From the myth of Icarus to the Chinese invention of the first kite to the blueprints of Leonardo Da Vinci to the achievements of the Wright brothers and every milestone in between, there is something universally majestic and compelling about the phenomenon of flight. Although modern aviation is much less than even two centuries old, tackling the force of gravity and the awe that it inspires is encoded in our very genes. And it is this magnetism for the sky that our Installation of the Week taps into with direct technological acumen.
It’s been dubbed the Hypersuit, and although it may look like a futuristic massage chair at your neighborhood shopping mall kiosk, it is actually a virtual or “augmented” reality (VR) installation that literally positions you in a horizontal flying position with arms extended to mimic the wings of a bird or plane. Using this “movable exoskeleton” to bank in virtual airspace, participants are able to explore otherworldly landscapes with ease and safety.
Hypersuit is a Paris-based startup dedicated to create highly immersive hardware and software technologies for gaming, and its star product was demonstrated at this year’s CES using the HTC Vive. Now in its prototypical form, it is predicted that the Hypersuit will serve as a kind of foundation or “base controller” for a slew of upgrades to come, not unlike a joystick for early computer games. Subsequent versions will focus more on tweaking controllability and immersion. As some of the videos “flying” around suggest, the product is cost prohibitive for personal use and will likely live in VR arcades until the model is perfected for circumstantial use cases. Check out the video below for more info: