Claiming to be “the world’s most compact and affordable VR motion simulator,” Yaw VR is a 3DoF motion system using a spherical dome design that allows for unlimited, 360-degree yaw movement and 50 degrees across the horizontal axes. The project is currently running a $150,000 crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter.

Designed and developed by Hungary-based startup Intellisense, the Yaw VR delivers 3DoF motion cues via a seat that fits neatly inside a spherical dome, whose smooth outer surface is ‘rolled’ around using small electric motors. This approach avoids the use of expensive linear actuators found in high-end motion systems, and results in a lightweight unit (33 lbs) that can fold neatly away for storage. Its $890 ‘early bird’ price and $1190 ‘standard’ price could hardly be considered impulse-buy territory for the average home VR user, but these appear to be competitive figures in an inherently expensive category of devices.

‘Affordable’ mechanical equipment tends to make compromises in certain aspects of durability and performance, but the claimed figures of the Yaw VR sound promising. Intellisense demonstrated a prototype at CES 2018 that was capable of handling a user “at least up to 150kg” (330 lbs) with performance of “120 degrees/sec with 40% of max power.” The system can support heights “up to 180-190cm,” (5’11” – 6’3”) and a larger ‘XXL’ version is planned. A more durable ‘Pro’ version is also expected to ship with the standard Yaw VR in August.

Image courtesy Intellisense

The team recently confirmed the development of steering wheel, pedal, and shifter mounts, as the system is compatible with SimTools software and therefore a huge library of existing driving, flight, and space simulators will be supported. For wired peripherals, users can set a limit on the vertical axis to avoid a tangled mess of cables.

“I don’t know yet if Yaw VR will be suitable for hard-core racing games,” wrote Zsolt Szigetlaki, founder and angel investor of Yaw VR, contributing to a recent Reddit discussion. “What I experienced is that the simulator has great dynamics, on half of the full power it could just throw me away easily. In the next couple of weeks we are working on to finalize the driving control and we will upload some car racing videos.”

There are obvious similarities to the Feel Three motion system first seen in 2014, which has yet to launch its Kickstarter campaign, but the Yaw VR has more emphasis on compact dimensions and portability. Perhaps 2018 is the year of the dome-shaped motion sim?

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