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Sfirolo, a great virtual reality room… without a VR headset

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Adriana Gil
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Summary

  • Sfirolo can simulate any environment easily
  • Sfirolo offers a concept very similar to the CAVE

In the collective imagination, today we mainly associate virtual reality with rather imposing equipment, more or less elegant helmets. But, some projects stand out with a totally different approach, thought in space instead of physical equipment. This is particularly the case of Sfirolo or the CAVE.


Sfirolo can simulate any environment easily

Forget the virtual reality headset. If you can afford to dedicate a room in your house to virtual reality, then the future might be called Sfirolo. This concept, born from the imagination of Quebecois Charles Bombardier and Indian Ashish Thulkar, calls into question our vision of virtual reality. Rather than relying on headphones, the idea here is to create a circular room made up of curved OLED screens. On the ground, motorized spheres reproduce the movement. A set that offers a completely immersive experience in any environment without a VR headset.


The idea is also to offer a sensory immersion. Thus, the creators imagine the installation of fans to reproduce the impression of the wind and UV bulbs for the sun. Beyond simple entertainment, medical uses are also being considered, to understand what is happening in the brain of

'a user in different situations. Studies would therefore be carried out with a headset and an electroencephalography (EEG) monitoring device. As a last resort, it is also seen as a useful prop to simulate movement, using the floor as a kind of multidirectional treadmill.


Sfirolo offers a concept very similar to the CAVE

Of course when we talk about Sfirolo, it's impossible not to think of the CAVE. The CAVE or Immersive 3D Cube is a technology we have already told you about. Older than virtual reality headsets, we nevertheless feel real points in common with the Sfirolo. The idea is indeed to project 3D videos on walls while the spectator can observe with suitable glasses. However, it suffers from a major flaw: exorbitant costs. One can easily imagine that a room covered with LED screens in the case of the Sfirolo has the same problem.. Enough to eliminate the interest for a use related to entertainment?



Both, however, respond to a societal change. In Japan, children under 12 are not recommended to use virtual reality headsets. But, at the same time, we know that the educational or playful potential of VR is very important. This therefore makes it possible to offer an alternative. It remains to be seen whether it will find an echo in public policies.



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