supported by 6 DOF motion.

6 DOF motion enhances realism and reduces cyber motion sickness.

By supporting 6 DOF motion the user is completely immersed in the virtual environment and can explore it as they would the physical world, creating a greater sense of presence.

“…ensuring you can sit, stand, lean in and jump back makes a huge difference in how vivid and realistic a virtual environment feels. It determines whether you passively watch a dinosaur walk by or are able to duck as its tail swishes past you.” — Tim Bradshaw, FT

By supporting 6 DOF motion cyber motion sickness is also greatly reduced. With current-generation experiences that support only 3 DOF motion, visual-vestibular sensory conflict is induced, where the visual and vestibular (i.e. inner ear) sensory systems are in conflict. The resulting sensory conflict induces cyber motion sickness. To learn more about visual-vestibular conflict and cyber motion sickness take a look at our related blog post.

Kagenova has developed the technology to support 6 DOF motion for 360° VR experiences. spatial360 supports full 6 DOF motion, providing both rotational and positional motion, enhancing realism and greatly reducing cyber motion sickness.

If you’re interested in learning more about spatial360 or would like to get a demo, please visit the product page.