It’s nearly three years on since the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display passed its Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign and input remains an issue for VR videogames. Creating a realistic way of interacting with experiences without breaking immersion is a problem that’s yet to be solved. The REALM System is the latest concept to present itself as a potential solution. This unique, resistance-based technology has recently launched its own Kickstarter campaign, looking for some $160,000 AUD.
The REALM System consists of a waist belt that fits around the user and is then connected to two handpieces with inbuilt Inertial Measurement Units (IMU) Sensors. These pieces are linked using resistance bands that will adapt to any given the experience to add realism to interacting with objects. It might be that the system provides a convincing feeling of truly wielding a sword and shield in an action experience, or allow users to experience a true sensation of weight as they pick up objects in a puzzle-based videogame.
The system’s software development kit (SDK) is compatible with the Unity engine and uses Microsoft’s Kinect motion-sensing camera.
Crucially, the REALM System has been designed with support for the Oculus Rift. The system currently has six compatible videogames developed in-house, including a VR Boxing videogame as well as the sword-swinging Zombie Sushi, Tennis, Wood Chop, Realm Fitness and Squat Box. These titles will be included with developer kits for the system, which are currently available for $259 via the crowd-funding campaign. Developers looking to work with more than one system can also pledge $995 to secure a bundle of four kits. Delivery of these initial devices is expected in September 2015. A consumer release is yet to be detailed.
The REALM System’s campaign runs until 21st March 2015. VRFocus will continue to follow the kit’s progress, reporting back with any further updates on it.