Birdly and HTC Vive let you fly like a bird over Manhattan

It ain't easy being a bird, as I found out.

189 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

    Sponsored Links

    Nope, we're not quite done yet with the HTC Vive demos at Computex. In addition to the three VR titles we tried yesterday, there was one more that we managed to hop onto after the show floor cleared. Yes, it was that popular. Birdly is a full-body simulator ride that uses multi-hinged flaps and motion feedback to give you a taste of flying like a bird. Better yet, there's a fan in front of the user to simulate headwind which gives you a better sense of flying speed. The visuals and head-tracking are offered by an HTC Vive, which allowed me to enjoy a nice bird's eye view while gently flapping my way through the skyscrapers in Manhattan. Well, I say gently, but it got intense once I started climbing my way back up -- it's definitely a fun alternative to working out in the gym.

    This isn't our first time checking out Birdly. Back in January 2015, our very own Edgar Alvarez got to ride on the same rig at Sundance Film Festival, except that version was based on the Oculus Rift. At the HTC booth, we checked with a rep from the Swiss startup, Somniacs, and he confirmed that Birdly has switched from the Rift to the Vive for good -- not because of the joint promotion at Computex, but because of the Vive's more advanced tracking system.

    You see, while the Rift works fine on its own, you'll want to use its external tracking sensor for optimal experience -- which isn't possible on the Birdly as it'd be affected by the fan's vibration, according to Somniacs' rep. The Vive, on the other hand, doesn't have this limitation, as its positional tracker (only one is needed here instead of both) doesn't have to be placed directly in front of the headset -- just anywhere with a direct line of sight would do just fine.

    We understand that Somniacs sold its first Birdly just last January, and to date, only eight machines have been sold in total. This goes to show just how expensive the rig is, but the startup is keeping the price close to its chest. The only hint we got was that a Birdly costs more than your average car, so you better start saving up.

    Stay on top of all the latest news from Computex 2016 right here.

    All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

    Richard's love for gadgets was probably triggered by an electric shock at the age of five while poking his finger into power sockets for no reason. He managed to destroy a few more desktops and phones until he was sent to England for school. Somehow he ended up in London, where he had the golden opportunity to buy a then senior editor a pint of lager, and here we are.

    189 Shares
    Share
    Tweet
    Share
    Save
    Comments

    From around the web

    Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr