Palmer Luckey, the man behind Oculus VR, recently revealed a personal project: a VR headset inspired by the Sword Art Online series. The project aims to be too inspired by the series, as playing with it is anything but safe.
In a somewhat humorous way, he claims to be ‘halfway’ towards building a true NerveGear. However, the ‘killing half’ is what he could figure out. As for the perfect VR experience, that is still years away.
On November 6, 2022, which interestingly coincides with the date when the Sword Art Online game launches in the anime, Palmer Luckey shared about his VR headset in his blog, titled “If you die in game, you die in real life”.
The work-in-progress model uses Meta’s Quest Pro as the base, with explosive charges meant to kill the user if he dies in the game.
You can see the NerveGear-inspired headset with a replica of the sword used by Kirito in the anime. The three cylindrical additions are the explosive charges that replace the microwave-emitter technology used in the series.
Luckey says the charges are connected to a photosensor, which would trigger when the screen flashes at a specific frequency. An example of that would be the ‘game over’ screen, which displays when the player loses in a game.
The Anduril founder has added that the concept is not ‘fool-proof’ in its current stage because there are certain situations where it can be activated outside of a game-over screen.
Nonetheless, he is still working on a mechanism that would prevent the headset from being destroyed or removed by force.
As of today, he calls this model a piece of ‘office art’ but acknowledges it to be something that can make anyone wonder how much there is to explore in the world of virtual reality or game design.
According to him, it could be the first of its kind, but won’t be the last.
While the ‘killing’ part is certainly intriguing and disturbing, we must note that Anduril Industries is a defense contractor company. Therefore, this concept seems plausible to some extent from a military perspective.
About Sword Art Online
Sword Art Online is a Japanese light novel series written by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by Abec.
The series occurs in the near future and focuses on the protagonist “Kirito” Kirigaya Kazuto and Asuna Yuuki as they play through various virtual reality MMORPG worlds.
At the launch of the game, 10,000 people had connected themselves to the virtual reality of Sword Art Online. The plot takes a twist when people realize that they can’t quit the game.
Protagonist Kirito, a pro gamer and was present for the beta launch of SAO, starts planning to clear levels as soon as possible. Throughout his quest to finish the game, he meets many friends and also a love interest, Asuna.
The plot and the whole premise of the show are remarkably unique and quite believable in some futuristic sense.
Source: Palmer Luckey Official Website