Turning VR Inside Out

November 20 2008 / by StuartDobson
Category: Metaverse   Year: General   Rating: 8 Hot

Instead of trying to create reality virtually, what if we embed virtuality into reality?

Crossposted from Super Concepts.

This video shows how RFID can help improve control over stock inventory both in real world and virtual world situations. With the current state of virtual reality, it’s unlikely that virtual supermarkets will take off. They’re just too…clunky. However, one distinct possibility is a reversal. Computer controlled reality.

RFID will play a large part in this. The data it will provide will change the way we look at reality. By reporting and recording our locations and activities, it will digitise us – turning us into real life avatars.

In virtual reality, everything we do can be recorded. The software can record our every movement and interaction. This will soon be possible in real life, thanks to RFID and our interactions with computer interfaces.

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Augmented Reality goes prime time! Thanks ESPN!

September 09 2008 / by Garry Golden / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Social Media   Year: 2014   Rating: 7 Hot

Add sports media to the list of early technology adopter companies alongside the military and porn industries!

ESPN and Electronic Arts have joined forces around the ‘Virtual Playbook’ to shake up the world of broadcast media by launching a new era of immersive mass media experiences.

In recent years sports based games have pushed the evolution of 3D experiences, but now ESPN is bringing football analysis into the era of 3D Augmented Reality. This Fall, ESPN commentators will interact live with realistic 3D virtual NFL players. They will stand next to life sized scale 3D players as they demonstrate based offensive and defensive patterns.

Gamers are obviously thrilled and NFL viewers are likely to become bigger fans of sports commentators able to navigate a virtual landscape of players.

Now that we are witnessing the first mass media application of augmented reality, it becomes easier to build a futures road map looking at the convergence of drivers that support augmented mass media experiences.

We can see clear developmental lines of commercialization with 3D software (ray trace rendering, 3D authoring etc.), hardware (terahertz chips and video servers) and display technology (thin film, flexible OLEDs and high def projection systems) and interface standards (gesture, smart object and motion based interactions).

Thanks to ESPN, we have now jumped to major hurdles – viable business models around convergence of 3D software, gaming and virtual world companies with broadcast media. And the biggest barrier with the most uncertainty – People! Specifically mainstream TV viewers.

Entrepreneurs can now start imagining the unique applications. When might students use augmented reality to create reports – immersing themselves in history scenes or building cities? When might kids insert themselves inside a Dora the Explorer adventure? Or aspiring athletes play the world champions in an immersive experience that makes Wii tennis look like 8 bit pong? When might technicians and engineers use augmented reality to work collaboratively long distance? Could Home Depot or our plumber walk us step by step through the bathroom project?!

The list of mainstream applications is exhaustive. And the convergence of technologies is within sight. There is no need to overstate and ‘hype’ augmented reality, or bow to naysayer skeptics of tech adoption. Augmented reality is much more appealing and functional than a pure virtual world experience. And it could give a boost to TV broadcasters desperate to stay relevant.

3, 5, 7 or 10 years is not too far off for mainstream applications at work and home! But how do we get there?

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10 Massive Reality TV Shows for the Near-Future

June 10 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Social Media   Year: General   Rating: 6 Hot

Alvis Brigis is a former reality television producer and story editor whose credits include Motormouth (VH1), The Simple Life 2 (FOX), Making the Band 3 (MTV), and House of Boateng (Sundance). This is Part 2 of a series envisioning the future of the genre.

As I discussed in my last post on future tv programming that incorporates virtual worlds, reality TV is one of the many art forms due to experience incredible change as we enter the acceleration era. The genre is particularly well-suited to respond to new technology because it that was recently enabled by dropping technology costs and responds quickly to market forces.

