What if you could print out a piece of paper, fold it a certain way, and then dodge, aim, and shoot in virtual reality without the massive cost associated with purchasing actual gear? South Korean developer, Ko Jong-Min, has created a proof-of-concept interface with PaperStickthat does just that.
Here’s how it works. Using large typography that functions like QR code technology, your smartphone camera (or webcam) tracks and layers digital information on top of the paper. With PaperStick, an ordinary piece of paper becomes a gun, and with the Poppist VR, game you can shoot virtual balloons, all for the cost of a few cents.
To try it out yourself, go to Paperstick.net and follow the instructions. In essence, you print out the image on A4 paper, in landscape mode, and fold along the dotted line. You will see markings on where to put your fingers. Make sure your VR headset has a camera hole—it is recommended to hold PaperStick eight to twelve inches from the headset.
Also, movements should be slight, the camera needs to pick up the typography of PaperStick, so wide swings of your arm will put the controller out of range of the camera.
(The Poppist VR game that works with PaperStick can be found on the Google Play Store).
There are a couple of challenges with the current prototype. Because the camera on the phone needs to read the typography, the controller remains a flat piece of paper. This impacts the fun of a hand-held controller shaped to fit the game you’re playing.