Future phones could zap motion sickness away with electricity

Motion sickness can make road trips and carnival rides less fun or even, in really bad cases, turn them into an absolute nightmare. The solution to that, according to a group of researchers at Imperial College London? A zap of electricity to the brain. The team strapped subjects during their experiments to a spinning chair to induce motion illness. They found that when the subjects wore EEG caps with electrodes to stimulate their brains using electricity (a process known as transcranial direct-current stimulation or tDCS), they didn't experience typical symptoms like dizziness and nausea as much. Also, they recovered a lot more quickly later on.

See, the jolt of electricity sort of numbs the part of the brain that processes motion signals and minimizes the impact of boat or rollercoaster rides. According to project leader, Qadeer Arshad, the team believes you can buy a device that uses this method within the next five to 10 years. They think it's possible to develop a version that's used with smartphones as well, one that can deliver a mild electrical current to the head via the headphone jack. We're just hoping these anti-motion illness products come out by the time driverless cars, which have the potential to make more people car sick, are common.

[Image credit: Getty/Vincent Besnault]