Apple Thinks It Has A Cure For Motion Sickness

We’re going this way, that way, forwards and backwards over the Irish Sea. - Gif: Apple
We’re going this way, that way, forwards and backwards over the Irish Sea. - Gif: Apple

Getting travel sick is rubbish, it can ruin a road trip, put you off taking that once-in-a-lifetime whale watching trip and dampen any excitement that comes with taking a plane on holiday. Well now, relief may be in sight as Apple believes it has a cure for motion sickness, and it doesn’t involve donning a pair of ridiculous spectacles.

As part of a new software rollout that the tech giant announced this week, Apple deployed a system it calls Vehicle Motion Cues, reports CarScoops. The system works on iPad and iPhone and sees the screen fill with little animated dots whenever you’re traveling.

“You get travel sick because your perception of looking down at your phone doesn’t match the motion that your body experiences,” Dr Emily Thomas, a cognitive neuroscientist who specializes in perceptual processing, explained to Jalopnik.


“For example, if you look down at your phone your vision remains constant and you don’t perceive the motion of the car as it travels. This gives you a mis-match in sensations, confusing your body.”

To try and alleviate this, Apple will line the screen of your iPhone or iPad with rows of dots that move as you do. For example, if the car turns right the dots will float across to the left to counteract the motion of the car. Likewise, as you accelerate, they will move down the screen in response to the lurching you may feel in the car.

“On your phone, if the dots are moving in the direction that you feel you are moving in, the motion you feel and the motion you see are more closely aligned,” Thomas adds.

Apple believes that the dots could be enough to alleviate some symptoms of motion sickness, but that remains to be seen.

Vehicle Motion Cues is part of a raft of accessibility features that Apple will start rolling out soon. On supported devices, the software can be set to show automatically or it can be turned off or on via the Control Center in your iPhone or iPad.

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