FlyVIZ headset bestows 360-degree supervision

The FlyVIZ headset may not make you stronger than a speeding bullet, or faster than a tall building, or able to leap locomotives in a single bound, but it will give you the superpower of being able to see all around you at once. What does this mean? You can dodge balls thrown at you from behind! Take that, evil Throwing-Balls-At-People-From-Behind Man!

FlyVIZ is a Sony Personal 3D Viewer that's been modified to play back a live feed from a panoramic camera mounted on top the user's head. Software on a laptop acts as an intermediary, reformatting the 360-degree image to remove distortion and compress it to fit into a human's field of view. The result is that users can see all the way around themselves all at once, and after an adjustment period of about 15 minutes where you just have to do your best not to fall over while throwing up, most people get used to it and are able to function more or less normally.

Testing of FlyVIZ has included the aforementioned dodging balls thrown from behind, as well as having users grab stuff that would otherwise be out of their natural field of view. You can also drive a car with this thing on, which simultaneously seems like an excellent and horrible idea. What FlyVIZ is doing, essentially, is significantly augmenting a sense to give the human wearing it powers that the rest of us don't have, which is more or less the definition of what makes someone into a superhero, right? Or, I guess, a supervillain. The FlyVIZ can only give you 360-degree vision: you must choose how to use it.

Watch someone using a FlyVIZ in a video that's unapologetically French, below.

Maxisciences, via New Scientist

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