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VR headset mimics all five senses

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on March 5th, 2009

VR headset mimics all five sensesWhat you are looking at in the pic above is a virtual reality helmet that recreates sights, smells, sounds and even tastes from far-flung destinations. Created by British scientists, the device will allow users a life-like experience of places such as Kenya’s Masai Mara while never leaving home. You could greet friends and family on the other side of the world as though they were present in the same room. Previously, scientists have only had success with virtual reality technology recreating sound and vision. This helmet named the Virtual Cocoon could change all that.

The prototype helmet connects wirelessly to a computer which feeds information about a virtual world or another part of the real world. It features a high definition high dynamic screen that produces pictures ten times darker, or 30 times brighter than the conventional television. A tube is connected to a box of chemicals which releases smells under the wearer’s nose, while a similar device can spray flavors directly into the mouth and provide a texture of sensation.

Vuzix Wrap 920AV head-mounted display

Posted in Video Glasses by Conner Flynn on January 2nd, 2009

Vuzix Wrap 920AV head-mounted displayLooks like Vuzix will introduce their latest head-mounted display at CES this year. It’s dubbed the Wrap 920AV. This wearable gadget has improved optics and will offer a better viewing experience. The most important aspect however, is the style change. The older models of the VR system looked like Geordi LaForge’s visor from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

This new design is cool enough that people might actually wear them. Vuzix promises the optics are much improved and that you will actually feel like you’re watching a real screen. Previous versions had a poor POV that didn’t live up to its goal of immersive-style entertainment.

Cocoon may be the next Wii

Posted in Concepts by Conner Flynn on September 14th, 2008

Cocoon may be the next WiiWhen it comes right down to it, entertainment is all about the sensory experience. It’s about feeling like we are there, even if we aren’t. The Wii has probably come the closest, but like other consoles, it leaves alot to be desired as far as fully immersing users. The Cocoon is a new VR system developed by NAU, which is a human-sized pod that you enter and it’s actually designed with videogames in mind.

The immersion and interactivity will take it light years beyond the Wii. It includes full 3D surround sound, and graphics as well as Internet connectivity, and could be the ultimate gaming environment to challenge friends from around the world. It may not show up in the home anytime soon, but when it does one future day, everything will change. Game graphics and audio are ready for it right now, but it’s the interactivity, interface, and total immersion that will set it apart. Most of Nintendo’s competitor’s were caught off guard with the Wii, but you can bet they are taking some serious looks at this future technology.

Digital Escape acts like a virtual reality drug

Posted in Concepts by Conner Flynn on May 18th, 2008

Digital Escape acts like a virtual reality drug
The future isn’t all cuddly robots and sunshine my friends. In fact, some would say it’s going to be a nightmare. And I ain’t just talking about a future where Regis Philbin’s corpse gets re-animated and feeds on brains, though surely that’s part of it. It may be downright nasty and apocalyptic.

That’s where the latest concept by frogDesign comes in. It’s called A Digital Escape, and would allow the wearer to compliment their personal reality with such things as exclusive visuals, sounds and even smells. Frogdesign describes it as a way to, “live with the troubles we’ve already caused,” in our world.

Snow world VR game helps burn patients

Posted in Healthcare by Conner Flynn on March 26th, 2008

VR game helps burn patients
Loyola University Medical Center will be one of the first hospitals in the US to use a Virtual Reality (VR) game to help aid burn patients in their recovery. The idea is that it will distract patients from their pain as they enter into a virtual ‘polar landscape of gently falling snowflakes, snowmen, penguins, igloos and icy rivers.’

According to the game’s developers the game will cause the mind to ‘block your view of the real world’ while helping you escape from your pain. I guess only time will tell just how well it works and with how many burn patients. While I think that the mind can be distracted, it remains to be seen if you can block out that kind of pain just be tricking the other senses. Then again, in burn cases, any distraction from the pain is a welcome thing and has to help in their recovery.