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Category Archives: Virtual Reality

Miyamoto Still Has Doubts About Virtual Reality – GameSpot

Posted: February 14, 2017 at 11:27 am

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Mario and Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto--and other Nintendo executives--have questioned the appeal of virtual reality in the past. In a new interview with Time, Miyamoto said some of the issues with VR he saw years ago are being worked on, but he still has some doubts and worries.

"In terms of being together online in virtual reality, I think a lot of the problems have been solved or are starting to be solved," he explained. "This is something that we're looking into, too. But when I see people play virtual reality, it makes me worry, just as for example if a parent were to see their kid playing virtual reality, it would probably make them worry."

He added: "Another issue and challenge that I think everybody faces is how to create an experience that's both short enough while also fully fleshed out in virtual reality."

In June 2014, Miyamoto said he's worried that virtual reality might be an isolationist activity--and this goes directly against the kinds of games Nintendo wants to make.

"When you think about what virtual reality is, which is one person putting on some goggles and playing by themselves kind of over in a corner, or maybe they go into a separate room and they spend all their time alone playing in that virtual reality, that's in direct contrast with what it is we're trying to achieve with Wii U," he said, at the time promoting that system. "And so I have a little bit of uneasiness with whether or not that's the best way for people to play."

Here is a picture of Miyamoto trying Oculus Rift at E3 2014:

Nintendo's next home console is the Switch, which comes out on March 3. There have been rumors and reports that claim the system may support virtual reality in the future, but Nintendo has not made any official announcements.

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Stanford researchers personalize virtual reality displays to match a user’s eyesight – Stanford University News

Posted: at 11:27 am

Some new technologies can be tuned to our personal characteristics, like the voice recognition on smartphones trained to recognize how we speak. But that isnt possible with todays virtual reality headsets. They cant account for differences in vision, which can make watching VR less enjoyable or even cause headaches or nausea.

Stanford researchers are trying to personalize virtual reality headsets to take eyesight into account. (Image credit: iStock/AleksandarNakic)

Now researchers at Stanfords Computational Imaging Lab, working with a Dartmouth College scientist, are developing VR headsets that can adapt how they display images to account for factors like eyesight and age that affect how we actually see.

Every person needs a different optical mode to get the best possible experience in VR, said Gordon Wetzstein, assistant professor of electrical engineering and senior author of research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Though the work is still in its prototype stage, the research shows how VR headsets could one day offer the sort of personalization that users have come to expect from other technologies.

We hope our research findings will guide these developments in the industry, Wetzstein said.

The problem that the researchers set out to solve is that the display screens on VR headsets dont let our eyes focus naturally. In real life, once our eyes focus on a point everything else blurs into the background. VR makes focusing more difficult because the display is fixed at a certain point relative to our eyes. This eyestrain can cause discomfort or headaches.

Over a 30- to 40-minute period, your eyes may start hurting, you might have a headache, said Nitish Padmanaban, a PhD student in electrical engineering at Stanford and member of the research team. You might not know exactly why something is wrong but youll feel it. We think thats going to be a negative thing for people as they start to have longer and better VR content.

Importantly, the effects of visual conflicts in VR may affect younger and older people differently. For example, people over the age of 45 commonly experience presbyopia a difficulty focusing on objects close up. Younger people dont generally have presbyopia but they may have vision issues that require them to wear glasses. In either case, current VR headsets dont take these vision difficulties into account.

One insight in our paper is to consider age as a factor, rather than focusing only on young users, and to show that the best solution for older users is likely different than for younger users, said Emily Cooper, a research assistant professor in Dartmouths Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.

The researchers are testing hardware and software fixes designed to change the focal plane of a VR display. They call this technology adaptive focus display.

The group tested two different hardware options. One relies on focus-tunable liquid lenses. Twisting a dial squeezes the liquid lenses inside the headset to change the screen display even though the lens itself remains in place. The other option involves mechanically moving the display screen back or forth, like adjusting a pair of binoculars. The system also incorporates eye-tracking technology to determine where on the screen the user is looking.

