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VIVE Built in Seizure detection


Isari_Chan
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Recently me and a few of my friends were playing in a social VR game and witnessed a user with full body tracking suddenly drop and start convulsing. From the Audio, the twitching and convulsing avatar, it was evident that this user was suffering from a seizure of some kind. Luckily this user had a room mate who was able to contact emergency services for this user and get them the needed help, but it got me wondering, Is it possible to VIVE to implement a seizure detection program into the software?

 

I was considering this and essentially, the software would have to detect if a player suddenly fell and the headset starting shaking at 'x' speed for 'x' amount of time. Once this detection is made, the software would bring up a menu requiring the user to select a message to confirm that they are okay and do not need medical services. If the player does not select it in the appropriate amount of time, then emergency services are contacted with the user's location with an indication that they may be experiencing and emergency.

 

It obviously a risk that users take when entering the VR play space, health and safety warnings tell users who are seizure prone not to play in VR, however cases still happen. I think this would be a good implementation for the company and would like to see at least something be implemented. 

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@Isari_Chan - Thanks for writing in with your idea. I've passed this around internally and we all think this would be a really neat idea - implementing something like this would be a monster at this stage of XR deployment but may be something that's feasible in the medium-term. The challenges are twofold - first there's the data privacy issue as you'd essentially be monitoring users with ML algorithms which opens a huge can of privacy worms and we're leaning towards a lean data collection approach. The secondary issue that's more challenging is that our hardware makes its way all across the globe and it would be rather difficult to integrate into countries emergency services - there's a huge technical and legal hurdle here, it'd be a multi-year sort of rollout.

Accessibility features like this are definitely on our radar - it's simply going to take some time as getting VR to reliably work for the 95% percentile  is the current goal of the industry at large so we can create the runway required to sustainably flush out deeper levels of interaction like this. It's a complex balancing act because you can't get too deep into your development cycle without at least putting placeholders for accessibility features down the line.

I've also seen a user have a seizure in social VR - it was rather haunting and definitely informs my view on VR and accessibility. The more consumers we have requesting the features vocally - the sooner we're likely to see them at the platform and ecosystem level 😄

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