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.
The ultimate goal of virtual reality gaming is to convince players that they are actually the inhabitants of another world. A number of components are needed to make this a reality. While head mounted displays like the Oculus Rift bring us one step closer to feeling like we’re inside another world, there are yet more pieces to the puzzle; being able to naturally control the player-character — also referred to as body tracking or full avatar embodiment – within the game will be a massive jump in immersion compared to using the controllers of today’s video game consoles.
Image: Rendering of physical environment represented in the AbES software; in gamer mode, the player (yellow icon) navigates through the virtual environment using auditory cues to locate hidden jewels (blue squares) and avoid being caught by chasing monsters (red icons).
Blind people can learn the spatial layout of an unfamiliar building using a novel “video game” virtual reality environment that employs only audio-based cues, thus enabling them to learn skills that may improve functional independence, say US and Chilean scientists.
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.
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.
[The following is the second of two articles by college professor and researcher Ben Lewis-Evans on games user research methodology (see Part 1, which covered focus groups, heuristics, and questionnaires, as well as giving a grounding in the topic of user research in general. In this article, Lewis-Evans covers interviews, observational methods (including think out loud and contextual inquiry), game metrics, and biometrics.]
Much like a questionnaire — a topic covered in the last installment — an interview is for collecting subjective data. However, the face-to-face nature of an interview means that you can be more interactive in your data collection, which if done correctly, can lead to very rich data. However, it is also obviously quite time-consuming, and it is harder to analyze and quantify the data you get at the end.
The quality of what you get out of an interview will also depend greatly on your own skill as an interviewer, so here are some tips.
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.
Dolby Laboratories introduces Dolby Atmos, surround sound that can create terrifyingly realistic noise environments.
Dolby Laboratories wants to scare the crap out of you. The famous sound system designer unveiled its latest surround sound technology on Monday, and its implications for entertainment, particularly horror, are hair-raising. Dolby Atmos will be implemented first in movie theaters but the goal is to eventually bring the technology into the home where it will find its place in video games.