Valve Developer Uses HTC Vive to Virtually Propose

Back in April 2015 VRFocus reported on designer Mike Rios using a Goole Cardboard virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) as a unique way to propose to his then-girlfriend, Margaret Jensen. Rios used 360 degree photos of a street that Jensen walked down in real life to ask the question. Another VR proposal has been made this week, although this time using the HTC Vive PC-based HMD and a virtual ring, making it perhaps the first fully VR marriage proposal. In fact the proposal comes from a member the HTC’s partner on the kit, Valve.

Valve Proposal

The company’s Chandler Murch recently invited his now-fiancé Kelly Tortorice to come and see the device at Valve’s own headquarters in Bellevue, Washington. As Tortorice explained on her Facebook page, she started out playing with some of the Room Scale demos that many have already seen. These use SteamVR’s Lighthouse tracking system to follow a player’s real movements in an area of up to 15-feet by 15-feet, replicating it within the given experience. It also features 2 position-tracked controllers.

It was one of these controllers that was used to pop the question. Tortorice suddenly discovered a virtual ring hovering within an experience, which was actually Murch holding the SteamVR controller in real life. When she took the HMD off, Murch was on one knee with the controller in hand as if it were the real ring.

“So there I was, typical day…on a sunken ship deck; fixing robots; painting three-dimensional fire; walking through the Alps; and then suddenly, a virtual engagement ring started floating my way,” Tortorice explained. “Chandler told me to grab it. Then told me to take off my headset, and there he really was, on one knee, with a real ring. It wasn’t imaginary anymore. But I didn’t say yes. I said, “OF COURSE I WILL MARRY YOU!” Thank you for such a hilarious and fun surprise.”

VRFocus will continue to follow all of the latest VR updates, reporting back with any further news.