Is PrioVR Mo-Cap the New Standard for Gaming Interactivity?
VR technology gets more viable every day. People have been talking about it for decades, but now, the technologies appear actually to be emerging to make immersive virtual environments a reality.
At CES this year, the PrioVR game controller made an impressive showing. It’s a motion-based “suit” that allows a gamer to use every part of their body to control a game character.
As a result of the impression it left on gamers and developers alike, PrioVR has far outpaced its Kickstarter funding goal. The company had hoped to raise $75,000, but today, with 41 days left in its funding cycle, the company boasts $132,700 in funding.
The suit comes in three different ways. There’s PrioVR Lite, which is just an upper-body suit. Then, there’s the standard PrioVR suit, which includes basic leg movements, and PrioVR Pro, which has 17 strategically-placed sensors over the user’s entire body, including their ankles, stomach, and shoulders.
The full-body suits are completely sold out, but the half-body version is still available—for now. It’s down from $279 to $249. This version was available for testing at CES back in January. And even this lighter version of the body suit performs remarkably well. The suits feature “inertial sensors,” which provide a full 360 degrees of tracked motion for the wearer. Unlike other motion-tracking products, like Microsoft’s Kinect for Xbox, it doesn’t use a camera; this has its ups and downs—while gamers will get a better motion tracking (and people walking by in the background are less likely to disrupt communication), the time-consuming process of suiting up and suiting back down may repel some gamers, who like the convenience of just picking up a controller or powering up their Kinect systems.
YEI Technology, who developed the suit, plans to ship its first round of products around June. They’ll include some demos, so you can get to know the system (and play with your new and cutting-edge toy) before developers release some new games geared towards the suit.
The Kickstarter funds suggest that somebody is watching, though it remains to be seen what kind of traction the suit will be able to garner among gamers and developers, despite its early splash.