James Blaha has amblyopia or lazy eye, a condition wherein the nerves that connect one of the eyes to the brain do not develop. As a side effect, James could see only out of his “good eye,” losing depth perception in the process.
Late last year we talked about the Cyberith Virtualizer, an omnidirectional treadmill and motion sensor for use with virtual reality devices like the Oculus Rift. After three prototypes, Cyberith is now raising funds on Kickstarter to finalize and produce commercial versions of their promising device.
The final version of the Virtualizer works just like the prototype we saw last year.
At the 2014 Google I/O Conference, Google unveiled Cardboard, an inexpensive Android-based system for viewing and developing virtual reality and 3D content. As its name implies, it uses a cardboard base, along with other inexpensive items.
The Oculus Rift has seen great success even before it’s officially released. But this long interval before full production has given others the chance to survey the field and catch up. One of the more promising competitors is Beijing ANTVR Technology, whose eponymous virtual reality kit sets itself apart by being compatible not just with Windows computers but with anything that has an HDMI output.
You may have seen videos of people being floored by the virtual roller coaster demo for the Oculus Rift. Edmond O’Driscoll and Jonathan Forder recently took the experience to another level by recreating a roller coaster ride for the Rift, and then watching that recreation while riding the actual roller coaster.
A couple of years ago we featured the Decelerator, a helmet that allowed its wearer to see in slow motion. To (erroneously) promote its fiber optic Internet service, Swedish company UmeNet used an Oculus Rift to induce lag in real life.
Just because virtual reality displays let us interact with 3D interfaces doesn’t mean there isn’t room for the ol’ two-dimensional view inside of them. Oliver Kreylos, a developer who’s been working with 3D software for nearly 30 years, recently demonstrated a Virtual Network Computing (VNC) client that sends a 2D feed of a desktop computer to a 3D virtual reality environment.
Oliver’s VNC client allows him to open and interact with any number of 2D desktops on a virtual reality environment.
We can’t enter the digital world like the Flynns did just yet, but thanks to the Oculus Rift, you may be able to experience what it’s like to duke it out in a light cycle. Custom video game machine maker Luis Sobral aka The Arcade Man made an arcade game featuring Tron’s famous vehicles based on the virtual reality headset.
One of the weak points of virtual reality and 3D video technologies is that the many people won’t be excited about them unless they get to test it themselves. But a group of developers have figured out a way to use that weakness as the crux of their game.
If 13th Lab has its way, you could soon be playing first-person games using your surroundings as a battlefield. Or a space station, a temple and anything else you can imagine. The computer vision company is working on Rescape, an FPS platform for mobile devices that can scan and digitize your environment, turning it into a video game map.
Dust off your PS Move controllers. At the 2014 Game Developers Conference (GDC), Sony unveiled Project Morpheus, a virtual reality headset accessory for the PlayStation 4. The headset will work in conjunction with the PlayStation Camera, the DualShock 4 and the PS Move to bring VR to PlayStation users.
The current prototype uses its built-in accelerometer and gyroscope as well as the PlayStation Camera to achieve 360º head tracking.
Jerry’s Place is a project about nothing from programmer Greg Miller for the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. And it is unlike any other. This one recreates Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment from Seinfeld with 3D models created in Blender for the Unity game engine.
If you think Flappy Bird is hard, wait ’til you play it in first-person. Er, from a flappy bird’s eye view. Game designer Holden Link made Floculus Bird, a variant of the hit mobile game designed to be played with the Oculus Rift.
Last November we heard about VRcade, a virtual reality system that lets the user move around while wearing a VR headset, thanks to wireless wearable electronics and cameras. A company called Zero Latency is working on the Inversion Project, a very similar setup for VR poster child Oculus Rift.
We first heard about Avegant’s Glyph retinal display a few months ago, which uses tiny mirrors and optics to reflect images directly to the user’s eyes instead of using conventional displays. Now in beta, the Glyph has a new trick: a headphone mode.
We’ve seen people use the Oculus Rift to simulate beheadings. BeAnotherLab used the virtual reality headset for something less morbid but no less interesting. The organization’s The Machine to be Another was an “artistic investigation” in which the Rift was used to give participants first person views from actual people.