In conjunction with the eye-tracking technology, software ascertains where the person is trying to look and controls the hardware to deliver the most comfortable visual display. The software can account for whether a person is nearsighted or farsighted but cannot yet correct for another vision issue called astigmatism. With these displays, VR users would not need glasses or contacts to have a good visual experience.

Its important because people who are nearsighted, farsighted or presbyopic these three groups alone they account for more than 50 percent of the U.S. population, said Robert Konrad, one of the researchers and a PhD candidate in electrical engineering at Stanford. The point is that we can essentially try to tune this in to every individual person to give each person the best experience.

The researchers tested prototypes of these personalized VR displays at last years SIGGRAPH conference. Tal Stramer, a Stanford graduate student in computer science, was involved in this phase. The team tested their adaptive focus display on 173 participants aged 21 to 64 and found that the technology provided improved viewing experiences across a wide range of vision characteristics.

This research was supported in part by the National Science Foundation, a Terman Faculty Fellowship and grants from Okawa Research, Intel Corporation and Samsung.

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This company is opening a virtual reality multiplex this fall – Mashable

Posted: at 11:27 am


Mashable
This company is opening a virtual reality multiplex this fall
Mashable
Los Angeles is set to become home to a very futuristic theater experience this fall, as "new location-based virtual reality venture" Dreamscape Immersive launches a VR multiplex in the city in September. Using technology based on medical imaging and ...
Dreamscape Immersive Wants to Bring Virtual Reality Multiplex to Los AngelesNasdaq
Game-Changing Location Based Virtual Reality Venture Dreamscape Immersive to Launch September 2017Yahoo Finance
Spielberg Looks to Grow Virtual Reality Business With Retail Experiencebrandchannel.com

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Virtual reality weather add-ons let you feel the sun and wind – New Scientist

Posted: at 11:27 am

Prepared for the weather

National University of Singapore

By Timothy Revell

Virtual reality devices can already fool your eyes and ears. Soon your other senses will be fooled too, with the creation of a device that can bring the weather in your virtual world to life.

Nimesha Ranasinghe at the National University of Singapore is working towards the ultimate VR experience. Last year, his team showed how electrodes can be used to add sweet tastes into virtual reality. His new accessory, called Ambiotherm, adds atmosphere into the mix as well.

Ambiotherm has two components that combine with a normal VR headset. The first is a wind module that contains two fans that clip on to the bottom of a headset.

This means that we can simulate the wind blowing in your face, for example, as you ski down a mountain, says Ranasinghe.

The second is a temperature module that attaches to the back of the neck. So when walking through a virtual desert, we can simulate the harsh sun beating down on you, he says.

The accessories dont just affect the area they are pointing at, though. In previous experiments, Ranasinghe and his team found that if heat is gradually applied to the neck it feels like the whole body is experiencing a different temperature. Similarly, wind passing the throat can give the impression of standing somewhere windy.

Visuals and sounds are the easiest part of the real world to replace. Its much more difficult to simulate other senses, so its really interesting what theyve done, says Adalberto Simeone at the University of Portsmouth, UK.

Other attempts to emulate environmental conditions in VR experiences normally involve a room with fans and heat lamps dotted around, says Simeone, so making it compact is a big achievement.

By making VR more realistic it could increase the possible uses. Researchers have already shown that VR can reduce pain, reduce fear of death, and even help people who are paralysed regain some feeling in their legs.

Were studying how human emotion can be augmented using multisensory VR. The next step is to start including smells and vibrations, says Ranasinghe. Ambiotherm will be presented at the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Colorado in May.

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Virtual reality has a growing impact on college football – FOXSports.com

Posted: at 11:27 am

Deshaun Watson shredded the vaunted Alabama defense when it mattered most in the fourth quarter of the national title game to give Clemson its first championship in three decades. Of all the eye-popping stats that the Tigers superstar QB produced, the most jaw-dropping is this: in the fourth quarter when faced with the blitz, Watson went 6-of-7 with two touchdown passes.

