Pantomime Corporation Launches Multi-Player, Immersive 3D Pantomime Playground™ Apps – No Virtual Reality Headset Needed

Sebastopol, California


Pantomime Corporation has today launched Pantomime Playground, the first interactive, multi-player 3D immersive reality software for consumers – with no need for a virtual reality headset or any new hardware.  The apps let any iPad or iPhone user see and reach into realistic 3D worlds, and use their mobile devices both as 3D viewers and accurate game paddles.  Pantomime Playground for iOS is available today, free of charge, at Apple’s iOS App Store.  

Pantomime Corporation has today launched Pantomime Playground, the first interactive, networked 3D virtual/augmented reality software for consumers – with no need for a virtual reality headset or any new hardware.  The apps let any iPad or iPhone user look around and reach into physically realistic 3D worlds, using their mobile devices as both immersive 3D viewers and accurate 3D game paddles.

Users interact in virtual worlds by handling their mobile devices.  Users can see their devices and their nimble, animated virtual hands — through their own screens, in virtual mirrors, and in worlds shared with other users, who can Teleport into the same scene over local WiFi networks.

Since the apps use ordinary mobile screens and don’t require a VR headset, Pantomime is the first immersive reality platform accessible to ordinary consumers and mobile game players.

Pantomime Playground for iOS, Launch Edition is available now, free of charge, at Apple’s iOS App Store.  As a bonus, this edition includes a link to a preview of Pantomime Playground for Mac™.

Domino Start iPad HitA user knocking over a line of realistic virtual dominos by swinging an iPad as a paddle, as seen by another iPad in the scene.

Pantomime Playground introduces patented Pantomime technology that includes several advances not seen in virtual or augmented reality systems before: 

  • Consumer Friendly — nothing to wear or set up – all you need is your mobile device and software
  • Interactive – while most virtual reality systems offer no way to reach in or see your hands, Pantomime turns every iPad or iPhone into an advanced 3D paddle, with animation of the user’s nimble virtual hands holding and swinging it
  • Mobile – with no VR headset, printouts or other setup, users can play in Pantomime worlds anywhere
  • Multi-player — iPads, iPhones and other devices running Pantomime Playground on the a local WiFi network can Teleport into the same virtual world, see each others’ animated virtual hands and devices, interact, cooperate and compete

The ultimate results of these technical innovations are social.  Pantomime’s immersive worlds for consumers challenge the stereotype of cybernauts as isolated, elite geeks in a separate world.   Since users don’t put on headsets, they easily see each others’ screens and make eye contact in the real world.  Since they can Teleport, they’re not alone in virtual worlds either.  And since no one has to buy special hardware, Pantomime isn’t for rich, courageous early adopters – it’s for everyone with a tablet or phone.  Virtual Worlds for the Rest of Us.

Pantomime’s patented methods let users accurately reach into virtual worlds with mobile devices, and even see the devices they are handling as they interact in virtual worlds.

When a user looks around by tipping and turning an iPad or iPhone in a virtual world, Pantomime updates its position and point of view according to its physical support in the 3D scene, as with a device balanced on a virtual table.  When a user grabs an iPad or iPhone with a thumb on the screen, Pantomime knows it is now being supported by a hand; it can be lifted above the virtual table, paddle objects in the scene with realistic leverage, and more.  Users can throw objects by tapping the screen, and use screen touch gestures to easily move and turn around in the virtual world without moving their device – for example when sitting in a car.

Upcoming releases will support Mac, Android, Windows, and other devices.  Pantomime is working with leading device makers, game publishers and VR headset makers to support popular devices, create immersive games, and enable interactive, networked VR.

While Pantomime naturally supports 3D gaming, the Pantomime Playground app isn’t a game – it’s an introduction of a new immersive technology, with a changing gallery of small, magical, physically realistic Scenes users can interact with and even play with others in.

Scenes in today’s release include Dominos, where users can knock down a line of Dominos by touching one; Bowling Pins and Balls; a simple scoring game; and a magical Gravity Dispenser scene, where delicate containers of Gravity change physics by releasing Earth, Moon, or space gravity when cracked.   In addition to paddling and colliding with objects, users can choose from over a dozen Throwable objects – from balls and cans, to weightless asteroids and sticky dirt – and toss them into scenes.  Since there’s no cumbersome gear to put on, children as young as 4 love to throw objects into these fanciful yet physically realistic scenes.

Pantomime CEO Dr. David Levitt, who helped invent VR at VPL Research, explains: “Pantomime represents a transition between two ideas of Immersive 3D: from our 20th century idea, with lots of special hardware and centered around people’s heads; to a 21st century variety that recruits the many digital displays, motion sensors and wireless networks we’re already immersed in.  Classic virtual reality has individual stereo 3D, but it’s much more expensive, invasive and isolating.  By embracing the screens that surround us, Pantomime’s new immersive reality is more organic – cheap, convenient and social.  Best of all, Pantomime is interactive, networked, physically realistic, and consumer friendly – since now anyone can reach into 3D virtual worlds with the devices they already have.”

Pantomime Corporation was founded in spring of 2014 by virtual reality pioneer Dr. David Levitt and Don Hopkins, a core developer of The Sims. The company won Launch Silicon Valley Tech Challenge World Cup in Digital Media/Mobile. Pantomime’s advisors include Arthur van Hoff of JauntVR, the leading firm for cinematic virtual reality, and Nolan Bushnell, inventor of video games and founder of Atari .  The company’s patents for methods to reach into virtual worlds with mobile devices began granting last year.  The Pantomime Playground™ apps are the company’s first software publications.


Carry 3D Virtual Worlds Anywhere

Assorted Objects Dominos Bedroom

Knocking Over Virtual Dominos
Domino Start iPad Hit

A user knocking over a line of realistic virtual dominos by swinging an iPad as a paddle, as seen by another iPad in the scene.

iPad Knocks Virtual DominosA user grabs an iPad in the Dominos scene.  Pantomime estimates where the hand is and shows it through the glass.
The user swings from the wrist, knocking over the line of dominos realistically.

Scoring in Soccer

Soccer Paddling Under JumbotronA user grabs the real iPad by its screen and swings it to hit the virtual Soccer ball.

Augmented Kitchen Tabletop

Kitchen Table Panto Balls into Flowers

Kitchen Table Above Candy Dish
Grabbing the iPad and turning it to look down at the virtual table, the user throws balls into the scene by tapping.

Realistic and Fantastic Physics

Gravity Scene Floating

No-Gravity-Earth-AmpuleDelicate containers of Gravity set the scene floating or falling when cracked.

Before Breaking Gravity Ampule

Gravity Dispenser by Ceiling FanPlayground provides first-person views of the scene 360 degrees in any direction, immersed in augmented reality.
A user looking up through the iPad sees the bottom of a virtual Gravity Dispenser beneath a real ceiling fan.

Bowling Ball Hits Pins Pantomime Playground includes a gallery of Scenes with physically realistic game elements like bowling balls and pins.

Multiple Networked Players
Multiplayer Family Soccer

iPads Competing

Easy, Natural Interaction

YearOldInPantomimePlaygroundA 4 year old engages instantly, tipping and turning to look around, stroking the screen to move, and throwing things into the virtual world by tapping.

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