Our editors have compiled a list of the “Top 5 Strangest VR Gadgets” for your enjoyment. Which ones are your favorites?
5. 100 Million Pixel Virtual Reality Room
Iowa State University’s 100 million pixel virtual reality room — 10-foot by 10-foot — just got $4 million in equipment upgrades, including an HP computer with 96 GPUs, twenty four Sony digital projectors, an eight-channel audio system, and ultrasonic motion tracking technology.
There’s a tsunami of information coming toward you and you have to convey it effectively. We think this kind of large-scale, immersive interface is the only way to develop sophisticated controls
MetaMersion is a “cutting-edge gaming platform designed to let you play your favorite PC-based game titles in a fully immersive, virtual reality environment.”
You “step inside” the game and move through the virtual landscape — just as you would do in the real world. You can: physically walk around; crouch and take cover behind virtual objects; shoot around corners; look up, down, and even behind you
3. Virtual Reality Air Guitar
Here’s a VR gadget for music lovers: the “Virtual Reality Air Guitar”. Basically, “you pull on a pair of orange gloves (for the image tracking to recognise what your hands are doing), press the start pedal, and swing your right hand as if you were strumming a big chord and that’s exactly what happens.”
Play hard enough with feeling, and you start getting screaming distortions. It’s easy enough that you can pick it up in ten seconds, but especially the solo mode has just enough freedom for every solo to be different
The VirtuSphere takes gaming to a whole new level, allowing users to walk inside a virtual space “while being totally immersed” — through the head-mounted display system. Built-in sensors detect movement and transmit that information to a linked computer. A special platform inside the sphere allows it to rotate in any direction as the user walks.
The VirtuSphere is currently the only technology in the world, which permits the user to move about in virtual space through the most natural movement of all – by walking.
1. Powered Shoes
Developed by Hiroo Iwata, Hiroshi Tomioka and Hiroaki Yano (University of Tsukuba), these “Powered Shoes”” are “mounted on top of a set of three motorized rollers” and “connected by cable to a computer on the user’s back.”
The fun doesn’t end there. The computer is also connected to a virtual reality helmet worn by the participant. So little to no room is needed to truly experience a virtual reality world where you can walk around anywhere