I’m standing in a crowded press room at CES 2015, nearly identical in size and noise level to a dozen others I’ve been in this week, only I’ve been told this room has a separate room inside it that only I can see. A VR developer has hands me a pair of smart glasses so I can see this other world, and as I put the hardware on I can. This second world isn’t full of people, but instead has a series of waypoints on the floor that activate when I approach. There’s no gamepad or controller to help me get to these waypoints. I’m going to have to walk there myself, which is fine. When I take a step forward in the real world, I also take a step forward in this second world.
Virtual reality and augmented reality constructs are fun, but it’s complicated to create an experience where you can seamlessly enter the digital world without either a controller or padding to help as your body accidentally glances off of a wall. VR developer Sean McCracken is here in Las Vegas showing off an app that creates an effect similar to demonstrations shown with Google’s Project Tango with what is arguably more logical hardware. Instead of walking around holding a tablet, Maelstrom is all about using smart glasses to enter the digital world.