VR | Beyond an Individual Experience

By now you’ve most likely seen someone using a VR headset – and maybe you’ve even tried it yourself. When you saw someone using the headset, did you find yourself wondering what they were seeing the whole time? When you tried it yourself, did you feel a little awkward moving around as others watched? You aren’t the only one asking those questions. As we’ve conducted user research over the past 12 months, we’ve continually encountered these same concerns.One of those users is a prominent sports team owner. We listened to his concerns about VR headsets being too individualized and isolated. Much like a live sporting event, VR has the potential to be even more enjoyable when experienced with friends and family at the same time. That led us to develop the DIVR Pod.

The goal was to create something that would provide an exciting experience both inside and out. Our semi-transparent screen allows viewers who may be waiting outside of the DIVR Pod to see what is going on, while those inside get the full 360-degree experience. The Pod utilizes a series of ultra short throw projectors to create a seamless, 360-degree image on both the interior and exterior surfaces of the Pod. The projectors are mounted in a modular assembly allowing the diameter of the Pod to grow or shrink depending on where it is being installed.

“We’ve been working on translating the singular virtual experience of VR headsets, such as Google Cardboard and the Oculus Rift, into something that can be enjoyed by a larger audience. The foundation of the project relies on wrapping a semi-transparent screen around the viewer(s) and then projecting 360-degree content onto it,” explains Brandon Wood, Design Technologist at Dimensional Innovations. “This sounds simple enough, but it proved to be a bit of a challenge. After getting the Pod structure fully assembled, we spent a week dialing in our projectors, and figuring out how to warp their images to fit seamlessly onto a cylinder.” The Pod development continues, as features and enhancements are being made daily.