Developers Stress Level Zero, the team behind the HTC Vive shooter Hover Junkers, are known for their VR experiments. But their latest investigation pushes the theoretical limits of Valve’s Lighthouse tracking system, as featured in the HTC Vive.
Using just two battery-powered Vive laser base stations the Stress Level Zero team set up a warehouse-scale VR play space and set themselves loose in their own VR world of Hover Junkers.
The team’s new, larger studio gave them “a STUPID amount of space” to get up to various room-scale shenanigans like VR obstacle course runs and even building real-world Docks out of shipping pallets.
This experiment was run using just two, tripod mounted, battery powered SteamVR laser base stations, the same number buyers can expect to receive in the HTC Vive retail box once the VR system ships at the beginning of April.
As impressive as this demonstration is, the ‘Lighthouse’ tracking system is known to be even more scalable. As the laser base stations are ‘dumb’ devices – that is, they don’t require attachment to a PC and receive no data – by adding more base stations, and as long as the cabling to your Vive headset is long enough, you could continue to expand your tracking volume. Exact limits of the system are unknown, and it’s reasonable assume no commercial game would ever seek to target these kinds of configurations, but it’s also a reminder of the Lighthouse system’s elegance.
The HTC Vive goes on sale 29th Feb at 10am Eastern (7am PST / 3pm GMT)., will cost $799 and will begin shipping on April 1st. Hover Junkers will be released for the HTC Vive from launch in April and is in development for the Oculus Rift and Oculus touch motion controllers – due to land in the 2nd half of 2016. You can pre-order the title at the game’s IndieGogo campaign page here.