I was sworn to silence... but now the secret is out!
When my son, Curtis, was a boy, he used to create theme parks for the rest of the family in his bedroom. Then in his teens he began performing magic professionally. As he grew to manhood he even began creating illusions for other magicians -- names with which you would be familiar. Yet his career took him in other paths as well and he discovered a great talent for creating visual effects both in film and in a virtual environment.
Now, in secret, he has been part of a team combining stagecraft, sleight of hand and beyond-the-edge technology to create a fusion of all these disciplines.
The Void: A Virtual Magic Dreampark
How they do this is -- well, it's a secret. I had to sign a rather detailed Non-disclosure Agreement before my son was able to let me experience the Void. I've now been through it both in its early Alpha stages and more recent refinements. What I can tell you is what you probably already can see in the video: it is a seamless melding of a virtual environment mapped onto a real environment -- with hidden magic that will blow your mind. My magician son and his amazingly talented team have created the ultimate illusion -- experiential infinity in a finite space.
Everything you see in the video above is not only possible but already proven. I know. I've been there and I've experienced it.
My son put me in the prototype device -- a backpack vest and the virtual headgear that functioned autonomously and completely disconnected from any sort of tether. I was suddenly standing in a room completely different from the one in which I actually stood.
I could hear my son's disembodied voice behind me. He was like a ghost speaking from beyond the virtual world in which I was suddenly immersed. "Do you see the gun in front of you?"
"Yes," I answered.
"Take it," my son directed.
I reached out and in a perfectly natural motion, grasped the two handles of the gun. It was solid in my hands and I naturally slipped my finger through the trigger guard.
The gun moved in front of me in perfect synchronization with my every move.
"Step through the door," said the ghostly voice of my son.
To my right a door slid open and I stepped into a room that looked for all the world like I was standing on the 'Nostromo' in 'Alien.' I sat down on the bench in awe.
And realized that I was actually SITTING on a bench in a virtual room.
I've stood before the alien containment tube, felt it break in front of me as the alien escaped. I pulled the trigger on my gun, felt it jump in my hands and watched the bolts fly outward, pocking the glass between me and a HUGE landing bay beyond. I've walked down that corridor in the video. More than that, I've stood at the top of a cliff, blasting away with that same gun and, despite the urging of my ghostly son behind me, could not bring myself to step to the edge of the platform. Even though I knew this was a virtual reality, my mind would not accept that what I was experiencing was NOT real.