Pantomime Corporation Launches Immersive 3D Pantomime Playground™ – No Virtual Reality Headset Needed

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Pantomime Corporation has today launched Pantomime Playground™, the first interactive, multi-player immersive 3D software for consumers, at the App Store. The software lets any iPad or iPhone user see and reach into realistic 3D worlds, and use their mobile devices as both viewers and accurate 3D game paddles, with no need for a virtual reality headset or any new hardware.

A user knocking over a line of realistic virtual dominos by swinging an iPad as a paddle, as seen by another iPad in the scene.

Knocking Over Realistic Virtual Dominos with an iPad

Now anyone with an iPad or iPhone can reach into virtual worlds – look around, throw and paddle things, and even interact with others – without ever putting on a VR headset.

Pantomime Corporation has today launched Pantomime Playground™, the first interactive, multi-player 3D immersive virtual/augmented reality software for consumers – with no need for a virtual reality headset or any new hardware. The apps let any iPad or iPhone user look around and reach into physically realistic worlds, using their mobile devices both as immersive 3D viewers and accurate 3D game paddles. The app is available now, free of charge, at Apple’s iOS App Store.

Since the apps use ordinary mobile screens and don’t require a VR headset, Pantomime is the first immersive reality platform accessible to ordinary consumers and mobile game players.

Pantomime Playground introduces patented Pantomime™ technology that includes several advances not seen in virtual or augmented reality systems before:

  • Consumer Friendly — nothing to wear or set up – all you need is your mobile device and software
  • Interactive – while most virtual reality systems offer no way to reach in or see your hands, Pantomime turns every iPad or iPhone into an advanced 3D paddle, with animation of the user’s nimble virtual hands holding and swinging it
  • Mobile – with no VR headset, printouts or other setup, users can play in Pantomime worlds anywhere
  • Multi-player — iPads, iPhones and other devices running Pantomime Playground on the a local WiFi network can Teleport into the same virtual world, see each others’ animated virtual hands and devices, interact, cooperate and compete

The ultimate results of these technical innovations are social. Pantomime’s immersive worlds for consumers challenge the stereotype of cybernauts as isolated, elite geeks in a separate world. Since users don’t put on headsets, they easily see each others’ screens and make eye contact in the real world. Since they can Teleport, they’re not alone in virtual worlds either. And since no one has to buy special hardware, Pantomime isn’t for rich, courageous early adopters – it’s for everyone with a tablet or phone. Virtual Worlds for the Rest of Us.

Pantomime’s patented methods let users accurately reach into virtual worlds with mobile devices, and even see the devices they are handling as they interact in virtual worlds.

When a user looks around by tipping and turning an iPad or iPhone in a virtual world, Pantomime updates its position and point of view according to its physical support in the 3D scene. Often a device is balanced on a virtual table. When a user grabs an iPad or iPhone with a thumb on the screen, Pantomime knows it is now being supported by a hand; it can be lifted above the virtual table, paddle objects in the scene with realistic leverage, and more. Users can throw objects by tapping the screen, and use screen touch gestures to easily move and turn around in the virtual world without moving their device – for example when sitting in a car.

Upcoming releases will support Mac, Android, Windows, and other devices. Pantomime is working with leading device makers, game publishers and VR headset makers to support popular devices, create immersive games, and enable interactive, networked VR.

While Pantomime naturally supports 3D gaming, the Pantomime Playground app isn’t a game – it’s an introduction of a new immersive technology, with a changing gallery of small, magical, physically realistic Scenes users can interact with and even play with others in.

Scenes in today’s release include Dominos, where users can knock down a line of Dominos by touching one; Bowling Pins and Balls; a simple scoring game; and a magical Gravity Dispenser scene, where delicate containers of Gravity change physics by releasing Earth, Moon, or space gravity when cracked. In addition to paddling and colliding with objects, users can choose from over a dozen Throwable objects – from balls and cans, to weightless asteroids and sticky dirt – and toss them into scenes. Since there’s no gear to put on, children as young as 4 join in instantly.

Pantomime CEO Dr. David Levitt, who helped invent VR at VPL Research, explains: “Pantomime represents a transition between two ideas of Immersive 3D: from our 20th century idea, with lots of special hardware and centered around people’s heads; to a 21st century variety that recruits the many digital displays, motion sensors and wireless networks we’re already immersed in. The classic virtual reality has stereo 3D, but it’s much more expensive, invasive and isolating. By embracing the devices that surround us today, Pantomime’s new immersive reality is more organic – cheap, convenient and social. Best of all, Pantomime is interactive, networked, physically realistic, and consumer friendly – since now anyone can reach into 3D virtual worlds with the devices they already have.”

Pantomime Corporation was founded in spring of 2014 by virtual reality pioneer Dr. David Levitt and Don Hopkins, a core developer of The Sims. The company won Launch Silicon Valley Tech Challenge World Cup in Digital Media/Mobile. Pantomime’s advisors include Arthur van Hoff of Jaunt, the leading firm for cinematic virtual reality, and Nolan Bushnell, inventor of video games and founder of Atari. The company’s patents for methods to reach into virtual worlds with mobile devices began granting last year. Pantomime Playground is the company’s first software release.

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