For my A-level graphic design course, I have decided to design a machine to make VR more immersive, by invoking certain sensations, such as falling, motion etc. I require a client, someone who knows enough about the VR and gaming market (even experience with the arcade market) who I could interview, and give me feedback about the device. Note that the project is meant to be a conception, and not actually something I can construct, however is possible to build in theory. I would really appreciate any questions, or any help people can give for me to find someone to act as a client.
The only way to invoke a sense of movement, is to actually move a person; in order to make them feel like they are falling, they will have to be falling. The implications of such a device make it’s existence relatively infeasible.
Equilibrioception isn’t so easy to disrupt as just firing an electrical pulse at the inner ear canal. There’s a lot going on; there are multiple sensory organs that work alongside the three different ear canals, and each of those ear canals contains a number of structures for different purposes;
These are coordinated with the brain with other sensory information from numerous other nerves in the body, in your feet, your abdomen and more to provide you with a complete concept how you are moving in your environment (coincidentally many of these don’t work under water, which is how people can drown in shallow water in the dark; they cannot orientate to find the surface). On top of this there are neural functions and reflexes tied to both equilibrioception and proprioception; disrupting one will have a direct effect on the other, which would be quite disorientating (potentially make the problem worse, rather than better).
So yeah, you can screw with part of someone’s sense of balance, but that’s not going to invoke the correct feeling of motion, even if you could target the individual nerves correctly (which this device cannot).