Okay, so remember how a couple weeks ago we brought you a story about The Void? It’s a VR experience overlapping a real world space, and looks like it will be something truly remarkable.
Well, Castrol Syntec of all companies has actually taken that same sort of concept, and used it to film their latest TV commercial. Now this of course is not meant to be sold as an entertainment experience for the public, but it sure goes to show where the technology is at today.
For the spot, Castrol has developed a Virtual Reality race, if you will, overtop of a runway. They’ve created a special safety helmet, with an Oculus Rift DK2 replacing the windscreen, and employed a professional drift driver to run through the course.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: it would be much easier to just fake it. And frankly, you’d be right. But that’s not what they’ve done here. Believe it or not, Castrol got a pair of engineers to figure out how to make the car’s movements track back 1:1 to the game overlay. They created the helmet attachment. And then they built a high end desktop computer to mount in the back seat. Using undisclosed sensors and software, they managed to follow the Ford Mustang in the digital world with enough accuracy for the driver to succeed.
This isn’t something you should ever expect to see in a consumer level product or attraction, but just knowing that even in the early days of VR, experiments like this can actually be done is incredible. Where we go from here is anyone’s guess, but I’d hazard to say we ain’t seen nuttin’ yet.
Kevin Carbotte is a Contributing Editor for aybonline.com. He knows a little about a lot, and a lot about a little. The opinions in his columns are his and his alone, but you are free to have them.