Have you ever had those dreams where you thought you could fly? Sometimes I’ve had dreams so detailed, that my arms were like wings and carried me far above the city and I could fly where I wanted. Well, those dreams might not be just dreams anymore. A new device for the Oculus Rift allows for full-body flight simulation—and you even get to flap your arms like wings.
Birdly is a flight simulator integrated with devices like the Oculus Rift that supposedly gives you a better-than-reality flying experience. Writer Joshua Batson of Wired documented his first experience using Birdly, saying,
You bend over a padded frame, strap on a tight headset and headphones, then hook your hands into wooden wings. But then the screen flips on and you find yourself floating above the city, watching your bird-shadow drifting across the rooftops. If you crane your neck, you can see your brown feathers ruffling in the breeze. After a few seconds, flying feels natural.
Batson’s experience included a flight over San Francisco using real landscape and building placements in the city. You can see an example of a Birdly demo to understand how the process of fitting into Birdly is a little awkward.
So you’re given the opportunity to be able to flap actual wings to fly over parts of the world. But what’s really intriguing is how far this device could take virtual reality. Check out the gameplay using Birdly below.
What’s fascinating about this device is the possibilities that could come along with it. Your weekends could be filled with flying around Yellowstone National Park or visiting the Great Wall Of China. What happens when virtual travel becomes a thing? I think devices like Birdly are just the tip of the iceberg of virtual travel. Maybe certain locations would be like purchasing a game pack: London, Tokyo, Bangkok or Hawaii. But what makes Birdly so enticing is, of course, the ability to fly. Humankind has been looking for the key to human flight for years, and maybe this is just the beginning of experiencing it.
There isn’t a known release date yet, but it is suppose to release this year for the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR. An official price hasn’t been pegged either. You can find more information on the device on the official website.