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Chris Wakeling (Genghischris)
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Username: Genghischris

Post Number: 2
Registered: 2-2007

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Posted on Saturday, February 17, 2007 - 3:57 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post

Hello all, I didn't know where to post this as all the main forums are locked.

Excuse the post but it was aimed at people with even less knowlege about VR than me (I was suprised to find any tbh lol)I even deleted some of the more boring bits, also all the pictures are missing so you may see some refrences to bits that aren't there. If you even have the slightest intrest in VR skip to the bottom, theres a question waiting for you

Augmented reality (AR)

AR is an up and coming field, it also uses a HMD or a screen that incorporates a camera on the opposite side (much like a camera phone) A computer generated image is overlayed onto the real image in real time.

Two examples of AR

This one is a simple game that was released on a handheld console called the Gizmondo, it is a nice example of how simple AR can be used for games.

This one is a demonstration of AR on a bigger scale.

A brief guide on how AR works and some potential uses.

A site that has a lot of good links.

Virtual reality (VR)

So far as technology allows replaces your sight and hearing with pre recorded or computer generated images/sound. VR also commonly uses some form of real time tracking of its user so they can look/move around their new virtual enviroment.

Even though VR is here and now it can be pushed further, with the technology we have right now we can create experiences so immersive you would soon forget about the outside world. The virtual world wouldn't seem virtual at all. For VR to be so immersive you need to feel like your in the enviroment you see, this is where motion tracking is important, without it if you move your head you will still see the same image, with it you can look up, down, left and right and the image adjusts as in reality, but it can go further, what if you wave your hand in front of your face or jump up and down, this would all change your view point. this is where motion capture comes in (MOCAP)

Ideally you want a wireless MOCAP system that can produce results in real time.
http://www.xsens.com produce the Moven as seen below. Watch the Video to see it in action.

This video shows the latest in real time MOCAP these suits retail at $80,000 upwards so lets hope the price comes down soon.

Ok so you have your MOCAP now its time to get a HMD. HMD's come in all shapes and sizes, some are made for specific uses such as military or medical. On a side note a company called Microvision has developed a tiny projector that will easily fit inside a mobile phone and can produce a 800X600 resolution image and project it to any size you want.

An example of the possibilities. Check out http://microvision.blogspot.com

It is also belived that this technology can be developed to beam an image directly to the retina. When this technology reaches that level expect virtual reality to go mainstream.

OK back to HMD's

Here is a comprehensive list of available HMD's

I want to focus on two particular models

The Z800 3D visor, a Great HMD that displays in 800X600

A great model ($1100, was $550 for a short time before release but a competitor dropped the ball and now they have increased the price again)

A commercial for the HMD

And the Cybermind visette 45.

This displays 1280X1024 a great HMD that will set you back more than $10,000. But worth every penny imho.

I guess the best way to describe how clear a 1280X1024 image can be is to say your monitor is probably set at that resolution. The images and animations you can see on your computer are how realistic thisa HMD can produce.

OK so we have motion capture and a headset, now we need some form of control in game. I belive the best option here would be a custom controller. maybe shaped like a gun for games. Though I really like the new NINTENDO Wiis controller. In vr you can move around to a degree but keep walking forward and you will bump into a wall lol. So you need a handheld way of telling the computer what way your walking. the Wii controller would be great for this task.

The left controller for walking and the right for anything else.

So we have movment, control and sight, throw in a good 5.1 surround sound system and we're set to go.

Oh yeah, there is 2 more things we need, software and something to plug all this into to make it run.

We are dealing with a lot of DATA here, movements have to be turned into a virtual you. commands with the controller have to be processed, the virtual world has to be produced ect.

Luckily we live in 2007. Intel have released their quad core processor, DDR 3 is just round the corner, everything is going 64 bit and Direct X 10 is here.

ok so you'll need a modern top end computer to run all this.

MOCAP suit $80,000
HMD $12,000
High end PC $3000
Stuff I forgot $5000

So for the princley sum of $100,000 you could visit a world where you are God, you can change the colour of the sky, make the seas boil, create planets or do what ever you want. It doesn't seem so expensive when put that way, does it?

ok well done, you got through the babble, ok to the question. above you can see what I class as the standard VR has to be for VR to become widely accepted, ond only then if the price drops to below $10,000. the way I see it is if developed for a wide market by a big producer (sony/toshiba) the price could hit that (a presumption) so why doesn't it happen??? why has no big electronics producer taken that gamble (don't mention the virtual boy)

I can only begin to imagine the levels of immersion my ablove list would create with the right programming, maybe so much that a goverment or 2 would slow down devewlopment in order to ward off a generation of true computer addicts (lol i know its out there but I'm addicted to the very concept of one day gaming and maybe even socialising in a virtual world that looks as good as the best pc games today)
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Andres Hernandez (Cybereality)
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Username: Cybereality

Post Number: 3
Registered: 1-2007

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Posted on Saturday, February 17, 2007 - 5:46 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post

Very interesting post. Right now I'm thinking AR is going to replace VR in terms of immersion. We are at the point in 3d graphics were its not impossible to make photo-realistic renders of simple objects. Superimposing a 3d coke can over a live stereo video feed is totally doable, and not extremely difficult either. It won't be long before we can display photo-realistic people in real-time. So AR is probably going to have more appeal in the consumer market, as well as the professional one. VR isnt dead yet, there just hasnt been any compelling software. When most people think of VR, they probably think its just for movies like The Lawnmowerman, or remember very primitive software like VRML. And to be honest, we haven't really come that far since the 90's. Sure we have better hardware, with high resolutions, etc. But there hasn't been a huge jump in the consumer applications. The most I've seen is a couple a cool tech demos. Nothing worth spending $100k unless you have money to burn.

The price has to come *way* down before there is any sort of market penetration. A 3d visor for around $300 would be a marketable pricepoint. With options to add other devices, like a headtracker for an extra $100 or whatever. And some sort of 6dof gesture recognition. Then, after this point, there must be some amazing 3d content. The Nintendo Wii has solved some of these problems, namely producing an accurate low-cost 3d input device. However the Wii is vastly underpowered (the graphics are slightly better than PS2, which is not all the amazing nowadays) and can't support stereo3d or anything else necessary for VR/AR. But it is cheap and it has taken the industry by storm. These are good signs. Hopefully some company will step up and bring out some consumer viable solutions. We'll see what happens when the auto-stereoscopic 3d lcds drop in price. But once again, where is the content?
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Chris Wakeling (Genghischris)
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Username: Genghischris

Post Number: 3
Registered: 2-2007

Rating: N/A
Votes: 0 (Vote!)

Posted on Thursday, February 22, 2007 - 9:55 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post

I think AR's true potential lies in gaming, imagine a game where your walking down your own street and monsters jump out from behind real walls, where bombers fly over head and explosions are happening all around you, thats the future.

Though this tech is many many years off I hope I'll be around to see it (another 50 years or so)

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