I must say, I've enjoyed the C.E.S coverage of the Oculus Rift over the last week, simply to see the lucky people who's had the chance to give it a go and the way they expressed there enthusiasm and genuine delight as the camera rolls, It's given me a lot of faith that this product will come to fruition and will take gaming to the next level.
My love of gaming started way back when I first got my little hands on such games like Space Invaders, Asteroids and Donkey Kong. To see the delight on the faces of the reporters after they removed the Oculus Rift, kind of Reminded me of the feeling I had back all those years ago when I seen my first video game for the first time and being able to control pixels on a screen, Anyway that's enough of my rambling of the past and on to the subject of the future.
There's been a lot of talk about how different controllers would interface with the Oculus Rift, and I've got a little idea which has been bouncing around in my little grey matter for months and would like to share with this community and would love some feedback. My technical abilities are not the best when it comes to sensors and how user interfaces work and what i would need to get this project going. so I've decided to look towards the oculus community to give me some advice and direction, all I have is a general idea so be patient with me when I try to describe what I envision.
Think of a user interface which requires full use of our limbs in our every day lives, say driving a car for instance, once you learn to operate all limbs in different timings it's just like riding a bike, so why not create a user interface for controlling forward, backward, left and right movement using your feet, this would take away the use of the wasd keys on your keyboard, also it would work very well with the oculus head tracking, as it would be a more natural feeling of movement for moving in a fps game.
So let's talk about how your feet would control this movement, it's quite simply really, the use of balance would be a perfect way, Think of a analog stick that you get on a standard gaming pad then place a board on top of it with the analog stick dead center, your feet would then be placed on the board either side of that stick. Then while sitting in your chair with the oculus rift strapped to that pretty little face of yours with your feet place on the analog balance board you would have a more intuitive control of left, right ,forward and back movement and the head tracking would also feel more instinctive with this type of control method.
The next step would be to add tactile feedback under each foot, why because our feet are the best shock absorbers money can buy and are very sensitive to vibration, so for example lets take a game like Hawken which is being developed for the oculus then!
Your in the game, seated position, oculus on, feet on Ground immersion balance board and your ready for battle, you look around your 3d head tracked cockpit and then you decide to move out ,you then shift you balance forward on the board and the mech moves forward, then right foot receives vibration input of mech's foot hitting the ground, then the left foot would receive vibration, then as you move your balance further forward on the board the mech would then break into a run, at this point the vibration timing between each foot would get less creating the sense of running. Anyway I hope you kind of get the drift where I'm kind of leading.
All this technology is available right now!!
All I can say is, that three's the magic number,oculus Rift head tracking, nun-chucks with ten button inputs, and a analog controlled balance board with tactile feed back for the ultimate V.R controller experience. Let me know what you think fellas? becoz I just run out of space.