Testing out a pre-release version of the HTC Vive virtual reality headset at game developer Valve’s headquarters in Bellevue, WA, Kelly Tortorice explored wondrous environments. She swam through the ruins of a sunken ship, climbed the snowy Alps, repaired robots and painted with fire. But, then, to her surprise, a virtual engagement ring started floating toward her.
Across the room, Valve employee Chandler Murch slowly approached his girlfriend while holding a trackable HTC Vive wand controller, which she saw through her headset as a mighty large blue-tinted diamond ring floating in mid-air.
“Chandler told me to grab [the virtual ring],” Tortorice explained on her Facebook page. “Then, he told me to take off my headset, and there he really was, on one knee, with a real ring.”
Tortorice was so blown away by the experience that a simple “yes” to his marriage proposal would not suffice.
“It wasn’t imaginary anymore. I didn’t say, ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘OF COURSE I WILL MARRY YOU!’ Thank you for such a hilarious and fun surprise,” she wrote.
She added: “I love you, and I can’t wait for the life ahead of us.”
Murch’s “room scale” virtual reality marriage proposal is likely the first of its kind in history. Room scale virtual reality allows for the users to move about within the environment, as opposed to the player being confined to a seat.
Murch had arranged for his now-fiancée to visit his workplace to demo a pre-release of the HTC Vive headset. Developers, such as Valve Software Corporation, had access to the product even though it’s not expected to reach store shelves until late 2015 or early 2016.
A writer for Time magazine wondered if a virtual wedding couldn’t be far off.