Oculus Rift, Kinect, Wii Balance Board combined to simulate hoverboard

You may never ride a hoverboard like in Back to The Future, but this prototype gets close.

If you’ve ever watched Back to the Future Part II you’ve probably fantasized about one day owning and riding your own hoverboard.

So far, science has failed us miserably in that department. Back to the Future Part II takes place in 2015 and we are nowhere near getting our hoverboards, though Tony Hawk and the actor that plays Doc Brown in Back to The Future, Christopher Lloyd, made a great fake advertisement for one just a couple of months ago.

Realistically, you’ll probably never get to ride one. However Quince (via Kill Screen), a communications agency based in Amsterdam, proved that it could simulate the experience using an Oculus Rift, Kinect, and a Wii Balance Board. The Hoverboard VR uses the Wii Balance Board as the controller, the Kinect to track your body and translate it to virtual reality, and the Oculus Rift to fully immerse you in the experience. The graphics look crude at the moment, but it’s a great proof of concept.

It’s an elaborate setup, but not nearly the only creative implementation of Oculus Rift we’ve seen. A couple of weeks ago we reported on Birdly, which uses Oculus Rift and a large contraption to simulate the experience of flying like a bird.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg and Google+.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer in search of the Citizen Kane of burritos.

Discussion

54 comments
bedsidetrash1
bedsidetrash1

this is what you get from people like Carmack who care more about the tech than the game. What does this add to gameplay? The kinect is failing and it didn't involve strapping giant goggles to your head. 

Halloll
Halloll

combine it with the move controller and play HOVER JOUST

elbauto
elbauto

Hallelujah! Now, this is the future

SphinxDemon
SphinxDemon

Hmmm.. The uses for kinetic OFF of the X box and maybe for computers instead seems like a worthy idea

spacecadet25
spacecadet25

VR and Wii, two things which suck that are desperately trying to stick together in the hopes of being relevant!

DrKill09
DrKill09

Thoroughly unimpressed.


Strapping a tv to your head while standing on a bathroom scale is not innovative.


This might've been impressive in 1994, when people actually cared about VR.

prats93
prats93

Yet another reason why the Oculus Rift just fails.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Oh yeah this is great.  When you can't see what the hell you're doing and fall off the balance board and break your Rift when you smash your face.

rasterror
rasterror

I wonder what the PS Move was used for.

strangelove_1
strangelove_1

OR is just another Facebook social media gag, who da fuq cares? How about some nes on REAL gaming

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

Yeah I'm sorry but unless the entire Wii balance board tilts around at large angles making your actual balance change in accordance to the game I'm not interested.

This is no different to standing on the floor waving your arms around.

warriors30
warriors30

"You may never ride a hoverboard like in Back to The Future, but this prototype gets close."

Damn! I clicked on this article because I had to think about this epic scene from the movie..."gets close" is not enough. :(

Who cares about faster internet, better computers or more expensive iPhones...what we really need is hoverboards and time travel.

puffnbillys420
puffnbillys420

This reminds me of seth sentry's song dear science 

lonesamurai1
lonesamurai1

Man Oculus can do so much, years of fun coming with that thing and you can combine your experiences with other devices.

ButDuuude
ButDuuude

I believe that I can make a real hoverboard, but in a controlled environment, not like in the movie.  :(

Evamorgana
Evamorgana

Rubbish! I will, one day, ride a real hover-board! I don't think the technology is that far off. 


(I think the idea that I won't ever get to ride a real one is rubbish btw not the simulation)

LittleMac19
LittleMac19

We still don't have shoes that tie themselves

observer98
observer98

You might see that you're on a hoverboard but you certainly won't feel it. At the end of the day you'll still be standing in one place so I don't see what it's 'simulating' exactly.

Pewbert
Pewbert

This doesn't look great, but I love how the OR is giving us whole new experiences rather than the same old games. Can't wait to get one.

thesilverape
thesilverape

@spacecadet25 I fail to see why anyone would think VR sucks or is irrelevant? Plus the Wii might be irrelevant, but it's technology most certainly is not. Motion sensing is in more and more devices. 

spacecadet25
spacecadet25

@DrKill09 I would rather just stand on a bench and shut my eyes, and pretend I'm on a hoverboard.  I can't imagine the VR version of this would be all that much better.  And it would cost me $1000 less...

thesilverape
thesilverape

@DrKill09 You have a right to your opinion but some people do care about VR, so you can only say you don't care about VR, not that people in general don't care about VR (doing so makes you look incredibly stupid and self-centered). I agree though that this is unimpressive since they are simply reusing technology already available and have not innovated in anyway 

deadpen
deadpen

@lonesamurai1 You must have not seen where Facebook bought it....ads and candy crush is about all you are going to be doing.............oh and post pics of you wearing the thing.

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

They can already stimulate 0 gravity i hear but its light years away from public use though.

gregglle
gregglle

@observer98 what you see in VR actually creates feelings of inertia and whatnot

Evamorgana
Evamorgana

@observer98


If they developed a balance board that vibrated and jolted around it could come pretty close. 

DrKill09
DrKill09

@gregglle @strangelove_1 People said the same shit in the 90's, and we got the Sega Activator, the Virtual Boy, and the Power Glove.


This fad is gonna fizzle out just like 3DTV.

Senior_Rosa
Senior_Rosa

@deadpen Dude, shut up. You are embarrasing yourself. Pff candy crush… Are you aware of the concept of diversification? Do you know Samsung started selling fish?

lonesamurai1
lonesamurai1

@deadpen  Oh okay I'll listen to your assessment because you're on the dev team, right thanks console gamer. 

deadpen
deadpen

@gregglle @Dannystaples14 @Senior_Rosa @lonesamurai1 HA HA HA okay all the facebooking fan boys PLEASE keep this reply and on the day you buy the oculus then you will be able to come back here and tell me "I told you so!"

But on the day it comes out and there is nothing but free-to-play, microtransation, non-third party, adware games I will return to tell you to suck it.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

@Senior_Rosa @deadpen Diversification sure. Making this thing worth people's time other than standing on a board that doesn't even move or strapping yourself into a massive piece of machinery to simulate flying like a bird, is the key.

So far nothing has stood out. When people play games they don't stand in the living room waving their arms around, they (or at least I) sit on the couch and have the controller in my hands barely moving.

In that case why would I pay $300 for one of these when a TV has been perfectly capable of giving me immersion in games and movies alike for years already?

At least if I'm watching TV I haven't got to take the headset off to leave the room. I could even watch the TV as I'm walking away and from the back of the room from the doorway if I'm busy making my dinner or something.