The biggest companies in the world are pouring millions of dollars into virtual reality. And watching this video, you can start to see why there’s such enormous potential.
This video shows the first time he paired an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset with the Leap Motion Controller, which can sense your hands and gestures in 3D.
The result: As you move he moves his head around and absorbs the full 3D environment, he can finally see his hands — and even his entire body — thanks to Leap’s sophisticated sensors, which are placed conveniently right in front of his eyes.
PewDiePie’s setup also allowed for augmented reality, where you can drop virtual elements into the real world, instead of putting yourself in the virtual world. So, for example, you can shoot fireballs at your adorable little pug without causing the little guy any harm. (You’re still kind of sadistic if you do this.)
The technology’s not perfect, but it suggests massive potential. Seeing your hands, and even your full body, in virtual reality, makes it truly immersive. You believe you’re there. Your actions have consequences.
Seeing yourself in virtual reality would be great for training purposes — for soldiers, or doctors, or engineers. This could even be a tool for psychologists to help their patients get over fears. Here, for instance, you can learn not to put your hands near a moving fan!
And of course, there’s games. Video games are a $US93 billion dollar market, and virtual reality makers like Oculus, Sony, Google, are working to take it mainstream. With hundreds of millions in backing, these companies will be able to incentivise developers to build innovative experiences on their burgeoning platforms.
Developers and interested buyers are already working with early hardware prototypes like the one PewDiePie has rigged up. This technology has enormous potential, and we’re looking forward to all the experiences developers bring to the table, especially with the added dimension that motion-sensing cameras bring to the table.
The full video is below, but please bear in mind there’s lots of explicit language here. You don’t need audio to enjoy what’s being demonstrated here, but you’ll probably want to listen around the 1:10 mark, where PewDiePie can actually “see” his real hands in the game for the first time.