People talk about being in the zone, and Watsons cool response to pressure epitomized it. And its probably because hed seen it all before many times.

Clemson is one of the college football programs that has been on the front end of the virtual reality movement in sports. The Tigersstaff estimates that Watson devoted about 40 percent of his time in virtual reality immersed in blitz pick-up situations. Obviously, Watsons own talent and vision was a key factor in his ability to burn the Bama blitz, but his coach also gives credit to VR for helping the Tigers take their program to the next level.

I didnt know what to expect early on from (the VR), but its been great for us, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney told FOX Sports last month. Weve learned how to maximize theefficiency of it. Deshaun might go through yesterdays blitz script. (Linebacker) Ben Boulware can go in and practice without having to practice. Sometimes a guy who is hurt can still get mental reps. Theres just so many uses for it. Its been a great teaching tool.

Two years ago FOX Sports delved into the subject of virtual reality coming into the world of football. Stanford has been the first program to go all-in, but now there are 13 FBS programs and six NFL teams using the technology via STRIVR Labs (the company that started at Stanford). Clemson actually spends even more time using it than Stanford does, according to STRIVR data.

Temple was another program whose usage of VR actually surpassed Stanfords in 2016. The Owls might be the best example of its impact as it related to their first league title in 50 years. They blew out Navy 34-10 and held a Middie triple option attack that had been averaging 61 points per game the previous three games to 51 points below that after Temple linebackers and DBs did over 500 VR reps in the week leading up to the AAC title game. In addition, Temple QB Phillip Walker hadnt been able to do much in practice that week because he was in a walking boot and instead got his reps in the VR headset. Walker completed nine of his first 11 passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns against Navy and went on to win the Most Outstanding Player award for the AAC Title Game.

Im a huge, huge believer in virtual reality, former Temple coach Matt Rhule, now at Baylor, told FOX Sports. We had it for the last two years and won 10 games in each of those years.

I think the eyes are one of those untrained aspects of football. Everybody talks about speed and how fast a guy is but its also about recognizing plays and structure, and I think instincts can be learned and taught, so that intangible thing becomes tangible.

At Clemson, Watson is moving on to the NFL, but VR will remain a big factor for the Tiger QBs. One of the quarterbacks vying to replace Watson is Zerrick Cooper, who red-shirted in 2016 and didnt get any reps in practice on the field but he did in the VR lab.

He was able to sit in my meetings for 30 minutes and the other 30 minutes, Id send him to the VR room, which is right next to my room, and he would go thru all of the concepts, cross it off on the playbook and hes in the game, said Tiger QB coach Brandon Streeter. Hes in 7-on-7. Hes really doing it almost. Hes done very well.

Cooper would put the VR headset on to go through many of the same things Watson and the Tigers other QBs experienced the previous day at practice. I was able to get game-like reps, he said. I could be in the play, look around, see what the defense is giving me. Look at a blitz period. You get to see the front and the coverage and how the safety rotates.

Swinney said VR hasnt just helped develop his team on the field, Clemsons also used the technology to boosts the Tigers recruiting.

We can capture what its like to run down the hill. We can put you on the field and experience Death Valley live. You can experience that locker room celebration live. Maybe you cant come visit. But now we can bring it to you.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports | Kim Klement

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Tim Cook says AR has more potential than virtual reality – The INQUIRER

Posted: February 13, 2017 at 9:21 am

APPLE CEO Tim Cook has said that he sees augmented reality (AR) as holding more potential than virtual reality (VR) and that the technology holds as much potential impact to change the world as the smartphone market.

Speaking to The Independent.Cook was asked for his take on future trends like AR, and he left no doubt that he sees the technology as the next major trend ahead of VR

"I'm excited about augmented reality because unlike virtual reality which closes the world out, AR allows individuals to be present in the world but hopefully allows an improvement on what's happening presently," he said

"Most people don't want to lock themselves out from the world for a long period of time and today you can't do that because you get sick from it. With AR you can, not be engrossed in something, but have it be a part of your world, of your conversation. That has resonance."

