Indie developer Kelly Weaver has outdone himself. By connecting his Oculus Rift dev kit with a Razer Hydra controller, Weaver has created an avatar that mimics his every movement precisely. When Weaver looks up, his avatar's head tilts upward, at precisely the same angle and speed, too. And his avatar's arms are just as responsive.
Moreover, Weaver's avatar is actually present within the virtual landscape. Meaning that he can see his own (in this case, robotic) body if he looks down. He's not just some sort of disembodied set of eyes navigating a virtual realm. He's truly part of the virtual world. To see what this looks like when there's a world around your avatar to react to, check out this Hydra-controlled visit to Tuscany during this year's Game Developers Conference (GDC) — courtesy of Sixense, the Razer Hydra's creators.
Weaver has surpassed even Sixense's demo when it comes to his avatar's presence in the world. This sort of interaction, as he points out, is a very exciting prospect when you begin to conceive of its multiplayer gaming ramifications. If you can see yourself in the game, so can your buddies. Intuitive, non-verbal communication becomes possible. Whether that means a nod of understanding, a high five or an uppercut is up to you.
Even more exciting is the prospect of truly creating a fully immersive gaming experience. If this sort of system were hooked up to a virtual reality treadmill, like the one we recently reported on, then a sort of proto-holodeck begins to take shape — one which will have a full suite of already-available games to run. We'll take ten of these, please.