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This article was published on May 4, 2016

Microsoft can trick VR gamers into thinking they’re stacking real Minecraft blocks

One of the problems with making VR experiences feel real is that your if your body isn’t experiencing the same thing as your eyes are seeing, it can all feel a bit fake.

Well, Microsoft Research has been working on a number of different solutions to this problem that might help VR really get off the ground.

The challenge it set itself was to make you feel like you’re virtually picking up and moving Minecraft blocks, without having to supply a whole load of real-life boxes for you to touch with your hands.

A few bits and bobs, including a prop Minecraft block placed in front of you and an Oculus Rift in this case, demonstrate how the team can manipulate you into thinking you’re stacking a whole load of boxes while only providing one.

They do this by quietly toying with the world you’re seeing, or the representation of your body within that world, so it feels like you’ve moved your hand to another block when you haven’t.

The prototype system demonstrated in the video is by no means a finished product, but you could certainly see VR headsets shipping with a Minecraft and block companion pack in the not-too-distant future.

The research will be presented at the human-computer interaction conference ACM CHI 2016 later this week.

Happy stacking!


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