One huge knock against virtual reality devices like the Oculus Rift is that they require users to wear bulky headsets to experience their immersive effects. The Immersis projector provides a similar kind of immersive experience for interactive gaming and other video viewing, but doesn’t require any headsets.
The device instead projects panoramic video images onto the user’s wall, enabling multiple players or movie watchers to get the same kind of effect as a virtual reality headset. The first version of Immersis uses technology based on real-time adaptation of an image to fit the shape and size of whatever room the user is in. The device is easy to set up and use. The projection technology is compatible with all existing display technologies currently on the market, either with conventional lamps, LEDs or lasers. The image format will be at least full HD (1920×1080).
Connected to a computer, Immersis can project any kind of video content at 180 degrees. If the content is two-dimensional, the projection is flat. If the content is panoramic, 180 degrees, videogames or 3D applications, the projection will be at 180 degrees. A TV, monitor or tablet can be integrated into the projection, either to benefit from the higher resolution or for a specific interaction on one of the screens. Existing game controllers can be used with the device. Backers who pledge $1,000 as part of an early bird offer will get the system when it ships in October. Immersis is looking to raise $100,000 on Kickstarter.
The system is certainly unique and holds some promise. While its degree of immersion is likely not quite in the same ballpark as what is provided by the Oculus Rift, it may be good enough for some people. But it will likely only appeal to a very niche consumer base–namely hardcore gamers. The required configuration could further turn off some other consumers.