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VR Interfaces: Trazer


Overview of Trazer
The Trazer by Cybex Incorporated. Billed as a virtual reality exercise machine, this $6,495 USD (?3,300) machine tracks an infrared belt worn by the exerciser, which it calls a ?beacon?. It uses changes in the position of that, and senses of increase or decrease in heat rate, to determine how much they are exercising.

So, how much do you get for that price?

Well, not much.

The display featured above, is NOT included in the supplied machine, instead it expects a computer monitor to be connected to it ? however, only a flat screen will really work, as there is simply not enough room on top for anything else. Alternatively, having the display screen halfway across the room will break the connection on the infra-red belt, effectively rendering the Trazer useless.

Trazer is incompatible with all normal TVs, having no provision for Video in, or SCART ? 15 pin monitor connector is the ONLY method it will support. Trazer is also incompatible with HMDs, HUDs and most video eyewear systems, as its environments require significant backlighting (normally very dark).

Trazer?s biggest weakness for the price is that it only supports twenty proprietary games, and will not accept any others. The graphics hardware is also fairly low spec, and cannot handle too many triangles on screen at once ? so don?t expect post 1995 graphics on those titles.

Additionally, a Trazer requires a massive operating space. The beacon operates in a six foot cubic area. However, to avoid signal bouncing, Cybex recommend an area 10 feet cubic, and no ceiling less than nine feet high, completely eliminating the domestic market. Additionally the ceiling must be smooth and free of any pipes or lighting fixtures, which will disrupt the signal.

On top of all that, the device will not work in sunlight, and goes bananas when a mirror is nearby.

In short, we recommend you avoid this low-end, overpriced interface like it had bubonic plague.

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