Defying Gravity With The Weightless VR Bungee System
Run, swim, and flip your way through your favorite immersive experiences.
Developed by Nick D’Angelo, award-winning artist and winner of Inkmaster on the Paramount Network, Weightless VR is an in-home bungee system that grants you total freedom of motion while in VR, allowing you to run, swim, leap, and dance with nearly zero restrictions.
Based on a system used by stunt doubles in movie production, think more crouching tiger hidden dragon. Our system will keep the player in their play area all while allowing them to have the most fun possible.”
By having full freedom of motion and the support bungees, a player can safely lean back and dodge bullets like Neo, or dive forward into Virtual water and start freely swimming. Players can now dive to hit balls or catch virtual objects, all while knowing the bungees will bring them safely back to center. You might even dance or fight freely with another avatar.
Nick D’Angelo, creator of Weightless VR
According to the official Kickstarter page, Weightless VR works with a majority of VR headsets and spatial tracking systems, meaning developers need not worry about making any changes to their immersive experiences. Compatible with ceilings 7ft – 15ft in height (D’Angelo claims the max limit can be raised to accommodate larger spaces, such as convention centers), the system is secured to a support beam via a 6 inch circular plate and two heavy bolts; for exposed support beams, you can simply wrap the accompanying support strap around the object.
The bungee system supposedly works in any room-scale space, so long as it doesn’t extend beyond the boundaries of your designated play area. Of course, more space always equals more fun. Once you’re done with your session, the straps can be removed from the small mount and stored in a drawer, taking up zero floor space in the process. For maximum immersion, D’Angelo recommends incorporating foot trackers into your setup, such as the HTC Vive Trackers. Currently, D’Angelo is using an HTC Vive connected via a 10ft HDMI, 10ft USB extension, and a power extension. Various wireless solutions, such as the Vive Wireless Adapter and Oculus Quest, would also work well, removing the need for a convoluted cable system altogether.
There’s also a Pro Edition of Weightless VR in the works, one designed to appeal to VR esports athletes with several key improvements, including the ability to perform front flips and backflips, as well as never-ending 360-degree spins. D’Angelo says the Pro Edition can also work in conjunction with various omnidirectional treadmills; he specifically mentions the Infinadeck. More information regarding the Weightless VR Pro Edition is on the way, as well as new footage of users full-on sprinting in VR using the unique bungee system.
Both the Weightless VR and Weightless VR Pro Edition bungee systems are available for backing now via the products official Kickstarter. The standard Weightless VR system is currently priced at $299 and comes with a Weightless comfort harness, ceiling bracket, five Weightless bungees, a Weightless VR safety bungee, a 360 swivel hook (1000Ib max weight limit), and two Weightless VR logo stickers.
The Pro Version is available starting at $499 and comes with a 360 spinning 6ft support rig, a Weightless VR adjustable ultra comfort harness, five weightless VR body bungees, a Weightless VR safety bungee, three 360 swivel hooks (1000Ib max weight limit), and a ceiling mounting system. The system can be upgraded to a Pro Edition, although there are no details yet on what that process entails or how much it could cost.
Weightless VR and Weightless Pro Edition will begin shipping to backers worldwide December 2019 and April 2020 respectively. At the time of this writing, the Weightless VR Kickstarter is sitting at $27,226 below its goal of $30K with 50 days left to go in the campaign.
Featured Image Credit: Weightless VR, Nick D’Angelo