There are advantages to using cheap, readily-available materials when creating new products, as has already been proved by Google with its Google Cardboard headset. One inventor has taken the concept a step further and claims to have invented a motion controller that is not only made out of paper, but also helps prevent virtual reality(VR)-induced motion sickness.
The motion sickness symptoms experienced by some VR users are triggered when what the eyes are seeing does not match what the body is doing. This can happen when using standard game controllers such as an Xbox or PlayStation pad if the player moves the left analogue stick in a way to move their character forward, when relative to the players perspective, it is actually being pushed left or right, creating a disconnect that can cause nausea.
There are some ways to combat this already, such as showing an item in the player’s vision that remains completely stationary, but this can disrupt immersion. The inventor of the PaperStick controller says that they have found a different solution.
The PaperStick controller is roughly cylindrical and abut 15-20cm long. Instead of pushing an analogue stick, the player holds the PaperStick controller upright in their hand as if holding a microphone. In order to control movement, the player tilts the controller in the required direction. To go forward, tilt forward, to strafe right, tile right, to go forward and left a bit, tilt forward and left. It seems fairly simple.
The inventor has, in a somewhat surprising move, provided the right to use the ‘Leaning Control System’ that powers the PaperStick for free. Developers can apply the system to any VR project under development by contacting the inventor to get the patch. The inventor claims the system will work with any VR system, from mobile VR and tethered PC VR.
A brief video displaying how PaperStick and the Leaning Control System work is available to view below.
VRFocus will bring you further updates on PaperStick as they become available.