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Bizarre Glasses Promise to Cure Motion Sickness (gizmodo.com)
125 points by curtis 8 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 72 comments

Even at $100 these would be very worth it to me. Can't read in cars, and can't ride in ocean boats in any kind of swell. Twisty mountain roads as a passenger are bad. I even get a little nauseous on city busses. Barfing doesn't look cool, so the dork factor is an easy price to pay.

The concept makes sense, unlike copper/magnet bracelets.

Dramamine doesn't help me. The "Relief Band" that shocks the wrist does help with stomach nausea, but not the head wooziness (https://www.reliefband.com/). Also no food, ginger, or small amounts of carbs doesn't help. Looking at the horizon helps a little.

Looks like they are on preorder, shipping in December 2018:


Excited to see real reviews.

I used to have similar problems and the one thing that solved it was taking sailing lessons. It was bad at first, once on an 8-hour trip I vomited 4 times, but gradually my organism adjusted and these days I rarely get motion sickness.

I've observed that people can experience motion sickness very differently. Some people can be fine for long periods of time before gradually getting nauseous and then take just as long to recover without every vomiting. Other people get sick almost immediately and then after vomiting are completely fine. Some people must look at the horizon in order to avoid getting sick and others cannot avoid getting sick. Some people vomit repeatedly while others only need to do it once.

I am extremely sensitive to motion sickness and hence very keen on finding anything which works against it. I will certainly watch those glasses, but as I tend to get sick in a car looking out of the window after a few minutes even without attempting to read, I am not too optimistic.

On the drug side, I had the best results with Cinnarizine (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinnarizine). To get good results, I take a single capsule (75mg) per day, but I have to take it at least for 3 days in advance of the travels and keep taking it during travels. It pretty much eliminates motion sickness under normal circumstances for me and at the overall low dosage the side effects are not too severe.

I'm much the same. I have a surprisingly vivid memory (vivid for me, at any rate) of reading a comic book while riding in a car when I was 3 (for anybody familiar with Dunedin NZ in the late 1970s, I was reading a Mickey Mouse comic book that was given away with petrol from Mobil stations, in this case the one just outside Warrington). I remember pulling up at the holiday home, feeling terrible.

I have many memories of having to pull over and be sick on the side of the road, as I grew up. Vague memories of pink motion sick tablets when I was four. I sometimes can't even sit in the back seat of a car, especially so if the seats have headrest. A couple of years back, I was given a tour of a ship that was docked, and as we headed below decks, I started to feel most unwell.

I still remember how defeated I felt when I had to abandon going to Ladakh midway during my backpacking trip 3 years ago. And then I had to give up going to Manipur and then Arunachal too. Even though I kept on travelling it just felt incomplete.

I tried many medicines but none of those helped me. I face all those you have listed. Just that city buses are a little better for me now if I get one of the front seat and it is an open window bus.

> Looking at the horizon helps a little.

Indeed. Also not trying to fight the body movement when the car moves on sharp curves. And falling asleep but then it often makes me miss all the scenery.

I get pretty bad motion sickness. Which is not wonderful when diving. Hyoscine works for me. The worst I've felt when I've had hyoscine has been mild nausea, even in awful conditions. I use the behind-ear patches, sold as transderm scopolamine (IIRC).


Scopolamine works well for me, too. After 2-3 days (on long sailing trips) I do get the side effect that makes it hard to focus my eyes at close distances (3"-9" or so).

Scopolamine, as in the truth serum? Do you notice any increased tendency to blab secrets when taking it? It would be amusing to travel with you.

My SO takes it when we're on boats, and she definitely feels - different. I haven't noticed her blabbing secrets, but I'll ask some better questions next time. :)

Ha ha. The dose isn't high enough for that. The main side effects are wicked dry mouth and drowsiness. The drowsiness can be a problem if you need to operate heavy machinery, like docking an 18-ton sailboat, but still better than being sick.

It shouldn't be hard to make a quick mock-up of the idea and test it.

Just get round classes and put plastic tube filled with colored liquid around the rims.

It may require that you get the damping of the fluid motion just right. I would guess that neither sloshing (under-damping) nor lagging (over-damping) would help.

I wonder if you could just match the viscosity of your inner ear fluid.

A similar idea appeared over 20 years ago as joke. More specifically as a Chindogu, the comical Japanese artform of creating almost but not quite useful inventions to solve everyday problems.


I remember seeing a few clips about Chindogu as a child: the ones I recall most are the motorized fork for spaghetti (just causes a mess because you can't turn it off), and the solar-powered flashlight (of course, without any kind of rechargeable batteries).

Trying to rotate your head at the right speed to snatch the spaghetti off a spinning fork sounds like a fun challenge

At least this will work better than the copper bracelets tons of people wear on cruises. I couldn't convince my daughters they were b.s. But maybe I shouldn't interfere with the placebo effect.

