February 16, 2015
A team of French and American designers at Catopsys has developed a projector for immersive gaming and video experiences that can be shared by a room full of people. The Immersis is designed to display a 180-degree view of a virtual reality experience. Instead of everyone shutting out the world (and each other) when they put on a VR headset like the Oculus Rift, people can share in a VR experience. The LED projector could encourage developers to make more party games and turn VR into more of a social experience.
The Immersis project is still in beta testing. The SDKs are expected to ship in June and the projector is scheduled for availability in October. The Kickstarter campaign has raised over $104,000 so far.
The device essentially turns a room into another world using a single fish-eye lens. The image won’t be 3D like it is on a pair of VR goggles. The main flaw, though, is that users have to create a 3D model of the room so that the projector can use algorithms to properly calculate how to display the videos on the walls.
Many people will not have the skills to make a 3D model, so the project is only selecting a limited number of gamers to start testing the product, according to Wired. Eventually, the makers of the Immersis would like to integrate a scanner that will automatically generate a 3D model of the room.
Developers can already start integrating the technology into their own games. Many games that are already panoramic don’t even need to be tweaked. For example, gamers could already start shooting in an entire room display of “Call of Duty” or “SkyRim” action.