“I see what you see.” Augentausch is an immersive gaming set that switches vision between two players. When the headsets are connected, the live camera stream is captured and mirrored onto the opposite screen. The spiral string forms a physical bond between the players, sychronizing the sense of distance, direction and speed.
The project experiments with the ground of play – rules. By altering the perspective, we give up control over our vision – the most primary sense – and become absolute dependent on the other player. Are we still competitors, or rather, cooperation partners? Are we still ourselves or is only an avantar steered by the other? A game is a structured form of play. When the default presets change, do the existing rules still apply?
It is a weird feeling to see from the viewpoint of another. It is like watching movies, except for the fact that you are right there in the scene, being the main character. The image is not sychronized with one’s movement, as if the body is out of control, powerless. It feels like playing with a ghost. You hear the voice of the other, but yet the peer is no where to be seen.
When the perspective switches, a common game like UNO can be redefined. Since the cards are no longer in our hands, the concept of opponents are no longer clearly defined. It becomes less about the achievement, reward or strategy, but more about the balance of power and dependency, about cooperation and communication. We are all in this together.
The world is a complex game and we are all players. Every game has its own rule, for this one, it’s the so called infrastructure. When the default presets alter, what’s our next move? Do we adjust, or adapt?
Two players Two smart phone Two augentausch headset / normal vr glasses with camera opening Wifi connection Game of your choice (Your favorite headset assessories) curiosity!
Make sure both of the phones are connected to the same router. Once connected, visit augen-tausch.de on your devices and follow the instructions on the screen (since WebRTC is not supported on all mobile browsers, try safari on iphone or chrome on other system). When you see the live camera stream on your screen, pop the phone into the VR headset and start playing:)
The cork headset
- Technology used: WebRTC / Node.js / Socket.io
- Platforms used: Heroku (Hosting) / Cloudflare (DNS + SSL Certificate)
The project uses Socket.io + Node.js to establish real-time connections between server and web. By omitting the stun server set up, it limits the connection within a local range. That means, only the players that are connected to the same router are able to exchange sights. For the actual video stream, an open source framework called WebRTC was used to efficiently get, sample and transmit video data between peers. (WebRTC signaling transaction flow) It sends the local session description and ice to the other peer in order to establish a direct data channel between two end points. On the frontend side, the same video stream is displayed on both the left and right side (split-screen) to create the first person immersive effect. I’ve also experimented with the ios native version using WebRTC Cocoapod + iOS protocol “Multipeer Connectivity”. However, due to the data transmission speed, the received video quality was low and the connection was also unstable.
Try it at augen-tausch.de
(For a better user experience, the site can also be saved as home screen application)