Free Walking With the Samsung Gear VR
One Russian studio is showing how you can walk around in virtual reality with the Gear VR.Last week, SVVR kicked off in San Jose, CA with a packed floor of companies showing off their latest and greatest in VR hardware and software (watch our video here).Among all the fantastic demos, tucked away in the back, was a booth from Moscow-based VR studio Interactive Lab. The company was showing off their “Move In VR” project, letting you freely roam within the bounds of their booth all while donning a Samsung Gear VR headset.Whether visiting a virtual art gallery, walking around an apartment, or blasting aliens crawling towards you, this untethered experience was all powered by a Gear VR headset and motion capture system.The creators of the system were excited to see room-scale VR systems like the HTC Vive go on sale, letting you walk around and interact with the virtual world. But when it came to mobile phone powered headsets like the Gear VR, you were always limited to a sitting or standing experience. This is when Interactive Lab decided they needed to try and mash together a motion capture system for tracking and the phone’s built-in sensors for rotation tracking, creating the “Move In VR” system.“In the very beginning, working with Oculus Rift DK1/2 we understood that restrictions imposed by wires between a server and a headset were a real obstacle for diving into VR,” commented Interactive Lab’s Creative Director Anton Skiter. “The need of free movements appeared naturally while working with wireless VR headsets, even head rotations are much more comfortable without wires.”In addition to using an Optitrack Mocap system to track where the headset is while walking around, the team also attached tracking markers to gamepad controllers or guns that can be used as interactive elements in VR.Interactive Lab, who has worked with brands like Audi and Air France, continue to experiment with a number of VR projects for the Gear VR, including a multi-user synced VR cinema experience that let’s users watch a movie in a group setting all at the same time.