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Your couch can become a VR thrill ride with Immersit

Putting four motors under a La-Z-Boy makes virtual reality seem more realistic than ever.

Richard Lawler , @Rjcc
01.04.16 in AV
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I've tried virtual reality demos a few times and there's always just a little something missing. Whenever the VR camera moves through an environment, I know my body isn't actually moving, and it breaks the immersion. To fix that, Immersit's device props your couch up on four motors to move back/forward, up/down and side-to-side (or any combination of those). Tonight I gave it a quick demo while wearing a VR headset playing 360-degree video filmed from the perspective of a rally car to see how well that works. While it didn't have as much bounce as your average low-rider, its movements were enough to help trick my inner ear into thinking I might actually be on a WRC course instead of the CES Unveiled show floor.

When we first gave Immersit a try the company was hoping to launch a crowd-funding campaign in August, which its press release now says is coming "several weeks after CES." The R&D team is still working on its prototype, and I hope they can improve it a bit more before launch. While its motion was doing a good job of syncing up to the video, it was often a bit rough and sudden in transitions. Stuff like D-Box has been around for years, but other than VR support, Immersit says it will let you encode motion tracks for your own video (think something recorded on a GoPro, if your life is exciting enough to require the addition of motion effects).

CEO Valentin Fage said it's powered by Immersit's patented system of electric motors, and I thought it needed a little more balancing between power and smoothness. Of course, I could only test it with one piece of content, and perhaps something other than a stiffly-sprung race car would move differently. Back in July Immersit said it could handle a couch loaded with four people, and it's something I'd definitely want to try again before purchasing or passing, especially with a planned price tag of around $1,000.

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