zaterdag 28 september 2013

VISCOMBLOG OUT AND ABOUT – VIRTUAL REALITY UP CLOSE WITH THE OCULUS VR.

oculusvr

Palmer Luckey is on a mission to change the world of video games for ever. He has developed the

Virtual Reality-Oculus VR headset to help players dive even deeper into the gaming experience. viscomblog tested the HD prototypes at the GDC Europe game developer conference in Cologne – and is impressed.
viscomblog vor ortThe racing car takes the bends at a steady pace. The speed is not that fast. Yet it’s fast enough for me, as a passenger with an anonymous helmeted driver sitting next to me, to intuitively lean into the bends. Yet I’m not even moving – instead I’m sitting on a bench somewhere at the Cologne Exhibition Centre. The black device in front of my head looks a bit like diver’s goggles. It takes me deep into the fictitious world, creating an exceptionally realistic virtual environment around me.
The projections in the headset follow my body no matter how I move. If I look to the left I can see the profile of the driver in his racing suit sitting beside me – real enough to touch. Looking to the right I can see how the track-side ads and grass zoom past the window. The only thing I can’t see is my legs. Somehow they’ve vanished. Instead I’m looking down at the black floor of the car.
Now that I’ve got used to it I’m ready for the next level. In the “Hawken” simulation game I sit in a battle robot and shoot my way through hostile worlds. The astonishing thing is that everything I see looks real. Even if the image is not completely photorealistic, this is more than made up for by the spatial depth which the device creates – to such an extent that I start reacting by reflex to the visual stimuli.
The effect which the Oculus VR generates with its 110 degree field of vision is astounding. Everyone in the gaming sector agrees that it represents a major new departure for the industry. Luckey Palmer’s great achievement in developing the device lies not only in the outstanding full HD representation of virtual reality in a data headset, but also in the fact that it has been designed with the mass market in mind. The development kit for an Oculus Rift is available for just 300 dollars.
The Oculus VR will most likely be ready for series production in the next few months when it could become a game changer – and not only for the gaming industry. Thanks to its low cost, simple handling and astonishing effect, the headset – once it arrives on the shelves – is almost certain to be exploited by the visual communication sector, too. The Oculus can deliver good, if not superior, results in all the areas in which augmented reality is currently being experimented or worked on. Not necessarily in situations in which the visual communication is taken in by passers-by, but certainly in more intensive presentations – such as those given by architects, interior decorators or stand fitters.


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