Cook went on to say that, just like the smartphone has become a global product used by everyone, he believes that AR holds a similar level of potential.

"I regard it as a big idea like the smartphone. The smartphone is for everyone, we don't have to think the iPhone is about a certain demographic, or country or vertical market: it's for everyone. I think AR is that big, it's huge," he said.

I get excited because of the things that could be done that could improve a lot of lives. And be entertaining. I view AR like I view the silicon here in my iPhone, it's not a product per se, it's a core technology."

However, Cook was cool on how soon such technology would become mainstream, and be extension when Apple may get involved, suggesting there is still a way to go to make the capabilities relevant to consumers.

"There are things to discover before that technology is good enough for the mainstream. I do think there can be a lot of things that really help people out in daily life, real-life things, that's why I get so excited about it."

Cook's comments followed on from similarly bullish comments on the UK's future under Brexit, claiming that the nation "would be just fine" and that the firm was committed to the country, as evidenced by its new headquarters in Battersea.

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Classy classes: ‘The Idea of Virtual Reality’ – The Stanford Daily

Posted: at 9:20 am

TAPS 21N: The Idea of Virtual Reality is an all-freshman introductory seminar that allows students to engage with the impact of one of the newest innovations of our time: virtual reality.

From watching VR videos with Google Cardboard to going on field trips to meeting with big names in the industry, students experience VR in multiple contexts.

Students explore VR in TAPS 21N (DEVON ZANDER/The Stanford Daily)

The course is taught by Matthew Wilson Smith, associate professor of German studies and theater and performance studies. For him, the excitement of the curriculum comes with the novelty of its topic.

[Virtual reality is] being created in real time, and largely right around here in Silicon Valley, he said. As a theater scholar and a performance scholar and a literature scholar, its a venture for me to explore a medium that has yet to be created thats in the process of being created. And its a medium that some of the students around the seminar table might be helping to create.

Students are assigned a combination of readings and VR videos to watch with Google Cardboard, which they then discuss during class. One of the main goals of the course is to examine the past, present and future of VR.

Were spending time looking at the history of VR, going back to the 19th century and through the 20th, although it even has roots all the way back to Plato and his allegory of the cave, Smith said. Were [also] trying to speculate forward about where this all might be going its currently a big unknown.

Another critical concern of the class is determining what makes for an immersive VR experience. As Smith describes it, [We] want to ask: What do we mean when we say immersion? Does it mean that we just pay attention, or does it mean that we actually are in a state where we forget the medium?

One way the class has engaged hands-on with the concept of immersion is going on trips to the Virtual Human Interaction Lab on campus, where itis able to use HTC Vive, one of the most cutting-edge VR systems available today.

The breathtaking quality of the simulation of presence was something that I frankly hadnt anticipated, Smith said. I knew it was a feature of the medium, but until Id actually done it, I hadnt fully appreciated just how powerful it is.

The course also explores the concept of agency and spectatorship in VR. Ryan Hsieh 20 was struck by the effect VR portrayals might have on audience responses to humanitarian disaster.

One thing we talk a lot about is desensitization, Hsieh said. For example, one video we watched was of this girl in Syria, another was of a girl in Haiti after the earthquake, and another was of poverty in India. A question we ponder is: Does watching and rewatching all of these scenarios and narratives make us less empathetic?

With all of the high-tech equipment it involves, one might expect TAPS 21N to appeal mostly to STEM majors. But Smith is adamant that, regardless of their interests, students will be able to resonate with some aspect of the course.

There arent as many humanities folks in the class as I would like, and Id like to have a mix, Smith said. I think so much interesting work in the history of technology comes out of people who are really fired up about art, history, literature and the whole world of the arts and the humanities.

Hsieh, who identifies as a STEM person, agreed that the course would be an eye-opening and rewarding experience for peers of various academic backgrounds.

