Framestore and Merrell Partner for Immersive ‘walk around’ VR Experience

As anyone from Oculus VR will say on-record, the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD) is intended to be a sitting experience. It’s a line that’s been used time and again in order to distance the company from any certain legal issues of having people obscure their vision of the real world to walk around in a virtual one, but it hasn’t stopped some companies from creating demos which require the user to stand. Hiking boot company Merrell has recently revealed one such experience in partnership with visual effects studio Framestore.

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The pair have created Merrell TrailScape, an immersive Oculus Rift experience in which players walk around a virtual mountain. On display at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, USA earlier this month, users also wear a hardhat equipped with sensors that will track their movement. Crucially, the environments that players walk through are simulated in the real world, meaning that when they come to a bridge, they’ll be walking over one in the real world at the same time, or pushing themselves against a wall to navigate a narrow path.

As Adweek reports, the piece was created in part to promote Merrell’s new hiking boot, the Capra. Framestore itself has created similar VR projects in which a virtual environment is simulated in the real world such as the Game of Thrones VR Experience. Here players stand inside a lift that ascends the series’ iconic wall, and are able to actually walk around inside the space of the cage-like structure as if they were really in that world. The company has also created numerous other VR experiences as part of its recently-opened VR division.

Oculus VR itself has recently been showcasing standing demos for the Oculus Rift using the latest prototype, Crescent Bay. That said, users have had to sign health and safety forms beforehand. VRFocus will continue to follow any and all applications of VR, reporting back with any further updates on them.

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