Arena Infinity is Striker VR’s first gun controller that uses the revolutionary haptic technology. The new VR gun can accurately imitate the function of various weapons. The creators of this gun, Striker VR first unveiled the design in April last year. The first working prototype was introduced to the public in August later that year.
Striker VR is aiming to introduce Arena Infinity into the Digital Out-Of-Home virtual reality market. The peripheral system is said to be designed based on Edon Guraziu’s amazing retro-futuristic design. Like many of the tech inventions, the idea of using simulator technology first took root in military circles. The military used this concept to train soldiers and treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients in the defense forces.
In April last year Striker VR was mainly focused on developing the haptic feedback system for simulator guns. With its new product, the company now aims to manufacture the replica gun. Tech enthusiasts who have tried the prototype were amazed by the powerful kick the gun controller was able to provide. For an electronic system designed for the virtual world, they felt, Arena Infinity had very realistic recoil.
Different Modes of Arena Infinity
The Arena Infinity prototype launched by Striker VR has an inbuilt haptic system. What this essentially means is that the users will feel they are shooting a real gun. Another interesting feature of Striker VR’s gun controller is that it comes with multiple modes – single shot, burst mode, and the full auto. Each mode replicates a different weapon. The single shot simulates the shotgun, the burst mode mimics the assault rifle, and the full auto imitates the sub-machine gun.
There is more to Arena Infinity that just guns; the gun controller can also imitate chainsaw for those who love horror flicks such as Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Evil Dead. With onboard haptic features, the possibilities are endless. In future, more modes like laser blaster and railgun effects can also be added to Striker VR products.
Opinion of an Expert
A lot has been written about Striker VR’s Arena Infinity, but people would naturally want to know how good this haptic gun controller is. Ben Lang, virtual reality enthusiast and tech writer for Road to VR, tried his hands on the technology. In 2014, he put to test the different modes of the haptic gun controller. Ben Lang isn’t new to shooting. He claims to have experience in shooting weapons such as rifles, pistols, and shotguns. He is of the opinion the only way to mimic the recoil that’s caused by a mini-explosion inside the gun is to create another mini-explosion. After using the gun controller, Ben Lang agreed that Arena Infinity came pretty close to creating that effect. According to him, Striker VR’s Arena Infinity has the most responsive and powerful recoil system he has ever experienced.
Striker VR’s Future Plans
Striker VR fitted its working prototype gun controller with an attached tracker. But, its goal is to provide support to other location tracking systems. This will give virtual reality firms the freedom to choose the tracking system that’s best suited for their use. Currently, Striker VR supports the tracking systems such as the Sixense STEM and PhaseSpace. The company is also working to incorporate Move Tracking System (PlayStation), Constellation (Oculus), and Lighthouse (Valve).
Speaking on future plans, co-founders of Striker VR, Kyle Monti and Martin Holly, revealed that Arena Infinity is just the start. For now the peripheral acts as a haptic doorway to the virtual world. In future, they want the haptic feedback system to interact with the surrounding environment. The idea is to simulate the happenings in the virtual environment. For example, to make the gun shudder when there is an explosion nearby in the virtual environment. The co-founders of Striker VR believe peripherals using haptic technology linked to virtual reality open up all sorts of possibilities to the users.
Haptic Technology – The Future of the Gaming Industry
The gaming industry, which some felt was reaching a saturation point, can get a new lease of life by adopting the haptic technology. Those who love to play FPS games (first person shooter games) will get to experience the excitement and rush of real life situation. With the help of Arena Infinity and other haptic peripherals, gamers can really feel what it’s like being one with the game. It’s believed the need to offer a better experience to users will force video game makers, to readily embrace VR games and peripherals that use haptic technology.
Striker VR hasn’t announced a definite release date for its consumer version of Arena Infinity haptic gun controller. When Arena Infinity finally finds its way into the hands of select virtual reality developers the SDK kit will include a haptic sandbox game, SDK, and the haptic gun. After its rollout to select VR developers, Striker VR plans a wider release of the development kit.