Will a swivel chair be the thing that fully realizes the potential of virtual reality?
Companies like the Oculus Rift, Steam VR, and Sulon Cortex are all trying take us into a deeper state of immersion. Along the way, they are also trying to address issues like balance and dizziness. Being transported into a virtual world while you’re stationary in the physical one can create a bit of a disconnect, and your inner ear isn’t terribly happy about the whole thing. Hence, the motion sickness.
That’s where Roto comes in. The new Kickstarter project is a motorized base for your chair. As you move in virtual reality, the chair moves with you, helping solve for inner ear dizziness and creating a better overall presence for the user.
Someday, VR headsets will be wireless, and all the processing will occur inside the headset. We’re not there yet, though, so Roto created a tangle-free adapter, so as you spin around endlessly, the VR headset wire isn’t inadvertently choking you.
Racing games, in particular, could benefit greatfly from Roto. Driving in VR might look cool right now, but without that centrifugal force, it feels a little shallow. Having Roto spin you around as you take a corner will greatly add to that presence. And yes, you can add your own racing wheels, pedal sets, keyboards, and chairs.
Roto aims to hit £85,000 ($125,684), but considering the success of the Virtuix Omni (a kind of VR treadmill) and its Kickstarter, we wouldn’t be surprised if Roto greatly exceeds its goal.