When ordering a custom-made Virtual Roadster(VR), consider the many types of components available. The manufacturers websites are in the links section. |
The dominant characteristic is the seat. It becomes the main stylistic component and therefore should be selected carefully. I chose a Porsche seat so my roadster became a virtual Porsche. To be most comfortable, I prefer a genuine leather bucket seat from a German sports car. You have to love the baseball-glove leather Recaro seat designed for the Audi TT. One could even have a virtual Ferrari. Consider trying a double shoulder harness. The feeling of the wide belts pressing against the body is a very specific sensation felt only in a real race car. It provides additional tactile input and thereby enhances the multi-dimensional illusion of speed.
There are many types of steering wheels available and improved new styles are constantly being invented. You may already have a favorite. The sleekest wheel is from ECCI. It feels real, solid and steel but it doesnt provide force-feedback. Many virtual racers rely on force-feedback as a crucial sensory input necessary for feeling the handling of the car. Up until just recently, all of the force-feedback models were made with a plastic wheel. But now, a new solution from Frex combines the best of both types, a real aluminum Momo wheel fused with a tough and tested Microsoft force-feedback mechanism. Logitech is releasing a similar hybrid soon. On the near horizon, there is a new technology being perfected, that when released, will be even more realistic and powerful than force-feedback.
The best choice of visual monitor is a projection system because it allows the greatest adjustability in image size and placement of the horizon. The next best option is a flat screen LCD/TFT monitor placed on the wheel platform. The radiation bombardment of the standard CRT computer monitor can become a serious hindrance to extended racing sessions. Virtual reality 3D goggles could be considered if the simulation software supports this feature.
The structure can be anodized to any color. I prefer the appearance of the aluminum tubes hand polished to a mirror-like reflectance. It is pure and uncovered. Like a Delorean, the naked beauty of the metal shines out loud.
If you like, there is a complimentary keyboard/mouse table and umbilical-cable cross-over. Usually a rack-mount chassis holds the controllers for systems like audio, video, and ventilation. The VR could easily be mounted on a retractable platform to slide in and out of your home theater. Id be glad to help with your custom installation.
To build your own, custom VR, I can receive your measurements over the phone but if possible, the optimum way is to visit my studio in NYC. I devised a sizing mechanism that adjusts the distance, height and tilt of the wheel and pedals into exactly the most comfortable position. We can tweak everything until it feels perfect. What car offers this level of customization?
By now, you have probably concluded correctly that the VR is expensive. But you also know it is worth it. Designed for perfection, not economy, no compromises are made in the choice of materials and components. It is simply the most stylish and comfortable cyber-cockpit available. If one could easily spend up to $10k on the peripheral elements of a top-end home racing simulator system, what is the worth of its core? The Virtual Roadster starts at $1,995, the rest is up to your imagination.