Design patterns for Immersive Tech

Virtual Reality patterns

Peripheral movement cues

User goals

Move continuously in VR without feeling nauseous


  1. Users trigger a movement using either locomotion or teleport
  2. The avatar is propelled forward causing the world to flow past
  3. There is normally particularly fast movement at the edges of the visual field, which is known to trigger simulation sickness
  4. This peripheral movement is neutralised using a range of techniques that essentially blur and distort the peripheral movement:
    1. horizontal lines in the peripheral visual field.
    2. Bullet time teleport with uses a combination of slow motion effect and camera bloom intensity to communicate movement, but with peripheral blurring.


  • The blurring narrows the visual field during movement which reduces nausea
  • The lines or ‘slow time’ effect also serve to emphasise the movement, creating a sensation of speed
  • Some users feel the regular teleport pattern of simply appearing at the target location interferes with immersion as they are blinking their way through the environment rather than actually moving through it. Using the peripheral movement cues to allows them to actually feel like they are moving through the environment
  • This approach generally results in a higher degree of presence compared to a similar but alternative approach known as ‘tunnelling’. With tunnelling, the peripheral field is completely removed or obscured during movement so that only a narrow field of view in the centre remains until the movement has been completed.

Design challenges

  • It’s important to get the balance right with just enough lines or blurring in the peripheral field to mask the perception of motion. Too much may completely block the peripheral zone and essentially result in a ‘tunnelling’ type effect.
  • Getting the thickness and spacing of the lines just right, creates a ‘warp speed’ type effect that actually enhances the sensation of movement.

Related to peripheral tunnelling, which is also known asĀ Dynamic Field-Of-View Modification


Raw Data: Provides the peripheral movement lines during teleport

Sprint Vector: Uses peripheral movement cues to narrow visual field as part of Fluid Locomotion system

Bullet Time Teleporter for Unity