How See-LEVEL is using VR to counter seasickness

Business is Boring is a weekly podcast series presented by The Spinoff in association with Callaghan Innovation. Host Simon Pound speaks with innovators and commentators focused on the future of New Zealand. This week he’s joined by See-LEVEL founder Dudley Jackson. Around 25% of the population experiences seasickness to an extent that makes ocean-going uncomfortable or even impossible.

If you happen to be an engineer working on a sea-based wind farm and are among that 25%, you might find getting to and from work a nightmare – and you might not be much use once you get there. It’s a problem this week’s guest knows well. Dudley Jackson loves the sea, and with dreams of bringing his kids up on the water sold the family home and moved with his wife, two kids and a dog onto a 40 foot yacht – only to find out the hard way he was one of the 25%. The dream had to be put on ice, until a new technology came along that caught his interest because it was making a lot of people sick. Dudley looked at virtual reality headsets and had a lightbulb moment. If some people found these sets created motion sickness, could they be used to reverse that feeling and get people out of it too?

It was a unique idea that with his background in IT he was able to experiment with and landed a concept. His company See-LEVEL has now picked up funding, Callaghan Innovation R&D support and is now in use with operators like the Navy, tourism companies and overseas wind farms. To talk about it all, Dudley Jackson joined us via Zoom for a chat