With virtual reality (VR) head-mounted displays (HMDs) now shipping out to people across the globe, it’s been relatively quiet on the third-party hardware front. That’s likely due to a combination of people recently spending lots of money to get their HMDs and that fact that they come with their own peripherals that provide great input solutions. You can safely say, however, that neither the Oculus Rift nor HTC Vive has the ability to simulator the ground you’re standing on in VR, but that’s what the Virtual Terrain Simulator (VTS system) is aiming to do.
Designed by four Mechanical Engineering Technology students at The University of Maine, the VTS system is now on Kickstarter and is looking to raise $1,400 USD through the crowd-funding platform. Working with Virtual Environment and Multimodal Interaction (VEMI) lab, the team has created a plate that alters the softness of the ground they stand on as they move around in VR. The system uses pneumatic bladders to manipulate different sections of the floor. It will even be compatible with the Virtual Reality Motion Platform that passed a Kickstarter campaign in the past.
Anyone interested in the system can pledge $100 to get a moving 3D printed model of the project in May 2016. Further release plans have not been discussed, though the concept could certainly be an interesting edition to the VR experience. The funding will close on 25th April 2016.
Check back with VRFocus for the latest on VR peripherals.