Take control of a Gears of War locust with this VR gaming setup

Yost Engineering Inc.

Each day we get a little closer to real virtual reality gaming thanks to gadgets like the Kinect and the Oculus Rift. Last month at the Institute of Navigation GNSS 2012 conference, Yost Engineering Inc. (YEI) showed that we already can inhabit the body of a videogame character with just a few motion sensors.

At the conference, YEI showed off a system that consists of 17 YEI 3-Space Wireless Sensors strapped to a person and paired to three 3-Space Wireless Dongles. The system gave the player full-body motion control of his digital persona while in a fully immersive, first-person experience thanks to a Sony HMZ Personal 3D Viewer.

The motion information gets fed into the Unreal Engine and is translated to character movement that almost perfectly matches the player’s moves. If you wave your arm or look around, your in-game character will do the same.

Of course, technology this cool is expensive as hell. Each of the YEI sensors can cost anywhere between $99 and $299, the dongles themselves cost $89, and the VR headset is an additional $800.

But in terms of the futuristic technology, motion sensors you can just strap on top of your regular clothes are a much needed upgrade to the skin-tight ball-lined suits required for this sort of precise motion capture today. If it ever comes to the commercial market, I really wouldn’t mind getting the creepy—yet extremely cool—experience of jumping into a video game character’s body and world.

Would you like a VR gaming future? Leave a comment.

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