The ghost howls

A blog of virtual reality, startup and stuff


December 2016

Street Champ VR review

Yesterday I played a bit with Street Champ VR,  a simple street-crossing VR game available for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive made by Romanian company Zynk software Srl.

The goal of the game is pretty simple: cross the streets and try not to die :).  You are in this cartoon city and you have to cross this endless set of streets that are full of cars. To cross the streets you have to simply press the key on your remote or gamepad: this will make you perform a single step forward.

Street champ VR virtual reality game
The only HUD of the game: number of performed steps and fatigue level for your steps (if you don’t run that much, it remains almost always green)

If you keep the button pressed, you will start running… but don’t try to run too much, or you will get exhausted and you will start moving slowly, being less reactive to incoming cars. If a car runs on you while you’re crossing the road, you die and the game ends. Continue reading “Street Champ VR review”

How to use Kinect with HTC Vive

When I talk about the full body virtual reality system ImmotionRoom that we’re developing at Immotionar, the first question that people asks me is always “Why Kinect? Kinect is dead”. I’ve already answered to this question, explaining that yes, it is slowly dying, but Kinect is still the best off-the-shelf infrared body-tracking sensor that we can find on the market (due to the mega-training samples fed to its algorithm). So, while we hope that other competitors like Orbbec and VicoVR will reach its quality level, we have still to use it… and this is the same reason why lots of research projects still employ the kinect.

But then there is another important question people make me: “I’m a Vive user… and Vive and Kinect interfere a lot. I like your videos about full body virtual reality, but I will surely not be able to use it…”

Well, let’s be honest: this is true. Continue reading “How to use Kinect with HTC Vive”

The greatest part of being a startupper is having supporters

Today I just want to talk about some thoughts that came to my mind after I had a call with our supporter and beta-tester Sasha. It has happened last thursday: I was really tired, stressed, late for everything and I had to have a call with him to talk about our ImmotionRoom system and what was wrong with it. During the call I had to help him with the setup and listen to his feedbacks to all the problems our product has inside… but the thing that I loved a lot was seeing his support, the fact that he truly wants us to succeed, he truly believes in us. And we have no idea of who he is: he’s not a relative of ours, neither a friend (well, now he actually is, but he was not before he discovered our company), he’s not even from our same continent! He’s just a man that believes in us, in what we do and started supporting us. And he’s doing it in a great way… like giving me this great moment during our Skype call…

Continue reading “The greatest part of being a startupper is having supporters”

Leap Motion goes mobile

With a post written on its blog, Leap Motion has made a huge announcement: Leap Motion will go mobile.

This should not sound as something completely new: Leap Motion already had some kind of Android SDK and some kind of mount that you could use with Cardboard.

DODOcase advanced Cardboard viewer: as you can see, there is a strange Leap Motion mount in front of it (image credits: Road To VR)

The problem of this solutions was that they were far from being complete: you had somehow to connect a PC-dedicated device to the USB port of your smartphone and somehow mount it on your headset. In some cases, like with my Gear VR innovator edition (with no external USB ports), you were unable to use Leap Motion at all. Continue reading “Leap Motion goes mobile”

The difference between Kinect v2 and v1

Yesterday we of Immotionar have announced the support of Kinect v1 for our full-body virtual reality system. To implement it, I had to work with this sensor, after more than 2 years of work with only the v2 version. A curious fact is that i had never worked with Kinect v1 before, I started directly with the v2… so I made the path in the reverse way of all other people. But… how are this sensors different?

Well, first of all if you look at them, Kinect v2 seems a more refined version of Kinect v1, but its defect is that it is bigger and has lots of annoying cables and power converters, while Kinect v1 is surely more lightweight and easy to carry and to install.

About technical specifications, this chart found on the great blog Zugara is a good resumée:

A great comparison chart of the difference between the two Kinects (Image by Zugara)
A great comparison chart of the difference between the two Kinects. The only missing thing is that both Kinects now are fully working on Windows 10 (Image by Zugara)

Continue reading “The difference between Kinect v2 and v1”

V: a super dashboard for virtual reality

Some days ago I was reading an interesting article on Road To VR about a new program called ‘V’, that proposes itself as a dashboard for virtual reality. After reading the article I got curious, so yesterday I decided to try it so i can review it for you.

First thing that I found interesting about it is its name: only a letter, the letter ‘V’. That’s really curious and reminded me of an idea I had some times ago: when at Immotionar we were discussing about the name to give to our full body VR system, I proposed the simple name of ‘I’ as a super-original name, that could be super-great, because it is pronunced as “eye” and because it represents the self, and our system lets you see yourself in virtual reality; Gianni didn’t appreciate my genious idea and looked at me with commiseration. I’m glad that in this world there is someone that has my same genious ideas and is brave enough to make them become true. The only problem with this super-short name is that it is complicated to search on Google, so it took me a bit to find the download link for their beta… Continue reading “V: a super dashboard for virtual reality”

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