There’s a lot of companies looking to get into the virtual reality market right now. With Oculus recently announcing that it’s high-end Rift headset would finally become commercially available in Q1 2016 and its many competitors announcing their own campaigns and projects, The Void is an interesting new development that not only claims to have its own hardware, but enough backing to build gaming facilities all over the world.
Void is the first time that VR has been coupled with the real world, as part of the whole experience at Void’s still in-development locations, is that users interact with physical objects, whilst in VR. While the technology behind it is unproven, it makes some bold claims. The developers suggest in the video that they have full body tracking, though it’s not made clear how. There are also motion tracked weaponry and shared experiences between multiple players.
Hardware seems to be located in backpacks with video transmitted via wires, though how the developers plan to sync up experiences between users remains to be seen, since cooperative and competitive play has been discussed.
In terms of the headset itself, Void developers make bold claims again. We’re told that the Rapture HMD uses twin 1080p, curved displays and utilises “quantum dots,” to “nearly double the perceived resolution.” Head tracking running at 120Hz is incredibly accurate we’re told, and the entire experience will utilise bi-naural audio to make the audio spectrum as accurate as the visual one.
Since it’s so early in development, costs associated with any of the Void’s hardware or systems remain entirely unknown. Screens that utilise their own backpack computer systems would likely cost over £2,000 each, at least. The facilities being constructed would likely cost in the millions, so a single experience lasting 30 minutes or so would not be cheap for consumers.
At this time, with so much promised, it seems likely that something is being overhyped, even if it’s just one element of it. Some have called “investor-bait,” on the project, since it makes several big, grandiose claims about its technology and potential, even if the end product would be exceedingly cool if delivered upon.
It’s still way too early to judge whether The Void will be a success, but some have questioned whether a stand alone facility, even one designed for contemporary hardware, would be able to keep up with new VR developments, which will come thick and fast once the first round of headsets has been released.