Oculus May Bring Real Actors To Some Of Its VR Experiences

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According to Oculus Executive Producer of Experiences Yelena Rachitsky, the Facebook-owned company is now looking at ways to bring real actors to at least some of its VR experiences. The concept is based on the idea that using live actors in motion capture suits can bring a much more immersive experience to the technology. Effectively, the company wants to create a virtual theater experience that puts users front-and-center in the action. That would be playable from anywhere. More specifically, it has been described – in its current state – as something of a crossover between the popular indie game Journey and a live-action interactive production called Sleep No More. The latter of those is a VR experience which places participants alongside actors in motion capture suits in a three-warehouse set. So, while it’s not necessarily going to be a game in its final iteration, it sounds like it would be a combination of that and something more theatrical.

Of course, there is already a trend in this type of VR experience which has collectively been called Immersive Theater. However, it’s not certain how Oculus could pull it off in a more virtualized setting. Other experiences have depended on visual, audio, verbal, and sometimes physical interactions with actors and environment. Facebook wants to recreate that in a more casual setting, such as from a user’s home. Rachitsky says this is a clear way that VR can “scale” and become both more unique and mainstream. However, it’s not immediately clear how the company would be able to bring the experience to a significant number of users. If the concept does go mainstream, it could involve hundreds or thousands of participants all at once. That’s going to be difficult to maintain if it relies on actors.

In the meantime, Facebook and Oculus are expected to debut or at least introduce the concept in greater detail at some point during its F8 developer conference. That event actually starts today and there has also been speculation that some new Oculus hardware will be shown in support of the project as well. That also remains to be seen but at least, in this case, the wait won’t be long at all.