That being the case, I’d like to explore just how BIG reality programming can get considering the proliferation of high-quality digital recording devices like the iPhone (the new better 3G version will start at just $199), the rise of social media media structures (YouTube, Digg, MemeBox), the advent of online participatory editing, the near-term potential of 3G and WiMax communication webs, new camera POV possibilities such as aerial micro-drones, and the steady progress we are making in digital storage and battery life/weight.

Ultimately, these are the same technologies that will enable widespread life-logging, surveillance and an emerging participatory panopticon. But along the way they will make for some kick-ass, ground-breaking reality television.

Here’s my Top 10 list of future MASSIVE reality TV shows that I’d love to kill some precious time watching:

1. THE PROTEST: The world’s largest and most dramatic political protests are examined inside-out as real-time footage captured on handhelds and by aerial drones is crowd-sourced and quickly edited online. As viewers watch the most popular cuts they can click on a frame to directly access the live feeds of their favorite broadcasters.

2. MANHUNT: 10 professional soldiers, law enforcement agents, and reformed criminals stage a fictional prison break then attempt to elude a public manhunt on 10,000 acres in rural Montana. Watch from afar or come test your tracking skills for a shot at $1,000,000.

3. THE REAL WAR: A reality show that actually makes a difference in the lives of the persecuted masses, The Real War brings transprency and accountability conflict situations in unstable regions. Sponsored by the UN and private donors, the program is edited by a panel of international observers. (cont.)

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Trackball-like Hamster Cage Interesting but Falls Short of Progress

November 03 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Gadgets   Year: 2008   Rating: 3

Dubbed the VirtuSphere, this giant ball hopes to deliver a true virtual reality experience by giving people the ability to explore their environments on foot. “The VirtuSphere platform consists of a large hollow sphere that sits on top of a base and allows the sphere to rotate 360 degrees. Wearing a wireless, head-mounted display, users can step inside the sphere to fully interact in immersive virtual environments.” It claims users can run, jump, crawl, even roll inside the sphere.

This is new technology, meaning it’s also beta technology. From the looks of it, the idea that a user could actually run in that thing is a little far-fetched. Not only is the ground curved, but without a more accurate virtual image on the heads-up display users might find themselves a little off-balance. It also looks like the sphere cannot help move the ball in the direction you are moving — if you’re running at full speed and suddenly stop, you might end up eating virtual pavement as the ball continues its momentum.

The key to these devices is really going to be in flat ground. Balance is easier, it’s more familiar, and it allows for non-wireless tech to be included such as more powerful headsets and maybe a support harness. Maybe an omni-directional treadmill which can tell which way you are going and move accordingly?

Maybe if we can get those white boxes from the Beijing Opening Ceremony we could incorporate vertical as well as horizontal movement (skip to the 42 minute mark).

MINI Brings Augmented Reality Into Print Ads

December 10 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Gadgets   Year: 2008   Rating: 2

In the video above you are seeing the making of an augmented reality print ad.  If you print out the PDF file here, go the their website here and launch your webcam, a highly-detailed MINI Cabrio should appear on the page which you can manipulate and zoom by rotating the ad.  You'll need to download 3D plugins for the program to work which is daunting enough, but persevere and you'll get a 3D car on your paper.

You may have read a past article we did on augmented reality pop-up books for kids where people were working towards creating a commercially viable product involving augmented reality.  Although they said development would be years away, seems like MINI has gone ahead and shortened the deadline. There have even been cases where cellphones have been used to display augmented reality projections.

Using print ads and a webcam is just the first step, next year we'll be seeing goggles which will make the whole experience that much more exciting.

Check Out Some Augmented Reality On Your iPhone This X-Mas

December 17 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Gadgets   Year: 2008   Rating: 2

Virtual_Santa_screenshot.jpg

Been wanting to tinker with Augmented Reality?  Now you can try it out with your iPhone.  Go to Metaio and try out their Augmented Reality iPhone App for free (and unlike the last AR gadget we linked you to, these instructions are in English).  You can determine his size, make him run around, even print it out on a holiday card so friends and family can see him.  Enjoy!