Virtual & Augmented Reality and 3D News - Page 133
Valve's hardware project is... wearable computing
We've talked about this a few times, but the latest news to float onto the surface that is the sea of the Internet is that Valve were hiring hardware engineers, that myself, and other tech sites presumed was for their unannounced Steam Box home console. I was wrong. It seems as though Valve are hiring for something quite different: wearable computing.
Google are doing it, Apple will wait a few years and do it and call it revolutionary, but it seems Valve are also getting into the mix. Games Industry reports from a recent blog post by Valve developer Michael Abrash where he revealed the fact that Valve are hiring for wearable computing. The project is inspired by Neal Stephenson's novel Snow Crash, where Abrash has taken it upon himself to try and shrink computers down to the point where you can have one on you at all times.
Continue reading: Valve's hardware project is... wearable computing (full post)
US military wants to give soldiers dual-focus cameras, probably won't call them T-101's
The on-going multiple wars that the United States are knee-deep in probably won't stop anytime soon, and will most likely only get worse from here on out if everyone we're being fed on the news is right: Iran, North Korea and those pesky "terrorists" that the U.S. government fund left, right and centre. But, the latest step that the United State Department of Defense is working on is something very interesting indeed.
The U.S. DoD have signed a contract with Innovega, a Washington-based firm for development and testing of its dual-focus contact lenses. The technology would make it possible to project a HUD (heads-up display) onto the center of each lens, while keeping it in-focus regardless where the wearer is looking.
This would really just give the soldier a game-like HUD, where he could view his
health stats, armor, and XP - on a serious note, the soldier could see details like notes from superiors, real-time maps, satellite view, and more. We're already seeing the consumer level of this technology from Google in the form of their Project Glass.
Continue reading: US military wants to give soldiers dual-focus cameras, probably won't call them T-101's (full post)
Kinect + VR helmet + Skyrim = gamers dream
An enterprising gamer has done what gamers do best: thought outside the box. What he's done is grabbed a bunch of components, built a virtual reality, motion-controlled, Skyrim experience. The equipment used was: Skyrim, a Sony HMZ-T1, a Kinect, a TrackIR 5, a TrackClip Pro, Shoot [software], and FAAST 0.9 [also software]. The results? This:
The artist goes by the name of 'Awesome Man', and from the video's comments we have:
I've setup the Sony HMZ-T1 head mounted display to use Stereoscopic 3D as well as attached the TrackClip Pro on it for head tracking. I had to place the TrackIR 5 on a wire hanging from the ceiling as it needed to be around head level to track my head movements properly.
Continue reading: Kinect + VR helmet + Skyrim = gamers dream (full post)
Google's Android-powered HUD display glasses will debut this year
I talked about this a few weeks ago, where I was quite excited by the potential of Android-powered Google HUD glasses. It's become more of a reality, where the New York Times reporting that Google are not only working on them, but Google are planning to launch the glasses by the end of this year.
The New York Times cite "several Google employees familiar with the project", where NYT's Nick Bilton reports that the glasses will be powered by Google's Android OS, sport 3G or 4G connectivity, as well as GPS and a few sensors, cost-wise, we'd be looking at "around the price of current smartphones", so between say $250 and $600.
The HUD glasses are also said to sport a low-resolution camera which can monitor your surroundings in real time and then overlay the relevant information, but Google are said to be paying attention to potential privacy concerts, and "wants to ensure that people know if they are being recorded by someone wearing a pair of glasses with a built-in camera".
Continue reading: Google's Android-powered HUD display glasses will debut this year (full post)
Hasbro announces NERF Lazer Tag, uses iPhone or iPod Touch and sports augmented reality lazer tag gameplay
The first two words of hearing this news to me in my mind were, 'do want!' NERF have just announced the revolutionary new Lazer Tag system, which "combining the power, precision and excitement of live-action blaster battles with the high-action, strategic, augmented reality gameplay of traditional video games."
Players can download the free Lazer Tag app from the App Store onto their iPhone or iPod touch device, connect it to their Lazer Tag blaster, and immerse themselves in a world where "video games and real life connect". You can play in both single and multi-player, where players can engage in a Lazer Tag match featuring friends (or foes?) or virtual opponents.
Each Lazer Tag blaster has a virtual firing range of over 250 feet, and contains a Heads Up Display (HUD), which lets players keep track of their gear and remaining power, as well as providing a view of the augmented reality targets and enemies in the area. On top of this, a virtual leaderboard also keeps tabs on each player's profile, with every successful mission, players gain access to in-game upgradeable attacks, missions and gear.
Continue reading: Hasbro announces NERF Lazer Tag, uses iPhone or iPod Touch and sports augmented reality lazer tag gameplay (full post)
Google HUD eyeglasses, augmented reality is coming soon
Every time a new tech product comes out that I want, I make an excuse to how I can justify its purchase. Two Christmas' ago, I got myself some GTX 570s in SLI, just after my birthday last year, a Galaxy S II, and my birthday coming in March (March 12th to be precise, so all of your presents get to me on time) and now there's something I want.
9to5Google reported on this back in December, with some early information:
They are in late prototype stages of wearable glasses that look similar to thick-rimmed glasses that "normal people" wear. However, these provide a display with a heads up computer interface. There are a few buttons on the arms of the glasses, but otherwise, they could be mistaken for normal glasses. Additionally, we are not sure of the technology being employed here, but it is likely a transparent LCD or AMOLED display such as the one demonstrated below: In addition, we have heard that this device is not an "Android peripheral" as the NYT stated. According to our source, it communicates directly with the Cloud over IP. Although, the "Google Goggles" could use a phone's Internet connection, through Wi-Fi or a low power Bluetooth 4.0. The use-case is augmented reality that would tie into Google's location services. A user can walk around with information popping up and into display -Terminator-style- based on preferences, location and Google's information. Therefore, these things likely connect to the Internet and have GPS. They also likely run a version of Android.
