I spent the weekend with a Vive Pre set up at my house in a 4 meter (12 foot) by 2 meter (6 foot) space, and toured friends through Audioshield, Space Pirate Trainer, Budget Cuts, Fantastic Contraption, theBlu, Job Simulator, The Lab, The Brookhaven Experiment and Tilt Brush. I’ve known these folks since college and I’ve shown them a variety of things in VR over the last few years, including the Gear VR and Oculus Rift DK2. This was different, though.
This was room-scale VR and unlike previous demos, the only apology I had to make for VR this time was that they could get tangled up with the cord during intense movement. Well, that, and I also have to apologize for failing to enforce a must-wear-wrist-strap policy. During a particularly animated session of Audioshield one controller escaped a friend’s grasp and went flying toward the wall. Aside from a scrape, it seems to be operating fine.
If the incident reminds you of the Nintendo Wii’s motion controllers, you wouldn’t be alone.
Just broke our 65″ plasma with a @htcvive controller hit during a demo #wiisyndrome @lavalvirtual #forcefeedback pic.twitter.com/G1sB0n71D1
— Alexandre Bouchet (@alextactac) March 25, 2016
Thankfully, the controller in my VR room flew into an unoccupied corner.
Always Wear The Wrist Strap
Aside from real-world projectile that, thankfully, hit nothing human or fragile, the VR system from HTC powered by Valve’s SteamVR platform seemed to be a hit overall, albeit none of my friends said they would rush out and buy one for $800.
One friend giggled when she threw a blanket of stars around her Tilt Brush creation, another dance-punched the musical orbs in Audioshield while another ripped through the robots in Budget Cuts, completing the demo in just a few minutes. I tried live streaming green-screened VR too, though I can only film proper mixed reality in Fantastic Contraption so far.
Fast-growing subreddit r/Vive is reporting what seems to be a wave of pre-orders going through this week, with credit cards charged over the weekend. As more of these gadgets are received by enthusiasts we’re going to see a lot more videos hitting the Internet showing the gadget in action, both in mixed reality and single-reality footage, and I’d hate to see people repeat my mistake of not making sure everyone wears the wrist strap. It could have been a lot worse.