Right now, virtual reality is highly limited to wearing headsets over the eyes and using hand controllers. But what if VR gaming could incorporate the use of a full human body? Tim Sweeney, the co-founder of Epic Games, stated in a recent interview that support for that kind of technology could be in place by 2020.
In an interview with Sweeney by UploadVR during the recent GamesBeat Summit, Sweeney stated that in order for VR to take off, more realistic human avatars are needed. He believes that inward and outward cameras that can scan a person’s body could accomplish that goal. That kind of technology is already in place in commercial markets, but such a set up currently costs thousands of dollars. However, Sweeney believes that same kind of technology could be available for VR gaming in the near future “probably as little as three years away”.
That kind of camera hardware sounds a bit like what Microsoft tried to develop with its Kinect motion camera technology for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles. However, it never really worked as advertised in the real world, and Microsoft itself seems to have put further Kinect development on the back burner in favor of its HoloLens augmented reality headset.
Sweeney also thinks that advances in machine learning and AI will also help VR games. He believes that more advanced learning technology will allow games to offer much more realistic interactions with characters and the environment “beyond just killing monsters.”
Sweeney, and Epic Games in general, have been big advocates of VR gaming for some time. The developer of the Unreal Engine, which is used by hundreds of games, recently launched its own VR-exclusive title, the shooter Robo Recall, for the Oculus Rift headset. Do you think Sweeney’s predictions about VR gaming will come true? Let us know in the comments!