Oculus VR’s continues to improve its Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) by the day, although there are some factors that the company is yet to perfect to achieve total immersion. But while Oculus VR continues to work within its HMD, one developer has looked for solutions outside of device to create the perfect audio experience within VR. That developer is University of Art and Design in Lausanne interactive designer Simon de Diesbach, who has recently revealed OccultUs for the Oculus Rift.
As revealed by Fast Code Design, OccultUs is a unique new VR experience that uses real world sounds to immerse players in its digital world. Players sit in the middle off a room surrounded by various objects and put on the Oculus Rift. They are then taken on a brief tour down a dark corridor, filled with various set pieces placed either side of the corridor. As players move past each set piece, the corresponding real world object will create the sounds to replicate its movements. Smashing glass, for example, is replicated in the real world by dropping glass onto the floor at the same time that it breaks in the experience, while the sound of a turning gear is recreated by dragging a metal chain across a surface.
The title is designed to be a scary one as de Diesbach believes this is the best way to immerse players. OccultUs takes advantage of the players vulnerability without sight of the real world creating a tense atmosphere even without the presence of more traditional horror elements. The developer apparently plans on expanding the concept with more sounds, though isn’t sure this approach will catch on with the mainstream. VRFocus will continue to follow any and all VR experiments, keeping you up to date with each one.