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  • Thu 28 Jun 2007

    Omni-Directional Treadmill

    Published at 16:21   Category VR Devices  

    I saw on Ray Stephenson’s blog a video of an omni-directional treadmill, commercialized by Virtual Space Devices, Inc.

    YouTube Preview Image

    Virtual Space Devices, Inc. has developed omni-directional treadmill (ODT) technology over the last 10 years, working primarily with the US Army. Combining the infinite plane of the ODT with an immersive virtual reality system permits an immersant to walk or run freely through the digital landscape. Navigation is transparent and natural. Immersion is total.

    The ODT surface is flat and continuous. It is not a bowl or made of discrete plates. The infinite surface is motion-slaved to the user’s motion with tight control and no inertial residue. Belts that comprise the surface are substantially similar to those used in conventional treadmills.
    First work on omni-directional treadmill (ODT) technology began with a $400K US Army STRICOM contract in 1996. (…)
    Second-generation technology is larger, faster, and quieter. We are building multiple units

    More information in this article [pdf].

    This may be an alternative to the Virtusphere. Wondering what the price range is?

    Fri 22 Jun 2007

    InterSense MictroTrax announced : a new Wand !

    Published at 9:37   Category VR Devices  

    Intersense is announcing a new tracking device for its IS-900 inertial/ultrasonic tracking system : the MictroTrax.

    It’s small, it’s slick, and it has a new Wand ;)

    The new Head Tracker is over 40% smaller than the previous generation. The Head Tracker’s Wireless Transmitter has a clip to attach onto a shirt collar, belt
    or anywhere else. It can also fi t easily inside a shirt pocket or an eyewear retainer. The new wand design brings unprecedented comfort, especially during long-term sessions.

    From the official PR :

    Additional benefits of the new MicroTrax devices include:

    • Comfort: The MicroTrax head tracker and wireless transmitter are significantly smaller and lighter than previous versions, increasing user comfort during long sessions. The ergonomically designed wand enables users to more intuitively interact with the immersive environment.
    • Convenient: The new docking station brings convenience by providing in-situ recharging capability and a common resting place for the MicroTrax devices when not in use. All devices were designed to allow for quick, easy replacement of spare batteries (included) by users.
    • Rugged: All the devices were designed with consistent elegance in mind, yet are durable enough to withstand rigorous handling during operation.
    Wed 20 Jun 2007

    Virtual Reality in France

    Published at 13:17   Category Augmented Reality, VR Applications, VR Devices, VR Displays, Virtual Reality  

    The newly formed AFRV [ French Association for VR/AR and 3D interaction ] is publishing some informal statistics about the state of VR in France in its “Journal de l’AFRV” (available to members). These stats are for general information purpose only and shouldn’t be regarded as official statistics.
    The most interesting figures are :

    - ~500 people are working in VR/AR; Researchers/Teachers (51%), PhD candidates (34%), engineers & technicians (14%).

    - The majority of research is done about VR only, much less about AR only (often VR+AR).
    - There is an important number of groups that use VR without doing research about these technologies (18/39), which represent 100/460 people.

    - The research is done, by decreasing order, in the medical field, product conception, transportation, education, human studies, scientific data exploration, architecture, sport, game, archelogy, art, geoscience, energy, military, domotic.

    - No group is doing fundamental research on VR/AR. It seems to always be applied research.

    - The equipment is, by decreasing order, tracking devices, feedback/haptics devices, stereoscopic display, big screen (<10m²), data glove (no haptics), HMD, 3d sound, immersive room (>10m²), speech recognition, CAVE or approaching (6!), workbench, tactile feedback, treadmill …

    If you add all the VR students that come out of schools every year, that makes a lot of VR enthousiasts in France ;)

    Tue 19 Jun 2007

    eMagin Z800 review

    Published at 13:10   Category Product Review, VR Displays  

    I wrote an extensive review of the eMagin Z800 HMD for VResources.org. Go read it now to know everything you want to know about this HMD ;)

    Fri 8 Jun 2007

    Holidays !

    Published at 15:56   Category Perso  

    I’m leaving tomorrow for one week of climbing in the south of France. Be nice to each other and live now!

    Thu 7 Jun 2007

    Kheops/Khufu, Photos, Video and next show

    Published at 21:48   Category VR Applications, VR Displays  

    The first public presentation of the Khufu experience on the 24th May 2007 went extremely well. The show received a lot of praise. Lots of questions were asked at the end, and Jean-Pierre Houdin happily answered them all.

    For those of you who missed it, the Khufu experience is back tuesday 19th june 2007 at LaGeode. Click here to book, the seats are selling fast!Here’s a gallery of photos I took during the all the preparation and shows.

    Right click > View Image to get full view of the following samples :

    - Fabien Barati (Emissive) and David Nahon (Virtools) -


    - Jean-Pierre Houdin answering questions at the end of the show -

    - Laurent Dondey (La Géode), Mehdi Tayoubi (Dassault Systèmes), Jean-Pierre Houdin (Egyptologist) and Fabien Barati (Emissive) -

    - Fabien facing his world -

    - This is not in the show, but I like this picture! -

    And for your eyes only, a dark video of what you can expect at the end of the show. A great ride, where pilot Fabien Barati (co-owner of Emissive,with Emmanuel Guerriero, the company that made the application) leads the audience at full speed across the scene with an incredible dexterity. Sensations are guaranteed.

    YouTube Preview Image

    Of course it’s so much better on the real screen with the stereoscopy !!

    Sun 3 Jun 2007

    Stylish polarized glasses

    Published at 15:33   Category VR Displays  

    If you’re tired of looking like an alien when wearing polarized glasses, you should try those from American Polarizer Inc. (availbable in linear and circular) :

    Ideal for this summer !