By being open to indie developers and relatively cheap, the Oculus Rift has done something that no VR headset has done before it: encouraged experimentation.
If you have $350, a bit of coding knowledge, and a crazy idea , you can build it. A decade ago, even tinkering with VR meant dropping tens of thousands of dollars on a crappy, underpowered headset before you could even get started.
This crazy augmented reality perception experiment, for example? Yeah, probably wouldn’t have happened.
(I’m not one to strap warnings onto my posts, but heads up, people with epilepsy: there’s a lot of flashing colors behind that play button)
[vimeo 90300382 w=500 h=281]
By strapping a pair of cameras onto the front of the Rift and manipulating the video feed in real-time, one can pull off augmented reality in a mind-blowing way.
In this case, these guys are experimenting with modifying your view based on a song as it plays; when the song’s highs and lows rumble in your ears, the view shifts and warps in unison. It’s a rather trippy effect — a “feel the music” sort of thing, sans drugs.
If nothing else, this video further solidifies my hopes that the final, consumer version of the Rift will ship with cameras for the sake of augmented reality. Oculus’ founders have repeatedly suggested that their recent Facebook acquisition will allow them to integrate components they otherwise never could’ve afforded to… so, fingers crossed!