Gaming as a hobby evokes images of lethargic teenagers huddled over their controllers, submerged in their couch surrounded by candy bar wrappers. This image should soon hit the reset button since a more exciting version of gaming is coming. It’s called neurogaming, and it’s riding on the heels of some exponential technologies that are converging on each other. Many of these were on display recently in San Francisco at the NeuroGaming Conference and Expo; a first-of-its-kind conference whose existence alone signals an inflection point in the industry.
Experience Media Studios’ 3DPOV® system enables the capture of a three-dimensional visual and auditory experience from the first-person perspective. 3DPOV® media delivers a higher level of sensory engagement than virtual reality that replicates a true-to-life binocular and peripheral visual field and a stereophonic auditory experience.
Activision showed off the state of the art of real-time graphics on Wednesday, releasing this mind-boggling character demo. The character’s skin, facial expressions and eyes look so real, it’s uncanny.
Cliff Bleszinski, Chris Roberts, Paul Bettner, and Palmer Luckey share their vision for the future of gaming
The SXSW Gaming Expo is preposterously loud. At one side of the room, aStarcraft tournament is reaching its climax, but on the other side, one group of guys is yelling louder. They sound like a basement full of adolescents discussing the newest Electronic Gaming Monthly cover story, or like the NINTENDO SIXTY-FOUR kid unwrapping his Christmas present.
“Is the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality 3D headset, the future of gaming?” they ask. “Or, is it something bigger — the future of life on planet Earth?”
The Oculus Rift VR system has been steadily gaining more attention in the past several months, thanks to glowing endorsements from some major figures in the the video game industry and a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign that brought in almost US$2.5 million. We’ve been following the development of the Oculus Rift for some time now, so finding out the company had its virtual reality goggles available to try on at CES was an especially pleasant surprise. Naturally, we simply couldn’t resist giving the Rift a test drive to see if it lived up to all the hype.
Hungarian startup Leonar3Do (pronounced “Leonardo”) today demoed its mind-boggling virtual reality software for PC and Mac that lets you manipulate 3D objects as if they were right in front of you. Using a combination of triangulation (using sensors latched on to your computer) and 3D goggles, Leonar3Do creates an environment for interacting with 3D objects for work or for play. The company’s pro software costs around $2000, and the sensors and “bird,” a N64-esque controller cost another $500. But the pro software’s price is set to be cut in half, and a cheaper $50 software package is ready for launch sometime in the next few months. Researchers, schools, and now consumers are the targets — in part because 3D printers have become so popular.
You might think augmented reality is the way of the future, but really, it has its roots in the 20th century. Morton Heilig, the “Father of Virtual Reality,” patented the Sensorama Stimulator, which he called an “experience theater,” on Aug. 28, 1962. Over time, the idea of using technology to create a layer over the real world has been honed and refined and put in our palms, thanks to the proliferation of smartphones.
Most games are designed with a computer screen or television in mind – but what happens when the screen is attached to your face? What happens when your body is being tracked? There’s a lot of things that go into making virtual reality systems work, and they all fundamentally change how games are experienced and designed.
Summary: Hidden features, reduced discoverability, cognitive overhead from dual environments, and reduced power from a single-window UI and low information density. Too bad.
With the recent launch of Windows 8 and the Surface tablets, Microsoft has reversed its user interface strategy. From a traditional Gates-driven GUI style that emphasized powerful commands to the point of featuritis, Microsoft has gone soft and now smothers usability with big colorful tiles while hiding needed features.
The simple act of turning a page has begun to look outdated with iPads replacing books and manuals for many working professionals. But an augmented reality display similar to Google Glasses frees up wearers’ hands by allowing them to turn virtual pages using their eyes alone.