Shortly after Apple launched iOS 7, word got around that the parallax feature and new way that things are animated were causing some pretty severe motion sickness. Some even complained of missing work due to sickness, headaches, and nausea. We tried to help out with a few suggestions for those suffering from nausea by turning on the “Reduce Motion” feature in Accessibilities, plus a few more suggestions. However, they were not a cure-all by any means.
Apple has since made the Reduce Motion feature more effective, but the damage has been done. I can only imagine that users suffering from severe motion sickness probably won’t ever be able to use iOS 7 without fear of the effects.
Thanks to new research from the University of Minnesota, sufferers have a whole other set of worries to deal with now. According to the research, the iPad has been directly linked to motion sickness in some users, specifically while playing games that use touch controls.
Research was conducted by having participants play video games on the iPad. Depending on the type of controls, participants became ill almost a third of the time. Those in the tilt control study group rarely experienced motion sickness. However, those in the touch control study group were nearly five times as likely to get motion sickness.
“This result is remarkable,” said lead researcher Thomas Stoffregen, director of the U of M Affordance Perception-Action Laboratory in the School of Kinesiology. “Given the number of mobile devices out there, our findings suggest the potential for a serious problem. However, the research also has some practical tips for how people can minimize the risk of motion sickness.”
The research, which was published in the “Experimental Brain Research” journal, was based on 36 undergraduate participants averaging 21 years old. The subjects played “Call of Duty: Modern Combat 3” on iPad devices moving the character on the screen for up to 40 minutes. Overall, 31 percent of participants reported feeling sick after playing, no matter how they controlled the game. Of the 31 percent who noted feeling sick, 11 percent of those using tilt controls got sick, while 50 percent of those using touch controls got sick.
Stoffregen believes this research has broad implications for motion sickness studies. “We have had lots of anecdotal reports that mobile devices can induce motion sickness, but ours is the first study in which these anecdotes have been put to the test under controlled experimental conditions,” he said.