Bringing reality into the world of VR

phys.org | 3/1/2017 | Staff
TwiztedGurl (Posted by) Level 3


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be inside your favourite video game, movie or even a historical location?

Imagine walking around inside a restored Colosseum in Rome or helping Ridley take on the alien as you plan your escape. Or what about jumping on a light cycle for a while in Tron?

Reality - VR - Leaps - Bounds - Decade

Virtual reality (VR) has been making leaps and bounds in the past decade, but there's still a big hurdle the hardware needs to overcome before it goes mainstream—the cable.

Most modern VR headsets are limited by their need for a cable to power the hardware, tethering you to a computer if you want to enter the virtual world.

Terms - Reality - Hand - Hand

Because of this, the terms 'free roaming' and 'virtual reality' don't normally go hand in hand.

But three WA engineers have come up with their own solution to VR's cable problem, and it's not just a prototype—you can try it out most weekends.

Team - One - Idea - VR - Environment

Ready Team One started developing their idea of a free-roaming VR environment back in 2017.

Having seen a VR setup with limited movement and no body tracking, James Tang, Scott Whiteley and Chris Cheng set about making their own hardware system to make cableless VR a reality.

Parts - People - James - One - Perth

"One of the hardest parts was getting people to understand exactly what we were offering," James says. "No one in Perth is offering this type of experience we've built."

Using off-the-shelf parts, the trio built a custom backpack system to carry all the hardware needed to play VR untethered.

Game - First - Contact - Environment - Players

They programmed a game, First Contact, where you can interact with both the environment and other players, working as a team to face the challenges in front of you—fighting off alien creatures and completing puzzles using your hands.

"We wanted to bring in full body tracking," James says, "so you can move all your fingers and your legs...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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