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Virtual Reality

The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset that promises to bring VR gaming into the mod...

If you've ever been to a theme park or arcade that offered any virtual reality games, you probably noticed that they were mostly terrible. A lot of the VR headsets give the effect of having a small TV inches from your face along with glitchy, headache-inducing graphics that would have looked out of date a decade ago. A company called Oculus is hoping to change all that with the Rift, a virtual reality headset that promises to bring VR gaming into the modern age with a full stereoscopic 3D display, accurate head tracking, and the backing of several prominent game developers.  Read More

The 'intelligent' goggles use computer algorithms to help the partly-sighted navigate

Researchers at the Universidad Carlos III in Madrid (UC3M), Spain, have developed a pair of “intelligent” goggles that make getting around a bit easier for partly-sighted people, by providing them with Terminator-style vision. Using a pair of cameras mounted on a virtual reality headset connected to a tiny computer, the device scans the area ahead of the wearer and displays information about the scene as color-coded outlines that convey the distance and shapes of objects that are difficult to otherwise see or interpret.  Read More

Skiing comes to Beverly Hills

Typically when we think of indoor skiing, it's in the form of massive, resource-intensive indoor ski resorts like the Skipark 360 being built in Sweden. German company SkyTec Interactive offers a more streamlined type of indoor skiing: simulated ski training on ski-based exercise equipment with virtual slopes. SkyTec debuted its first public facility in the United States this month.  Read More

Visitors to the Live Park 4D World Tour wear RFID wristbands that allow the displays to id...

New media entertainment company, d'strict, is pushing the concept of virtual reality to a new level with the "Live Park 4D World Tour," a new theme park that recently opened in South Korea. The park is comprised of 65 different attractions over a 10,000 sq. foot (929 sq m) space, which houses several large interactive displays as well as some installation art pieces. Visitors wear RFID wristbands that allow the displays to identify them, while Kinect sensors detect their movements, voices, and faces. Many of the attractions center around having users create an avatar of themselves that they can interact with and take on a virtual adventure, which is portrayed using 3D video, holograms, and augmented reality technology.  Read More

With Portal boxes, two people connected to the internet can literally reach behind a video...

Thanks to touchscreens and motion controls, we're able to interact with anything with a screen like never before; but this still leaves that glass barrier between us and the virtual world that we see behind it. We can't just leap into our televisions or computers like Mike Teavee in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and we certainly can't jump into the same space as someone else on the other side of the world. Now though, thanks to one design student's Portal boxes, we can at least reach our hands behind the screen along with another person connected to the internet, and interact with a virtual world together.  Read More

The Immersive Cocoon concept from NAU

While advocates proclaim the superior immersive qualities of 3D, the current crop of 3D TVs can actually have the opposite effect on many people by giving the impression of peering into a box filled with tiny - albeit 3D - people. Design and advertising firm NAU proposes a different solution with its latest concept dubbed the Immersive Cocoon that looks to provide the sense of immersion without the 3D.  Read More

Neoroscientists claim that the transference of one's self to another body (as depicted her...

For millennia, philosophers have debated whether or not the self exists solely in the mind, the body, or both. Well, it’s unclear whether this will help clear things up or just muddy the waters further, but Swedish neuroscientists are now claiming that the human brain can add outside objects such as a third arm to one’s physical sense of self, and that people can even mentally project their “self” out of their own body and into someone else’s. If these findings hold up, the implications for virtual reality, robotics and prostheses could be substantial.  Read More

Sikorsky's new virtual reality center will be used to help identify design problems for th...

The Sikorsky CH-53K heavy lift helicopter currently being developed for the U.S. Marine Corps will contain more than 20,000 individually designed parts. This means building an experimental prototype of the aircraft ends up being one hell of a complicated three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle. And if just one of the pieces doesn’t fit where it’s supposed to, it can cost millions of extra dollars. To find production and maintenance issues before things progress too far, Sikorsky has unveiled a virtual reality center that the company hopes will save it time and money in final assembly of the aircraft.  Read More

MIT's Media Lab has come up with an interactive play learning environment for kids, which ...

In an increasingly tech-centric world, keeping kids interested in learning can be an uphill battle. With teaching that involves play recently attracting some powerful supportive voices, students from MIT's Media Lab have developed a system which merges technology and play to stimulate young minds. The Playtime Computing system uses infrared emitters and tracking cameras to monitor the position of a special robot within a play area. As the bot disappears into a hole in a panel, it appears to continue its journey into a virtual world projected onto the walls.  Read More

Mommy Tummy is a pregnancy simulation suit, on display at Tokyo Make Meeting

One of the more popular exhibits at Tokyo Make Meeting this past weekend was Mommy Tummy, a pregnancy experience simulation system developed by Kosaka Laboratory of Kanazawa Technical College. It allows men (and others who have never carried a child) to not just feel what it's like to be pregnant, but to also gradually experience the changes. The Mommy Tummy suit is pumped full of water, and the onscreen display updates you as to how far along your pregnancy has progressed. The man's breasts will get bigger as well – did I just write that? – via a pair of inflatable balloons on the front.  Read More

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