For those of us who have played virtual reality games, in which we are the character, we only see hands or tools to manipulate the objects in the world and not the characters body. This is known as the ‘Invisible Man Syndrome.’ Even though most of us feel immersed in the VR games we do play, that aspect of a missing body to fully connect with the games or CGI environment does take a little bit away from the immersive nature of our experiences.
This brings me to a well recognized motion-capture software development company, known as IKinema. Established in 2006 and based in the United Kingdom, IKinema has served prominent media entertainment studios, such as Disney, DreamWorks Animation, Microsoft, Square Enix and LucasArts.
Just recently, IKinema CEO Alexandre Perchev announced, “The body is back in the game. With Runtime for VR, developers can now create within minutes much more advanced experiences in which the body interacts accurately with the environment. They’ll be able to look down and see a complete, animated body within their virtual environment that accurately syncs with weaponry and props.”
Since the announcement, VR game development studio Impulse Gear began developing the first VR game, Farpoint, which will utilize IKinema RunTime VR to add that extra immersiveness to the game. The game is coming exclusively to Sony PlayStation VR, though the software is designed to work with Microsoft, Sony and VR compatible platforms.
On top on IKinema Runtime VR, they are also perfecting an software which will allow CGI characters and environments to react naturally to your voice. In other words, voice-activated animation. Imagine having a body in VR and being able to literally talk to in-game characters who respond naturally to what you’re saying. That sort of development will ultimately have people spending unprecedented time in VR.
There is already an established base of developers that utilizes IKinema Runtime, so it is only a matter of time until you will see the body of the avatar you inhabit in virtual reality. To learn more about how this would benefit developers and gamers, go ahead and read their post IKinema Banishes ‘Invisible Man Syndrome’ for VR Animation Gameplay.