Pantomime Corporation today announced the first cross-platform networked virtual reality software, the Pantomime Playground apps for iPad, iPhone and Mac. The apps lets users reach into shared virtual worlds to interact in 3D using ordinary tablets and smart phones, without requiring anyone to wear a headset or use a new gadget.
Unlike prior virtual reality offerings, Pantomime™ runs on mobile, laptop and desktop computers as well as VR headsets, opening up interactive virtual reality to hundreds of millions of mobile consumers. The company revealed video of users easily interacting in networked virtual worlds and playing with others using tablets, phones and computers.
Video shows users learning Pantomime’s unique 3D mobile gestures in about a minute. These include paddling by grabbing the screen with a thumb and swinging it like a 3D Wii controller. Simple stone tablets in the virtual world show users to Spin, Skate, Throw objects, Paddle and Walk with their mobile devices to interact in 3D worlds.
Pantomime™ Enables Consumer VR with Software
Pantomime’s patented technology for using mobile devices to reach into shared virtual worlds introduces several advances at once. With Pantomime, virtual reality is becomes interactive, networked, multiplayer, more social, mobile, and cross platform. Most important, users can reach into the same shared virtual worlds whether they have a VR headset or not. Pantomime thus lifts the key barriers to mass adoption of VR by consumers: easy access, reaching in, sharing, and mobility. Pantomime co-founder and CEO David Levitt explained, “Pantomime provides a bridge between the surging mobile game market and the nascent virtual reality industry that will make whole the pie grow bigger – and much faster.”
Virtual reality headsets like the Oculus DK-2 and Samsung Gear VR let users look around but offer no way for them to reach in or even see their hands. Pantomime lets anyone reach in to play in the virtual world using their favorite mobile device, and see it in VR — including the device and animated virtual hands holding and moving it. Users even see their virtual fingertips through the tablet or phone they’re holding, as if the screen is now made of glass.
Networked, Social and Multi-Player
Unlike many isolating single-user VR experiences, with Pantomime people on the same WiFi network can visit and see each other, interact in shared virtual worlds, cooperate, and compete.
Unlike an Oculus, Nintendo Wii or Xbox Kinect experience, no camera or other setup is needed for Pantomime™. Users can play on a table, in a vehicle, in their laps — almost anywhere.
iPads, iPhones, Androids, Macs, and PCs can share networked worlds with similar, easy interfaces.
Because Pantomime’s patented algorithms don’t require camera input or vision processing, they can achieve higher frame rates, lower latencies and greater physical realism than most tracking systems. The mobile device becomes a gyro-stabilized 3D version of a Wii-style game paddle, with an adjustable grip and unlimited leverage in the virtual world.
Pantomime Platform™ Third Party Licensing
Pantomime Corporation will license its patented technology and cross-platform software to third party software developers for game, educational, social, enterprise, telepresence and other applications through the Pantomime Platform™. Pantomime Playground introduces developers and consumers to this unique technology.
The Pantomime Playground worlds include a game with scoreboards and timed rounds that can be played by multiple users over the network. The 2 minute tutorial also shows a player opening canisters of Gravity, in effect conducting experiments that compare physics on the earth to the moon, space and other planets — a glimpse of realistic educational experiences. Numerous undocumented “Toys”, objects to Throw, and other surprises can be found among the Menu choices. In testing, Pantomime Playground has appealed to children without instruction, to teens, who mastered it quickly, as well as adults, gamers and game publishers.
Alok Kejriwal, CEO and co-Founder of leading international game publisher Games2Win, said, “I was blown away by Pantomime Playground! It is just the kind of out of world experience we are looking for to implement in our casual, snacky games! Pantomime is a time machine. It’s going to warp speed games into the future! We eagerly await the SDK to start trying it out in our games.”
Pantomime Playground™ will be available at the iOS App Store and the Mac App Store this spring.
About Pantomime Corporation
Pantomime Corporation, headquartered in Sebastopol, California, was founded in March 2014 by virtual reality pioneer Dr. David Levitt and Don Hopkins, core programmer for the most successful PC game franchise in history, The Sims. Pantomime Corporation’s patented virtual reality software platform turns any tablet, smart phone or computer into a portal into shared virtual worlds — headgear optional. The firm is privately held.