Jul 20, 2012

Oculus Rift and Project Holodeck: The Calm Before the Storm

Right now the world is waiting patiently for Palmer Luckey of Oculus to launch the Kickstarter campaign for his $500 video game compatible head mounted display kit.

The Oculus Rift kit as shown by John Carmack at E3 2012.

Although this is a product aimed at enthusiasts more than consumers, the gaming world is abuzz with the possibilities. John Carmack has taken a huge interest in the project and has helped guide Oculus into the position they’re in right now. Important companies like Sixense and gaming luminaries like Cliff Bleszinski have also checked out the HMD. Could real VR gaming finally be on the horizon?

The History of Project Holodeck:

A few months before E3 and the creation of Oculus, Palmer and James Iliff and myself were attending the IEEE Virtual Reality conference in Orange County, CA.

It was here that the idea for Holodeck was born: a VR video game, inexpensive headmounts, body tracking, wind-based haptic feedback, binaural audio, smell systems, etc. Palmer also had one more great idea that day: have the game take place on an airship. Enter Wild Skies.

Click here to read more about Wild Skies.

The rest is history. Project Holodeck is now a huge project at USC with a bunch of talented people contributing. Oculus is getting ready for their Kickstarter debut and we’re getting ready to produce the world’s first co-operative full-body consumer facing Virtual Reality video game.

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  • You guys should seariously consider the portable omni-directional treadmill, designed by Swedish company MSE Weibull. I mean, freeing yourself from a 20×20 room to an infinite expanse? Cant see how you wouldnt :)

  • This site is AWESOME! SO pumped!

  • Thanks Mark! :)

  • That’s a fascinating idea. Omni-directional treadmills are the ultimate hardware for locomotion in VR, the only issues being cost, size, and that they can’t support two players in a single space. The MSE treadmill is a beautiful piece of technology, though. Any idea of the price?

  • They want about 120,000 Euro.

  • Oh wow. That’s not exactly consumer friendly!

  • 120,000 euros? Thats madness. Surely a competitor could make one of those at a fraction of the cost?

    Ive been wondering, there any other treadmills out that you guys have your eyes on? And do you think affordable variants will come once VR tech has matured a bit, in say 2-5 years? Perhaps fellows at you university could develop something like this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q97QxnLlDcI

  • I smell a troll..

  • That’s a cool concept for an omni-directional treadmill, thanks for the link! At the moment such a mechanical device would be prohibitively expensive, and it does limit the play space to a single user, however in five years’ time there’s no reason why these kinds of devices could not be much cheaper and mass produced.

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Holodeck Collaborators

Holodeck Collaborators