Some Korean high schoolers has built their own VR Overwatch gaming rig with motion tracking (including movement!) and a fully working gun peripheral – as part of their high school science club activity.
And it’s not a slap-dash piece of work either – while there’s delay between real-world input and on-screen action, performance is perfectly smooth and the ingenuity in adapting relatively common parts is abundantly evident. This is like a perfect introductory video for a Kickstarter team focused on getting macro funds – but these kids are literally simply doing a school project! Amazing.
Below is their video demonstration of the build process and the actual gameplay. The build process lists the specific, readily available parts used in the project – these include arduino boards, a Samsung Gear VR headset and Samsung phone, a laptop, some construction materials, ball bearings and suspension straps for the movement detection rig, and a copy of Overwatch.
Interestingly, they even managed to map the Overwatch character Soldier 76’s “Ultimate” skill to the same button location on the Samsung Gear VR headset – perhaps not fortuitously as they probably chose this specific character due to its in-game actions when activating his ultimate skill.
I’d bet that their interest in gaming, and in tech and science, has led them to create this project. I’d bet further that it won’t be too much time before they get approached by the VR powers that be with offers for funding and/or support – or maybe a simple job contract – perhaps in a few years after they finish their formal schooling.
It’s exciting times when a high school science club is able to create a fascinating amalgam of technologies adapted to a real-world, already available game like Overwatch.