HTC wants you to accessorize the Vive. At the beginning of the month the company kicked off a new competition over on Viveport, asking fans to design new additions for its VR headset, no matter how silly of infeasible. Over the past week there have been a flood of submissions that the community will vote on. The top three will each earn an HTC Vive, and the overall winner will have their design 3D printed (though not actually functioning).
As you might expect, there are already a lot of gun controllers and a lot of hooks to hang wires from. We’ve looked for some of the most unusual submissions we could actually see using ourselves. In our quest, we also found some of the strangest, funniest designs out there that we had to share with you.
We’ve got everything from haptic feedback controller covers to, uh, cup and ball accessories. Who knows, maybe the next big VR innovation is on this list? See anything that inspires you to make your own design? There’s still just under three weeks to submit a design.
Vive Hoverboard, from GabeMan
Back to the Future may have been a bit ambitious about the future of the hoverboard, but we can still use VR to step into the role of Marty McFly. GabeMan’s sleek board has a rubber balance disc in the middle that raises you off the ground, while built-in sensors mean you can actually direct and drive in-game. Tony Hawks’ RIDE board was “full of technology” and still failed, but with accurate lighthouse tracking we could see this being a pretty heavy addition to the Vive line-up.
Vive Pet Collar, from katie_tripixels
In concept, putting a collar on your cat so that you can track it in VR, and not the real world where you might actually need to find it sometimes, sounds silly. Still, it’s a very valid point that Mittens doesn’t know you’re experiencing room-scale VR and can’t actually see her when you’ve got a clump of plastic over your face. We certainly wouldn’t forgive ourselves if anything painful were to happen, so maybe this one’s a good idea after all.
Rating: Weird and Wonderful
Haptic Feedback Case for Controller, from MaxieGast
Vive’s vibration feedback goes a long way to adding immersion to certain actions like batting a ball, but it only gets you so far. Until a second or third generation of controller implements better haptics, we really like the idea of this add-on cover that you slide your wands into. It would enhance the feedback you get from your games to make every shot feel more realistic or every button give you resistance.
Player Tracking Camera Robot, from BOLL
Want to make your VR livestreams a little more cinematic? This awesome user-tracking robot will keep you in the center of the action as you run around your room-scale play area. The designer has other ideas to get the camera on a moving track too. Imagine making mixed reality videos that actually moved with this setup.
Lighthouse mounting on a Lampster body, from notadecoy
We’re more pointing this one out because of just how adorable it makes the Lighthouse sensor, rather than actually being that practical. As the name suggests, Lampster bodies are actually designed for lights, not high-tech pieces of tracking hardware. Look at the little dude though! If only he was several feet taller, so he could efficiently track where you were moving to, and not just look cute.
Immersive Floor, from Sander_Cohen
Have you ever walked over the virtual cracks in a dry desert floor or perhaps the flaky bridge boards in EVEREST VR and wondered “Why can’t I feel that?” Immersive Floor wants to bring you that bit further into your experience with electrically-charged modular mats that will change shape based on the surface you’re walking on. It’s a pretty interesting idea, though it adds to all the setup you’re already going through to get room-scale support.
Rating: Weird and Wonderful
Analogous Cup-and-Ball for HTC Vive Controllers, from Kaibear
Who needs VR when you’ve got cup-and-ball? Spend $799 on the high-tech Vive and start using it straight away with this addictive game that’s fun for all the family. No expensive PC required!
Rating: Best invention ever