VOID turns real environments into other worlds
A virtual reality project called VOID (Vision Of Infinite Dimensions) has been launched in the US which lets users move around and fully immerse themselves in virtual environments. VOID frees users from the typical VR experience of remaining stationary and 'moving around' using controllers or omni-directional treadmills. VOID uses a dedicated physical space which, when the user dons a headset with dual, curved OLED displays, transforms into a fully explorable virtual environment.
The VOID setup consists of a Rapture head mounted display, a lightweight Rapture vest with haptic feedback points and special gloves for the user to interact with the virtual environment around them.
Although initially aimed at gaming applications Ken Bretschneider, CEO of VOID, suggested these spaces would be set up as visitor attractions in their own right with low fees of €25 per user. He likened the difference between cheap consumer VR systems and VOID to watching a DVD at home and going to an IMAX theatre. He envisages games would change throughout the year like new releases from the film industry are handled. He predicts the technology will have applications in education to enable students to have engaging interactions with subject matter they are learning about.
With museums already increasingly looking at VR to offer visitors a means to experience particular events, places or times in history, VOID looks like it could also be a natural progression in quality of experience. One could imagine there may be scope for such technology at large corporate headquarters too, where there is often space set aside to let visitors experience the history and background of the business.
VOID is planning to open its first dedicated centre to users next year in its home state of Utah.