A new SteamVR utility aims to make virtual reality more accessible to users with physical disabilities, such as those who can only perform certain actions or have limited movement options. The software is highly customizable and covers a range of different situations.
The software, called WalkinVR, releases on June 29 on Steam and works directly with SteamVR in order to provide options for VR users who have physical disabilities. For example, if a user is in a wheelchair, it may difficult for them to physically turn or move while in VR. With WalkinVR, the user could be assisted by a third party, who uses an Xbox controller to make movements or positional adjustments for the VR user. Alternatively, WalkinVR also provides options to bind movement options to controller buttons, enabling the user to use a VR controller to simulate any required real-life movement that they may not be able to physically perform.
This is just one example of what WalkinVR can do — there are many more. If a user’s ability to move a controller is minimal or restricted, WalkinVR can dynamically adjust small or restricted controller movement to represent larger actions when translated into VR. Basically, slow or small movement of a controller in real life can be adjusted to be interpreted as a faster or larger movement in VR. You can see this in action in the video embedded above.
One notable feature is the ability to use a Kinect device to track a user’s hands and translate this to controller movement in VR. This is aimed at users who can’t fully grip or use a controller.
As the software is for SteamVR, it is only available for PC VR headsets or Oculus Quest when using it via Oculus Link.
WalkinVR is available on Steam from June 29.