Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Virtual Reality

Condition One is preparing to release Zero Point, the first 3D, 360-degree movie shot spec...

The Oculus Rift has carved out a sizable reputation for itself among gamers, but as we've seen before, virtual reality has many applications beyond playing video games. Now one production studio is preparing to release the first movie shot specifically to be watched through the VR headset. The upcoming film, called Zero Point, will focus on the history and development of virtual reality technology, while allowing viewers the freedom to look around each scene as the movie progresses.  Read More

Gizmag gets some hands-on time with the Avegant Glyph, a virtual retinal display fused wit...

After a few days of bouncing between booths and events during CES, I was more than happy to retreat from the chaotic show floor to a quiet hotel suite to demo Avegant's innovative new headset. When the company first invited me to try out the Glyph, I expected to see another virtual reality headset like the Oculus Rift, but that did not turn out to be the case at all. Instead of entering a virtual world that appears to surround you, wearing the Glyph is more like sitting in the middle of your own private movie theater, except with a better picture.  Read More

Build with Chrome brings Lego to Google's maps and asks what would you build, and where

Last year we reported that Google and Lego had released a browser-based Lego building experience that sprawled over real-life geography – well kinda, if you didn’t mind only placing your models in Australia, where the location-based tool was first released. Build with Chrome has now been released everywhere, in honor of Lego’s anniversary yesterday of obtaining its first patent. With the newer version we have an extensive building academy with promotional tie-ins to the upcoming Lego movie, and you might see Lego models popping up all over your virtual Google map.  Read More

Gizmag goes heads-on with the new Crystal Cove prototype of the Oculus Rift virtual realit...

For the last few decades, gaming has basically been the same thing. Sit in front of display, hold controller (or mouse and keyboard), play game. But when you strap on Oculus Rift's virtual reality headset, you realize that it's something truly different. Read on, as Gizmag goes heads-on with Oculus Rift's latest prototype, dubbed Crystal Cove.  Read More

Avegant CTO Dr Allan Evans testing the latest Glyph design

What better way to take a trip in a personal virtual reality bubble, or sit down to a private movie screening on a seemingly enormous screen, than donning a head-mounted display? Unless you happen to be dressed as Geordi La Forge at a Star Trek convention though, wearing such technology does kind of label you a bit of a geek. The Glyph headsets are a little different. In non-video mode, the device just looks like some rather bulky headphones. The headband, however, can be pulled down over the eyes for an immersive escape. Rather than looking at an LCD or OLED display (or in some cases using an actual smartphone screen) through lenses, Glyph users have the video and game images projected directly on their retinas courtesy of a combination of special optics and millions of tiny mirrors. The first pre-production prototypes are currently being assembled in readiness for CES in a few weeks, ahead of a launch on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.  Read More

Controlling virtual arms and hands with the minds could help stroke patient rehabilitation...

Earlier this year, we saw an amazing demonstration of an EEG skullcap interface that allowed a quadcopter to be controlled with only thoughts. Now the same technology is pioneering a medical therapy in which stroke patients can use their thoughts to guide a simulation, and thus rebuild damaged neurons. As the “virtual reality hands” provide customization and direct feedback of one’s progress, this could be an improvement over traditional therapy methods.  Read More

The makers of the Oculus Rift have revealed a version of the VR goggles designed for mobil...

It's been over a year since the developers of the Oculus Rift raised almost US$2.5 million through Kickstarter, and it looks like they've been putting those funds to good use. Besides working on a consumer model of its innovative virtual reality goggles, the company recently revealed it has been adapting its headset especially for mobile devices running Android.  Read More

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

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