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Island 359 Developer Showcases Full Body VR Experiments

Ever wanted to kick something in VR, CloudGate Studio is working on it.

While current virtual reality (VR) can put users inside virtual worlds, making them feel incredibly immersive through motion controllers, picking up items or walking around objects there are still limitations. And these limitations generally refer to the rest of a users body. While hands and head can be tracked, hips, feet, legs and other body parts aren’t – if you’ve ever wanted to kick something in VR that’s exactly the point – but developers are testing solutions. One team that’s revealed its experiments is CloudGate Studio, who’ve just released a new video.

In the short video CloudGate Studio’s President, Steve Bowler showcases some of the early experiments in trying to create full body interaction within a virtual environment. To achieve this, Bowler uses two HTC Vive headsets and four controllers, two naturally in his hands, while the other two are attached to his feet. This then allows him to lift his legs and twist his feet, thus enabling him to kick various virtual objects.

With the software knowing where Bowlers feet are the entire body can now be represented much more accurately. This enables him to touch his chest, knees, even his toes in VR, as well as creating a realistic shadow of the players avatar. Bowler goes on to talk about crouching – quite common in shooting titles – and how the studio can procedurally mimic the action, but with a hip marker it would be far more accurate.

Another benefit of full body tracking Bowler notes would be for social VR, as people interact with each other in virtual worlds their avatars would be far more realistic, adding to a greater sense of presence and immersion.

Labeled as the first video on its full body awareness experiments, expect more from CloudGate in the future. For the latest news from CloudGate Studio, keep reading VRFocus.

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