Virtual reality games are not something new, they’ve been around us for more than 20 years now. Back in the days, when they just started to appear, I remember playing them, and I have to tell you, although at the time I thought they were amazing – they really sucked! I really feel that the time had come, for me to have a corrective experience – and that is exactly what THE VOID virtual reality entertainment centers are promising to do.
THE VOID is a start-up located in salt lake city, Utah. They are working on bring back virtual reality games back to life. What is special, is they are planning to take them to a whole new level, never been seen or done before.
Why is it so Special?
The reason I am so exited about this new VR entertainment center, is not the fact that the graphics will surely be mind blowing, or that the equipment they are going to use is top notch. The real reason that I am exited is that they are creating the place in a predefined location of elements and physical space. This will allow them to match what is happening in the real world to the action within the virtual world. For example: you can lift objects that are located in the physical world and carry them around, you can press on panels in the wall and get a physical reaction and interaction within the virtual world. If you think that is nice, they took it a step forward, and placed additional atmosphere enhancement elements like fans, smoke, sprinkles and steam that are contributing to the overall experience.
Being a virtual environment, the player is constantly tracked by various sensors in the room, but not only. The player also carries with him a full set of sensors and experience enhancing wearable devices, in the form of HMD (head mounted device), vest and gloves.
The device has some cutting edge technology features:
- Dual curved 1080p OLED Displays – that maximize the field of vision for the player
- High quality THX headphones – that supplies great audio quality
- Super-gain inline microphones – for communication between the players
- Global head tracking sensors
Unlike in the old school laser shooting games, where the player wore a vest so the opponent could hit him with a laser beam, these vests are out of this world. They not only act as additional sensors, but they also allow a physical kind of feedback in reaction to the actions that happen in the virtual world, like the stroke of a sword or a touch. They are able to mimic different kinds of feedback to various interactions with the player.
Little was revealed about the gloves, but they will probably allow the tracing of the player hand movement and interaction within the virtual space, like touching buttons and other actions of that sort.
Another device that plans for the centers is a motion sit-in simulator that has the ability to move in all directions and rotate to allow the experience of games like aircraft and mech battles.
When is THE VOID Virtual Reality Center Opening?
The 1st center is planned to be open in the summer of 2006 at Pleasant Grove, Utah. The center is planned to have 7 rooms, or gaming pods, as they call them, that will allow the players to experience different kind of games and scenarios within them.
Oh, I wish I could be there at opening night to enjoy that ultimate experience.