Hardware projects

VMS created prototypes




While the main focus at VMS has been the development of the OVC-3D software, we have been forced to build many hardware systems where we could not find anything that matched our requirements. These prototypes are mostly for our internal use - we do not have any immediate plans to market or sell these items. We are providing descriptions of these systems that might be helpful to other people trying to solve the same problems.

VMS Dome:

Our goal at VMS is to create alternate visual realities - to place the viewer inside another world. We built a 12 foot diameter dome at the studio to experiment with this type of environment. Domes do not generate the same level of immersion as head mounted displays (HMDs) like the Rift or Vive - the audience has more awareness that they are in a room watching a show rather than feeling that they are actually in another world. But a dome allows live music to be enjoyed as a communal experience and can provide higher resolution and wider field of view than HMDs. We ended up designing and building the dome and projection system ourselves, using custom optical adapters that allowed us to use home-theater projectors instead of the expensive professional units normally used in multi-projector installation. Technical details...

VMS Immersion Booth:

We mostly use HMDs (i.e. Rift, Vive) for developing and viewing our musical worlds. We needed both a comfortable immersion environment and an easy way to get in and out. We wanted a loud 5:1 speaker system that was isolated from the rest of our office, so we built a soundproof booth. While we have a heads-up display that lets us make adjustments while wearing the HMD, some development is done using monitors and a desk that need to slide and swivel out of the way when we go underwater. Technical details...

VMS Hand Controllers:

We experimented with most of the commercial motion controllers, game controllers, and user interface devices, but found nothing that matched our requirements. We wanted precise tracking of hand position and orientation over a large range of movement as well as expressive linear controls with haptic feedback for the fingers. We built a platform for finger controls that straps to the palm and allows all 5 fingers to be used simultaneously and independently with a full range of movement. Technical details...

VMS Foot Controller:

When playing the OVC, we use 4 foot pedals to control the master brightness levels of multiple banks of effects. We like the feel of pedals designed for audio volume control, but they have analog outputs and we needed USB for our system, so we had to build an interface. If you want a DIY solution to the same problem, here are some technical details...





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