Video games have made interaction with a visual medium possible, enabling people to explore countless virtual worlds. Technology has now reached the next plateau – virtual reality in the third dimension.

With VR, people will finally be able to step into these virtual worlds, interact with characters and experience an entirely new form of entertainment. However, technology is continually evolving, and over the next few years it will be natural to look ahead at what the next generation holds.

The question is, what can further augment the virtual reality experience?

The Gadget Show

British television series ‘The Gadget Show’ attempted to answer this question through the creation of a video game simulator using Battlefield 3, a first person shooter, coupled with a number of other technologies.

Using an Igloo Vision immersion dome, and five high definition projectors pushing the game onto a wrap around 360-degree screen, players can step into the world of the game. Overhead cameras track the player on an omni-directional treadmill, meaning walking around is possible.

These cameras also allow jumping and crouching, helping players to seamlessly navigate an environment.

Further to this, 12 paint ball guns are rigged to fire whenever the player is shot within the game. The addition of these guns means taking cover while playing is essential.

When playing the simulator, British SAS Commander Andy McNab claimed he “felt right at war”, when speaking to The Gadget Show.

Looking ahead

A number of other options exist within this space, especially given the vast range of entertainment current available. The challenge will be incorporating these technologies on a small scale.

VR mitigates the need for massive screens, but movement and feedback are still considerations. The best option may lie will using new types of controller that offer greater feedback.

Outside of the VR space, lighting technologies could be used to dynamically alter the colour of the room, corresponding to what’s seen within the game.

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