The days of kicking your cat while in VR are finally over.
Some of the coolest experiences available in VR are the ones that fully utilize room-scale technology. Being able to move about a designated space deepens immersion by delivering a sense of unrestricted freedom. However, while most of us intelligent homo sapiens are smart enough to obey the rules and boundaries that come with room-scale, most house pets don’t really care to follow the carefully thought out safety guidelines. This can result in some truly awkward, and dangerous, scenarios where players are tripping over pets that become a little too curious as to why their owner is blindly waving their arms around with two weird sticks in their hands.
It’s exactly because of this invasion of personal space that compelled independent game studio Triangular Pixels to develop the world’s first VR tracking device for small animals. By attaching a HTC Vive Tracker to an adorable little cat jacket, the 4-person Cornish studio was able to create a light-weight tracking system that not only accurately detects where a cat is currently located, but whether or not its standing, walking, sitting down or even laying down.
In the video posted above you can follow the feline as it wanders through the deadly laser wires in Triangular Pixels VR title, Unseen Diplomacy. The cat, represented via a simple avatar, can be seen trotting carelessly passed the feet of the user, casually ignoring the various traps and obstacles of the game.
The lightweight design of the Vive Tracker and adjustable cat harness means there’s no discomfort for the animal as it wears the tracking set up. The sweet little purr-machine can still move and roll around freely with virtually zero restrictions.
While the system is currently calibrated for creatures of the feline persuasion, Triangular Pixels hopes that once the device officially releases later this year, people will able to use it on various small animals and possibly even children. I personally can’t think of anything funnier than seeing a small toddler stumble past me during a fierce round of Robo Recall.