Think you've been playing Battlefield 3 on a pretty nice system? Odds are it's got nothing on the rig assembled by the folks at The Gadget Show. They put together what can only be described as a battlefield simulator using bits and pieces taking from military simulators, concert lighting, and even console motion controls.
Using five HD projectors, the simulator projects the game onto the inside of an Igloo Vision dome measuring over 13 feet tall and nearly 30 feet wide. The player's position is monitored by IR cameras, and he has the freedom to walk in any direction thanks to an onmi-directional treadmill. Jumping and ducking are tracked by a Microsoft Kinect motion controller that was programmed specifically for the occasion, while a handheld gun is used to aim and fire.
Software pulled from concert lighting setups tracks the colors in a given scene and uses 800 LEDs to reproduce just the right ambient lighting. My favorite part of the whole thing has to be the array of paintball guns charged with punctuating each hit you take. Your in-game health may recharge quickly, but it'll take a while for the bruises and welts to heal.
I remember playing some virtual-reality Quake in an Internet cafe more than a decade ago and wondering whether the gaming industry could be poised for a VR revolution. Turns out it wasn't, but this Battlefield project nicely illustrates what that revolution might look like if it began today.
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