PocketStrafe phone app lets you run around in VR

If you haven't used VR, you could be forgiven for wondering why people invest so much time and money in technologies like 360-degree treadmills and spinny chairs. The thing is, physically moving around while in VR is a tricky prospect. Do it wrong, and it's disorienting; do it wrong enough and it's potentially nauseating. Software developer Cool Font thinks it has an answer for this conundrum in its PocketStrafe software. Load the app on your phone and your PC, stick your phone in your pocket, and start moving around. The app uses the phone's motion sensors to transmit positioning information to the PC.

The problem of effective and immersive translation of physical-to-VR locomotion is difficult. Some folks are immune to VR sickness when moving their bodies, but even those blessed few can suffer from disorientation and confusion with an awkward control scheme. Developers have figured out that it's important to separate moving from looking, and that's why technologies like the Turris chair work. PocketStrafe is a little different, though, because it requires the user to run in place. The physical motion requirement could alleviate VR discomfort for a portion of users.

The app can emulate keyboard or gamepad input, and so it should work with basically any VR game. It's available now for iOS and Android for $0.99. A tip of the hat to UploadVR for the news.

Comments closed
    • derFunkenstein
    • 3 years ago

    Interesting concept, and I grind the axe about latency a lot, but man, there’s gonna be so much latency between lifting your leg and your in-game self doing the same.

      • ozzuneoj
      • 3 years ago

      [quote<]latency between lifting your leg and your in-game self doing the same[/quote<] Finally, another fan of Territory-Marking Simulator VR! I agree, this will throw off my aim considerably. I may have to cut off my Twitch stream early if I find this app too difficult to use.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 3 years ago

        I read this in my email this morning and laughed. Then I came here and laughed again. This is so not what I meant and it caught me so off-guard. Nicely done.

      • drfish
      • 3 years ago

      I tried a similar concept, Stompz, at [url=https://techreport.com/blog/30067/the-tech-report-attends-silicon-valley-virtual-reality-2016<]SVVR[/url<]. Latency was the least of my concerns, probably because this sort of thing isn't precise enough for you to even notice lag in the the first place. That said, it's a pretty great idea for a $0.99 app. You could probably approximate a Turris with a similar app and an ordinary office chair - but again, it would not be very precise.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 3 years ago

        That’s probably a good point. How does the phone know how it’s oriented and where in your pants pocket it’s sitting? Cargo pants with a pocket at the knees would get a lot more motion than just in your pocket. In-app pedometers aren’t terribly accurate, even on iOS, if My Fatness Pal is to be believed.

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