I Want This VR Dream To Become A Reality...

With the Oculus Rift and much speculated upon PlayStation VR headset, it feels like we're genuinely on the verge of something: like an actual change in the way we interact with video games. But in the rush towards making Virtual Reality a... 'reality' there are problems that need to be solved. The main one is -- how do we move in this new space without dousing ourselves in vomit? Maybe this insane Kickstarter can help?

That's where PrioVR hopes to come in. We've already seen tech like the Omni treadmill focusing on movement, but PrioVR hopes to be something of an all-in-one solution that integrates sophisticated motion capture tech into VR, creating an experience where the movements your body makes translates directly into the game.

Simply put: if you wear this device and swing your arm, your virtual arm will mirror that movement. It will mirror each and every movement you make.

Nice dream, right? Well, the PrioVR hopes to make this a legitimate thing and has set up a Kickstarter in order to create consumer tech that will be made available at a reasonable price point. It could happen right? The team is asking for $225,000 and is already $15k in the hole.

It looks amazing, but I always wonder about this kind of tech: just how applicable is it to our everyday lives, and how can it be genuinely integrated into current video games as this peripheral thing? The way I see it, this sort of technology can only be viable if it's marketed, packaged and sold as an all-in-one product. I say this for a number of reasons, but the main reason is this: creating the highly detailed, in-depth universes that this tech requires a high budget. These budgets are only feasible if a large amount of people are willing to pay for that experience. Selling this kind of tech in fragments makes that much, much more difficult.

Hopefully in the near future this tech can be brought under a single umbrella and sold at a reasonable price to the masses, because I need this in my life ASAP.


    I think everyone's dream for VR would be something akin to that of the matrix. Except without all the death and machine enslavement

    Can't wait to bash my shins on my coffee table... alot...

    I only kind of want this to become a reality. For me, a large part of the fun of video games is that they allow you to inhabit a role that you're unable to in real life.

    In real life, most people suck at fighting. But you give them Tekken and they can look like a master. You give them Tekken and a motion capture system and they'll go right back to flailing around like all their limbs have simultaneously developed pins and needles.

      Every time I see stuff like this or Ubisoft's next UFC (or whatever that was) for the Xbone, where they show extremely fit people doing fighting moves mirrored on the screen... and think, "no way that's going to appeal to anyone that thinks about it for more than a couple of seconds". Especially as there's a world of difference between punching/kicking air and punching/kicking a solid target.
      If they combine it with VR like the Rift, then that might mitigate the "flailing" part, but it's still gonna take some practise to figure out that the target you're hitting isn't actually there to stop your leg from continuing on its trajectory.

      Last edited 04/09/13 12:36 pm

        But for some of us that flailing around will be part of the appeal
        If I'm playing a survival game and the scenario is a normal person thrust into the situation, taking my own skills and abilities and trying to survive is of interest.
        For something like UFC or the full control thing as long as the game is good it looks like a great way to train and get fitter and better.
        There is also the game software to take into account and even soft flailing can be converted into hard strikes. The problem that hasn't been overcome with this is dealing with blocks and impact. If you are dealing with 1 to 1 capture and somebody blocks your sword, you have a magically teleporting sword for it to get back to where you are holding it.

        Personally for gaming I think the guys with the omni directional treadmill is a better option, if you plan on moving around a game world in 1 to 1 movement you need a play space that is the same size as the world to play in. Interesting tech for sure but as they have it now it seems impractical for most gaming

    My only problem with this is, say you're playing Skyrim, and you sitting around Solitude having a jolly good time, to which you then decide to walk to Riften.

    How will I walk to Riften without leaving my house?

    Last edited 04/09/13 2:11 pm


        We’ve already seen tech like the Omni treadmill focusing on movement

        Edit: from your other comments, you're clearly aware of this - but omnidirectional treadmills are the best answer currently available.

        Last edited 05/09/13 12:42 pm

    Even though its kind of cool, I don't think this stuff will be mainstream for a long time. We haven't found satisfying way for people to inhabit 'space' when their senses are distracted. The current proposed solutions would only work if you didn't have anything around you, or didn't move much at all in the sim.