Continue reading: Google HUD eyeglasses, augmented reality is coming soon (full post)
OMGTT: PowerVR are making a PC comeback, releasing PCI-Express GPGPU card that provides real-time ray-tracing
Wow. I remember the PowerVR days so fondly. Yes, they didn't make the same impact as 3dfx did in the day, but I remember as a young PC gamer, wanting their hardware so bloody bad it hurt. I remember getting my Dad to import me a 3dfx card (Orchid Righteous 4MB Voodoo card for those who would remember) and it being THE BEST THING EVER.
PowerVR cards were always something I never had, and now there's news they're returning to release a discrete GPU card, in the complete opposite of what they used to do. Imagination Technologies are the team behind it, and last year, they acquired Caustic Graphics.
Caustic Graphics are a San Francisco-based start-up who were (before the acquisition) working on an accelerator that would make real-time ray-tracing, a reality. They managed to make two generations of products which were more technology demonstrators than real-world products, but their FPGA chips worked.
Continue reading: OMGTT: PowerVR are making a PC comeback, releasing PCI-Express GPGPU card that provides real-time ray-tracing (full post)
Microsoft shows off Omnitouch, turns any surface into a navigatable touchscreen
Microsoft researchers have unveiled Omnitouch, a new system that uses a Short-Range Depth Camera together with a Pico-Projector and turns any surface area into a navigatable touchscreen. Microsoft, in a joint project with Carnegie Mellon University reveals that the technology works in a similar way to Microsoft's Xbox Kinect, but is "modified to work at short-range" to track finger movements.
In the video below, you can see that the projector superimposes a virtual keyboard image onto a hand, arm, notepad or wall, which a user can tap or drag their fingers and access it like a normal touchscreen device. Of course, in its test stages, it looks completely dorky, but this is some future tech.
It shows a shoulder-based system, with a Kinect sensor sitting on the users shoulder, as well as the Pico-Projector, with the demonstration showing how "you can tap on your hand or drag your interface out to specify the top left and bottom right border," explains researcher Hrvoje Benko.
Continue reading: Microsoft shows off Omnitouch, turns any surface into a navigatable touchscreen (full post)
Biostar intros updated budget oriented Z68 board w/ improved CPU VRM
If you're looking for a decent entry level Z68 on the cheap, you may be interested to know that Biostar are delivering what looks to be a fairly well rounded budget board in the new TZ68K+ that they've just launched this week.
Biostar actually already has what looks like an identical board in its current lineup, the TZ68A+, however the new TZ68K+ differs in that it sports a stronger CPU VRM arrangement with 8 phases vs. the 4-phase VRM setup on the TZ68A+, making it a bit more attractive if you want to get a decent overclock. As a result of the chunkier VRM setup, it now has its own heatsink to assist in keeping temps at bay.
Otherwise, the board or more or less the same with its two PCI-E x16 slots (x16 / x4 electrically), a single PCI-E 2.0 x1 slot, and two legacy PCI. The rest of the board is closely bounded by the chipset's native feature-set with two SATA 6Gb/s and four SATA 3Gb/s ports, all of which are internal. Biostar has also left LPT and COM headers resident on this board and it has a range of USB 2.0 ports along with a couple USB 3.0 ports on the rear I/O.
Continue reading: Biostar intros updated budget oriented Z68 board w/ improved CPU VRM (full post)
Augmented Reality Event To Be Navigated By metaio & junaio
We are excited to be the mobile navigation sponsor for one of the largest Augmented Reality conferences in the country, ARE 2011. The event will take place at the Santa Clara Convention Center on May 17th and May 18th. This year we have developed a mobile conference guide for attendees to navigate throughout the conference. Attendees will be prompted by strategically placed LLA markers (latitude, longitude, altitude marker) to download junaio, then point, click and view information on locations of sponsors and exhibitors on the showcase floor. Also details of speaker rooms and sessions will be featured as well. junaio is the first augmented reality platform to overcome the accuracy limitations of GPS navigation, offering pinpoint indoor navigation services. By combining GPS and compass-based geo-information with the so-called LLA-marker-technology, users can experience Augmented Reality inside buildings.
ARE 2011 is considered the hub for the latest innovations and visions for the future of Augmented Reality technology. The event is backed by leading global Augmented Reality companies (members of the AR Consortium) and the ISMAR committee, and is sponsored by top tech companies. Start-ups, developers, mobile and hardware companies along with organizations within entertainment, media, education, healthcare, and more, will gather to evolve this bleeding edge technology sector into a productive, sustainable and entertaining new medium.
Not only will metaio act as the mobile sponsor this year but several of our valued employees will lead thought provoking panel sessions! If you would like to hear from metaio experts at Augmented Reality Event 2011 then look out for the following breakout sessions:
Tuesday May 17th
CEO, Thomas Alt - History, present and future of AR technology - 15 Years of Augmented Reality: From Utility to Hype and Back Again.
Director of R&D Ben Blachnitzky- will discuss Developing Junaio the social AR browser
Thursday, May 18th
Business Development Manager, Brendan Scully- will talk about AR Feng Shui!
Also please make sure to stop by our booth to see some cool demo's and chat with us about how we make the digital a natural experience.
We cant wait to see you there!
For more information about ARE 2011 and a complete list of speakers please visit: https://augmentedrealityevent.com/
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