Oct 10, 2020

These Robotic Virtual Reality Boots Make It Feel Like You’re Walking While You Stay in Place

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, virtual reality

VR Boots for gaming.

Last year I did a VR experience meant to simulate what it’s like to be at the US-Mexico border wall. The tall, foreboding wall towered above me, and as I turned from side to side there were fields of grass with some wildlife and a deceivingly harmless-looking border patrol station. I wanted to explore more, so I took a few steps toward the wall, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Mexico side through its tall metal slats.

“Oops!” a voice called out. A hand landed lightly on my arm. “Look out, you’re about to run into the wall.” The “wall” was in fact a curtain—the experience took place in a six-foot-by-eight-foot booth alongside dozens of similar VR booths—and I had, in fact, just about walked through it.

Virtual reality is slowly getting better, but there are all kinds of improvements that could make it feel more lifelike. More detailed graphics and higher screen resolution can make the visual aspect (which is, of course, most important) more captivating, and haptic gloves or full haptic suits can lend a sense of touch to the experience.

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