Virtual reality is something that all gamers have dreamed of for an age and we are now seeing the reality of truly immersive gameplay come to life. Now I am sure you have all heard of the Oclulus Rift but there is one serious competitor that we have come across on the web and that is the Vrvana Totem.
Vrvana is a small company based in Montreal, Canada that was started back in 2005 by CEO Bertrand Nepveu who personally wanted to improve his video gaming experience. The team has since grown even stronger and 5 prototype versions of the product have been completed by a team who combined have 60 years experience in firmware, manufacturing, software development, project management as well as hardware design and development. In September 2014 a Kickstarter project was created in the hope of raising $350,000 for the release of the first dev kit, this was shamefully pulled after reaching a total of $180,000. Do not look at this choice to end the Kickstarter as a negative, Vrvana are now focused on releasing the full retail version and you can get your pre-orders in on the office site for a down payment of $50 which will go towards the final retail value. The first orders will be looking to reach buyers around October 2015.
When it comes to specs the Totem looks to be very pleasing and has some serious numbers to back it up. You will be getting a beautifully crisp picture with a 1080p, full HD OLED display offering a 90-degree field of vision. HDMI will be the connection of choice allowing the device to work with pretty much all available systems currently available. The camera’s that the Totem is kitted out with will allow for 360-degree positional tracking, the camera’s will also allow you to move between VR and reality, so if you suddenly need to pause and speak to someone or enjoy a refreshing beverage you can (Well thought of we think), with this in mind it could also mean that we are not far off from augmented reality, could you imagine being able to mix up what you are seeing in a game into your own home or game room (Virtual pool in the living room for instance).
- Screen: 1080p low persistence RGB stripe OLED, up to 75 Hz
- Field of View (FOV): 90 degrees
- Cameras: Onboard cameras for positional tracking. M12 camera lenses with 130 degrees horizontal Field of View.
- Connectivity: HDMI input, USB output (tracker)
- Sensors: 2x cameras 120hz 1080p (1920×1080), 3 axis 1kHz gyroscope, 3 axis 4kHz accelerometer, 3 axis magnetometer
- Audio: 2x 3.5 mm jacks, Binaural Surround sound
- Emulated controls: USB mouse, PlayStation controller, Xbox controller
- Non-game controls: Up, Down, Select/Base World View
- Supported engines: Unreal, Unity, Havok Vision, CryEngine
- Platforms: PC (Windows, Mac, Linux), Playstation 3 & 4, Xbox One & 360
- Supported media: All 3D formats, SBS preferred
- Size: 6.6″ x 4.4″ x 5.4″
- Weight: 400 g (estimated)
- Hardware acceleration: hardware accelerated motion tracking, hardware accelerated pre-lens distortion
Vrvana looks very committed to this project and will be releasing plugins for Unity, CryEngine Unreal and Havok Vision. This is going to be great news for game developers who will be able to show us just what they can accomplish with the exciting tech that they will be able to work with. Personally we are very excited to see how this progresses and will be keeping our eyes on everything that Vrvana have to offer. Obviously we are hoping to get the money together and get one of the retails versions so that we can put it through our paces and bring to you first hand just what this product is. If you want more information on the progress then head over to the official site: http://www.vrvana.com/