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Entries in virtual reality (10)


Virtual Reality Project Lets Subjects 'Switch Bodies' with Opposite Sex

Researchers in Barcelona are using advanced virtual reality technology to allow subjects to “switch bodies” with the opposite sex.

A group of student’s at Barcelona’s University Pompeu Fabra is the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset in its “The Machine To Be Another” project, which is featured in the video. The project aims to let male and female participants experience how it feels to be in a body of the opposite sex.

Each subject wears a headset, which projects the video feed from their partner’s POV. Then, the two subjects move according to the same set of instructions in order to mirror each other.

“Deep inside you know it’s not your body, but you feel like it is,” digital arts student and group co-founder Philippe Bertrand said in a Wired report.


Virtual Reality Makes Flying More Relaxing

Virtual reality is currently being tested on airplanes to mask the interior cabin and create illusions of comfort and relaxation. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen and the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO in Stuttgart are working on a project called "VR Hyperspace" to make this a reality. This research project is led by The University of Nottingham in the U.K.

Ideas being tested in a mock-up plane cabin include displaying images on the surfaces of the cabin and complete immersion in a head-mounted display that can change both spatial and body awareness. So far, there's a see-through mode as shown in the above photo, a tropical island scene or a stream running through a forest. Business travelers can even run Office applications on the built-in display system, while still enjoying the virtual reality scene. Test subjects are already reporting that they feel an increased level of comfort and spaciousness and that time flies by more quickly.


Report: Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality Market Worth $1.06 Billion by 2018


Now’s the time to invest in VR and AR, folks.

According to a new market research report published by MarketsandMarkets, the virtual reality and augmented reality market is expected to grow to reach $1.06 billion in 2018.

Augmented reality technology has shown ubiquitous growth in mobile phone technology featured with a camera and a GPS, which allow the users to experience the technology beyond their anticipation. By 2015, augmented reality technology will be widely used in the education field for advanced learning and for teaching technologies. The augmented reality and virtual reality technology will be used to contribute to the projects with smart innovations in future, t hanks to its great fascination and potential.

Not surprisingly, the major driving forces of augmented reality technology and virtual reality are the advancement of in-computer technology and internet connectivity. The increased demand in virtual reality and augmented reality application in the healthcare industry is a direct cause for a tremendous growth in AR & VR market. The other driving force for virtual reality and augmented reality technology is the consumer demand in m-commerce industry. The technology used in augmented reality applications, i.e. marker-less, is at the apex and is expected to grow rapidly.  A major driving factor in this marker-less is use of GPS and compass which are used commonly in smart phones. The technology used in virtual reality application, sensors used, emerging trends like goggles, contact lens, and further opportunities are described in detail in the report.

Geographical split for every application is included in the report as the market share of different applications of augmented reality and virtual reality market varies from one region to another. North America and Europe is the market leader in the overall augmented and virtual reality market, but the rest of the world is starting to catch up.


Augment Your Reality, Lose Weight?

Image Courtesy the Herald Sun"Reality is in your mind," Professor Michitaka Hirose says. And he's convinced that changing the minds of dieters will help them to lose weight.

We previously reported on efforts at the University of Tokyo to fool users' senses and make them feel more satisfied with less food. Now, they're taking it a step further with new "diet glasses" that trick the wearer into seeing bland snacks as chocolate biscuits.

"How to fool various senses or how to build on them using computers is very important in the study of virtual reality," Professor Hirose said.

Standard virtual reality equipment often results in bulky equipment when it tries to incorporate touch, Hirose said. So he decided to fool the senses to find a way around the problem.

Hirose's team developed a "meta biscuit": In this project, the headgear uses scent bottles and visual trickery to fool the wearer into thinking the snack they are eating is a chocolate or strawberry-flavoured biscuit.

Hirose said experiments so far have shown 80 percent of subjects are fooled.

The team has no plans as yet to commercialize the invention, but would like to investigate whether people wanting to lose weight can use the device.


Facial Recognition Could Catch Criminal Avatars

As anyone who has used the interwebs knows, one of the appeals of the Internet is anonymity. But one researcher is trying to ruin it for everyone (well, maybe just criminals) by actually fusing a person’s real biometrics with his or her 3D avatar.

Sound far-fetched? Well, it kinda is. But it’s a project that came about because of a rise in virtual crime—and an increased likelihood that it will be investigated. In fact, Japanese police have arrested virtual muggers, and the FBI has investigated Second Life casinos’ dealings.

Computer scientist Roman Yampolskiy is leading the charge against virtual crimes. Already, multinational defense firm Raytheon has a patent pending on fusing a person's real biometrics with their 3D avatar. That would let you know for sure who you are speaking to online.

Yampolskiy and co. at the Cyber-Security Lab at the University of Louisville are taking the idea even further: They’re developing the field of artificial biometrics, known as "artimetrics." Much like human biometrics, artimetrics could be referenced to “authenticate and identify non-biological agents such as avatars, physical robots or even chatbots.”

When virtual worlds run on peer-to-peer networks, Yampolskiy explains, there’s no central authority to enable police to investigate virtual crime. That’s where artimetrics come in, New Scientist explains:

Yampolskiy and colleagues have developed facial recognition techniques specifically tailored to avatars, since current algorithms only work on humans. "Not all avatars are human looking, and even with those that are humanoid there is a huge diversity of colour," Yampolskiy says, so his software uses those colors to improve avatar recognition.

The team also investigated matching a human face to an avatar generated from that face; previous studies show that avatars often resemble their owners. Combining their color-based technique with existing facial recognition software produced the best results, suggesting it might be possible to track someone between the physical and virtual worlds.

Next up, Yampolskiy wants to create recognition algorithms for robots as well. Since autonomous robots might one day become ubiquitous, he says, they’ll eventually require identification of their own, distinct from humans.