Holodecks Could Become a Reality Within the Next Ten Years

Hollywood, computer companies and video game makers have often pursued interesting ways to bring entertainment closer to reality, a pursuit that may head to the next level with the introduction of holodeck-related technologies. Some scientists and researchers now believe that holodecks, which would allow the audience to become a part of the story rather than just passively sitting back and watching it, could become available in some form by 2024.  Continue reading Holodecks Could Become a Reality Within the Next Ten Years

VIPE: New Virtual Holodeck System Used for Training Simulation

The Army Contracting Command is looking into new technology for effective training methods. Northrop Grumman believes it has a solution with its Virtual Immersive Portable Environment (VIPE) Holodeck technology. The VIPE Holodeck is a 360-degree virtual training system that allows users to participate in simulations, mission rehearsal and data visualization. The technology works by using a Kinect integration navigation sensor, which allows users to feel immersed in the environment. Continue reading VIPE: New Virtual Holodeck System Used for Training Simulation

Walt Disney Imagineering Redefining Alternate Reality Games

“The Optimist,” developed by Walt Disney Imagineering, is the latest take on the multi-platform experience known as the alternate reality game (ARG). Linked to the Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird film due in 2014 called “Tomorrowland,” the new ARG is part of Disney’s efforts to create new interactive experiences that place its audience members directly in the action and reach beyond the niche ARG audience to attract more people. Continue reading Walt Disney Imagineering Redefining Alternate Reality Games

Microsoft Files Patent for Multiplayer Head-Mounted Display

Microsoft has filed a patent application for a multiplayer gaming headset that could one day rival the Oculus Rift. The application, first filed in January 2012 and recently made public, includes technology related to voice interaction, eye-tracking, facial recognition, and various components for tracking head movement. If the patent application is more than a defensive measure, it could extend the Xbox platform into new hardware and new locations. Continue reading Microsoft Files Patent for Multiplayer Head-Mounted Display

SIGGRAPH: Disney Creates Air-Based Touch Feedback System

Disney Research has created a haptic, or touch feedback, system that uses bursts of air. The AIREAL system simulates touch, or tactile sensation, in three-dimensional empty space. The haptic feedback can be applied to countless applications and situations, and may offer new ways for users to interact with their devices. The concept is to make touchless experiences, such as motion and gesture control, a physical interaction. This will ultimately give the user a more natural, touch-like perception. Continue reading SIGGRAPH: Disney Creates Air-Based Touch Feedback System

Ingress Brings Augmented Reality to Mobile Video Gaming

Google’s internal startup Niantic Labs has created a game called “Ingress” that is still in closed beta release. It is an augmented reality, massive multiplayer video game that uses location-based augmented reality of actual locations as game play. The augmented reality is based on where the player is physically, and adds layers to the game based on the surroundings. “Ingress” also opens up some compelling possibilities for advertisers. Continue reading Ingress Brings Augmented Reality to Mobile Video Gaming

USC Launches Web Hub for DIY Virtual Reality Projects

For those who want to create their own virtual reality headsets, there are not many resources available. USC’s MxR Lab aims to change that by offering a newly launched showcase of creations and modifications that DIY enthusiasts can build, including open source code for both the devices and integrating full-body motion control through either Kinect for Windows or OpenNI. Continue reading USC Launches Web Hub for DIY Virtual Reality Projects

Oculus VR Believes the Time has Come for Virtual Reality

Virtual reality has yet to take a stronghold commercially, but a new product might change that. A new VR headset from California startup Oculus VR “costs just a few hundred dollars and puts players inside games like no television set can,” writes The New York Times. Resembling a pair of ski goggles, the headset is a combination of the affordable but high-quality parts made for the mobile electronics market and new technology from Oculus VR. Continue reading Oculus VR Believes the Time has Come for Virtual Reality

Are there Other Media Applications for Military VR and 3D Tech?

  • Quantum 3D has created virtual reality technology for soldiers to train for battle wearing 3D glasses equipped with screens.
  • “Trainees are 100 percent immersed in the battlefield, while actually prowling around the conference room, gymnasium, or parking lot,” reports KNTV/NBC (includes video).
  • This opens some interesting possibilities for general training, education, and theme park applications.
  • In related news, IEE Inc. has integrated its 4.8-inch 800×400 military data display with 3M’s autostereoscopic film for a glasses-free 3D display that allows running of custom apps (terrain mapping, remote robotics control, enhanced video feeds, and training environments).
  • Key design elements include its small size, high resolution and LED backlight technology. The new display “decreases off-axis image reversals and color distortions, a common concern in the use of 3D technologies, and can easily be switched to 2D with imagery comparable to modern day smart phones,” according to the press release.

Sony Experiments with Headgear for VR Gaming

  • Sony Computer Entertainment may launch a 3D headset for virtual reality-type games in the future.
  • The head-mounted display was first introduced during the company’s CES press event in January, but now Sony is reportedly working on developing it for more than just viewing passive entertainment.
  • The device features twin 720p OLED displays (one for each eye) and 5.1 surround sound.
  • Mick Hocking, group studio manager for Sony Europe, said the 3D headset can provide an immersive experience for games (and it is worth mentioning that a number of Sony Computer Entertainment studios fall under his command).
  • “The head-mounted display has twin-OLED screens; very high quality. At the moment it’s just a head-mounted display; the head isn’t being tracked — but that’s something we’re doing R&D on,” Hocking explained. “We’re working with a couple of games at Sony that are experimenting with virtual-reality-type experiences.”

Crescent Demonstrates 360-Degree Real-Time VR System

  • Crescent Inc. recently demonstrated its new head-mounted VR system at Japan’s 3D & Virtual Reality Expo.
  • The Immersive Digital Entertainment VR system provides a full 360-degree virtual environment accessible through the head-mounted display in what Engadget describes as “like a Virtual Boy that your wear.”
  • The system uses Virtools real-time rendering technology, image analysis technology, and a Vicon motion capture system in order to capture users’ movements and the items they interact with in the VR space.
  • An array of HD motion capture cameras make the “virtual reality that much less virtual (and in turn, that much more reality).”
  • The post includes a video report featuring an interview with Takahiro Akiyama who worked on content development. He is CEO of 4D Brain and former visual effects art director for the film “Final Fantasy.”
  • For the future, Akiyama envisions a new form of entertainment that integrates biofeedback within such a VR system.

Topcon IP-S2 Lite System Creates Panoramic Maps in 3D

  • Topcon’s IP-S2 Lite system — unveiled at Tokyo’s recent 3D & Virtual Reality Expo — creates 3D video footage that can be analyzed and augmented with virtual objects.
  • Topcon’s road condition evaluation system features a 360-degree camera, GPS and inclinometer.
  • The system also measures height, distance and surface area within individual frames in order to insert computer-generated images and to construct maps of disaster-stricken regions.
  • Japan’s Geospatial Information Authority used the technology after this year’s earthquakes to map coastal areas, providing helpful visuals of the damage.
  • The report includes a 2-minute video demo.

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