Showing posts with label VR. Show all posts
Showing posts with label VR. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Deja vu

Twin Towers seen once more via Augmented Reality iPhone app

Mobilizy, the company from Salzburg, that brought us one of the world's first Augmented Reality browsers, Wikitude, just released a major upgrade which crosses that significant line between technology and its effects in the 'real' world. Their idea was to build a virtual memorial in remembrance of the 9/11 attacks in the U.S. and the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York City. The result will be the ability to point their Android and iPhone application at the place where the World Trade Center once stood and witness a 3D rendering of the Twin Towers, once more.

(Via Beyond the Beyond.)

How long until someone develops an app that populates the New York City sky with phantom airliners and billowing CGI smoke?

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Can't afford your own private wormhole?

Never fear! Thanks to augmented reality, the next-best thing is a download away!

(Hat tip: Beyond the Beyond.)

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Augmented vision

I don't mind wearing glasses; I prefer them to the hassle that accompanies contacts. However, I'd be willing to reconsider if "bionic" lenses ever went commercial.

(Thanks to Grinding.)

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Friday, May 01, 2009


Me too (doing some AR stuff)! from Anatoly Zenkov on Vimeo.

I'll admit it: At first, I thought this was an actual demo.

(Thanks: Beyond the Beyond.)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Welcome to the AlloSphere.

This first thing that struck me while watching this video is that the AlloSphere resembles the hyperspace transport device depicted in "Contact." But the comparison doesn't end there; the AlloSphere is perhaps the closest humans have come to devising a vehicle for exploring exotic worlds at the very edges of physics.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Going nowhere

Staying Put on Earth, Taking a Step to Mars

"It is really like a real space flight without the weightlessness and the danger to our lives," said Sergei N. Ryazansky, a cosmonaut-in-training who will lead the mission. "On the inside, we will have a lack of incoming information, so it's the science of sensory deprivation."

Called Mars-500, the Russian-led project based at the Institute for Biomedical Problems here will culminate in a 520-day simulation beginning early next year of a complete manned mission to the planet -- a time frame that incorporates launching to Mars touchdown and back -- that scientists hope will edge humanity a little closer to that next giant leap.

I don't know about you, but if I had to stare at tacky wood-grain decor for 520 days it's a fair bet I'd need psychiatric counseling.

Friday, February 27, 2009


Joshua S. Fouts writes:

Part of what makes a space truly immersive for me is a story that draws me into its rabbit hole of adventure and intrigue -- like a good novel that you can't set down until you've read. Just. One. More. Page.

While there is no doubt that some people are addicted to video games, the same way they can be addicted [to] anything, the whole "addiction" accusation that is often used to deride the compelling narrative that can unfold in games is no different than calling the inability to put a book down, an "addiction" to the book.

In a similar vein, have you noticed how people interested in subjects not endorsed by mainstream culture are often considered to be "obsessed"? As someone who harbors an innate fascination with the marginal, I've always found it remarkable how a person who can spend days of every week mindlessly channel-surfing can casually inform me that I'm "obsessed" with, say, the search for Earth-like exoplanets, the certain perils of climate change, or attempts to resolve the UFO controversy because I dare to read an occasional book.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Armchair space exploration

I sincerely hope I'm wrong, but I have have a sinking feeling this might be the closest thing NASA presently has to a viable plan for manned Mars exploration.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Admit it -- you secretly wanted to see the tiles mess up and send the human toppling to the floor.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

DIY reality

Consensual hallucinations just keep getting better (and easier):

Future Blogger has more.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Are we a simulation?

In my last post I listed five off-the-cuff reasons that might help explain why aliens haven't made formal contact (in the event they're visiting us in the flesh -- or its alien equivalent). But there's another possibility that begs consideration: That our universe is a simulation with finite boundaries. Maybe we have yet to achieve contact with aliens because the universe we observe is a computational artifact and there are no aliens . . . except, possibly, for the ones responsible for the simulation in the first place.

