Condition One aims to achieve a standardized way of capturing and displaying immersive 180 degree video. The company is a startup founded by noted photographer Danfung Dennis. Currently the product takes the form of an iPad app in which the user can tilt the device or pan using a finger to look around the 180 degree view; Condition One’s work could provide a standard way for capturing high field of view content to be played back on high field of view head mounted displays like the Oculus Rift.
Archive for the 'VR Future' Category
I wrote a few months back that augmented reality needed to prove itself. While I still think this is the case, I’m happy to report that top minds are working on just that. Some genius folks from MIT have created ‘T(ether)’, an amazing system which allows a user to interact with an augmented reality world by reaching out and manipulating it with their hands.
I have to say that this brief story, just 205 words long, might be on of the most concise emotional stories I’ve ever read. In so few words, the author has managed to touch on the disruptive potential of virtual reality, the fear of losing loved ones, and the emotions surrounding one’s own death. More impressively, perhaps, this story isn’t out of a short-story contest or anything like that. It was simply a comment written on the popular site Reddit by user cultured_bannana_slug:
Big news for the VR world fresh from of one of the biggest names in gaming. In a post to his Valve-hosted blog, employee Michael Abrash says that since joining Valve hes begun working on augmented reality / wearable computer research. Abrash says that he’s long been fascinated by the topic of virtual reality — ever since reading the novel Snow Crash in 1994.
Valve, who has developed critically acclaimed gaming franchises such as Half-Life and Portal (not to mention the hugely popular Steam digital game distribution service), is one of the biggest names in gaming. That they are publicly admitting to doing R&D for wearable computing / augmented reality is a very encouraging step forward down the road to virtual reality. Abrash, like myself, is confident that wearable computing is a natural an inevitable evolution of human-computer interaction:
Last week Google announced it’s Project Glass concept, a head mounted display and AR software aimed toward making augmented reality a practicality for mainstream use. With a big announcement such as that, it didn’t take long for the parody videos to start rolling in. Here’s two great videos poking fun at Google Glass:
Virtual Reality is most likely an inevitable evolution in human-computer interaction — in the long term, anyway. But in the next 10 years, there’s a major risk of VR falling to the wayside as a novelty or an enthusiasts-only market. The closest analog I can think of is the flight-simulator market. There are enthusiasts out there who have amazing flight-simulator setups, but the list of supported games is relatively low, and the best hardware can be extremely expensive. Flight-simulators can be a whole lot of fun, but there’s never been full-fledged console support, and that has relegated flight-simulation to the PC gaming elite who have the money to buy not only top-end computers, but also top-end flight-simulation hardware.
We’re at a fork right now with VR where, depending which way things who, it could take off into the mainstream, or become an expensive enthusiast/niche market. Continue reading ‘Virtual Reality Needs to Take off Before It Gets Grounded in a Niche Market’
If you’ve ever
done any thinking about augmented reality seen a sci-fi movie, you’re undoubtedly familiar with the idea of a contact lens that provides the wearer with a super-futuristic heads up display that shows all sorts of awesome and useful information, augmented reality style. Well, we aren’t quite there yet, but work being done is bringing that technology ever closer to that vision. Today such devices are being tested, in several years we may see them available for consumer purchase.
Researchers have recently manufactured and tested a simple 1 pixel contact lens display. Though one pixel doesn’t sound very impressive, it could be used for something as simple as notifying the wearer of an incoming call, text, or email, or could be as useful as alerting a deaf person that a car may be coming up behind them.