This year’s Electronics Entertainment Expo, commonly referred to as E3, was widely anticipated to be a hotbed of the latest and greatest virtual reality technology. E3 2017 certainly did not disappoint. The show provided an in-depth look at several new VR technologies that will be available for purchase in the coming months and years. Here is a look at the best of the best and how they will play a role in the emergence of VR fitness.
Though Antilatency has been teased in the last couple of VR-related conferences, E3 2017 displayed the latest version of the startup’s unique tracking system. Those in attendance were more than impressed with Antilatency’s functionality. This technology will likely prove quite useful across an array of applications. The company previously unveiled its illuminated floor strips along with a miniature camera that connects to the front of Gear VR to track one’s wireless headset across the entirety of a spacious area. The technology was updated for E3, with the lights embedded directly into foam flooring. This improvement was well-received as it does not force users to sidestep the strips. The technology now extends across a wider range of space to boot. Antilatency tracked a couple Gear VRs with nearly flawless accuracy. A concept of a two-player game was also shown. The startup will likely segue into applying the headset camera to the 6 degrees of freedom hand controller.
Antilatency’s tracking system will prove to be quite the boon for VR fitness. If Antilatency can continue to improve its motion tracking and cameras to the point that user movements are accurately monitored across a space of substantial size, the startup will likely be able to score deals with arcades, gyms and other facilities for virtual reality fitness experiences.
It didn’t take long for CaptoGlove to receive an avalanche of funding when its funding campaign launched on Kickstarter. This wearable lets users interact with virtual reality environments through hand gestures. The unit is quite comfortable and extremely responsive. It even features customization options for virtual reality as well as non-VR experiences. The player dons one or two gloves to control movement within the virtual reality realm. Aside from moving, the glove allows for driving and shooting. CaptoGlove movements measure inputs across the entire hand.
The simulation shown at E3 occurred in DCS World, a highly-detailed simulation in which the player controls a chopper. CaptoGlove recognized even the subtlest movements. The glove’s accurate sensitivity to movement will prove quite important if the technology is applied to virtual reality fitness applications. This technology might be used for VR sports simulations like golf, basketball, hockey, baseball, tennis and racquetball. It could even be used for virtual reality simulations in which one rows a boat or engages in something like a tug of war with a virtual opponent.
DisplayLink Wireless Vive
DisplayLink’s Wireless VR was undoubtedly the most buzz-worthy Vive accessory at E3 2017. This device fit quite nicely against the back of the head. It balanced the weight to just the right level, making it quite easy to forget that it is attached to the body. The receiver is optimally positioned so it does not interfere with the headphones. A couple fins are placed atop the antennas to connect with an overhead transmitter. This untethered device provided fantastic visuals with minimal latency.
Everyone who owns a Vive should take note of DisplayLink’s breakthrough. The lack of wires frees up the body for a completely liberating virtual reality experience. This development has major implications for Vive VR fitness activities. There is no need to worry about keeping the headset’s wire connected when running, jumping, swinging, crawling and hurtling through virtual reality environments. Indeed, wireless virtual reality will make exercise-oriented VR sessions that much more captivating. One can move his arms in any manner near his head and neck without worry that he will contact the wire. This might seem like a minor improvement to some yet it will prove to significantly enhance virtual reality experiences that involve considerable movement.