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An Oculus Rift, Wii Balance Board, and Kinect can become a virtual hoverboard

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Vimeo / Quince Amsterdam

Oculus Rift virtual reality lends itself well to elaborate custom hardware, and that extends to novel combinations of existing peripherals. It also lends itself to living out cinematic fantasies, like Marty McFly's hoverboard chase sequence. And thus, advertising and design studio Quince has hacked together a Kinect, Wii Balance Board, and Oculus Rift to provide the three necessary elements of a hoverboard game: your body, the board, and a world to hover in. At least one other person has hit on the idea of using the Wii Balance Board as a hovercraft, and both projects are essentially proofs of concept. The difference with this one is the Kinect tracking, which maps your body onto a simple in-game replica that's supposed to move when you do, providing the sense of actually shifting and turning to direct the board.

It's hard to tell from the video how well that works, and consistent Kinect tracking is a decidedly uncertain bet. The environment is immersive, but not exactly realistic or engaging (or, unlike the older project, based on Back to the Future.) There's a distinctly '90s feel about the music and minimal graphics, as if Cyber Jobe were about to appear and consume the rider in a sudden burst of neon. That would, in fact, make an excellent addition. To any game, really.