Does life get you down? Does the world seem hard or tough? Do people seem stupid, obnoxious or daft? If you've had quite enough of all that, just tune it all out with this totally immersive, 3D, virtual reality, motion-sensing, gesture-enabled very fancy hat.
Portals, a project by a grad student at Art Center College of Design in LA, lets you stick your hand into a display and directly manipulate a virtual world. It's not really virtual reality, and it's not really augmented reality. I'm not sure what reality to call it (a parallel reality, maybe), but the potential here is crazy.
Mildly put, Sony's HMZ-T1 Personal 3D Viewer that's capable of projecting a virtual 150-inch screen in a pair of goggles is the stuff of every nerd's wildest dreams. In reality, that's all it is: a display. One modder decided he wanted virtual reality, so he gave it some head-tracking abilities.
The problem with most virtual reality glasses, is that you can't see a darned thing while wearing them besides what's on the screens. Epson knows that people like to multitask, so their new glasses let you see right through the projected image so you remain aware of your surroundings.
If there's one thing most first person shooter games fail to accurately portray, it's consequences. Want to leap over those sandbags, yelling a war cry with your guns blazing? Go nuts, but if you're playing an FPS in this $650,000 custom simulator, you'll pay for your reckless bravery, and it's going to hurt. A lot.
Microsoft has been on a user interface kick this week, what with their new OmniTouch and trans-fabric interfaces. But the HoloDesk project might be the coolest demo of all, at least for those of us who lie awake at night fantasizing about our very own holodeck.
Add this to the list of things that somehow are going to need to fit inside my fantasy living room: Barco's 360 degree immersive flight training dome uses 13 laser-calibrated projectors to show you virtual bogeys inbound from up to 12 virtual clicks away, and then lets you virtually blow them out of the sky in seamless HD.
When our cars are finally smart enough to drive themselves, we're going to suddenly have a lot of extra time on our hands. What's going to keep us entertained while we get where we're going? Dassault systems got together with some concept designers to imagine what it might be like.
Proving that Sony really looked at the PS3 as a system that would evolve with the times, Sony is now internally testing a few PS3 games with that awesome 3D virtual reality headset we saw back at CES in January. Who's ready for VR's return?
We've seen plenty of future tech aimed at helping the blind to see again, but a group of British researchers are working on much more immediate technology that can help people with poor vision to see more clearly.