Our First Experiment in Virtual Reality

The image above is one of our first experiments in VR. It showcases a "portal" system where, starting from a main "room" (the grey area), you can walk into other rooms that feature different experiences. All the rooms are currently streamed from a server. In this particular experiment, there are 3 portals leading to 3 different rooms. The left-most room has a panorama of the Roman Colosseum. You can walk through the portal, and if you have the Oculus on, you can look around - top, right, left, down, back - to see a 360º view of the Colosseum. The same goes for the centre room, a panorama of Saint Peter's Basilica.

The right-most room is the "Tuscany" tech demo by Oculus. It is a complete experience in that you can walk around the garden, go inside the house, and up and down the stairs.

Here are the key pieces of technology underlying these 4 rooms:

  1. A portal technology that connects rooms together.
  2. An ability to download and scrape files from a standard HTTP web server.
  3. Piecemeal construction of a room in real time, including geometry, textures, light maps, and collision services.
  4. Custom importers for Quake 3 and "Tuscany"-based XML file formats.

What's next: Interactions with objects in a room, simulations with physics and scripting, connectivity between users so those from outside the server can "visit".

Portal Destinations Credit (from left to right): Roman Colosseum - image by "Humus", http://www.humus.name/index.php?page=Textures&ID=109 Saint Peter's Basilica - image by "Humus", http://www.humus.name/index.php?page=Textures&ID=106 "Tuscany" - tech demo by Oculus VR, https://share.oculusvr.com/app/oculus-tuscany-demo