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Virtual Reality

Virtualizer inventor Tuncay Cakmak tries out the system

Remember when you were a kid, and you used to go sliding across the floor in your stocking feet? Well, researchers at Austria's Vienna University of Technology have developed a virtual reality gaming system that brings those sock-sliding days to mind. It allows players to walk on the spot in the real world, causing their character to walk across the ground in the game.  Read More

Both the vrAse and the 360specs can be fitted with a smartphone or tablet to view 3D movie...

A consumer-ready version of the Oculus Rift may still be a ways off, but already its promise of truly immersive virtual reality has spawned quite a few innovative projects based around it. Maybe it comes as no surprise then that not one, but two devices that may offer a similar VR experience through a smartphone have popped up on Kickstarter – on the same exact date no less. Both the vrAse and the 360specs are a pair of goggles that can be fitted with a smartphone or tablet to view 3D movies and games with no additional hardware required.  Read More

New research demonstrates that it could be easy to trick the mind and trigger an out-of-bo...

New research demonstrates that triggering an out-of-body experience (OBE) could be as simple as getting a person to watch a video of themselves with their heartbeat projected onto it. According to the study, it's easy to trick the mind into thinking it belongs to an external body and manipulate a person's self-consciousness by externalizing the body's internal rhythms. The findings could lead to new treatments for people with perceptual disorders such as anorexia and could also help dieters too.  Read More

A test run of the Oculus Rift FPV

Ever since the first developer kits for the Oculus Rift began shipping, a number of creative types have been combining the VR goggles with other devices to form entirely new experiences. While most of these have done a good job of immersing users in virtual environments, the latest project from Intuitive Aerial could provide a unique perspective on the real world. The project, called Oculus Rift FPV, allows a pilot to control a UAV while wearing the VR headset, giving them a 360-degree, bird's-eye view without ever leaving the ground.  Read More

The Omni is an omnidirectional treadmill designed to provide a more immersive gaming exper...

When we first checked in on the Omni, an omnidirectional treadmill from Virtuix designed to translate the user's physical movements into a virtual world, the company was hoping to launch a Kickstarter campaign in May. It missed that target, but only just, with a launch on June 4. The campaign target has already been exceeded many times over, meaning backers could be getting physical within virtual worlds by January 2014.  Read More

Inition's vertigo simulator is impressively overwhelming (Photo: Gizmag)

The ledge I'm standing on has a strange existential duality. In the physical realm, it's a thin strip of red, millimeters above the floor of a pristine white booth in a basement in Shoreditch, London where the 3D tinkerers and technologists (of everything from 3D film to 3D printing) at Inition keep their toys. In the digital realm, which, thanks to the Oculus Rift wrapped around my head, my senses have decided is the more real, the ledge is the only thing between me and a 300-foot plunge ...  Read More

The Omni is an omni-directional treadmill that can be used together with a VR headset, suc...

Omni-directional treadmills promise to take things a stationary step further than current motion controllers, such as the Wii-mote, PlayStation Move and Microsoft Kinect, by translating movements to an onscreen avatar as users walk and run on the spot. The Omni from Virtuix is one such treadmill aimed at home users and its creators recently demonstrated its use with the Oculus Rift, providing a tantalizing glimpse of its potential to provide an immersive virtual reality (VR) experience and really get gamers moving.  Read More

The 3D Forklift Trainer

Workplace safety is a major concern, but training to avoid accidents often involves little more than reading manuals and watching videos before getting behind the controls of a potentially dangerous machine. University of Buffalo spinoff Tactus Technologies’ 3D Forklift Trainer uses gaming technology and software to produce a virtual environment, where beginner forklift drivers can practice without racing about a warehouse in a very heavy vehicle with prongs on it.  Read More

With the lightweight components, wearing the Oculus VR headset is no less cumbersome than ...

The Oculus Rift VR system has been steadily gaining more attention in the past several months, thanks to glowing endorsements from some major figures in the the video game industry and a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign that brought in almost US$2.5 million. We've been following the development of the Oculus Rift for some time now, so finding out the company had its virtual reality goggles available to try on at CES was an especially pleasant surprise. Naturally, we simply couldn't resist giving the Rift a test drive to see if it lived up to all the hype.  Read More

The 'virtual humanoid' prototype will allow you to physically interact with a computer-gen...

Different Dimension Inc., a Japanese start-up company, will begin marketing an Augmented Reality robot doll that can take on the appearance of any virtual character. Essentially, a computer-generated image is projected in real-time onto a robot (covered in green screen material) that is viewable through a head-mounted display (HMD). It's a spin-off of a bizarre research project led by Michihiko Shoji at the Yokohama National University and the Japan Science and Technology Agency, originally developed in 2006.  Read More

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