Three-Tier Warning System Helps Protect Your Expensive Objects While In VR

Stop Sign VR could save you thousands in damage control.

You’ve seen the videos online. Someone wearing a VR headset is frantically swinging their arms in all directions and in all the comm

Moments later something valuable is getting smashed. Cue the sad trombone.

Available now via SteamVR, Stop Sign VR offers an enhanced heads-up display (HUD) designed to give you a better warning system by displaying a literal stop sign in front of you and on your controllers when you move too close to a real-world object, whether it be your computer monitor, new 4K Ultra HD TV, furniture, or any other potential obstruction located in and around your VR play area.

In addition to the visual warnings, Stop Sign VR employs spatialized sound through Steam Audio’s HRTF-based binaural rendering to discourage you from leaving your play space. As you move closer to a real-world object you’ll begin to hear a buzzing sound and experience haptic feedback in the controllers.

It will also use spatialized sound through Steam Audio’s HRTF-based binaural rendering. This means you’ll hear a buzzing sound in the VR headset as you get closer to real-world objects as well as experience haptic feedback in the controllers.

Unfortunately, the app still won’t help you from smashing someone right in the kisser or stepping on any pets that may wander into your play area. Sorry Snoopy!

Setting up Stop Sign VR is easy. Simply download the app and then launch the Steam VR dashboard. Click on the Stop Sign VR icon at the bottom and put the app into edit mode by switching it from active to inactive. There you will see five virtual boxes which can be used to track inanimate objects and establish your VR play space. The first, a grid box, can be used to create your play area; the remaining 4 boxes are what you’ll use to protect various items in your room. 

You can modify the height and length of each box to match up with items in your real-world room. As for your ceiling, simply enter the height and the app will automatically generate a virtual roof; if you have a ceiling fan or chandelier, just use one of the four adjustable boxes.

If your only concern is your TV, you can use a single box to create a warning system and then place the remaining four boxes up in the ceiling area. Thanks to its customizability, Stop Sign VR could be modified to fit a number of setups and play spaces.

“Ignore Headset Distance For Fade In,” for instance, is a setting designed for play areas with lower ceilings. Say you’re playing underneath a lower-than-average ceiling; there’s a ceiling fan as well, but it’s just high enough that you won’t hit it. With this setting activated, the controllers still trigger the fade-in and the headset still displays impact alerts and proximity warnings, only now you won’t have an intrusive warning show up when you’re standing directly underneath the fan. 

Once the room is set up, just go back to your Steam dashboard and switch Stop Sign VR back to active.

Warnings come in three stages:

  • Stage 1 – When you move too close to a real-world object you’ll see a grid, much like the normal grid you’d see in an HTC headset or Oculus Quest.
  • Stage 2 – If you get closer to that object, a stop sign will appear on your controller. 
  • Stage 3 – Step even closer and the stop sign grow dramatically in size and you’ll begin to hear an annoying and intrusive sound to discourage you from moving any closer.

Some boxes are different than others. Box five will create a barbed wire guardian that becomes increasingly difficult to see through as you grow closer to an object, eventually blocking your view entirely. Step even closer and you’ll receive a shmorgishborg of VR warnings like the intrusive stop sign and annoying audio which—now that I think about it—sounds a bit like a hockey buzzer.

Stop Sign VR is available on the Steam Store for $5.99.

Image Credit: Reality Inside Ltd.

About the Scout

Bobby Carlton

Hello, my name is Bobby Carlton. When I'm not exploring the world of immersive technology, I'm writing rock songs about lost love. I'd also like to mention that I can do 25 push-ups in a row.

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