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#1 Posted by GenghisChris82 (221 posts) -
 Hi all, my second post about VR

I'm intrested in virtual and augmented realities.

Both can use head mounted displays (HMD's) but act in very different ways.

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. 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

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 low end model (still quite expensive at $1100 but great value)
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?

(BTW gamespot is the reason the post looks a little off)
#2 Posted by Senior_Rosa (59 posts) -

Hey i found your post really interesting!!! I was looking for something exactly like that. I have another configuration in my mind that can be awesome too and at the same time a little bit cheaper. All we'd need is some 3d glasses like the ones you put (the cybermind ones look cool), and some head-tracking system. This way, while having your hands on your gamepad, or keyboard or whatever you use to play, the head-traking system will tell the computer the inclination and tilt of your head, and therefore it will display on the googles the corresponding image.

Lets say you're playing Mirror's Edge. You can move your head and check everything on sight, but you control Faith's body with your pad and so the orientation. If all that is combined with truely 3D experience, ..... i'm melting for just imagining it...

Take care man,

Señor Rosa

#3 Posted by Astaroth2k (877 posts) -

around 10 years for mediocre VR and about 25 to 35 years for the real deal ie what we think of when someone says Virtual reality.Probably a device on the head and cover the eyes so no light can pass into them that stimulates sections of the brain with unique electrical signals that give form to whatever we are thinking.Japanese scientists have already done this ie Asked someone to think of a square,circle etc and then converted those signals from the person brain into something you can actually see on a screen,see the sqaure they were thinking of.If we can map enough of the brain/electrical signals for tens of thousands of colours,objects etc then somehow input lets say an artifical room into your brain which would be linked to the retina then you would see this artifically created room that was not actually there.That imo is true virtual reality,hell of a long way off though.

#4 Posted by -GeordiLaForge- (7148 posts) -
I was going to get a Z800, but they nearly doubled the MSRP recently. Now I plan on getting a 120Hz 1080p Sanyo projector and nVidia's 3DVision glasses. I would get the Cybermind Visette45, but the MSRP is outrageous. Miniature SXGA LCD's have been around for far too long to justify the price IMO... Nice post BTW ;)
#5 Posted by Gog (16376 posts) -

This is a good example of how VR isn't getting anywhere. This topic is almost 3 years old and nothing has changed in the meantime.