With virtual reality making strides forward, developers and programmers using Oculus Rift are showing what the future could look like.

Virtual reality is not a new thing, though it has always been shoddy at best. Recent advances in augmented reality have helped to give developers of the technology new ideas, though. Oculus Rift, a project funded by KickStarter is helping to make a dying dream a reality again. Third parties are even giving you a chance to expand on it by offering interactions with the virtual world and who better to demo it then a cast from MikuMikuDance.


Oculus Rift uses two lenses to create a 3D experience for your eyes. Coupled with head tracking technology, the rest of your senses become immersed as well as your brain falls for the trick. Users of the prototype have  commented that it responds really well to any movement, meaning the tracking chip is certainly up to par. Because of the way it’s mounted, it also ensures a clean cut off from outside vision, placing the user completely in the virtual world. It also has the ability to display what the wearer is seeing on an external monitor, making programming and observation easier.


NicoNico videos of programmers using the demo interface shows that their taking it a step farther though by integrating the RazerHydra to act as your hands in the virtual world. This controller can read motion controls one-to-one, and can even be programmed to register closed and opened hand signals. That means you can play with Miku’s hair as much as you like, or you can even give her a gentle poke.


That’s not where the fun stops though, because you can also hold your own, personal VOCALOID concert. Not only that, but because of the way head tracking on the machine works, given extension cables you can walk around the concert and it will give you a full 360 degree view. As a point of reference, a marker on the floor will send information to Oculus Rift, working as an AR Card for the virtual world. Objects around the room can also be picked up to act as items in the virtual world via motion tracking. While not as elaborate as the RazerHydra, it can still give the feeling of touching Miku.


Miku isn’t the only VOCALOID getting attention in Oculus Rift either, as Internet Co Ltd’s Megpoid, or Gumi, also receives a virtual reality treatment. The setup to interact with her is a little more obvious than the blackroom concert hall, with a monitor for motion capture and displaying the virtual reality images at the foreground for reference. To keep track of where the person is, this time a set of motion sensors is placed around the room. You may notice that there are no motion capture dots being worn by the person interacting, nor are there any green dots around the room. That’s because he is holding the sensor for the negi (leek/onion), Miku’s character item, and another is mounted to the monitor on his Oculus Rift. This allows the user to get a better view, as well as a better angle to interact with the model.


If you think having an entire motion capture set up would be a waste to just play with Gumi’s hair, you would be partially right as they do move into the more traditional motion capture suit and turn the user into Miku. That’s right, you can not only interact with Miku, but now you can also become the world’s number one princess.


 This goes one step beyond the Kinect MMD plug in, where you could record motion as a model, and lets you become an MMD model yourself, in this case TDA Miku. From there you can also interact with other objects in the room. When the model was set to Gumi and the user stood in front of a monitor, it became a mirror.


With the technology still in its infant stages and so much already being accomplished, consumer-ready virtual reality games can only be a few years away, and with it, very real VOCALOIDs.

Source: Nico Nico Douga


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