The Ultmate Battlefield 3 simulator is now even cooler with Oculus Rift
You may remember a few years ago when Omnifinity showcased its Ultimate Battlefield 3 Simulator with a giant omni-directional treadmill and full 360 degree panoramic screen. Well, the times have changed and the company is back with a new version of the Ultimate Battlefield 3 Simulator. Now instead of a screen it uses the Oculus Rift.
When you’re inside this shooter simulator, you stand atop the Omnideck 6, a motorized treadmill with 16 triangular sections of rollers driven by a 3-phase AC power source. The deck is a total of 6m wide and has very high acceleration and deceleration. That means as you run, crawl, and walk along, the rollers can keep pace so you feel like you’re moving while remaining in place. Omnifinity suggests an optical tracking system for full body tracking to accommodate this sort of rapid movement, but velocity control of the treadmill can be adapted to a variety of inputs.
The 360 degree projection screen setup from before was neat, but it was also expensive and difficult to implement. Adding Oculus Rift support makes the experience more immersive as it tracks the wearer’s head movements and completely fills the visual field. The projection screen had a visible top and bottom. The head tracking aspect of the Oculus Rift actually solves one of the more pernicious problems associated with the last Ultimate Battlefield 3 Simulator. Because the game doesn’t render what’s “behind” the player’s avatar, the projectors had to actually swivel around as the player turned. That was tricky and expensive, but the Oculus handles all the looking and turning for you.
You may be devastated to hear this, but you can’t just swing by Amazon and buy an Ultimate Battlefield 3 Simulator. The technology at the heart of the simulator (the Omnitrack Software) and the treadmill are the the core product that’s being pitched. It’s not a consumer product, unless you are very wealthy.
First published on geek.com.