We live in a time where the words “virtual reality” are on everybody’s lips, we’ve always dreamed to be able to immerse in other worlds thanks to technology, and it seems that we are closer to that than ever. These are topics that have inspired a lot of movies, TV series and even books, that’s why we cannot avoid to feel like kids when we see that this fantasy is coming true.
For example the novels, manga, anime and videogames of the Sword Art Online saga, more known as SAO, take place in 2022 where the virtual reality allows to play online multiplayer role games through the NerveGear, a virtual reality headset that is able to stimulate the 5 senses with only the brain impulses. So, the people play with an avatar totally controlled by their brain and they are able to feel everything that the avatar feels, moreover the most fascinating thing is that the game takes place in a multiplayer world common for everyone.
Can you imagine arriving at home and entering into a totally different world? Unfortunately, we still don’t have a headset such as the NerveGear that allow us a full dive immersion, but… How could this be achieved with the technology that we have nowadays?
Easy, we just need the following ingredients:
- Device that allow us to visually immerse in the game.
- Surrounding sound in order to feel a deeper game immersion.
- Device to control the game.
- Virtual World.
So far so good, but let’s see how could we simulate an experience similar to SAO’s.
- Virtual reality headsets, nowadays we count with a wide range in the market such as the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive.
- Headphones with 7.1 (surround) and active noise cancelation. This point is not a problem, since we count with a wide range of headphones that meet the requirements.
- Devices that capture the movement (with the player in a fixed point). This is more complicated because we don’t have any solution that interprets precisely the brain impulses. But we could come up with other solutions combining several devices such as the Myo Gesture Control armband, the Virtuix Omni, the Razer Hydra or the Leap Motion, among others.
- As for the virtual world we count with several projects, despite they don’t consist on VRMMO games like SAO. They can be better or worse, but the most similar would be games such as Eve Online, No Man’s Sky or the ambitious project Dual Universe.
Curiously, there was a project called “Sword Art Online: The Beginning” sponsored by IBM Japan, that consisted on an event in which they pretended to get us closer to the world of SAO by using current technologies.
We hope that in the future we will be able to immerse into a virtual world and this doesn’t remain in just a dream. Would you like it?