The VoidThe wait is over: The Void makes virtual reality an everyday resource
An astronaut making repairs to the exterior of the ISS for the first time will have practised every possible manoeuvre thousands of times at NASA’s Virtual Reality Lab. The technology does its job very nicely and is constantly improving. So why, the videogamers of this world have been asking for years, is there still no equally sensational virtual reality game available?
Their prayers might finally be answered in 2016, thanks to Ken Bretschneider, Curtis Hickman and James Jensen. This summer, the three American entrepreneurs hope to open The Void, a huge indoor amusement park where non-astronauts will be able to explore fabulous landscapes, eerie buildings and extraterrestrial spaceships, using VR goggles with a 180° field of vision and a special suit that can make it feel like you’re walking through long grass, rain is falling onto your skin, or that 20 tarantulas are crawling up your back.
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In actual fact, the gamers will be poking their way around a labyrinth of grey, shifting walls that they can touch, but on which they’ll see computer-generated images. The Void is currently being built in Pleasant Grove, Utah. Half an hour of fun will cost from around $30.
So, is this it? Will The Void finally bring about the breakthrough in virtual reality that we’ve been waiting for since, er, the wired glove of the 1990s? Perhaps. Meanwhile, the geeks at Oculus – a subsidiary of Facebook – are also working feverishly on a virtual gaming universe. And it’s likely that, before long, augmented reality will make its way into our everyday lives – and not only for entertainment purposes. Software giant Microsoft has already presented its HoloLens – augmented-reality glasses that could, for instance, help the handyman of the future with repairs around the house by virtually demonstrating the process of changing a pipe.
From there, the next technological leap seems all too obvious. But before the day comes when virtual reality is brought directly to your contact lenses, we’ve got a few more levels to conquer at The Void, in headsets that make us look like giant bugs.