If there is a game where I get to play as Katniss Everdeen from Hunger Game, I wish it would be one that allows me to shoot virtual enemies with a bow. No, I don’t mean in a VR game where I have to use a controller. I want to use a real bow. I also want to be headset-free so I can perform all those perfect stunts.
But that would require an environment that has projections of virtual enemies, as well as a bow that does not actually shoot real arrows – or else I would end up destroying everything.
Oh yes, this is mixed reality (MR) I am talking about.
VR is immersing a user in a complete virtual world with interactive virtual objects. AR is having un-interactive virtual input in the real world. MR, on the other hand, is a completely different concept. MR is interacting with virtual objects in the real world. In short, virtuality and reality are blended together.
Japanese VR/AR/MR hardware developer CENOTE Inc. has made my dream come true. They have made an electric bow that fires virtual arrows to kill virtual enemies. Thank to this wonderful invention, I was lucky to act like Katniss Everdeen for once at their booth during Taipei Game Show.
In the bow’s grip section, there is a mobile laser projector, sensor, battery, etc.. The projector projects the game’s environment on a white screen, allowing users to see the environment wherever they aim. Therefore it is best to use it in a complete dark room. The experience is made so realistic that the power of a shot actually depends on how much force used to fire an arrow, and users have to see through a scope to aim. The entire gear enables an ultimate indoor hunting-like experience.
Such a gear is perfect for gaming. Imagine replacing our controllers with this bow when playing the Last of Us – it will be so immersive. It is like an indoor archery war game against computers. However, such an MR gaming mode requires a large place to carry out since movements are no longer limited to the virtual world in VR and the screen in AR (or not if it’s combined with the Virtuix Omni technology).
Beside the whole MR idea not being quite ready and practical for use now, the bow itself is not exactly ready as well. CENOTE Inc.’s CEO Masasuke Yasumoto told us it cost at least 2,000 USD to assemble the electric bow. The most expensive part is the sensor. It seems that there is still a long way to go before making it commercial and popular. Plus, the scope of projection has to be wide if it’s for commercial games in which enemies are basically everywhere.
▼ CEO Masasuke Yasumoto
This technology is game-changing. Once CENOTE Inc. is able to commercialise it, I am sure MR will be able to replace VR as the latest gaming trend.
You can check out their website here.