Bohemia Interactive Simulations VR VBS3 live demo

Bohemia Interactive Simulations has again shown VR interaction with their VBS3 product at I/ITSEC 2016 in Orlando, Florida.

Sharing earlier development with engines that power the ArmA3 and DayZ video-games, VBS3 is a complex defense-industry training simulator product.

Bohemia Interactive Simulations VR with Oculus Rift

The multi-station Combined Arms demonstration included four Oculus Rift based stations. A two place F/A 18 crew and a driver/gunner Stryker vehicle crew.

Leap Motion cameras supplemented the Oculus HMDs. The F/A18 crew directly input data on the virtual aircraft’s cockpit MFDs with their fingers as one would in reality.

Earlier videos demonstrated tracked hands using the Leap Motion in VBS3.

The whole multi-station networked demo is run in real-time. It shows that BISim has huge confidence in their product and the VR integration appeared faultless.

VR Motion Platforms

Also of note in the Bohemia Interactive Simulations VR demo is Talon Simulations‘ Atomic A3 Motion Simulators. The F/A18 Pilot and the Stryker driver each sat in seats mounted on a A3 compact motion platform. The platforms receive simulation data from VBS3/VBS Blue to cue motion. The accelerations of the platform cue the human balance system to perceive in-environment physical movements.

The Oculus tracking camera is mounted on the moving part of the seat. This ensures the users head is tracked relative to the seat regardless of the orientation of the chair. The Leap Motion cameras similarly track relative to the Oculus HMD.

I’ve not had the opportunity to try VR combined with a motion platform. I’d imagine it helps with matching up the vestibular system with the visual cues from the HMD. This should allow for greater VR comfort as well as the obvious realism/immersion boost.

It’s also interesting to see practical combination of immersive VR users with simple desktop display users in the same environment.

This could allow highly immersive training for the students in the VR environment. Tutors can then perform the role of other units on the simple desktop stations. This is much like the established training method used in fixed-base and motion platform aircraft simulators for pilot training.



H3VR Christmas Advent Calendar

I’m not having a Christmas tree this year. The fact is, the only space I have to put one is inside my Vive room-scale space and that’s not going to happen 😉 Developer Anton to the rescue with the H3VR Christmas Advent Calendar!

H3VR Christmas Cracker

This month, Hotdogs Horseshoes & Hand-Grenades is being updated every day up to Christmas with an advent calendar box containing new goodies to add to the item spawner. The H3VR Christmas advent calendar is filled with new guns and other stuff that goes boom and/or jingle.

To access the advent calendar, make sure H3VR is up-to-date in Steam. Then, in game, hit the “Meatmas” button on the left of the selection board. You’ll find yourself in a snowy Christmas environment. Christmas candy-canes and festive hot-dogs abound.

Christmas Chill

You’ll almost have a warm, festive feeling inside until you realize the truth. You’ve been shrunk and trapped in a snow-globe at Anton’s place. 😯

In any case, there’s no escape so don’t bother fighting it. Instead, enjoy the Christmas gifts on offer. Each gift or set of gifts is found inside an advent box. Simply find the day’s advent numbered box and pull the lever down on the right.

To funky music and confetti, the front of the box slides up. Inside is a description of the gifts you’ve received and the gifts themselves. Note that these gifts are also now available from the item spawner.

I was a bit late to the game and joined the H3VR Christmas calendar a bit late at day 10. This meant a bit of a binge of opening advent boxes. The first few are easy to find. The others you need to roam around to spot. It’s not terribly hard to find them, the confines of the snow-globe aren’t huge.

There’s no cheating though, the advent boxes only appear on the day of their update. You’ll notice Steam updates every day. If you can’t find a day’s box, ensure H3VR has updated in Steam.

Such a stream of new treats every day is everything an early-access title should be and much more.

New toys in the box.

H3VR Tactical Melee Yule Log
My tricked-out virtual yule log.

My new favourite toy so far is definitely the Tactical Melee Yule Log. A classic yuletide log, it has a wreath of holly wrapped around it. It also has several Picatinny rails.

I haven’t quite decided what to do with mine yet. It’s currently sporting a hand-grip and a scope. Maybe I’ll give it a laser sight too…

Day 9 was rather awesome, 3 bullpup rifles including an L85A1 (Please can I have a SUSAT to go with it next Christmas?). Day 10 included an “L25 Jingle Nade” with the expected effect. 🙂

rudolphI also had some fun making up one of the new bolt-action rifles with some reindeer antlers and a red nose. I christened it Rudolph the Red-Nose Rifle. Sometimes, I’m so witty it hurts…

Just remember to use tall rail adapters for the scope or yule [sorry] have an eye-full of red nose.

On the Christmas List.

There’s also a H3VR Christmas Card competition running until the 18th. Basically, create the best H3VR Christmas Card, post it on Reddit and win a prize! Full entry details can be found here:

H3VR itself is in early access, you can find it in the VR section on Steam.