Full-body virtual reality is the buzzword of the hour in gaming. Switzerland’s largest VR play area is now available at Dierikon. Managing Director Christian Bernd told us what to expect and who not to come.
When the Oculus Rift and Samsung brought the first VR glasses to the consumer market ten years ago, the hype was huge. Facebook bought Oculus Rift for $2.3 billion in 2014, but it didn’t live up to high expectations then. The noise faded again. Virtual reality has become a small niche. Only Sony gave new impetus to technology and connected to it PlayStation VR Virtual Reality with a gaming world. In the meantime, virtual games have evolved greatly. The new buzzword now is: full-body virtual reality. In addition to the glasses, you also wear sensors on your hands and feet and thus fully immerse you in the virtual world.
“Reality and fantasy are perfectly fused together”
A hall has now opened its doors in Dierikon where this is presented: full-body VR gear play. In a one-hour event, you make your way through the game with your friends for 30 minutes. “It’s pure adrenaline!” Christian Bernd from The . says: virtual area. Therefore, the VR glasses used have 4K resolution for each eye with a field of view of 170 degrees. “Reality and fantasy merge perfectly.” The feedback so far has been very positive. “After three years of development, we are finally seeing the efforts paying off,” he says.
Body tracking offers a special experience. 1:1 body movements appear in the game. Team players see all the movements without delay. “It doesn’t matter if you’re interacting with your environment, reloading your weapon, or doing some victory dance,” Bernd says. “Our software prevents images from ‘swim’, which occurs by anticipating movements and a very short delay (latency) in the one-digit millisecond range.” With an area of 21 x 14 metres, the virtual area in Derekon provides the largest gaming area per game in Switzerland. “With us you can experience a virtual world of 300 square meters, move freely and have a completely new gaming experience,” he promises.
Christian Bernd, 33, has studied industrial engineering and is the Managing Director of EVOTEC Solutions AG. With his company, he also develops VR applications in other fields. For example simulations for training purposes or visualizations for architects.
However, until now, virtual reality technology has suffered from a developmental problem called motion sickness. In other words, nausea that occurred due to the delay in movement and image using old virtual reality glasses. Apparently, new developments have completely eliminated these problems. “We’ve already asked a few dozen participants about motion sickness and haven’t got a case yet,” Bernd says. “Even those who have serious problems with other virtual reality systems.” However, patients with epilepsy should avoid this experience. Bernd advises, even under the influence of alcohol, not to plunge into the world of virtual games. Otherwise, however, the experiment is absolutely without hesitation.
So far, however, only zombies can be hunted
The game is designed for up to six participants. However, there is only one game to choose from so far. In “The Outbreak” players wake up in a remote research facility where, of course, a lot of experiments went wrong. “The classic zombie shooter that really explodes,” says Berndt. “Although it’s a zombie shooting game, we focused on action rather than horror.” The game will appeal to anyone who is looking for an action packed adventure with multiplayer gameplay. There are other games in the works already. “We are already working on a puzzle adventure game that can be imagined as a large escape room with many levels.” The second game is expected to be released next year.