Noah J Nelson on Wednesday, Dec. 11th
Apologies for the hacky headline, but they’re all the rage… and these three bits from the edge of the game design world did blow my mind. At least the connotations of what is being showed and discussed managed to paint a picture of a near future that feels oh so very sci-fi.
First up is an augmented reality project that uses the Oculus Rift as its base.
The AR-Rift is an experiment by designer William Steptoe that mixes off the shelf webcams, custom 3-D printed parts, motion capture tech and the Rift to create an augmented reality interface. The neatest little touch? The user switches between the augmented reality and virtual reality views by putting on a virtual Oculus Rift.
YO DAWG! I HEARD YOU LIKE VIRTUAL REALITY, SO I PUT VIRTUAL REALITY IN YOUR VIRTUAL REALITY.
Sorry, couldn’t resist.
This is an early-on experiment, but Steptoe shows that a lot is possible with the systems already in place.
Second up on the list is actually a bit of a disappointment. Not from a tech standpoint, but from a financing one.
The team producing Reactive Grip, a touch feedback system for VR and video games, failed to reach their Kickstarter goal today. The technology itself, which adds a sensation of weight to hand-held interfaces, looks to be opening up a lot of possibilities for designers.
Unfortunately technology like this is difficult to demo using just a pitch video. Sure, makers Tactical Haptics trot out a whole slew of VR evangelists to give the project the thumbs up, but in the brave new world of immersive gaming seeing is no longer believing. You have to feel as well.Running a campaign during the holidays probably didn’t help either.
Not that this is likely the end. Here’s the dirty secret of tech Kickstarter campaigns: they are not always last-ditch efforts. While I have no inside information to back this hunch up, I don’t think this is the last we’ve heard of Reactive Grip. Not if the look on Oculus VR founder Palmer Lucky’s face in the pitch video is anything to go by.
Finally there’s this little tidbit from Valve founder and CEO Gabe Newell that was dug out by KillScreen Daily this week:
Our ability to talk directly to people’s brains is getting better a lot faster and a lot sooner than I expected. There’s research going on right now to fully generate images inside of people’s brains.
Maybe all these goggles, glasses and screens won’t be needed after all.