This is a bit of a special blog post. This week I find myself in Mountain View, California, to attend the Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Conference and Expo 2014.
Many people know (and many don't) that I'm nursing a well-honed obsession for virtual reality, and have been for many years. I'm been working to solve one of the most significant engineering challenges in the field; that of virtual locomotion.
The problem can be put simply. How can you walk around in virtual reality without bumping into things in real life?
Well, if you want it to feel like normal walking, you are going to have to go to some trouble ... or, at least, I have on your behalf.
It's not completed yet by any means, but with the arrival of affordable 3D printing into my world the manifestation of the device into reality is getting increasingly close, and I can now much more easily communicate my design intent to people. They say a picture tells 1,000 words. Well a 3D print tells 1,000 pictures.
The Related Projects link has always been on my site here, pointing to this project for those who hunt for it, but here is the link directly: http://www.vrwalkerproject.com/
The image to the right shows the prototype of one of the shoe modules (sole facing upwards). The green front section has been printed solid, which took the best part of 24 hours to print. The blue parts are castors, fitted with standard bearings.
Big apologies for people who were hoping to receive 3D printed figurines of themselves this week. Mailing them out will be the first order of business once I'm back on deck in Melbourne.
Scott Phillips is a lawyer, designer and technologist, fascinated by the potential and the promise of 3D printing.