Space & Innovation

VR Hoodie Aims for a Fashion-Forward Future

Conceptual apparel design puts all your virtual reality needs into one garment. Continue reading →

With long-awaited virtual-reality headsets like the Oculus Rift finally hitting retail shelves, the much-hyped VR revolution is upon us. Now, a new hoodie promises to optimize the VR experience.

The Shadow, from technology and design company Artefact, based in Seattle, has a suite of wearable technology and a number of built-in sensors for the discerning VR consumer.

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It's all strictly concept-stage for now, but the design is based on actual and emerging VR tech.

The hoodie itself would provide another level of peripheral vision isolation for the wearer, while a miniaturized external camera system would track facial expressions or moods. Smile in the real world, and your in-game avatar will smile as well.

In a nod to making VR a bit more social in polite company, an external screen on the visor itself can be flipped on to display the user's eyes or to project whatever is happening inside the VR simulation.

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Meanwhile, the headset is attached to wearable computer modules and batteries on the shoulders so that there are no visible cords running from the visor. Further down the arms, the Shadow ensemble incorporates force-feedback sleeves for haptic input, plus a vibration pack to simulate tactile sensations.

Finally, the Shadow system features sensors at the wrists for gesture recognition. As this technology improves, the wrist sensors could track precise finger movements used as a primary input device in games and simulations.

The Shadow concept is just one of several potential designs that Artefact designers are noodling with. You can check out the other ideas on the Artefact web page.

via Dezeen

The virtual reality revolution is upon us -- finally. After years of hype and development, three consumer VR headset models are scheduled to hit shelves this spring. Industry watchers are treating it all as a Very Big Deal, indeed. Virtual reality films and educational titles will open up entire new vistas of experience, but the first wave of VR goodness will come in the form of immersive video games. Here we take a look at ten of the most anticipated games en route for the

Oculus Rift

,

PlayStation VR

and the

Vive

headsets. The sci-fi adventure game

Pollen

, pictured above, is one of many multi-platform games designed to manipulate time and space by putting players in a richly detailed, 360-degree virtual world.

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The spaceship dogfight shooter

EVE: Valkyrie

will come bundled with both the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR headsets, and is likely to be most players' first introduction to virtual reality gaming. Advance word on the title, which supports team-based mutliplayer combat, is white hot.

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Created by marquee developer Epic Games ("Gears of War"),

Bullet Train

uses a hand-mirroring design to accommodate two-fisted firing with Rift's motion controllers. Check out the

frenetic demo video

to get a sense of Epic's VR update to the classic first person shooter (FPS) genre.

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In the space game

Adr1ft

, players assume the role of an astronaut in peril, exploring the wreckage of an orbital station in a damaged

EVA suit

. Developers are describing Adr1ft as a First Person Experience (FPX) game, with combat and violence replaced by exploration and puzzle solving.

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Sports simulations are expected to be a popular genre in virtual reality -- it's all the fun, minus the ligament damage.

VR Sports Challenge

will let players participate in hockey, football, basketball and baseball from an immersive first-person perspective. Rather than play through entire games, players will be dropped into short scenarios -- like defending the goal in hockey.

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In terms of daydream scenarios, being a rock star is right up there with sports heroics for armchair gamers. At least, that's what developer Harmonix is hoping. Just last month, the company announced that its popular

Rock Band

franchise will be moving to the realm of virtual reality sometime this year.

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With

World War Toons

, game designers aim to create a looney, 'tooney alternative to ultra-realistic combat games. Check out the very funny

promotional video

to get a sense of the vibe. These guys know their Bugs Bunny, clearly.

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The highly detailed outdoor adventure game

The Climb

suggests the interesting sideways directions that VR gaming can explore. Players can take on extreme rock-climbing challenges based on actual locations around the world.

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One of the first games to support early iterations of the Oculus Rift code,

Alien Isolation

was released for PC and consoles back in 2014. Sega hasn't confirmed that a full VR version will be released, but that's the rumor, and the game's suspenseful, atmospheric gameplay is a perfect fit for virtual reality terror.

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As the VR game market expands, you can expect some inspired goofiness, as well. The delightfully weird

Surgeon Simulator

line of games will migrate to virtual reality in 2016 with a new title featuring, um, alien autopsies on Mars. Guitar heroics, rock climbing, orbital surgery? This is going to be fun.

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