Parachuting in VR – our experience at Computex 2016

Virtual reality was the new hotness last week during Computex 2016. From PC backpacks to new games for the HTC Vive, a closer look at Oculus Touch controllers, Microsoft’s HoloLens efforts, and more — VR and AR were everywhere. There we a lot of great experiences to be seen during the event, but probably one of the most unique was a VR parachuting demo from Cool Master.

In the video above Lanh Nguyen — best known for his reviews and other great videos over at our sister site, Android Authority) — brought us his impressions of this demo. In his own words, “I have to say this was pretty freakin awesome and it was also the most elaborate and immersive VR experience I’ve ever had.” Coming from someone who has used the Cardboard, Gear VR, HTC Vive, Playstation VR, and Oculus Rift, that’s quite the compliment.

So how exactly does the VR parachute experience work? Basically you are harnessed into a special rig that suspends you in mid-air. Using an Oculus Rift in the demo (though just about any VR headset would work in theory), you find yourself parachuting through a virtual world with the special parachuting rig doing its best to make the experience feel as realistic as possible. There’s even a fan at the base of the unit, so you feel a bit of wind as you ‘drop’.

As you can imagine, this kind of setup won’t come cheap, if and when it’s offered to everyday consumers. Not to mention the amount of room such a setup would require. More than likely, this would be better suited for training, VR arcades, and other commercial uses. Either way, it’s exciting to see VR experiences that take that extra step to make us feel like we are really there.

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