The University has recently acquired several VR headsets for us, giving us the opportunity to develop games and other digital products for them. One of those headsets acquired is a HTC Vive.
The HTC Vive system comprises of the headset itself, two sensors, and two handheld tools, one for each of the player’s hands.
The application that I tested when trying out the HTC vive was an application called Google Tilt Brush, which is currently exclusive to the Vive. The application allows the wearer to paint in 3D with a variety of tools, brushes, and effects, to create 3D artwork that can be walked around whilst inside the headset.
Tilt Brush requires the use of the Vive’s two handheld controllers, in order for them to act like a paintbrush and artists palette.
Testing the Vive
I found the Vive’s headset quite comfortable to wear and not as heavy as I had expected, although the cable that dangles from the back of the headset can be distracting. I found the controls for this application highly intuitive and quite natural. As I was using the tools, it felt like I was actually using a paintbrush and palette, and being able to walk around the space with my own two feet is highly immersive, making you forget that you are in a virtual space. For me, the Vive became so immersive that when I wished to remove the headset, I attempted to place one of the controllers down on top of the pedestal that I was working with, before realising my mistake and asking someone to take them off me so the headset could be removed.
Overall, I liked both the Vive and Google Tilt Brush. The Vive is comfortable and has a highly intuitive control system that anyone can pick up easily, and Tilt Brush demonstrates this perfectly, allowing the used to paint with the controllers. Unfortunately, I did suffer with a terrible headache for several hours after using the Vive, but that doesn’t dampen my enjoyment of it in the slightest.
Walton, M. (2016) PSVR vs. HTC Vive vs. Oculus Rift vs. Gear VR: Which VR headset should you buy? [online] Available from: http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2016/10/best-vr-headset-2016-psvr-rift-vive/ [Accessed: 21st December 2016]
Kaleidoscope VR (2016) TILT BRUSH BY GOOGLE [online] Available from: http://kaleidovr.com/project/tilt-brush [Accessed: 21st December 2016]
Google (2016) Tilt Brush by Google.[online] Available from: https://www.tiltbrush.com/ [Accessed: 21st December 2016]