There is absolutely no doubt about it. Virtual reality, and by extension the Oculus Rift, is pretty dang cool. To be blunt, the real world drools and the fake world rules. However, to fully realize our VR dreams we still have a long ways to go. After all, the Rift is only a headset. What good is it if our heads exist in the virtual space but the rest of our poor bodies are stuck in boring old reality land? To that end, many technology companies have been developing pieces of companion tech to the Rift to take VR to the next level, that next level being, of course, the Holodeck.
Cyberith is one such company. They recently put up a successful Kickstarter for their Virtualizer device, which pairs up with the Rift to finally put our money where our mouths are. Wait. That’s not right. They just put our bodies in VR. Wherever you walk while huddled in the Virtualizer enclosure, your avatar will walk in the virtual reality. It even works for running and, once you get the hang of it, walking backwards. The technology was recently showed off at the Tokyo Games Show. It was paired with a particularly spooky haunted house demo. Wait, ghosts?! Nobody told me virtual reality would include ghosts. Peace. I’m outta here.
Just kidding. I aint afraid of those guys. Speaking of fear, the only downside here is the range of motion is a bit limited. See, it works by strapping on a pair of specialized socks that must remain close to the bottom of the Virtualizer at all times. You more shuffle than walk, although reports indicate the learning curve is a fairly short one. The company says a consumer model is on its way for 2015.
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.