    In my head, the proposed system would only work in a hollow deck environment. The view would be slightly skewed, so that in order to walk in a straight line, your actually working in a large circle. Alternatively, it could mess with your brain to make you think your moving when your not (kind of like a trance or dream state).

      I think we need to keep it to a gaming system at the moment. Which is why the one I am most looking forward to is the omni-directional treadmill, kinect and rift combo.
      Not going to be full 1 to 1 like this (which is awesome btw) but much more suited to the standard game produced these days

        I haven't used it (obviously), but the omin-directional treadmill doesn't look like a workable solution to me. You movement and speed will be massively limited due to safety issues (hence the waist bar), and it looks terribly expensive. A decent treadmill is around $1000, and I'd expect an omni directional model with smooth action to be far more.

          Yeah it costs half that - $500

            Listing price does not include shipping eeekkk

            Yeah - like I said. A decent one with a smooth action would cost far more. At that price point, they are going to have to cut some major corners.

            Edit: does this thing have a motor, or is all the movement human generated. That would bring the price down substantially.

            Last edited 04/09/13 2:11 pm

              I'm 95% sure it doesn't have a motor. I think you should research it more.

              That said, I've never tried one so I can't vouch for how good it is. I just really want it to be good ;)

                Yeah - your right. Shit, it works nothing like what I thought. Apparently you wear a special show that slots into grooves. I wonder if it will have a natural feeling action.

          As long as it is treated as a game controller then it could be ok. Button to switch between walk and run but the speed you need to move the treadmill stays the same. Otherwise it becomes a dedicated controller for Dear Esther.
          Price could be an issue but I guess that one is a wait and see

    the concept is great, I just don't see how it can be done at home :-S
    could be great fun for an on the rails hack and slash but

    Call me cynical... but many people already seem to resent being asked to move or talk when using Kinect/PS Move/other non-traditional input methods — who is really going to play with some sort of VR device if it's anything more than a headset that just enables you to use a controller or keyboard/mouse with a more immersive view and perspective?

    There may be health and well-being benefits if it does require movement 'n people can only play games for 30-60 minutes before becoming exhausted and needing a break, but I suspect that's more of a niche exercise/fitness market — virtual rowing or boxing or whatever, not Call of Duty; not without dumbing things down and taking out the "reality" part of VR.

    I dunno. Good technology, but not sure the gaming world is going to see anywhere near the best of it.

      I agree, in that I hate motion control.
      I hate the motion control that you use just for the sake of a gimmick.
      waving a wand around to pretend to bowl is a novelty that wore off very quickly for me.
      However using a kinect to play DDR or other dance games is more appealing. I'm not really into those games but if you like to dance then they work pretty well. Sure it's not the same thing as a 3 hour COD match but that's why we play our own things.

      No one's saying you have to run on a treadmill to make your car accelerate in a racing game.

      The point of all this new VR tech becomes more obvious when it's utilised properly.
      Is VR with TF2 or Mirrors edge going to be good? I don't think so. You can jump high and far, rocket jump and move too fast in TF2 to make it feel natural.
      However with a racing sim or ARMA3 (hell even BF3), the realism factor becomes a major drawing point.
      I'm not going to wave my arms to play a 2D platformer, but If I can fully immerse myself inside skyrim with everything but smell... that would be awesome. And not to mention the benefits of exercise.

      Sure there'll be nights when I just want to sit on the couch and some things like say diablo just wont work in VR, but there are other applications where the possibilities are very interesting

    I love what they've done here. It's a big missing link in the VR experience.
    The other major one now is making it fairly cordless (or at least backpack mounted), and having an omni-directional treadmill.
    Yes I know about the Omni but I think that tech still needs a lot of improvements before it properly simulates movement.
    That being said I haven't tried one and even though the videos look a bit goofy, the overall experience may be much better than expected.

    also @markserrels
    there are other applications than just gaming.
    virtual travel
    rehabilitation (both physical and mental)
    cheaper motion capture
    probably advertising/marketing

    imagine a real warehouse, that's fully mapped and rendered and you can run around that warehouse (in game and IRL) but with monsters and enemies. Kind of a augmented reality.
    Or even have cameras on the rift to be able to augment anything they see.
    Throw a laptop in a backpack and you can go play COD at your local park or some sort of location aware multiplayer game...
    The possibilities are endless.

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