How to Avoid VR Interference in the Modern Arcade
What is VR Interference? It may be something you’ve never heard of, but as Virtual Reality attractions and games become more commonplace in FECs and arcades, it’s something that you’re bound to come across as an operator.
VR Interference can happen when multiple virtual environments are run in close proximity. Virtual reality is possible through the use of sensors that measure motion and direction in space, which then translate movement into a virtual environment and sends the information to a headset so the guest can experience, that’s right, virtual reality. If sensors from different environments get their signals crossed, errors can occur. This generally reveals itself in the form of inconsistent headset tracking behaviour.
Don’t assume you have a faulty game
Interference can be hard to troubleshoot. Your first inclination might be that you have a faulty game. This may not be the case at all.
Virtual Rabbids: The Big Ride utilizes HTC Vive headsets to create its stunning virtual world. The Big Ride utilizes two sensors, commonly referred to as Base Stations or Lighthouses. One Base Station is located just below the LCD screen, and the other Base Station is on top of the sled between the two fans. Guests seated between these sensors while wearing the HTC Vive headsets will be able to experience the thrilling ride offered by the game. However, when two games are placed near each other, or another virtual environment exists nearby (such as Hologate, for example), the VR world between the sensors can cross lines of communication. They basically “get confused” about what they’re supposed to be tracking, and where.
HTC Vive headsets are becoming the most popular VR headset in the commercial virtual reality space. If you’re running a Virtual Rabbids unit near another virtual reality attraction and there are headset tracking issues, start by investigating whether the sensors are interfering.
Running multiple Virtual Rabbits units in the same location?
Just because you are running multiple Virtual Rabbids units does not mean you’ll have a problem. We have many operators running side by side units who have not experienced any issues, but every environment is different, and this is still an emerging technology.
While we can’t offer specific troubleshooting advice on every virtual reality game or attraction out there, we can offer some solutions if you experience any interference issues with Virtual Rabbids units.
“We placed 2 units in one location and they have consistently ranked Number 1 & 2 amongst the 160 games on offer. We’re extremely happy with our purchase of this unique machine!”
– Stephen Bennett, Power House Entertainment Group / Sector 66
There are some simple fixes for this interference:
- Place VR games away from each other so that no interference can occur.
- Virtual Rabbids games can be placed back-to-back to alleviate any interference.
- Add signage between the games that blocks interference.
If you visited the LAI Games booth at IAAPA in the past few years, you may have noticed that we use a large foam board sign between our two units of Virtual Rabbids. The sign serves the dual purpose of conveying information about the game, and allowing us to have two units operate side by side without interference.
If you are interested in creating that signage for yourself, contact our marketing department for artwork specifications.
VR Interference might only be a growing pain as Virtual Reality continues to develop for Out-of-Home Entertainment, but for now, we hope this article has shed some light on troubleshooting any issues you may encounter.
Want to learn more about the first unattended Virtual Reality experience for arcades and FECs? Check out Virtual Rabbids: The Big Ride product page.