Watch Vive’s Controllers Help Make An Amazing On-Stage Lightsaber Battle

by Jamie Feltham • February 7th, 2017

Admit it; at at least one point in the past year you’ve picked one of the HTC Vive’s wands and pretended it’s a lightsaber. You’re far from alone.

In fact, performing arts theater counterpulse is taking those imaginary battles one step further with the help of the position-tracked controllers. As you can see in the video below, taken by a friend of the studio, the group is currently rehearsing a performance that pairs the Vive wands with realtime projection mapping to create a spectacular on-stage fight sequence.

A second video of the performance was posted on Reddit.

lightsaber-battle

As two performers move their wands, a screen behind them follows, mapping a lightsaber-like beam to where the top of the controller is in relation to the surface. The result is an immersive dueling experience where the two are able to act out a dramatic battle without the need for more elaborate props. In fact, you could feasibly use this technology to make the Vive controllers a replacement for multiple props.

The actors are apparently training for a full show that will be coming soon.

Okay, so it’s not VR, but it’s a great use of VR tech and, as Valve’s Chet Faliszek pointed out on Twitter, a an even better example of what can be done if you “open things up” like the company has done with its SteamVR tracking, employed by the Vive itself.

If you really want to feel like you’re within a true Star Wars sequence, though, you do have some options. On Vive, you can turn your controllers into a virtual lightsaber with the help of classic Star Wars characters in the free experience, Trials on Tatooine. On PlayStation VR, meanwhile, Star Wars: Battlefront owners can hop into the cockpit of an X-Wing and take part in a VR mission that ties into the recent movie, Rogue One. A narrative-driven VR experience based on Darth Vader is also in the works.

As for multiplayer VR lightsaber fights? We’re not quite there yet, but the second such a project is released we’ll be sure to throw money at it.

Here’s another view of the battle sent to us by Jasper de Tarr:

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