VR Locomotion Goes Hands-free with MONKEYmedia’s BodyNav

Locomotion in virtual reality (VR) isn’t as tricky as it used to be but its still not plain sailing. Players have two options, use a third-party peripheral like 3dRudder or an omni-direction treadmill, or make do with whatever the developer of the chosen videogame has provided – usually teleportation and sometimes smooth locomotion. Now, MONKEYmedia, an independent R&D lab has announced the launch of its patented body-based navigation solution BodyNav.

Sygic Travel VR header

BodyNav uses the existing on-board sensors of smartphones and VR headsets to help users move around in virtual worlds, completely hands free. All players need to do is simply lean, using either their head or torso to move themselves, making for a more intuitive and comfortable experience. MONKEYmedia claims the approach reduces motion sickness and enhances navigation abilities in VR and augmented reality (AR) applications, as well as first-person view (FPV) drone aviation contexts.

“MONKEYmedia has been on the forefront of interface design and invention since the first wave of VR innovation in the early ’90s, and we’ve learned that motion sickness in VR has more to do with human interaction than raw hardware capabilities,” said Eric Bear, co-founder of MONKEYmedia and co-inventor of BodyNav in a statement. “The launch of BodyNav comes after more than 20 years of experimental research and development. The resulting technology creates a sense of agency in viewers that fosters deeper connections with content, characters and 3D data. We’re excited to open doors for developers to provide more enjoyable and inspiring experiences to consumers in a variety of contexts.”


BodyNav has been designed to be easily implemented by developers with MONKEYmedia saying that just a few lines of code are needed. If this sounds like something you’d want to add, more information about how to incorporate BodyNav  technology into a VR can be had by contacting bodynav@monkey.com.

To try it for yourself MONKEYmedia has released three iPhone apps, Walk-in TheaterTeleport and BodyNav. A limited-time promotional bundle of all three apps is available for $0.99 in the App Store. For further updates, keep reading VRFocus.