An Italian developer tests the limits of VR comfort with a ’30 Days In VR’ challenge.
Thanks to new more comfortable hardware releases like the HTC Vive Pro and tetherless HTC Vive Focus, people are spending more consecutive time in VR than ever before. With the better resolution and upgraded ergonomic design of the Vive Pro, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that users are reporting extended sessions immersed.
However, even with these improvements, it’s still uncertain just how long a human being can comfortably strap into a VR headset. Enea Le Fons, an immersive developer based out of Italy, has been eager to find out with his recent “30 Days In VR” challenge.
Beginning the challenge shortly after the theatrical release of Ready Player One, Le Fons has been working, relaxing and exploring in VR for 30 straight days, with the exceptions of eating, sleeping and using the restroom.
“Everything I developed will be shared to the entire developer community as an open source,” said Le Fons. “Inspired by HTC Vive, my goal is to foster the VR ecosystem with the community together by creating content favoring everyone, making VR an essential part of our daily life: work, education, leisure.
“Thanks to Vive, I was able to precisely track all the objects in the VR environment; with Vive trackers, free movement was enabled even when I was wearing the headset, what’s more, with the advent of a comfortable device supporting long-term and intensive use like the Vive Pro, my productivity was also dramatically increased,” said Le Fons.
The lengthy process was made more bearable thanks to a faithfully recreated 3D scan of Le Fons actual apartment, of which he spent a majority of time in during the month-long challenge. Using a combination of SLR photography, a handful of free dev tools, some Vive Trackers and Tilt Brush, Le Fons was able to capture his own home and then render it in VR, allowing him to easily navigate the familiar surroundings.
Of course you wouldn’t be truly “living” if it meant being confined within your own home 24/7. Thanks to the wireless, Vive Focus VR headset, Le Fons was able to utilize the headsets advanced forward-facing cameras to travel and interact with the outside. Whether it was casual activities such as walking through a park or sitting down for some meditation, or a more intense experience like raving it out at an actual dance club, Le Fons was able to do it all.
It was important to Le Fons that from the get-go this challenge wouldn’t revolve around sitting on the couch. Le Fons imagined a more active, social experience, which is precisely why he removed all teleportation functionality, forcing himself to physically move throughout the challenge.
“I am very pleased to see that our products were able to meet the needs of such an intensive project, and also excited to see that Enea finished the program healthier and happier than ever,” said Alvin W. Graylin, China Regional President of Vive, HTC in regards to the challenge. “I am getting more confident that VR can become an essential part of our daily life in the future. I welcome more VR enthusiasts and practitioners to challenge themselves for new breakthroughs in the industry.”
The 30 Days In VR challenge is the result of a combined effort from Enea Le Fons, Andrea Bay, as well as coding support from Giacomo of the Italian-based studio 34 BigThings. According to Skarredghost, Le Fons is still powering through his 30 virtual days. You can keep up with the action via the team’s ongoing video diary.