It's a lavishly paranoid idea, but not without a perverse philosophical appeal. Achieving mainstream popularity in 1998 when "The Matrix" hit theaters, the concept isn't as new as it might seem. Science fiction author Philip K. Dick pioneered the sort of solipsistic dream-or-reality fiction that would later find renewed urgency in the cyberpunk novels of the 1980s. The idea's staying power is arguably due to the fact that there doesn't seem to be a convincing technical reason why our world (if not the Cosmos itself) couldn't be an incredibly rich software program operating according to set parameters (which we might interpret as physical laws and constants such as Einsteinian relativity and the counterintuitive domain of quantum uncertainty).

Novelists and philosophers alike have devised myriad reasons why an advanced intelligence might create a simulated world. Arbitrarily capable scientists might want to tinker with physics, recreating the "real" world while incorporating experimental content: an endeavor to which our own scientific community aspires, often aided by advanced computational models. Or maybe we're an anthropological experiment set loose in an agar of code; somewhere, overseers could be watching our plight with keen interest.

Metaphysicians typically refute the idea that consciousness can be reproduced through purely mechanical means, in which case the argument for our existing within a simulation (with or without simulated aliens) can be summarily forgotten. But if self-awareness is indeed epiphenomenal -- the inevitable outcome of physical processes within the brain -- then the possibilities become effectively endless. For example, we may not only be a simulation, but a simulation within a simulation. Or, more demeaning yet, a simulation within a simulation within a simulation.

If so, the question of whether or not we're alone in the Cosmos is faced with some unexpected variables, none so vexing as our potential inability to determine whether there really is an "out there" or if we're merely staring at the bars of a cosmic jail cell.

This piece originally appeared at

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Telepresence bots on the way?

Life-size telepresence robots make their appearance

Of course, one could argue that our own bodies are meat-based versions of the robots cited above. There's nothing especially daunting about the idea except for one thing: for our reality to be telepresence-derived, we'd have to exist in a state of perpetual forgetfulness of our "real" ontological status. Maybe it's worth recalling the spiritual traditions that maintain that our reality is inherently fictitious or deceptive.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Challenging the barriers of the "real"

Augmented reality continues to approximate the trippiness and whimsical clarity of Charles Bonnet Syndrome:

(Thanks to Future Blogger.)

Friday, February 06, 2009

New prospects for augmented reality

MIT researchers create cheap "sixth-sense" ubiquitous computing device

According to the researchers, the gadget (unveiled by MIT researcher Pattie Maes at the Technology, Entertainment, Design [TED] conference currently underway in Long Beach, California) uses about $300 U.S. worth of store-bought components, and can do things like recognize items on store shelves, retrieve and project information about products, look at an airplane ticket and let the user know whether the flight is on time, or recognize books in a book store, project reviews or author information from the Internet onto blank pages, and recognize articles in newspapers and retrieve the latest related stories or video from the Internet.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Augmented reality meets the iPhone:

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Enjoying Nature in the Cave

Today the walls of Plato's cave are so full of projectors, disco balls, plasma screens and halogen spotlights that we do not even see the shadows on the wall anymore.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Virtual Webcam Girlfriend Is Entrancing, If a Little Perverted

From a technical standpoint, the Dennou AR Figures virtual 3D girlfriends, first announced a few months back, aren't much more impressive than PlayStation 3's Eye of Judgment. You install webcam software to that when your camera detects the special bundled cube onscreen, it fills a 3D companion into your environment. But when that 3D companion is a girl who can be dressed, tickled or, errr, spanked, the concept is born anew.

From an original short-story fragment:

Homeless people, many of them marred by cruel deformities, lined the defunct sidewalk, summoning vicarious charms from slates and projectors. A tiny naked woman with copious piercings writhed in mid-air, extremities flickering.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Virtual worlds set for second coming

A couple years ago, big names in tech and business were rushing to capitalise on Second Life's popularity by building 'islands' and headquarters in the virtual world - or using it to sell products in a novel way.

But since that initial rush, things have quietened down. Media coverage of virtual worlds has subsided and some early adopters have abandoned their virtual activities after failing to reap benefits from the medium.

So are virtual worlds dead?



Saturday, October 04, 2008

Planes fly into virtual doughnut

Two stunt planes have raced a computer-generated aircraft in the skies above Spain.

The pilots and a gamer reacted to images of obstacles to fly through.

Their real and supposed locations were beamed to one another as part of a video game.

Can dogfights with CGI UFOs be far behind?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Viva cyberbiology!

(Thanks: BB.)