Setting foot on a faraway planet is a dream that mankind has shared for eons, and maybe one day it’ll happen, but the chances of it happening in our lifetime is virtually nonexistent, at least those of us who are not involved with NASA.
Thankfully, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory are giving us the next best thing: a reasonable facsimile. Made possible with gaming tech’s most recent, high profile bosom buddies: the Oculus Rift and Virtuix Omni.
We’ve featured the kooky combo a couple times already, and most will agree that the set up seems novel, but not entire conducive to serious game playing. Though what NASA proposes makes a lot more sense:
Even without giving both the Oculus Rift and Virtuix Omni a proper go, one can’t help but wonder if the initial “wow” of being fully immersed in a game will eventually wear off. Not the VR headset part; one could truly get a lost in a game because of it, to an alarming degree, provided said person has zero issues with motion sickness.
It’s the omni-directional treadmill that’s still in question. It looks fine in videos that last just a few minutes, but running around for extended periods of time, during a serious head to head match, still sounds a bit shaky. Yet a nice leisurely stroll across the surface of Mars, made possible with data acquired by the Curiosity rover, sounds like lots of fun, as well as highly educational.