2016 is shaping up to be the year the world gets virtual — with immersive head-mounted displays coming from the likes of Facebook, Sony, HTC (and Valve) and Microsoft–but so far we’ve mostly seen individual, tethered, seated experiences. Can’t we do better? The minds behind Real Virtuality think so: they’ve made a full-scale, motion-captured virtual reality platform with multi-user support.
Imagine it — you’re walking through an ancient Egyptian tomb, and you spot a small artifact on the ground. You bend over and pick it up, carrying it in your left hand. Further down the hall you encounter a fellow archaeologist examine a sarcophagus, but they can’t see it in the dim light. You hand them your torch, and now they can see everything. That’s exactly what you can do with two players in Real Virtuality, using your real hands, arms and feet. Check it out, it looks awesome:
Sadly, it’s not something that’s likely to come to your living room. Real Virtuality uses a large-scale, infrared motion-capture system that requires a 1:1 physical recreation of a digital space. Think of it as an elaborate set dressing for your imagination, kind of likeProject Holodeck. Still, it’s enthralling to watch players reach out and grab things as naturally as they wood in real life — or play catch with a lit torch. It’s almost enough to make me wish Disney was updating DisneyQuest, not closing it.