Digital experience agency Globacore, founded in 2004, was an early adopter of virtual reality (VR) technology, backing the original Oculus Kickstarter. With an Oculus Rift DK1 in hand, Globacore completed its first VR project, PaperDude VR, an internal demo showcasing the technology’s possibilities. Now, the company is making an aggressive push for large-scale multiplayer VR experiences with OptiTrack technology.
Globacore is focused on building experiences with a 60ft x 30ft footprint that can accommodate up to eight participants at a time. This newest venture debuted at Augmented World Expo (AWE17) in Santa Clara in late May 2017 and leverages a unique combination of OptiTrack Active and passive tracking technology. Most of the experiences created by Globacore are temporary installations, and John Bolton, CTO of Globacore, has been impressed with how OptiTrack technology performs on the road.
“The detailed walkthrough of the hardware and software gave our team confidence in building with OptiTrack, allowing us to setup an experience in the chaos of a trade show floor without worry,” stated Bolton. “It’s awesome knowing we can have a warehouse-scale VR experience up and running in a couple of hours and easily train our on-site team to manage it and set it up for the next event.”
Globacore’s interest in large-scale VR began with Escape Tomb VR in 2016. This untethered experience was showcased at the Samsung Developer Conference (SDC) that year, and presented a Mayan Temple-themed escape room which required participants to solve puzzles in VR, picking up objects and moving them to various locations around the 20ft x 10ft space. OptiTrack cameras tracked the positional data of objects in the space, which was then streamed over Wi-Fi to a Galaxy S7 in the Samsung Gear HMD.
“From assistance in putting together our initial prototype to providing real-time support during setup of our first free-roam installation, Jeff Beavers [OptiTrack’s Director of Interactive Technologies] made us feel extremely comfortable rolling out OptiTrack for our projects,” states Bolton. “We found OptiTrack’s pain-free calibration, understandable software, and fantastic support were significantly better than other systems we evaluated. We are not surprised that OptiTrack is the system of choice for leaders in the VR space.”
Though Escape Tomb VR was extremely well received, the experience underscored an area for improvement. Since the majority of Globacore’s VR installations are for high traffic events like trade shows, the company recognised that higher throughput was needed. Having participants wait for three hours for their turn on a five-minute experience was not ideal so Globacore focused on optimising its workflow for creating multiplayer experiences.
For Intel’s Developer Forum in August 2016, Globacore built an untethered two-player VR experience, Virtual Code Battle. Using a 20ft x 25ft footprint and OptiTrack cameras for tracking, the experience arms participants with a weapon to take out computer bugs in a Tron style environment. Able to roam freely within the space, communicate via headsets and see each other in the virtual environment, participants work together to destroy bugs.
Globacore’s next projects currently remain under wraps. However, with the adoption of warehouse-scale VR accelerating across the globe it’s likely that we’ll hear more from Globacore in the near future. With CES 2018 just around the corner, stay right here at VRFocus for all the latest from Globacore and OptiTrack’s implantation in warehouse-scale VR experiences.