At the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, hardware developers are delivering new controllers to help immerse gamers and enhance their virtual reality experience.
According to tech companies at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), people want their experience of gaming to be more immersive and realistic than ever before.
Thrustmaster is just one of the hardware providers who are keen to show everyone their new headset and controller systems designed to give enhanced – and true-to-life controls in flight and driving simulators.
Thrustmaster’s Tim Gorham said they are targeting simulation gamers to provide them “maximum immersion.”
He says, “Everything that we do is compatible with VR. We’re targeting the same types of games or simulation games for simulation gamers and we work very closely with the VR companies to make sure that everything we do and everything they do is giving the gamers maximum immersion into those sim games.”
According to Gorham the product is attracting professional pilots and drivers.
He says, “So, we offer our products to real racers and real pilots. We’re licensed by the US Air Force who uses our gear as well as VR and as well as many of the game companies that we work with, to be able to train their pilots. Because sim games plus VR, plus Thrustmaster gear, it really is as close to authentic as it can possibly be.”
“We’re seeing pilots racing on VR to train in their off time and we’re seeing racers do exactly the same thing. When they can’t get onto the track, when they can’t get access to a car, they’re using games and they want to maximise that immersion via VR and via any other hardware that helps them do that,” explains Gorham.
Real and virtual controls have enabled VR manipulation for years, but new devices are helping to extend control to human interfaces like hands and feet.
CaptoGlove uses sensors embedded in its material to provide users feedback within games to provide more natural control.
Paul Sexauer, the company’s vice president says the glove is the first of its kind and eclipses traditional handheld controllers.
“CaptoGlove is the industry’s first wireless motion controller, glove-based. It eclipses the, you know traditional handheld controllers. You know, if you’re talking about a human computer interface, it will replace the traditional mouse, a traditional keyboard, traditional peripherals that we’ve all grown up with,” says Sexauer.
He explains, “What drives this is not only the technology that’s in it, the hardware technology, but the software technology which is the enabler and that can continue to evolve and stay in pace with other technologies that it needs to stay in pace with, but also lead the way.”
Igor Mitric is approaching the subject from the ground up.
He believes he will have a runaway success with his company Cybershoes, which allow users to run in virtual reality, a task which has been extremely difficult to achieve with immersion technology.
“It’s like it’s an amazing world of dreams in the game and you can imagine, but you cannot walk,” he said.
Mitric, said he has already seen benefits outside of traditional gaming and has used the device to provide emotional relief to people who have difficulty walking.
“We have in Cybershoes as well, we worked with a friend of ours she has multiple sclerosis, she’s a patient for multiple sclerosis, and we tried to help her with the Cybershoes to walk in virtual reality. For example, because she’s like, having trouble walking real walk. So, in virtual reality she said like, ‘Wow I am free, finally’.”
Whether the new technology will become widespread, will be dictated by many of the gamers trying it out now.
E3 is open to the public until Thursday 14 June.