If, while watching WALL-E, your heart broke just a little bit when you saw the title character desperately travel across outer space in search of true love, it doesn’t mean you’re crazy. Sure, WALL-E is a robot. But its cute, anthropomorphized look and all too human desire to end its loneliness made us subconsciously forget that it is not human.
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?”
Some day not all that far in the future, a new kind of entertainment is going to be perfected that will either be the coolest video game ever, or the media equivalent of a lethal man-made super-virus.
You can predict what that entertainment might be like just by extrapolating from technology that already exists.
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.
As the case studies accumulate, gamification continues to gain traction and garner attention. Yet despite its newfound credibility, most still watch from the sidelines. While it may not be right for every business, the stats are hard to ignore. In 2010, corporations spent $100 million on gamification, and that number is expected to rise to $2.8 billion by 2016. The fact is, when done properly, gamification can work. Brand innovators like Coke and Nike know this, and it turns out, so do scientists.
According to the research of gamification pioneer Jane McGonigal, the reason humans collectively spend 3 billion hours a week playing games is tied to the psychological effects delivered by game mechanics. The neurological flow of dopamine, triggered by these underlying mechanics, plays a powerful role in creating positive emotion. And when game mechanics are applied to marketing problems, the response is the same. No wonder gamification can elicit such extraordinary behaviors. Turns out, regardless of the context, we’re hardwired to play.
Ford Australia engineers and designers are living in a virtual world, and loving it. The company has unveiled its new Virtual Reality Centre, a high tech digital evaluation and design environment
Years before a Ford vehicle shines on stage at a car show or arrives in dealer showrooms, Ford researchers are hard at work behind the scenes, building virtual vehicles that allow the company to design, analyse and enhance the driver experience before a physical vehicle ever exists.
Known as the Powerwall (Trekers would have preferred the term Holodeck, maybe next time) the new Virtual Reality Centre houses a 6m x 3m screen used to evaluated 3D models of proposed cars.
Image: Anoka-Hennepin school district technical support staffers interact from Andover High School with teachers at Blaine High School on the large wall monitors in a telepresence technology presentation Aug. 23, 2012. (Pioneer Press: John Doman)
Anoka-Hennepin ‘telepresence’ allows low-demand subjects to be offered
A handful of classrooms in Anoka-Hennepin high schools might appear equipped for surveillance rather than teaching to students returning from summer vacation next week.
Six giant flat-screens span the space where a podium might otherwise be, and long, semi-circular tables outfitted with built-in microphones stand in place of traditional desks. The rest of the space is empty, devoid of even a single poster on the walls.
Video game characters with natural responses to human body language
Researchers at Goldsmiths, University of London have been using theater performers to design computer software capable of reading and replicating the way in which humans communicate with their bodies.
Dr Marco Gillies from the Department of Computing has made virtual characters more believable by enlisting actors to teach them body movement. The actors interact with members of the public through a screen, and their responses to specific body language are memorized as algorithms by the software.