17 September 2019
The Virtualizer promises a fully immersive gaming experience. Photo: Cyberith
The Virtualizer promises a fully immersive gaming experience. Photo: Cyberith

The shot felt round the gaming world

In years to come, we will look back at this moment and have one name to blame: Cyberith.

Parents the world over are already struggling to get their sons out of their gaming dens and into the sunlight to speak to their friends in person. But now comes along the Virtualizer, “the next level of immersive gaming” courtesy of an Austrian with a goatee, according to the Guardian. It’s all over. The machines have won. 

Cyberith is the Virtualizer’s corporate progenitor and has turned to Kickstarter — the crowdfunding platform that helped one entrepreneur raise more than US$50,000 to make potato salad — to transform the harness-sensor-glasses combo into a commercial reality.

The idea is to propel you, the user, “inside the game and become one with your character”, the report said. The technology will let you feel the ground rumble and be the virtual mercenary in a way that a keypad or a Wii wand never could. It’s all achieved through “realistic force feedback”, “weight compensation” and “precise angle detection”, and is the product of tireless experimentation, so say the creators. 

It has applications beyond gaming, they say. “Why not explore historic sites, walk through a DNA strand or go for a walk on the moon with the Virtualizer? Or why not take a walk through your future home before it’s even built or design 3D models while you’re standing inside of them?” 

So far the project has attracted more than 300 backers and gained over US$210,000 in pledges from the Kickstarter crowd. Anybody getting into the game now can give as little as US$5 to the cause and know that they will always be deep in the Cyberith hearts. For that price “as a token of our Austrian love we offer you an exclusive audio recording of one of our CEOs, yelling at you ‘to get to se chooopaa’.” (Do I hear an echo of Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger?) Pledge US$10,000 and you’ll get the first Virtualizer to come off the factory floor and it will be coated in gold.

The window for these kind of offers will be open only for another month and shipments are penciled in for March, 2015. Enjoy these last few months with your sons while you still can. If the Virtualizer promo is any guide, they will soon be alone in an abandoned warehouse soldiering on in their socks and a web of Austrian technology.

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