As the developers of the poster child for the forthcoming virtual reality (VR) the team at CCP Newcastle clearly have a lot of opinions about the technology, as well as both good and bad experiences in developing for it. One of the pioneers of the EVE Valkyrie project however, Sigurdur ‘Siggi’ Gunnarsson, Senior Programmer on EVE Valkyrie, is convinced that the technology is already at a point where it’s ready for consumers.
Speaking with VRFocus at EVE Fanfest 2014 earlier this month, Siggi was particularly enthusiastic about VR technology as well as software design. When asked about the next stage of VR hardware development, Siggi begins by discussing the present state of affairs with the primary input; head-mounted displays (HMDs).
“The head-mounted displays are getting really good.” Suggests Siggi. “What Oculus has planned for the consumer kit is going to be really good. DK2 is already beyond what I expected the first consumer kit to be.”
As positive as this statement is, Siggi isn’t blind to the fact that there remains flaws in the design of the hardware of the Oculus Rift HMDs. Furthermore, he believes that the HMD is in fact only the first step in an important chain linking the initial purchasers to the eventual mass market adoption.
“Even though it’s not perfect, it’s getting really really good. I know they have some hard challenges ahead of them; you know, how to solve… make it comfortable so anyone can use it. But input is going to be the next thing because when you put this thing on you block everything else out. You can’t use a keyboard, you can’t use a mouse. You’re fumbling.”
Siggi suggested a number of different options for motion-control devices at EVE Fanfest 2014, but maintained that none were quite right for VR at this time.
“For me, getting the hands in there is going to be the next big thing.” States Siggi. “Low-hanging fruit for this is going to be holographic interfaces… you have floating things in front of you and you touch them with your fingers. That’s something we need to get solved relatively soon.”
VRFocus met with several members of the EVE Valkyrie development team at EVE Fanfest 2014 and will bring you full video interviews, hands-on previews and additional coverage very soon.