If the Star Trek Holodeck is the virtual reality dream, then Sandbox VR has got closer than most. Opening in new pop-up locations in San Mateo, CA, as well as other US cities, ahead of fixed centers in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, it’s a tried-and-tested group VR experience that has already seen success in Asia.

Now, it’s hoping to bring that experience to the US. When I stopped in for a pre-opening test run at the San Mateo, CA pop-up, I discovered a lot of the hardware used is actually off-the-shelf.

HTC VIVE PRO for the VR headset; gaming laptops integrated into backpacks for the processing; rumble vests to give you that authentic “I’m being hassled by a zombie” feeling. Sandbox VR’s special sauce is in how it all works together, because none of these things were really designed to turn a room into a Holodeck.

VIVE’s positional tracking uses cameras and isn’t intended for multiplayer, for a start. That led to the Sandbox VR team eschewing HTC’s lighthouse tracking altogether, and building its own homegrown system instead.

An array of cameras mounted high up on the walls track ball-spiked wrist and ankle bands, as well as the hefty-feeling gun and the VR headset. It’s like the motion-capture systems that big-budget movies use to turn Andy Serkis into Gollum. Read more from slashgear.com…

thumbnail courtesy of slashgear.com