How Much of Your Space Will Virtual Reality Occupy?
There have been several reviews of the HTC Vive that have praised the room-scale feature of the system. It allows the user to walk around his own room and be present inside of a virtual reality at the same time. The set-up process however can be tedious as it involves an array of processes. First process is installing two cameras on opposite corners of the room, then you have to pair two wireless controllers and adjust the headset to a comfortable position on your head. Finally, you tether your headset to an internet connection or your PC. The idea of basically being fully immersed in virtual reality in your room is very appealing but there is an impracticality about it which bursts your bubble.
The question is, would you set up and install the HTC Vive in your home and what are the problems that may arise in terms of space? Adi wrote in her review “The Vive towers can cover a maximum area of 15 by 15 feet, but I was able to play almost every experience Valve provided in a rectangle just wider than my outstretched arms.” Some of the problems you may likely encounter will be elaborated upon below.
If for instance you decide to install the HTC Vive in your office where you have your computer and your office happens to be narrow with little room available to actually walk around with the headset on your head, you might have to remove your couch or something to free up some space. This sounds crazy, removing furniture for VR.
Plus there is also the risk of accidentally breaking something in the room like your television. The HTC Vive however has a visual cue inside the virtual reality that prompts you when you’re about to hit a wall or an object in the real world. The problem with limited space is that games that require so much space like Unseen Democracy (which requires a full 4m x 3m tracked space with no physical obstructions) are out of the question.
If you then decide to move your computer to the living room, your couch automatically becomes a mini workstation for your PC and this will conflict with other business like watching television etc. additionally, you would need to hang your cameras in the living room which quite frankly will not add to the beauty of your interior design. Besides your wife won’t allow it and it’d be a bad example for your kids moving around that much in the living room.
Wherever you do decide to put the HTC Vive, you will need plenty of space to get full immersion. You must find a wide and unobstructed space with a computer present and far away from your valuable breakables or dangerous objects that might be lying around. So no, your living room is not so good, and your kitchen or garage is probably not a good idea. The Vive doesn’t just require space, it requires the right amount of space. So if you want to enjoy the full immersion of virtual reality using the HTC Vive, make sure you have the right amount of room. If you don’t you are inviting upon yourself unnecessary headaches in the logistics department.