This cockpit-style simulator will make your VR experiences more immersive

Are you a virtual reality fan, who wishes the whole experience could be made even more immersive than it already is? Do you have the cash to throw down for a gaming chair that looks like something a Star Trek captain or James Bond villain would sit in? If so, you may be interested in the new “3 Degree of Freedom Motion Simulator” that’s just launched on Kickstarter.

Created by U.K. entrepreneur Mark Towner, the cockpit-style motion simulator takes the form of a hemispherical platform, seated on an array of omni-wheels. It’s similar in concept to the kind of motion simulator rigs usually reserved for large VR arcades, but intended for home use. The three degrees referenced in its name describe the device’s ability to yaw, pitch, and roll; essentially giving users the ability to quickly (but silently) rotate in any direction. For extra verisimilitude, built-in tactile transducers add immersive surround vibration. This makes it the perfect accompaniment to VR experiences like racing or flight simulators.

“VR is all about the thrill of adventure, of exploring, of flirting with danger in another world — but when you’re flying a Spitfire in VR you’re only getting half the experience,” Towner told Digital Trends. “It might look and sound amazing, but your sofa doesn’t feel like a plane’s cockpit. Most motion simulators are ugly steel frames, noisy as hell, and insanely expensive. We put the user at the center of gravity in a large half-sphere and rotate them instead of pushing them up and down.”

3 degree of freedom motion simulator feel three  2

A particularly neat touch is the contraption’s modular design, which allows users to swap out the regular seat for specialized add-ons to fit the particular VR scenario they want to enjoy.

“There is a huge community of people who love racing, space, and flying games, but without the budget to buy a decent simulator,” Towner continued. “This really gives people an amazing new design to enjoy their hobby, and even learn new skills — such as piloting aircraft, learning to drive, or practicing flying a helicopter. This gives people the chance to experience some thrills on the race track with friends, without the cost or danger.”

As ever, we offer our warnings about the potential risks inherent in crowdfunding campaigns. However, if you’re aware of this and still want to get involved, head over to the project’s Kickstarter page. Prices vary, but the early bird option is still available for $2,590 at time of writing. Shipping is set to take place in May 2019.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Self-balancing skates, tiny tripods, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Gaming

Annual game releases are boring. Try a quirky indie game for the PS4 instead

While big budget games rely on practical innovation, indie games dive head first into new, unexplored territories. If the quirky and unusual appeal to you, take a look at our list of the best indie games on PS4.
Mobile

Memoji in iOS 12 lets you create an avatar that looks and moves just like you

Apple's Memoji feature on iOS 12 allows you to send a customize Animoji that looks exactly like you. In comparison to other apps that allow you to make your own custom avatar, Memoji doesn't overcomplicate it.
Emerging Tech

From flying for fun to pro filmmaking, these are the best drones you can buy

In just the past few years, drones have transformed from a geeky hobbyist affair to a full-on cultural phenomenon. Here's a no-nonsense rundown of the best drones you can buy right now, no matter what kind of flying you plan to do.
Emerging Tech

Forget hands — this 3D-printed clock keeps time using nothing but marbles

Based on the innovative rolling ball clock design created by Harley Mayenschein in the 1970s, this awesome 3D-printed variation is yours to make at home, courtesy of free instructions.
Cars

We get up close with the Vision iNext concept to learn about BMW’s future

Through a massive worldwide campaign that visits various major cities around the world, we get our exclusive opportunity to get up close and personal with BMW’s latest Vision iNEXT Concept to learn about automaker’s future plans.
Emerging Tech

Who will be the first private passenger to the moon? SpaceX will tell us today

SpaceX is set to announce the name of the mystery passenger who it will launch into orbit around the moon. This will be the first lunar traveler since the last U.S. Apollo mission in 1972.
Emerging Tech

CRISPR gene editing creates cocaine-proof mice, aims to crack addiction puzzle

Scientists from the University of Chicago have used CRISPR gene editing to create cocaine-resistant mice by modifying the DNA of skin cells. Here's how the breakthrough skin graft works.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX to send Japanese billionaire on moon trip, but he won’t be going alone

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has named Japanese billionaire entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa as the first paying passenger for the company's ambitious 2023 moon mission aboard the Big Falcon Rocket.
Emerging Tech

Smart sound system will give every car passenger their own wireless audio stream

Can't agree on what to listen to in the car? Imagine if each passenger could get their own way, courtesy of a personal audio stream — no headphones required. Sounds impossible, but it's almost here.
Emerging Tech

Crazy vending machine swaps computer art for your permanent selfie

Coder artist Matthias Dörfelt's camera-equipped vending machine swaps unique prints of computer-generated faces for the rights to upload your selfie onto the main Ethereum blockchain.
Emerging Tech

No more scraping? Anti-frosting advance could mark end of frozen windshields

Hate frozen windshields in winter? Researchers at Virginia Tech may have found a way to banish them for good, thanks to the world’s first passive anti-frosting surface. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

Japanese billionaire faces tricky task of choosing 8 artists for his moon trip

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has been named as SpaceX's first-ever paying passenger for a trip to the moon in 2023. He says he wants to take eight artists with him. But how will he choose them? And will they accept?
Smart Home

Who needs Stitch Fix? Maison Me uses A.I. to custom design clothing just for you

With backing from Google, a new Silicon Valley-based startup called Maison Me is offering A.I.-assisted, designed-to-order clothing. It's like a personal styling service on steroids.