VIRTUAL REALITY’S MOMENT David Kushner IEEE Spectrum January 2014 IS 376 August 21, 2014
VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS IS 376 August 21, 2014 VIRTUAL REALITY’S MOMENTPage 2 BEGINNING WITH FLIGHT SIMULATORS, ADVANCING THROUGH SCIENTIFIC APPLICATIONS, AND INTO THE ENTERTAINMENT ARENA, VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS HAVE BEEN DEVELOPED TO PROVIDE AN IMMERSIVE SIMULATED EXPERIENCE WITHOUT THE EXPENSE AND RISK ASSOCIATED WITH THE REAL THING. BOEING 787 FLIGHT SIMULATOR FROM ALTEON MOLECULAR SIMULATION AT ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY MATTEL POWER GLOVE, VECTREX 3D IMAGER, AND NINTENDO VIRTUAL BOY
DIGITAL 3D IS 376 August 21, 2014 VIRTUAL REALITY’S MOMENTPage 3 ADVANCES IN DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY AND STEREOSCOPY HAVE ENABLED FILMMAKERS TO AFFORDABLY PRODUCE 3D FILMS AND THEATRE OWNERS TO AFFORDABLY SHOW THEM. A 3D DIGITAL CAMERA RECORDS VIDEO, CIRCULARLY POLARIZING THE RIGHT VIEWPOINT USING RIGHT- HANDED POLARIZATION......WHILE RECORDING THE LEFT VIEWPOINT USING LEFT-HANDED CIRCULAR POLARIZATION. BOTH IMAGES ARE PROJECTED SIMULTANEOUSLY ONTO THE THEATRE SCREEN, IN A MANNER THAT GUARANTEES THAT THE VIEWPOINTS ARE SYNCHRONIZED. THE MOVIEGOER WEARS POLARIZED GLASSES THAT ONLY ALLOW THE RIGHT-HANDED POLARIZED IMAGES TO PASS THROUGH THE RIGHT LENS AND THE LEFT-HANDED POLARIZED IMAGES TO PASS THROUGH THE LEFT LENS.
VERGENCE VS. ACCOMMODATION IS 376 August 21, 2014 VIRTUAL REALITY’S MOMENTPage 4 PROJECTING A 3D IMAGE ONTO A 2D SCREEN OR TELEVISION DISPLAY TENDS TO PLAY TRICKS WITH ONE’S VISUAL PERCEPTION. IN THE REAL WORLD, WHEN A PERSON TRIES TO FOCUS ON A DISTANT OBJECT, THE EYES EXPERIENCE VERGENCE, WHERE THEY BOTH ROTATE ON THEIR OWN VERTICAL AXES UNTIL THEY BOTH POINT AT THE OBJECT. MEANWHILE, THE EYES EXPERIENCE ACCOMMODATION, WHERE THEY REFLEXIVELY FOCUS ON THE OBJECT IN ITS DISTANT POSITION, CAUSING NEARBY OBJECTS TO GO OUT OF FOCUS. WITH 3D IMAGES, HOWEVER, THE EYES ROTATE SO THEY ARE POINTED TO WHERE THE OBJECT SEEMS TO BE, BUT THE REFLEXIVE FOCUS MUST ADJUST TO THE SCREEN’S ACTUAL LOCATION, ELIMINATING THE NATURAL BLURRING OF NEARBY OBJECTS. THIS RESULTS IN SERIOUS EYESTRAIN AND HEADACHES FOR MANY 3D AUDIENCE MEMBERS.
SIMULATOR SICKNESS IS 376 August 21, 2014 VIRTUAL REALITY’S MOMENTPage 5 EFFORTS TO MAKE VR SIMULATIONS AS REALISTIC AS POSSIBLE FREQUENTLY HAVE UNPLEASANT SIDE EFFECTS. FOR EXAMPLE, PROVIDING A VISUAL HEADBOB (LIKE THE ONE ILLUSTRATED AT RIGHT), WITHOUT AN ACCOMPANYING PHYSICAL MOTION, CAN RESULT IN MOTION SICKNESS AND NAUSEA. SIMILAR PROBLEMS TEND TO OCCUR WITH RAPID CHANGES IN ACCELERATION AND RAPID SHIFTS IN PERSPECTIVE.
BALANCE & THE INNER EAR IS 376 August 21, 2014 VIRTUAL REALITY’S MOMENTPage 6 THE SEMICIRCULAR CANALS WITHIN THE INNER EAR CONTAIN HAIR CELLS THAT REACT TO BODY MOVEMENTS. THESE REACTIONS ARE TRANSMITTED BY MEANS OF THE VESTIBULAR NERVE TO THE BRAIN, WHICH SUBCONSCIOUSLY SENDS MESSAGES TO THE BODY’S TRUNK AND LIMBS TO MAINTAIN BALANCE. WHEN THE EYES SEND THE BRAIN A DIFFERENT MESSAGE REGARDING THE BODY’S MOVEMENTS, THE BRAIN MAY REACT ADVERSELY, CAUSING A LOSS OF BALANCE.
VR LATENCY IS 376 August 21, 2014 VIRTUAL REALITY’S MOMENTPage 7 WHEN THE VR SYSTEM’S PROCESSING TIME IS EXCESSIVE, ITS REACTIONS TO THE USER’S ACTIONS WILL LAG BEHIND, WHICH DESTROYS THE ILLUSION OF IMMERSION WHEN IT BECOMES NOTICEABLE TO THE USER. LATENCY IS PARTICULARLY PROBLEMATIC IN “AUGMENTED REALITY” APPLICATIONS, WHERE VIRTUAL OBJECTS ARE OVERLAID ON THE USER’S REAL WORLD SETTING, SINCE THE VIRTUAL AND THE REAL SHOULD OSTENSIBLY BE INTERACTING.
OCULUS RIFT IS 376 August 21, 2014 VIRTUAL REALITY’S MOMENTPage 8 Head-Mounted Display (Coated in white markers) Camera (Tracks markers to record user’s head position) Head Straps Circuit Board Screen Diopter Adjustment (Rotate to fine tune so eyeglasses aren’t needed) Lenses (Three pairs are provided to accommodate good, moderate, and heavy nearsightedness) Foam Padding (Fits to face)
THE OCULUS RIFT EXPERIENCE IS 376 August 21, 2014 VIRTUAL REALITY’S MOMENTPage 10
FACEBOOK PAYS $2 BILLION FOR OCULUS IS 376 August 21, 2014 VIRTUAL REALITY’S MOMENTPage 11 “Our mission is to make the world more open and connected. For the past few years, this has mostly meant building mobile apps that help you share with the people you care about. We have a lot more to do on mobile, but at this point we feel we're in a position where we can start focusing on what platforms will come next to enable even more useful, entertaining and personal experiences… “After games, we're going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face -- just by putting on goggles in your home. “This is really a new communication platform. By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.” Mark Zuckerberg March 25, 2014
GOOGLE CARDBOARD IS 376 August 21, 2014 VIRTUAL REALITY’S MOMENTPage 12 Cardboard ($2) Lenses ($10) Magnets ($6) Velcro ($3) Rubber Band (1¢) Google’s response to the $350 Oculus Rift Developer’s Kit is this do-it-yourself “Oculus Thrift” which turns Android devices into portable VR viewers, using an open source software developers kit. REMINDER: Next Thursday (8/28) is the deadline for the early draft of the first paper! NEXT TIME: Professor Kapatamoyo speaks!
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