Knock, knock. Who’s there? It’s your spouse. They’d like to remind you that this is your eighth consecutive hour in Audioshield and it would be nice if you could take a short break to prove to your children that you still love them.
This is the primary function of the new “Knock Knock” feature that Valve is implementing in its SteamVR virtual reality platform.
The functionality – first spotted by eagle-eyed Redditor, Schinken – allows VR spectators who want to catch the occupied eyes of the engaged party to do so in a very unobtrusive way. All you will need to do is simply walk up and press the F1 key on the PC running the headset.
The VR enthusiast within will then be greeted calmly with a very gentle prompt that reads, “Someone outside of VR would like your attention.”
This person will then have the choice of either removing his or her headset and seeing what you want, or ignoring the prompt altogether and fully embracing their new role as a fully immersed being no longer interested in our lower reality.
What the “Knock Knock” feature essentially does is remove what I like to call “spooky shoulder.” This is the phenomenon when someone outside of your experience suddenly jabs your shoulder to get your attention. This can result in a few missed heartbeats, a fair amount of unfortunate expletives, and the end of more than a few previously happy relationships.
Knock Knock is also another impressive addition to SteamVR’s already impressive library of features that are designed to make VR immersion as easy as possible. Knock Knock will be joining the Pass Through and Chaperone programs that together have helped make the HTC Vive such a brilliant device.
Knock Knock seems to be another brick being added to the already significant wall that separates the Vive and its chief competitor – Facebook’s Oculus Rift – when it comes to ease-of-use features.