If it weren't for the COVID-19 pandemic, a wide audience would have gotten to know the Nova platform from startup Eight360 a month or two earlier. On the other hand, the general quarantine even did the project a favor, as many people got carried away by electronic races with the most realistic physics of the process. And the Nova device conveys the sensation of entering a corner or a loop much better than any gaming chair or headset, because it literally moves the player through space.
The third and so far the most successful model of a sphere for virtual reality, Nova, is a sphere with a diameter of 2 m and a weight of 500 kg, located on a three-lobed support. An individually driven wheel is installed inside each petal, which together can turn the sphere in any direction and rotate it 360 degrees along all axes at once. The turn speed reaches 180 degrees per second, which is even higher than that of a jet fighter and obviously more than a gamer needs. But on the other hand, the impressions of staying inside Nova are much brighter.
Inside the sphere there is a powerful stationary computer, a virtual reality headset, a battery and fasteners for an armchair and hanging modules. By default, there is nothing other than this, only the simplest seat, but here you can build an imitation of the cockpit of any vehicle, put a seat from a racing car or a spacecraft. Eight360 plans to supply the Nova to geologists, rescuers, the military and all those who are forced to drive off-road, where the accuracy of heavy equipment is critical. The Nova will be a versatile steep slope trainer.
The sphere is designed to work with any VR platform and supports out-of-the-box gaming applications such as X-Plane, DCS World, Virtual Battle Sim 3, Dirt Rally, iRacing and Project Cars. Alas, Nova is not for games, it will not go on sale at all. Instead, it is planned to lease it at a price of $ 150, 000 per year to large corporations interested in such a VR simulator.