Speaking of placebos, I wonder how these glasses compare to placebos.

I'm all about evidence based medicine but as a father with a 3 year old that couldn't go in the car for longer than 10 minutes without throwing up everywhere, I was willing to try anything.

We tried the pressure point bracelets, the anti-static strips, ginger drinks, everything. We moved her seat forward facing and sat her in the middle of the vehicle so she had a (somewhat) unobstructed view of the horizon. For a while, we even removed the headrest on the passenger seat and the passenger sat in the back.

We started to give her regular mints and it seemed to work. She might have grown out of it, the mints might have worked... who knows, but when it affects your everyday routines, you'll do anything.

> She might have grown out of it, the mints might have worked... who knows

Well, has she tried going without the mints to see what happens?

Ya on occasion we'll run out and she'll go without. Without all things being equal (trip distance etc) it's hard to say really. If you have kids, you'll also know that they learn very quickly that if she says "I'm feeling sick" that she gets a mint, regardless if she is actually feeling sick. My kids are Pavlov 2.0 basically, or maybe it's me that is the dog!

Copper bracelets for sea-sickness? When I was a kid, the scam was that they cured arthritis.

The scam is w/e they tell you to get you to buy it :)

Medical scams have traditionally been cure-all’s. If you look at claims made by old patent medicines, orgone boxes, electrical therapy devices, it’s easier to lost what they don’t claim to cure.

> I couldn't convince my daughters they were b.s. But maybe I shouldn't interfere with the placebo effect.

Wow, why were you trying to convince her if you knew why they were effective?

That they could be a placebo was an after-thought. I should have known. Placebos are especially effective when the problem is worrying about something that probably won't happen.

My parents told me as a kid that listening to music would make the nausea go away and even though I know it's bs, the placebo effect is so ingrained that it still helps me to this day.

So please do the right thing and just let them believe :)

How about using your smartphone's gyroscope to show the artifical horizon on the screen itself? For example using https://richtr.github.io/Artificial-Horizon/ as background for text.

If somebody that experiences motion sickness wants to test it, I can help coding a prototype.

The phone aims to show the real horizon, not the changes in perceived gravity due to a swaying vehicle. I wonder if the difference is important. (A special-purpose app might behave differently, though.)

That's just it, the real horizon will appear to move even though it's the vehicle moving. People tend not to get seasick/motion sick when they can see the outside apparently swaying because that coincides to the bumps they feel. It's when they are entirely inside or focused on on something that isn't moving relative to themselves that there is a difference between feel and vision.

While I don't get seasick at all, I'll add this in so that someone might try it. I noticed that on a rocking boat people stand two different ways. Most people will move their feet apart and assume a rigid stance so their head is always up relative to the boat. Others will keep both feet together and stay upright relative to gravity, seemingly tilting back and forth in rhythm with the ship. I suspect the second might help with motion sickness since you would see the boat move like you feel that it should. It always struck me as funny to have some of both types in the same group having a conversation.

Hmm, I thought the problem was that the acceleration of the car (for example sideways acceleration when going through a bend) was perceived as a sideways component of gravity – as the principle of general relativity tells us, they are the same thing – without there being a corresponding visual input, even when looking outside. In contrast to something that replicates the actual horizon, the blue liquid in these glasses would feel and adapt to the same sideways acceleration as your body feels, so I thought that was the point.

Could be a fun project, but I assume this would make motion sickness even worse due to delay and jitter in the smartphone's gyroscope.

Please somebody with a VR rig try simulating this.

Previously there were reports that an "artificial nose" in VR setups reduced motion sickness [sources needed...], perhaps having an artificial horizon-ish-thing (Han Solo's lucky dice?) bobbing around in periphery would have the same effect?

It seems like this would have a transferrable benefit to a similar problem.

Bobbing dices won't work. Think about it: VR sickness comes from the mismatch of your body _not_ moving, while the visuals show you moving around.

Car sickness comes from your body moving (detected by your inner ear), but if you are not looking out of the window your visuals (reading a book, looking at the phone) show you stationary.

You can set the boundaries of your VR space to be really small, so you're always activating the boundary grid. This would give you a frame of reference for the real world, and probably reduce your motion sickness.

There are actually a bunch of VR games that have comfort options which basically put a static cage around you. Also, similarly, cockpit games are a popular way to allow free movement with reduced motion sickness.

I do get motion sickness in cars in the traditional way, so I am willing to give these a try, but I would like a solution (other than dramamine, which works wonderfully but makes me drowsy) to motion sickness caused without any motion at all. Such as playing a 3D game.

Given the simplicity of the mechanism described, I wonder if you could make something similar yourself and skip the hefty price tag.


Fill with coloured water and seal the ends!

Looks like some patent got violated.

Probably glue some transparent tubing (i.e. fish tank tubing) to some safety glasses.

