Adding realism to a Virtual Reality world with touch and motion

18 October 2016
Adrian Tingle

Adding realism to a Virtual Reality world with touch and motion

 

The rebirth of Virtual Reality (VR) in its current state has brought endless possibilities for experiencing and exploring an infinite number of scenarios. Our team of mad scientists have been tinkering and exploring ways to make these worlds and experiences ‘come to life’. Using a mixture of existing and bespoke software and hardware (including suspending people from a forklift and twirling on office chairs), our aim is to add a number of physical inputs to a VR experience (which is largely based only on sight), to make the experience more realistic.  

 

VR, racing simulators and motion

Much of our focus with VR has been on combining the headsets with our racing simulators to create a realistic driving experience. Once we successfully accomplished that, we started working on adding lifelike motion and touch to the experiences.

We have added every type of motion possible; realistic movement of the car or motorbike, force feedback steering, seat belt tensioning and even wind to blow in the driver’s face. The only thing we need to do to make driving simulation more realistic is to waft the smell of burnt rubber and petrol fumes in to the drivers face, Google Nose  could have helped with this… 

 

Our work with Virtual Reality and the ‘fourth dimension’

We hire out a number of simulators that are compatible with Virtual Reality:

 

Racing simulators 

Helicopter simulator 

Football simulator 

Skiing simulator

 

When using the HTC Vive, the technology allows movement in a 3D worlds and the use of hand controllers for incredibly dextrous movements. These are limited to a 3m x 3m walking space in events, but the experience of moving in a 3D virtual world is incredible. 

 

We have developed methods of adding realistic controllers to the game. This is a niche market for us and it has enabled us to virtually kick ass in bringing these experiences to a new level of realism. Our next challenge involves the use of wind in a virtual world, which is currently quite a rudimentary offering. We are working on a multitude of methods to integrate this with games and video experiences. 

 

All in all its a very exciting time and we are paving the way for incredible, immersive and modern experiences which, quite frankly, everyone should experience! 

Adrian Tingle

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