For the first time just a few hours ago I experienced the VIVE. HTC’s head mounted display that’s really the only name other than Oculus that enjoys recognition from the general public. Having only ever played and developed my own applications for the GearVR and Cardboard, my only understanding of the VIVE had come through rumor. In no way was I aware of what I was in for.
There is no other way to put it. It was spectacular. Not only as a piece of technology, but as an experience. While it may look a little geeky seeing me prance around with two futuristic controls and black plastic box over my face, I was completely transported. I had stepped into a new world and within it felt absolutely present. No longer was I in New York City. I was fighting in space.
Space Pirate Trainer was one of several games I demoed. As drones came in on the attack I defended myself wielding two laser guns. In my day, I’ve not met too many space pirates – I think. However well into the first minute of doubling as one I felt pretty confident in my performance. That is until I was hit by a drone’s fire. As the laser beam flew into my chest the world turned red and I flat out yelled “OW!”.
Now, no laser hit my chest. Nothing at all hit me for that matter. Though I genuinely yelled in “pain”. The reason I point this out is to attempt at explaining how truly immersive the experience is. That similarly to how I’d tense up should someone raise a fist, or cautiously stand back from a dangerous ledge, my eyes convinced my brain that by what they saw I had to have been physically affected.
It’s a brave new world, everyone.