GyroVR: Simulating Inertia in Virtual Reality using Head Worn Flywheels

We present GyroVR, head worn flywheels designed to render inertia in Virtual Reality (VR. Motions such as flying, diving or floating in outer space generate kinesthetic forces onto our body which impede movement and are currently not represented in VR. We simulate those kinesthetic forces by attaching flywheels to the users head, leveraging the gyroscopic effect of resistance when changing the spinning axis of rotation. GyroVR is an ungrounded, wireless and self contained device allowing the user to freely move inside the virtual environment. The generic shape allows to attach it to different positions on the users body. We evaluated the impact of GyroVR onto different mounting positions on the head (back and front) in terms of immersion, enjoyment and simulator sickness. Our results show, that attaching GyroVR onto the users head (front of the Head Mounted Display (HMD)) resulted in the highest level of immersion and enjoyment and therefore can be built into future VR HMDs, enabling kinesthetic forces in VR.

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Jan Gugenheimer, Dennis Wolf, Eythor R. Eiriksson, Pattie Maes, and Enrico Rukzio. 2016. GyroVR: Simulating Inertia in Virtual Reality using Head Worn Flywheels. In Proceedings of the 29th Annual Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST ’16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 227-232. DOI: