It is very exciting time for VR. With big players like Sony, HTC and Facebook pushing VR headsets to consumers, never has this space seen such leaps of developments and investment since the 90’s with Sega arcade machines.  Both hardware & software has become more accessible, standardized & affordable as even before, growing the demand & popularity for this technology.

As this technology grows so does innovation for it which poses many possibilities yet to be explored. What type of experiences can VR offer? What type of interactions can user partake in with such technology?

It’s a bird, it’s a plane… No, it’s a bird.

Max Rheiner, Fabian Troxler and Thomas Tobler at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) formed a design project to create a VR flying experience where the user would fly like bird using bespoke hardware called “birdly”. The hardware rig requires the user to lay down and flap their arms like a bird, the rig will move with the motion and even has a fan to emulate the wind effect.

There are other VR hardware creators also experimenting with motion for such as Omi developed by Virtuix & Kat VR who are emulating the action/motion of walking or running in the game. Also emulating the use of weapons with having a physical object to use to point and fire. Also what I find interesting here isn’t just the interactions the hardware offers but how these interactions are geared towards certain gaming experiences/audiences and the possible diversity of that.

Walk and Run in VR

In this case, both treadmill hardware are aimed at core gamers who enjoy competitive experiences using first person shooters as their software. I wonder if this hardware could be used for other experiences like a Walking simulation in the jungle for the example?

This is where good game design comes in, there are so many possibilities using hardware like this with a combination of good software. If you have VR idea, get in touch.    

QA Director Chris Jones has been working in the games and tech industry for over 10 years. Chris specialises in deploying QA strategy on complex projects combining this with automation techniques he has contributed to the release of some of the most cutting edge games and technical projects.

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