Starting tomorrow, the leading innovators from around the world will file into Las Vegas Convention Center and The Sands at the Venetian in Las Vegas, NV for the annual Consumer Electronics Show. At that show, you’ll see the type of technology that will astound and amaze, but most likely won’t actually come out for several years. Contrary to those companies, one tech company will be demoing their latest innovation in VR gaming and they aren’t waiting until tomorrow to debut it.
Since VR was first announced, one of the leading gaming companies centered on kids, MERGE has been developing and inventing new tech for the brand new genre. Their latest product looks to flip the VR gaming world on its head as it has created a VR experience without the headset!
Introducing the 6DoF Blaster (pictured). This blaster utilizes positional tracking technology that allows users to maneuver around virtual worlds by moving, ducking and jumping in the real world, hence the 6 Degrees of Freedom in the name. What’s even more inventive is that you don’t have to wear a headset to experience it. Instead, the blaster has a docking station for you mobile device and allows you to experience VR in broad daylight.
“What we’ve created is an intuitive and accessible virtual reality product and platform for the mass market. We can deliver a high-end, positionally tracked VR experience and put it in a form factor that’s easy to use,” says MERGE Founder Franklin Lyons. “MERGE 6DoF Blaster is a breakthrough product that will make virtual reality more practical for users and great for developers to build innovative gaming experiences.”
The MERGE 6DoF Blaster will be available later this year, in the summer, but developers will be able to get their hands on it earlier, likely in the Spring, as Dev Kits are being built now for distribution. Additionally, MERGE will also release the MERGE 6DoF Blaster manufacturing specs so manufacturers can create their own Blaster-compatible products. Products that meet the criteria will work with the MERGE ecosystem and be supported by content from developers and game studios around the world.
One developer that came to mind when I saw this new tech was Microsoft. For years, they’ve been trying to develop a VR/AR system in the Hololens, but seemingly haven’t worked out all the kinks. Adding tech similar to the MERGE 6DoF Blaster could help expedite the process. Although, it seems like a pipe dream that the Hololens will ever become a thing now.
Nevertheless, the 6DoF Blaster IS a thing and will be playable at CES 2018 from January 9-12, 2018! MERGE will also show off their new VR/AR goggles for ages 10 and up, called the MERGE Mini, and the MERGE Miniverse, a guide to VR/AR worlds. The MERGE booth will be at CES – LVCC South Hall 1, Booth 21523 and The Sands at The Venetian, Booth 43274.