Virtual Reality Devices

This might be of interest to those of you who are conducting research involving video game immersion. At the moment a device called the Oculus Rift is getting a lot of good press and is shaping up to be the first true “virtual reality” system/peripheral that will be viable for consumers. You can read more about it at http://www.oculusvr.com. One of the cool things about it is that the development kits only cost US$300, which means they’re fairly cheap to acquire and could conceivably be used for a whole bunch of different research purposes, gaming-related or otherwise (of course, then you’d need to source programming expertise…).

To my knowledge, the only other hardware that matches the traditional idea of “virtual reality” (i.e., full visual field immersion via eye goggles or holographic projection) has been Nintendo’s ill-fated Virtual Boy in 1995, an eye-goggle system that only displayed shades of red and allegedly causes headaches even with only moderate use (difficult to get in Australia but fairly easy to acquire from the USA), and Sony’s attractively-named PUD-J5A, a virtual reality headset for the PlayStation 2 that only released in Japan, supported around six games, and was apparently bought by nobody (it’s also really hard to find information about online and, much to my chagrin, is seemingly impossible to find for sale at present).

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  2 comments for “Virtual Reality Devices

  1. February 25, 2014 at 3:19 AM

    Norman has more information on how one might go about getting a dev kit – apparently while the cost is low, you need to be approved to get hold of them and it’s on a project by project basis. We were thinking about doing this – the programming requirement is probably C++ although there are likely to be libraries and stuff already developed by others

  2. February 25, 2014 at 3:21 AM

    Also, re motion sickness – this is a really difficult one to overcome – there will clearly be a mismatch between sensory input and self-generated motion which takes a lot of getting used to …

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