Inspiration

Turris VR was born from a diverse career in product design & engineering that included experiences in furniture design and new frontier technologies in virtual reality treadmills and augmented reality. With the next wave of virtual reality hitting, it was very apparent to us that movement would be a critical piece of the overall experience for the user while challenging the content developers to create large experiences that are easily navigated. Primary methods for how a user were able to move around were primarily limited to "teleporting" or room-scale sensor based approaches which we knew would ultimately be a significant limiting factor of gameplay, development, safety and overall industry adoption.

What it does

Turris' patented technology reads natural and subtle body motions like lean, tilt, and rotation to direct a users movement in virtual reality, freeing up the hands for interaction from a safe and sustainable seated position. This approach of making the body the joystick aligns what the user can see with what their body feels, maximizing immersion while dramatically limiting the motion sickness attributed to current "locomotion" methods. In addition to user movement, Turris also decouples the point of view from heading direction, allowing a user to look around freely from where they are heading, i.e. you can run forward over a bridge while looking backwards over your shoulder to shoot at a target (just like can in the real world).

Turris provides the most intuitive movement protocol in a technology package that simplifies the content creation process for developers and new media professionals alike, mirroring industry standards of the left and right joysticks on a gamepad controller & giving suggestive force feedback for film makers to control a scene that now takes place with the user inside of it.

Turris is developing two categories of product for wired and wireless virtual reality and mixed reality headsets: In-Home and Out-Of-Home.

Our highest end out of home seating solutions for the film industry is a chassis that can integrate additional technologies in addition to providing the Turris hands-free movement experience. This will include multiple embedded technologies such as haptics, spatial audio, 4th dimension technologies such as heated and cooled air and suggestive force feedback for director control.

Our mass market (lowest price point) in home solution is a small wireless product that is mobile VR compatible and worn on the body or attached to any chair that can swivel & rock. The next generation will include small haptic feedback, audio controls, and direct user interactive capabilities.

How I built it

As a hardware company, the initial steps of prototyping included time spent sketching and designing early models in Solidworks to "breadboard" hardware together for initial viability and proof of concept exercises. Significant amounts of time was spent on the engineering and production with 3D printing parts, custom tooling, hand soldering circuit boards, and writing code to connect our technology stack to all wired and wireless virtual reality platforms including HTC, Oculus, Windows Mixed Reality, and now working on PSVR. Our app is primarily built on the Unreal Engine.

Challenges I ran into

Significant challenges were experienced in the development of Turris. Lack of industry standards across the myriad of platforms resulted in challenges aligning embedded engineering to software engineering. Turris will still face challenges with shifting bluetooth standards and updates to HID classes.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

1st generation prototypes of the virtual reality chair and "wearable" chair. Guinness World Record for Overclock Speed. Global patent work. Next generation of product development plans that will span out of home enterprise to in home entertainment. 1st demonstrations of Turris technology in Asian market.

What I learned

Hardware is hard and timing is critical. The industry seems poised for tangible growth and adoption if all of the pieces of experience can be aligned, from venue to content to hardware.

What's next for Turris VR - Immersive Handsfree Locomotion for VR/MR

Turris is currently finalizing its product designs to launch in to the market this year. We have extensive travels lined up for product demonstrations and collaborative discussions with organizations in many industry verticals including film, gaming, automotive, furniture, location based entertainment, and experiential marketing. The company launched full time in 2018 to capitalize on growth opportunities and will be scaling up throughout the year to deliver product and development kits to a selected group of partners.

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