San Jose, California
At this week’s Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Conference and Expo, Pantomime Corporation stood out, demonstrating Pantomime Playground, the new cross-platform virtual reality app now in beta testing, with several unique industry-leading features aimed at consumers:
- users reach in and interact without new hardware, using common mobile devices
- no headset is required — users can view VR worlds through mobile devices and PCs
- supports multiple networked players over WiFi
- cross-platform — on iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows and Mac computers
The vast majority of SVVR exhibitors were using Oculus or Samsung Gear VR headsets in virtual worlds designed for one person, and with no ability to reach in or interact with others.
Other reach-in technology at the expo required special hardware, including Leap Motion’s camera based hand tracking and Sixense’ electromagnetic STEM solution. Only the patented Pantomime™ solution lets users reach in in 3D using devices they already own. No camera or vision processing is needed for fast, accurate tracking that allows realistic interaction.
Pantomime’s area had users interacting in shared worlds, seeing over each others’ shoulders, making eye contact – social behavior usually impossible in virtual reality.
Pantomime Playground lets users play in a variety of physically realistic worlds where they can toss balls, arrange and knock over dominos, and score goals in a cooperative or competitive game. Emphasizing the realism and educational opportunities, Playground lets users adjust gravity to Earth, Moon and Space values and experiment with the results.
Pantomime is easier and less invasive, for consumers — and for nerds. For once, this attendee didn’t have to remove his Google Glass to enter virtual worlds.
Caitlyn Meeks of Unity3D and Pantomime CEO David Levitt with a plaque recognizing the firm’s unique leverage of the cross platform Unity3D tools. Meeks manages the Unity Asset Store that will carry the Pantomime Platform™ SDK when it becomes available to third party developers.
Pantomime Playground was shown running on iPads, iPhones, Macs, a Lenovo PC running Windows, and Google Nexus and Samsung Galaxy devices running Android. All of them appear in the immersive Pantomime virtual worlds, where they’re visible to the other devices.
In contrast, last week virtual reality developers learned that when Oculus’s retail product is introduced next year, it won’t run on laptops, Macs, or anything but a high end Windows desktop gaming machine.
SVVR director Karl Krantz notes Pantomime is the only VR platform designed to include both headset wearers and ordinary mobile/computer users in shared virtual worlds. This provides a unique opportunity to open up VR beyond its current audience.
Says CEO David Levitt, “With Pantomime software, anyone can join in. Turn around 360 degrees and see the world you’re immersed in through your tablet. See more, larger views on any laptop or desktop computer you’ve got — a broader definition of Immersive fueled by Ubiquitous Computing. Everyone in the room or on the network can see the world and interact. Unlike most VR, you can look over each others’ shoulders, make eye contact, and never get motion sickness. If you like wearing a headset and can afford one, you get a stereo display with a wider field of view, but that’s optional. It’s not about funneling everything through one display; it’s about the thrill of interacting in physically realistic worlds, and with other people.
“With no hardware costs, and running on every popular consumer device, Pantomime is the first VR platform that can go viral with consumers.”