Today's Immersive VR Buzz

Miniature ‘Beat Saber’ Concept Offers a Peek into the Future of AR Games

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Oculus released optical hand-tracking on Quest as an experimental feature late last year, and ever since developers have been showing off their own unique and creative ways of integrating users hands into VR. Yet again we look at developer Daniel Beauchamp for inspiration on the future of XR design, as he’s put together a literal mini-version of Beat Saber (2018).

Beauchamp has been busy creating plenty of quick-fire prototypes over the past few months, with three in particular that have caught our eyes lately. He seems to have a knack for making fun and interesting game concepts that, for the lack of a better word, are absolutely bonkers.

However Beauchamp’s latest work, called Miniature Beat Saber, not only gives us a peek into the future of AR games, using a virtual commercial jet interior as a backdrop, but it also somehow recalls the olden days of flash versions of the popular dancing game Dance Dance Revolution too.

Check out the video below, as Beauchamp slashes away at incoming blocks with his mini finger lightsabers, presumably while he waits for the virtual chicken and pasta tray and a 33cl can of Heineken.

Beauchamp, the Head of VR and AR at e-commerce company Shopify, actually does his public prototyping on his personal time. Speaking recently with Road to VR, he revealed his design philosophy, emphasizing that quick and silly is his personal path to creating new things.

“One of the best ways to unlock new & powerful ideas is to build upon silly ideas. That’s what I’m doing with hand-tracking. Rather than starting with ‘How can I build a useful product with hand tracking’, I play around with many little ideas that bring a smile to people’s faces.

They may seem random, but I’m learning a lot about what’s possible with the tech and interactions that could be applied elsewhere,” Beauchamp said. “I wish more VR devs did this. Don’t put the burden on yourself to build out a whole game or build out a whole product.

Build many small things, no matter how silly they may seem. You’ll be surprised at just how much you learn.”

And it doesn’t get much more silly than cleaning up your virtual blocks after playing.

Quest hand-tracking is expected to eventually leave its experimental status behind and become a full-blown feature on Quest, and other VR headsets are likely to follow, making the time ripe for developer experimentation ahead of implementation.

If you want to see more madcap creations from Daniel Beauchamp, make sure to follow him on Twitter for all things hand-tracking.

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