We’re getting an Oculus Rift Dev Kit

Before you get jealous of the massive amount of sway that hackaday must’ve tossed at these guys to get a dev kit, don’t be. We just funded the kickstarter like everyone else. This is exciting news though since, as you probably know, I’m very fond of immersive gaming and have always craved a strong VR rig.

We are expecting our dev kit some time in December. I have no idea exactly what we’ll do with it. Right now [John Carmak] has made the iD engine work with it and it ships with Doom3. They’ve stated that it will work with the Unreal engine as well. Even though I saw [Gabe Newell] from valve in the video, I don’t see any source engine compatibility in the list. I really would love to see that one added, especially since Valve released the source film maker for free.

So, who has ideas about what to do with this? I’d like to build a telepresence rig with stereo vision, possibly mounted on a radio controlled car chassis.

Where is my *%$#! virtual reality display?

For years I’ve been asking, loudly and frequently, where’s my F*&#$%ing virtual reality?  I realize that many of us, depending on what influenced our dreams of VR will have different definitions, so let me elaborate. When I was a kid, I played Dactyl Nightmare at the Union station in St. Louis. You stepped inside this “stage”, donned a massive clunky headache inducing HMD, and brandished a floating joystick of doom to challenge other players and a flying Pterodactyl.  I was awe struck. My 12 year old brain decided that this was the future.

[Read more...]

VR! now with more kinect, wiimote, and vuzix

Those of us that remember when you could actually go to a mall and play on a VR game machine, tend to remember it fondly. What happened? The computing horsepower has grown so much, our graphics now days are simply stunning, yet there’s been no major VR revival. Yeah, those helmets were huge and gave you a headache, but it was worth it.  With the 3d positioning abilities of the latest game crazes, the Wiimote and the Kinect, [Nao_u] is finally taking this where we all knew it should have gone(google translated). Well, maybe we would have had less creepy anime faces flying around squirting ink, but the basics are there. He has created a VR system utilizing the Wiimote for his hand position, a Vuzix display for head positioning, and the kinect for body tracking. Even with the creepy flying heads I want to play it, especially after seeing him physically ducking behind boxes in the video after the break. Long live VR!

[Read more...]

Scan room, explore virtually

[Patrick] directed us to his project for alternate realism. The final goal is to be able to walk around in a space wearing a head mounted display, exploring a virtual representation of that space. This virtual representation could be altered, stylized, augmented and modified in countless ways. It is an exploration in perception, similar to enjoying different styles of painting, we could enjoy different styles of viewing a real space. Currently, it isn’t quite real time. He has to scan a room with a somewhat bulky device, then plug into his display to explore it. Being able to scan quickly and reliably enough shouldn’t be far off. [Patrick] notes that others have done almost real time scans at home already.

Perspective tracking with only a web cam

[Johhny chung Lee], eat your heart out. Check out what these guys are doing with face tracking and immersive 3d as their final project in class. They’re using a singe camera and an FPGA to produce the demo you see in the video. Facial tracking is done by skin color, so that might have some issues in some environments, but being able to have perspective shift with you, without rigging up some more hardware is fantastic.

We realize that this is completely different that what [Johnny] is doing. We love [Johnny]‘s work and think it is ground breaking to be able to pull this stuff off with a cheap game controller. We just couldn’t help but draw the parallel from the end result.

[thanks Bruce]

Mouse runs through VR maze

vr_mouse_setup

In an effort to determine the brain of animals during movement, scientists have built this contraption. It is a VR pod for a mouse. While we’re pretty sure/hopeful that none of you need a mouse VR system, we think the rig is interesting enough to stand on its own. It appears to be a convex mirror setup, projected in a dome. The controller is interesting in that it looks like a giant trackball hack. They’re using an optical mouse rigged to a ball floating on a cushion of air. This makes it much easier for the mouse to move. There’s a video of the whole thing in action after the break.

[Read more...]

Augmented FPS gaming

aug

[MikeFez] sent in this info about his augmented FPS set ups. He started this project back with an original XBox in   2006. He wanted a more immersive way of interacting with his games. Pointing out that gaming visuals and interactivity have come leaps and bounds while the controllers themselves have basically just added a few buttons, he explains his goals. He wanted to have to move his body to move his character and possibly physically aim. The original project, for the XBox, was successful in that he used a floor pad to control his character. Since then, the Wii has come out and he has moved to the PC as his main platform. As expected, he is now using the Wiimote as the aiming device.