Tesla Studios (no relationship to Tesla Motors) recently announced that it has developed a full-body suit that will give the wearer a sensory experience to match the visual experiences now available through virtual reality headsets. Called the Teslasuit, it relies on neuro-muscular electrical stimulation technology also used in medicine, electrotherapy and professional sports to offer both tactile stimulation and temperature control.
High-end PC gaming has never been a cheap endeavor, and the same goes for high-end, PC-based virtual reality. Oculus Rift pre-orders kicked off today, and the headset is priced at the upper end of our prediction window, for a healthy US$599.
If you want the very best virtual reality, that's probably going to mean using one of the Windows PC-based headsets. There you're going to have two major choices right out of the gates: the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. While the Rift is gearing up for its consumer launch, we got a look at the new HTC Vive Pre dev kit today.
Shooting 3D VR footage can be expensive and difficult. However, the Vuze camera from HumanEyes Technologies could make it more accessible thanks to a sub US$1,000 price tag and an easy-to-use design. The flying saucer-shaped device uses eight cameras dotted around its circumference, and comes with tools needed to help produce, edit and enjoy your VR creations.
Virtual reality is one of the hottest technologies on show at this year's CES, and HTC has joined the party by announcing a new version of its VR headset, the Vive Pre. It's still only available to developers for the time being, but it includes upgrades and improvements that are eventually going to make their way to the consumer version later this year.
It's easy to forget, but the Oculus Rift began as a Kickstarter project more than three years ago. Though backers who pledged a minimum amount received the Rift dev kit they were promised years ago, Oculus is honoring its first supporters by also giving them a free consumer version of the Rift.
Figment VR is designed to be inexpensive, unobtrusive, minimalist ... and did we mention it's a phone case? The two-ounce VR viewer folds away like origami when not in use, disappearing into a slick and protective polycarbonate and aluminum case.
VR hasn't really gotten off the ground yet, so it's a little premature to say that controlling your movement with a game controller is a "problem." But for virtual reality to become more lifelike, it will need more lifelike ways of moving around. Perhaps a small step in that direction is 3DRudder, a pressure-sensitive foot controller for VR gaming.
The original Oculus Rift Kickstarter went live in August 2012, and since then it's been a long, long wait for the finished consumer version of the headset to go on sale. That wait is almost over: pre-orders officially start this Wednesday, January 6 at 8am Pacific Time.
We already knew that Oculus' Touch controllers, which give you hands inside virtual worlds, wouldn't be shipping alongside the Rift in Q1, but today the Facebook-owned company announced a delay in the ship date for the wireless accessories.