Skip to main content

VR developer straps Vive controllers to players’ feet for full-body tracking

CloudGate Studio Fullbody Awareness Experiment #1 (HTC Vive)
Most VR games that track users’ bodily position in space do so with a combination of external cameras, headset-mounted sensors and handheld motion controllers. VR developer Cloudgate Studio has added another wrinkle in a new experiment: By strapping HTC Vive controllers to a player’s feet, the studio may have created the closest thing to a “full-body” VR experience yet.

The demo, called “full body awareness experiment,” involves a soldier avatar whose limb and torso locations line up roughly with the player’s thanks to the extra sensors. That allows the player to reach down and touch their chest, legs or feet and have the action reflected accurately within the game, theoretically increasing immersion via that sense of “presence” VR devs are always chasing.

Cloudgate Studio is the developer behind the popular Brookhaven Experiment, a “VR survival shooter” released for HTC Vive last summer. For the “full body awareness experiment” the developers used their experience with motion capture and other related fields to jury-rig the full-body VR suit over the course of a weekend, though they’d envisioned the experiment as early as a year ago, Polygon said.

For now, the feet-tracking VR demo is just a YouTube video, but this type of full-body virtual reality experience should become more common later this year as developers get their hands on HTC’s official Vive Trackers. The small black discs, which can be attached to objects to make them detectable by the Vive’s sensors, should prove easier to strap to players’ shoes than full-sized controllers.

Whether it’s wise to encourage players to flail their feet around with expensive, sight-obscuring technology strapped to their bodies is, thankfully, a question for philosophers, not developers.

Editors' Recommendations

We may have just seen the Meta Quest Pro, and it looks super sleek
A hand holds a white Meta Quest Pro box with an iimage of the headset on the front

Meta is expected to launch a "Meta Quest Pro" VR set sometime this year, and the first images of this mythical device may have just surfaced online.

The Verge reported on a prototype of the top-secret headset left behind in a hotel room and subsequently discovered by Facebook Gaming personality Ramiro Cardenas, aka Zectariuz Gaming.

Read more
We finally might know what Apple will call its AR/VR headset
Apple VR Headset Concept by Antonio De Rosa

We have been patiently waiting for Apple to drop its much-anticipated virtual reality headset, and now it seems we're closer than ever. Apple filed some trademark names for its upcoming AR/VR headset, indicating it's one step closer to launch.

The trademarks were filed simultaneously in the U.S., U.K., Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Costa Rica, and Uruguay. The trademarks protect the names "Reality One," "Reality Pro," and "Reality Processor." Apple used the same law firms it has used in the past in these countries to file the trademarks.

Read more
Meta wants you to use its creepy Portal as a secondary monitor
A woman is standing at a table and using a laptop with a Meta Portal display next to it

Do you remember when Facebook gave us the creepy Portal displays? These were screens with built-in cameras so we could ostensibly talk to loved ones. Well, Meta (the company formerly known as Facebook) now hopes you'll use a Portal device as a second monitor.

Meta has revealed that its Portal devices, which include the 2nd-generation Meta Portal Plus and the Meta Portal Go, can be used as a second display for productivity thanks to integration with the Duet Display app. So now even your monitor can spy on you, in case your smartphone and smart TV weren't enough.

Read more