Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Merging the virtual and the real: A new virtual reality system

Posted by Bettina Tizzy

Apologies to all my readers, as I have not been blogging at all as of late. If you follow me on Twitter, then you already know most of my sagas, but the stars and planets were aligned against me (and my real and extended family), and I've been putting out fires for days on end. Things seem to be normalizing now, hopefully, so let's get on with the show!

Via post-doc mathematician and virtual artist Seifert Surface (aka Henry Segerman), we learned of Technology Review's writeup on new technologies featured at the ACM's Special Interest Group on Graphics and Interactive Techniques at SIGGRAPH 2009 in New Orleans this week.

Of particular interest is a new virtual reality system called Virtualization presented by INRIA (The French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control) and Grenoble Universities that allows users to interact with virtual objects in a very "real" way, by tracking their movements using several cameras simultaneously.

Technology Review explains: "The user wears a head-mounted display (HMD) and moves through a virtual space while several cameras track his movement. The video here shows a guy kicking over virtual vases and pushing around a virtual representation of himself. A cluster of PCs is needed to perform the necessary image capture and 3D modeling."


arco Rosca said...


sororNishi said...

According to research on "presence" (Frank Biocca) it is the wearing of glasses (or headset as in this instance) which has the single greatest effect on "presence' (what we call "immersion" in SL), far outweighing fancy graphics (Blue Mars take note) or any other single factor.
Maybe we'll all end up wearing them...:))
but I'll take some convincing...:))

magnus said...

very nice presentation! had to laugh when the guy interacted with the "instant snapshot" of himself

LDinSTL said...

I'm very skeptical about wearing glasses too. SL is already very immersive for me without them. I think it's the people connections that make it real. This test is about objects. Will be interesting to see what the future holds for us. :-)

Solo Mornington said...

The question as to whether someone will use the glasses comes back to application. SL 'immersion' is in your mind; you don't need goggles. But if you want, for instance, an Augmented Reality app, you'd need the goggles.

I think people are much more reticent to either wear a headset OR dive into SL with their mind compared to the average NPIRL reader.