Those beer google straws might do it, though you might get all caught up in the anti-straw hysteria and have to carry a doctors letter.

Yes that definitely looks like a fun little weekend project.

and they'll probably look better

At $180 CAD, these are too expensive to preorder for my friend without much in the way of reviews.

Does anyone know where I can look for unbiased reviews for this 12-16 months down the line?

Summary of how it works:

> The Seetroën glasses have four liquid-filled rings [which you look through] that, thanks to gravity, simulate the angle and movements of the horizon so that the motions of the blue-dyed liquids seen by the wearer’s eyes match what their inner ear is detecting.

Does this work for sea sickness as well? It would be awesome if so because I’m so scared to take a boat after a particularly bad and embarassing boat trip where I suddenly puked from it.

The price is pretty absurd. I was expecting this to be in the range of $15, not $115. You could buy several years worth of dramamine for that price and won't look goofy at the same time

Give it a month or two and hopefully you'll find clones on aliexpress for $5

I wonder if these can be worn over prescription or reading glasses, as they seem to be close fitting.

They wouldn't be very helpful for people who can't see anything while wearing them.

Why does the author have this horrible tone throughout the whole article?

He talks like the glasses are joke and focuses on the fact that--God forbid--they don't have a good design according to him, but if they work they're a fantastic product!

My girlfriend cannot read more than a couple of sentences before getting sick while I'm driving, and I would care many times less about the glasses' look or the cost than her not felling sick.

Journalism is really going downhill.

Not everyone experiences motion sickness. It can be difficult for those of us who don't to properly empathize with those who do. For someone who doesn't experience motion sickness or only experiences it in extreme situations then the products appearance is a big negative.

Are you being serious? A cast looks pretty ridiculous, but if your arm is broken you wear it.

I don't experience motion sickness, but if my girlfriend wore those I wouldn't start making fun of her because even though she's not sick anymore she looks weird!

Looks like the next shipment for Citroen's version is September, if you don't want to wait for December for the Boarding Glasses version (I'm not sure how they differ):


I’d recommend the patch for boating related sea sickness. It lasts 3 days. Most people get the “sea legs” within 3 days, so you don’t need medicine after it wears off. It works by essentially disconnecting your brain from your inner ear.

I get dizzy for about 10 minutes after putting it on. And for another 10 minutes after taking it off (if only using it for a day trip). Otherwise, no side effects.

I was born with optic nerve hypoplasia and nystagmus, and despite also having a condition similar to photosensitive epilepsy start abruptly 7 years ago I've never been motion sick. I can read my laptop, a tablet, or a book on a rocking sailboat and never get any hint of being motion sick. It's fascinating.

> These Bizarre Glasses Promise to Cure Your Motion Sickness—But At What Cost

Further down in the article:

> for about $115

I think The "cost" they imply in the title is that you have to wear glasses which look kind of ridiculous.

A predecessor was patented in the mid-90s: https://register.dpma.de/DPMAregister/pat/PatSchrifteneinsic...

Curious: how could you pull out the link just now? Did you have it bookmarked somewhere for long time? Or did you see it somewhere recently?

I read something about "double glasses with fluid in between them to simulate the horizon" years ago and then spent some minutes duckduckgoing.

Ah, ok, so just the good, old "brain memory" technology :)

I fortunately do not suffer from motion sickness anymore, but I had a lot of issues with that when I was younger in the car.

I kinda hope they work, just in case my 6 months old son has the same problem later on and for everyone who suffers from the same issue.

At first I was wondering if we could apply that to VR which got a motion sickness problem.

But in VR, the problem is the opposite: the screen move, but not your body.

Even after reading the article, and seeing the video, I kept waiting for someone to say "April Fools! We are just a little late".

Wonder if these will help with noise canceling headphones. I get bad motion sickness from them but really like the quietness they provide.

This could be huge, especially for self-driving cars where people will want to do something useful while driving!

Ginger never works for me.

Same here. I fell asleep on a boat and woke up vomiting. Can’t read in any vehicle or watch a video. Forget about playing FPS games too, or a VR headset. Though airplane turbulence is fine if I sit back with my eyes closed.

There is some wristband that administers light electrical shocks, but maybe it is hogwash.


If anyone wants to buy me a pair, I'm happy to be a guinea pig with Mirror's Edge. Currently my record is puking within 5 minutes of playing.

Skyrim is a close second and a game I'd dearly love to find a motion sickness cure for even with fov cranked up.

Umm, these won't help unless the motion making you sick is actually, er, motion.

How do you propose to wear and also see these glasses inside of a VR headset

edit: wait hang on if these really are effective then having a virtual horizon 'HUD' in a VR game might alleviate sickness? someone get on that

thats a new record for me..

according to ghostery There were 19 trackers on a site referred by HN submission..

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