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Forget the Wiimote, forget the tablets, forget the PS Motion controller and forget Kinect. All of those do what they do (some better than others) but none of them do it the way PriorVR does it. Full body, video game motion tracking... for the win.
As advertised on Road to VR, Paul Yost, the CEO of YEI Technology, walks gamers through a quick two and a half minute promotional video of a full-body motion tracking rig called PrioVR. It looks like something out of a Batman or Matrix film, but it's very real... or as far as the video seems to show us.
The concept is pretty neat, as it combines a lot of motion-based control mechanics into a single product for full-body awareness. This could open up some amazing possibilities for the future of motion-based gaming.
The wireless setup is a step above all previous motion attempts, which either rely on a single device or a shoddy camera that suffers from low latency feedback. As mentioned on the official Kickstarter page...
“PrioVR uses high-performance inertial sensors to provide 360 degrees of low-latency, real-time motion tracking without the need for cameras, optics, line-of-sight, or large, awkward equipment. All PrioVR needs is you.”
There are some wires and techno-pulp involved that makes it look as if you may have stumbled right out of a Phillip K. Dick novel or some form of cyberpunk concept art, but the functionality – as was showcased in the pitch video – really gave the impression that this could be very cool.
The one thing that really stands out to me is the fact that it's compatible with other virtual reality based devices, such as the upcoming Oculus Rift, where you can not only move with 1:1 precision using the PrioVR, but you also get the full visual effect thanks to the rift. That is insane.
Even more than that is the fact that the PrioVR could be combined with another upcoming device, the Omni Treadmill, which allows for 1:1 movement tracking for walking and running in games. Just consider that combining all three devices, the PrioVR, the Omni-Treadmill and the Oculus Rift, you would have a full body virtual reality experience on par to that of The Lawnmower Man. Oh man, we've hit it... we've reached that point... we're entering Lawnmower Man territory!
If you're worried about whether or not PrioVR needs your financial help to become a reality – don't. The PrioVR has already hit its goal and then some, garnering more than 198,850 as of the writing of this article, with a goal of only $75,000. They managed to hit their goal in just a day's time. Impressive.
While Microsoft has some awesome possibilities available to them with Kinect, it doesn't look like they'll be utilizing the technology anytime soon. For those of you looking for the true full-body experience, along with support for virtual reality optics and movement-based tracking, look no further than the realm of PC gaming.
You can learn more about the PrioVR by paying a kind visit to the official Kickstarter page.