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Virtual Reality

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

Motus allows users to act as a cameraperson  inside existing 3D models, such as video game...

In the creation of the film Avatar, director James Cameron invented a system called Simul-cam. It allowed him to see the video output of the cameras, in real time, but with the human actors digitally altered to look like the alien creatures whom they were playing. The system also negated the need for a huge amount of animation – every performance was captured in all its blue-skinned, pointy-eared majesty as it happened, so it didn’t need to be created from scratch on a computer. Now, researchers from the University of Abertay Dundee have built on the techniques pioneered by Simul-cam to create a new system, that lets users act as their own cameraperson within a 3D environment.  Read More

UC Berkeley's laser-scanning backpack creates 3D models of buildings, on the fly

Currently, if people wish to obtain a 3D model of an indoor environment, they have to send in a laser-scanning robot or cart that painstakingly makes its way through in a stop-and-start fashion. Depending on the setting, the process can take days or even weeks. Researchers at the University of California in Berkeley, however, have developed a portable laser-scanning backpack that can map an area in the time that it takes for its human wearer to walk through. The project was funded by the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Army Research Office, and could be used by military personnel to plan missions into mapped target buildings.  Read More

Greg Dawe demonstrates the HUVR device that lets users see and 'feel' 3D images

It’s not uncommon to see children attempt to reach out and touch objects the first time they don 3D glasses and sit down in front of a 3D TV. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, have created a new virtual reality device that enables users to do just that. The relatively low-cost device called the Heads-Up Virtual Reality device (HUVR) combines a consumer 3D HDTV panel and a touch-feedback (haptic) device to enable users not only to see a 3D image, but “feel” it too.  Read More

Air Hair: Virtual Reality haircut simulator

At the 3D and VR Expo in Tokyo last week, a team from the Tokyo Institute of Technology were demonstrating a virtual reality haircut simulator. With a real scissors mechanism and a physical dummy, the simulator would display the virtual hair on screen which falls to the ground as you trim it.  Read More

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