Sandbox VR Developing an SDK that Will Enable Anyone to Create for its VR Arcade Platform
Sandbox VR is hoping to create better content for its high-end virtual reality arcades and putting third-party developers in the driving seat.
Sandbox VR is building new SDK that will enable just about anyone to create VR attractions on its ‘holodeck’ VR platform. Sandbox already has some VR experiences in major cities in North America as well as in Singapore, Macau, Hong Kong and Jakarta. The new SDK will also enable companies to develop branded content like the Star Trek: Discovery experience by leveraging the company’s holodeck experience.
Sandbox VR already operates ten virtual reality arcades, six in the US and four in Asia. The company is scheduled to open six additional locations this year. So far, most of Sandbox’s VR experiences have been developed internally with the exclusive Star Trek experience having been added in 2019.
The new SDK is planned for studios and independent developers. Sandbox VR is expecting this will provide a larger and more diverse range of Virtual Reality content. The startup has not revealed any information about its business model and how developers will monetize their content.
In a blog post, Sandbox stated that anyone who has the know-how will be able to build new Virtual Reality experiences for its LBE attractions with the upcoming SDK.
The Sandbox SDK will have several capabilities such as the “high-performance inverse kinematics, rigging and motion capture capabilities. The SDK will also include support for Unity, Unreal Engine and Native.
Sandbox’s location-based experiences use certain technologies which many developers likely do not have like its haptic guns as well as multi-camera motion capture system. However, Sandbox has stated that developers will be able to create experiences using more modest setups just like in Oculus Rift and HTC Vive platforms.
Professional motion capture technology is very costly, usually costing thousands of dollars, but Sandbox says its framework will “abstract away that component” and incorporate placeholders that will enable developers to build for Virtual Reality without using the expensive systems since it has “full confidence” that the experiences will translate correctly when it is deployed to Sandbox’s full-body motion-captured holodeck.
Sandbox has also stated that the upcoming networking framework will enable developers to create mocked-up and multi-user development environment for testing and building the virtual reality experiences.
Sandbox says its platform will make it easier to build experiences which take full advantage of custom high-performance peripherals that it creates for its holodecks and which will be fully compatible with the computing systems and HMDs that it employs to power its holodecks.
Developers who want to create for the Sandbox VR platform can ask for access here. Early developers can get SDK access later in the year.