Want More Realistic VR Movement? Put A Vive Controller In Your Pants

Gaming / Tech

We’re pretty excited about virtual reality here at Techaeris. We had some hands-on time with the HTC Vive at CES 2016 and came away quite impressed. It turns out that we could have had quite a lot more fun (but not in the way you’re probably thinking) if we’d put one of the Vive controllers in our pants. VR movement is a tricky thing. You can’t exactly walk or run across great distances in the virtual world without some sort of comparable real-world action or movement.

VR games have gotten around this largely by keeping you in the same place while playing. Sitting in a chair and looking around you with the VR headset is one way of doing things, but having your game character staying in one place usually isn’t going to result in entertaining gameplay. Using a controller to move your character while you’re sitting still in a chair can cause nausea for some people, and those crazy giant omni-directional treadmills are awesome, but aren’t really an option for most people.

An intrepid developer decided to take matters into his own hands… err, pants. Games could certainly offer the ability for you to walk in place, but without some type of directional input you’d really just be walking in a straight line. Using your hands to determine direction works, but you can move and point your arms and hands in any direction and walk in a completely different direction so it certainly wasn’t the most natural solution.

It was after some brainstorming that Ryan Sullivan learned how utterly prophetic Shakira really is: Hips don’t lie…

Your hips always point the way you are running, because that’s how legs work. After an excruciating two days of day job and life stuff I was finally able to implement it. Doing so was actually easier than I anticipated all because of the beauty of positional tracking.

Sullivan implemented the tracking into his demo and early results have been quite good. Sam Machkovech over at Ars Technica fired things up, strapped in, and got to running in place. You can see from the video below that motion and tracking is honestly pretty good.

Now, this is a great solution for moving around in VR apps and games, but it does take one of the controllers out of your hands. Maybe we can convince HTC and Valve to come up with some sort of Vive belt, or other such controller because this really seems like a great way to track VR movement.

Anybody with a Vive want to try this out and stick a controller in your pants? Give it a shot — and send us a video! Or just tell us what you think in the comments below, or on Google+, Facebook, or Twitter.

  Source: Ars Technica
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