Before we welcomed the Xbox and Playstation in our homes, we often played in arcades and shared gaming systems in public places. It showed everyone how fun video games could be, even if you couldn't afford them at home.
One company wants to do the same thing — with virtual reality. Atari and Chuck E. Cheese founder Nolan Bushnell and tech inventor Jason Crawford have revealed Modal VR, a company specializing in enterprise level VR set-ups for businesses and public spaces.
The current virtual reality options, the Gear VRs, the HTC Vives, the Oulus Rifts, are all personalized and designed to work in a room setting. Modal's set-up is much bigger: The system claims to reach 83,613 square meters (900,000 square feet).
And the company also offers a completely wireless full-body suit that tracks your arms, legs, and waist and translates your actions into VR. A "VR Fabricator" unit controls multiple systems that can work with 10 players and more (if connected to a network).
“What a lot of people are trying to do is they’re trying to make a system using one technology to power the whole entire thing,” Modal VR inventor Jason Crawford said, according to TechCrunch. “Putting them together in the way we have is different. What’s most important is how we’re doing it and we’ve created an end-to-end platform.”
Take a look at Modal VR in action below.
But Modal isn't just a hardware company, it's also developing the software end. It plans to launch an app store for developers who want to play with Modal's systems.
“It’s going to be very similar to an apple ecosystem,” Crawford said, according to TechCrunch. “Nolan’s vision for this is like the Atari 2600…you open the box, you plug it in and you start using it.”
While the arcade angle is the most obvious path forward for Modal, it also envisions the system being used by the military or design firms who want their designers and engineers to create things in 3D.