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Could This Be One Of Valve’s Wearable Hardware Prototypes?

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It seems like Valve might be going full speed ahead on its hardware developments. As reported last week, they now have an active R&D team devoted to the development of wearable computing tech. But what might their prototypes look like? Well, it seems like we might just know.

Could This Be One Of Valve’s Wearable Hardware Prototypes?

JoinDOTA’s Toby “Tobi-Wan Kenobi” Dawson, one of Dota’s more well-known commentators and casters, recently visited Valve. He took quite a few pictures throughout the offices, including the usual highlights of a Valve visit – the lobby; the awards; the knives, and so on. But there was one picture that was by far the most intriguing, and it’s this one:

This may not look like much, but I think this might be an early prototype for Valve’s wearable hardware experiments. Let’s start with those goggles, which definitely seem to be VR goggles of some sort – they might even be the Virtual Boy‘s goggles. The mysterious “Death Ray” looks to be a high-powered infrared tube. It does have a laser warning sticker, so it might be part of some sort of alignment assembly using a laser to track where the user is looking through the goggles.

Obviously, it isn’t anything concrete, but this might be our first look at what Valve might be tackling in terms of hardware. It definitely seems to be linked to their wearable computing R&D, as this does look like a virtual reality prototype of some sort. Keep in mind that this is a mere prototype, and unbelievably far from what may turn out to be the final product. If you have any theories regarding what this thing may be, let us know in the comments section.

Credit to Flamov for the tip and some help with research.

15 Comments

  1. SEEMS LEGIT.

  2. Why is there a variac in there too?

  3. Looks more like a way to mess around with visitors to me.
    “Oh my god, is that –?”
    “Yup. That’s a real functioning death ray.”
    “Whoa! Wait ’til the Internet hears about this!”

  4. that’s a virtual boy. look at the stand near the bar code.

    • Yeah, I’m starting to think the goggles are from a Virtual Boy. But everything underneath it… and everything it’s hooked up to… is most certainly not the ordinary Virtual Boy set-up.

      • It isn’t hooked up to anything… It is just laying there. And those aren’t wires, they’re the stand for the goggles.

  5. Looks like they’re rebuilding the laser from… TRON!
    *gasp*

  6. Looks like they’re making scale model prototypes of SOB guns.

  7. I don’t think so.

  8. Those goggles… Is that a Virtual Boy?

    • If it were, whole research and development would become aliens in a few months

      • While there does seem to be a resemblance, the idea of using goggles for VR wearable computing is definitely something that goes way beyond the Virtual Boy.

    • Those are indeed just Virtual Boy goggles, which most likely means that this is absolutely nothing other than someone having a bit of fun at Valve.

      *later that day*

      “This just in! Obscure photo that was mistaken to be Valve’s new hardware prototype is in fact a Virtual Boy and it is now confirmed Valve is creating games for the Virtual Boy!”

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