Virtual Reality Sharks Nab Professor Grant Funds

“I can count the number of people that have tried this on one hand. We are kind of getting into undiscovered country.”

By Paul FlahiveFebruary 6, 2017 9:36 am, , ,

From Texas Public Radio

It was in the pool during physical rehabilitation for his Multiple Sclerosis when computer scientist and game designer John Quarles thought to himself, ‘there has to be a way to make this more engaging.’

“I wouldn’t say it was boring exactly because there is a motivation to get better, but I was thinking could I make this more effective,” says Quarles.

His MS impacts his balance and mobility which keeps him off of the bike and treadmill, and can affect his body’s ability to regulate temperature, so the pool is the best place for him to stay fit…which in turn helps temper the MS.  But the pool can be monotonous.

So he thought why can’t we have virtual reality games for underwater?

The game Shark Punch is the result. By using a slightly modified divers mask and a waterproof phone he is able to create a game where the player is being circled by a shark and when it bites.

“I know the shark is biting me because there is this sound effect.”

Quarles says you could wear underwater headphones, but he just turns the phone up and that is more than enough.

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