I found out that thats super interesting, and it was engaging to pull from these different topics in discussion, Hsieh said.

Contact Lisa Wang at lisaw20 at stanford.edu.

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Chick-fil-A cows will dive into virtual reality in new ads – Atlanta Business Chronicle

Posted: at 9:20 am

No Mor Kows for Chick-fil-A? Chick-fil-A: The kows are here to stay Amazing hilltop Virginia Highland home!

The company will make a new website live and run two commercials during the Grammy more

Chick-fil-A's cows are going high tech by donning virtual reality headsets in the first ads for the chicken chain by McCann New York.

AdAge reports that "This week, Chick-fil-A began teasing a 'Cowz VR' site and distributing thousands of free Chick-fil-A-branded cardboard viewers." The company will make the website live and run two commercials during the Grammy Awards, AdAge reports in a Feb. 10 story. Read the full story here.

The company will make a new website live and run two commercials during the Grammy more

The ads are the first produced for Chick-fil-A by McCann New York, which won Chick-fil-A's ad business last year.

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See This Famous Masterpiece Recreated in Virtual Reality – UploadVR

Posted: at 9:20 am

Today is Sunday. Speaking of Sundays, the most famous work by the French post-impressionist, Georges Seurat is titledA Sunday on La Grande Jatte.I am the king of segues.

Completed in 1884, this oil on canvas work is best known to the art world as a prime example of the post-industrial frieze and amasterclass in fine brushwork. Most of us, however, know it because of this guy:

The world of high-art was introduced to an entire generation of young people in the 1986 film Ferris Buellers Day Off. A film about one vice principles noble quest to do his job despite the selfish actions of a charismatic truant.

Seurats masterpiece is being used once again to bring culture to the masses. This time, however,were swapping the emotionally confused adolescent for the immersive powerof virtual reality.

VR artist George Peaslee recreatedA Sunday on La Grande Jatte usingGoogles 3D creation platformTilt Brush. In Tilt Brush, users can draw, sculpt, colorusing special hand controllers and a VR headset. You can see the results below along with other notable VR art projects. Feel free tointeract with these creations as well usingthe 3D image hosting capabilities of Sketchab.

VRart is on the rise and, as you can see from the works above, artists are beginning to find their own styles, forge their own voices and bring emotion to theirdigital masterpieces. We cant wait to see what they do next.

Tagged with: art, masterpiece, painting, recreation, sunday on la grande, tilt brush

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Google Chrome Now Allows Users To Experience Virtual Reality Via WebVR – EconoTimes

Posted: at 9:20 am

Monday, February 13, 2017 5:27 AM UTC

Later this week, Google announced that they have added WebVR to the web browser Chrome.

The announcement read as follows, Virtual reality (VR) lets you tour the Turkish palace featured in Die Another Day, learn about life in a Syrian refugee camp firsthand, and walk through your dream home right from your living room. With the latest version of Chrome, were bringing VR to the webmaking it as easy to step inside Air Force One as it is to access your favorite webpage.

Toms Hardware said this type of virtual reality support help push ongoing commercial efforts. The site said, The ability to visit a web page and immediately start poking around VR content--even if it's not as immersive as a dedicated VR headset would be--could help people better understand why VR can be so exciting.

According to Forbes, this support now allows any device to their web browser into a virtual reality platform. Simply go on a WebVR-enabled site via Chrome and then navigate using a mouse for your laptop or desktop, or your fingers on your mobile device.If you have a DayDream-ready phone or a DayDream headset, you can have a full virtual reality experience using WebVR.

Google says users can expect more headsets to handle the virtual reality-enabled websites, including the most popular Google wearable, the Google Cardboard. Techradar reports that in the meantime, there are several virtual reality-enabled websites that uses can now access. Theres Bear71, which is an interactive documentary about animals and technology, Matterport, a virtual tour of luxury homes and historic locations, Within, a compilation of VR films and documentaries, SketchFab, which features artist-made 3D scenes, and Web VR Lab, an explorable 3D area with interactive objects.

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