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.
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.
Detroit— The North American International Auto Show is letting consumers get a taste of what it’ll be like to be behind the wheel of many new models.
In the middle of the Ford Motor Co. show floor, people can test their racing skills in the virtual simulation of the brand’s sports technology of the Focus. Technicians strap volunteers into an elevated two-seat cockpit controlled by four mechanical legs that allow the drivers to feel every twist and turn as they compete for the best lap time.
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.
NEW YORK (AP) — Elmo, Big Bird and the rest of the “Sesame Street” crew have always talked to kids. Now, they’ll try to have a two-way conversation with their pint-sized audience using Kinect, the motion and voice-sensing controller created by Microsoft.
“Kinect Sesame Street TV,” out Tuesday, is not exactly a video game, though it runs on the Xbox 360 video game system. There are no winners and losers, no real rules to follow and no points to score. If you don’t want to play, that’s fine. Just sit back and watch “Sesame Street,” as kids have for the past 43 years. But if you do play, Grover will count coconuts you’ve thrown, the Count will praise you for standing still and Elmo will catch a talking ball if you throw it to him.
Microsoft patent filing reveals new depth sensor and 360-degree interactive display
Microsoft’s R&D division is working on a landmark display technology that will project a full 3D game environment across the walls of player’s bedrooms and living areas, a new patent filing shows.
A breakthrough device, known in the patent as an “environmental display”, will project 360-degree game worlds across all four walls of a room using advanced projection technology.
Apple was granted a sweeping, multipronged patent today by the United States Patent and Trademark Office — but you may need a degree in theoretical physics to divine exactly which technologies the patent is protecting. The patent, “Method for providing human input to a computer,” addresses both new and existing ways we interact with touchscreen devices, and covers everything from computer interfaces, to Kinect-style gaming and virtual-reality gloves, to touch input for vehicles.
Gesture-based computer interaction, as depicted in “Minority Report,” looks like it will soon become commonplace. “The Leap” peripheral lets you control UI elements using gestures made in the air.
The mobile revolution has prompted not only new forms of computers but also new ways to interact with them.
SoundWave lets an ordinary laptop function like a Kinect sensor.
When you learned about the Doppler Effect in high school physics class—the wave frequency shift that occurs when the source of the wave is moving, easily illustrated by a passing ambulance—you probably didn’t envision it helping control your computer one day.
Josh Clark on the future of touch and other types of UI.
If you’ve ever seen a child interact with an iPad, you’ve seen the power of the touch interface in action. Is this a sign of what’s to come — will we be touching and swiping screens rather tapping buttons? I reached out to Josh Clark (@globalmoxie), founder of Global Moxie and author of “Tapworthy,” to get his thoughts on the future of touch and computer interaction, and whether or not buttons face extinction.
Clark says a touch-based UI is more intuitive to the way we think and act in the world. He also says touch is just the beginning — speech, facial expression, and physical gestures are on they way, and we need to start thinking about content in these contexts.