VR, or Virtual reality, is rapidly moving into the center court of the mainstream, albeit quietly. The Oculus Rift is just beginning to gain ultra coolness status with the American teen. And new applications and interactive uses for VR are being launched weekly.
A small army of investors are hoping to turn the VR experience into an every day part of suburban entertainment experience.
Key to creating that kind of appeal is ensuring the kind of high quality suspension of disbelief that makes the experience magical.
Thanks to a new development, the virtual reality experience in movie theaters and malls is about to get a whole lot more realistic.
A new tracking technology designed to to that was introduced by OptiTrack recently.
Tracking is the technology that matches up the movements and gestures of the body with virtual reality software. Readers may have already used or seen the movements of the hand mimicked by new video games, or other application.
But this new technology is a huge step forward. The company is known in the VR industry for its work with The Void and other VR startups.
It has introduced a new whole-body VR tracking solution that looks like a step closer to making location-based virtual reality mainstream.
The new solution is based on a kind of puck that is attached to both hands and feet. Combined with tracking in VR headsets and any additional wearables, they enable whole-body tracking. Very, very handy in multiplayer virtual reality worlds.
VR Is the Next Big Bet for Movie Theaters, Malls
According to a recent article in Variety “Oculus and Vive have both very good trackers — but they are limited to room-scale,” said OptiTrack Chief Strategy Officer Brian Niles.
Both Oculus Rift and Vive offer tracking that will reproduce movements in a 3D space. That is, as long as they measure between 100 and 150 square-feet.
Which is about the size of the average living room.
Definitely not effective for a commercial VR game facility.
OptiTrack realized that pretty quickly and adapted some of its technology much larger spaces. Spaces measuring 10,000 square feet and beyond.
OptiTrack’s system also allows VR facility operators to deploy a whole bunch of different props like, guns, magical wands, mushrooms, and swords.
Because the new system is attached physically to the players it allows gaming to simultaneously follow the movements of all players in VR.
“This is the first skeletal tracking of these players,” said Brian Niles.
While this may sound like a minor improvement, its a pretty big leap for a new industry. It will allow them to bring fairly high quality VR to thousands of malls and movie theaters without having to hire expensive specialists for every single location.
According to the company, “High school students will be able to run this,”.
Hardly prophetic. High school students always end up being the only ones who run anything involving new tech anyways.