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  • Sun 30 Dec 2007

    The Wii is hacked

    Published at 11:02   Category Game development  

    Until now nobody could run an application on the Wii without it being approved by Nintendo. This means that the application had to be signed with Nintendo’s encryption key. At the Chaos Computer Club Congress, some hackers explain how they were able to hack the Wii and run their own code, obviously not approved by Nintendo.

    As the Gamecube was already hacked, and the Wii is an upgraded Gamecube, they were able to run application on the GC emulation layer, but not access the Wii specific memory, game controller etc. With a hardware hack they could access the whole Wii memory, and they found the encryption key!

    Homebrew VR on the Wii anyone? ;)

    Here’s the video explaining all that. Hang on tight ..

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    Fri 28 Dec 2007

    iVibe Tactile Feedback System

    Published at 18:13   Category Virtual Reality DIY  

    iVibe.com is selling tactile feedback sits for $239.95 :

    The TFSU itself is a thick and durable seat cushion made of the highest quality fabric laminated polyurethane foam. It will fit in the chair you already use right now. Contained within the TFSU are 6 powerful electromechanical actuators, arranged in 3 pairs: one pair in the back section, one pair in the left leg section, and one pair in the right leg section. All three zones can function independently or in unison. By having three independent zones, games that support intellivibe can render things such as vector based gforce, acceleration and braking cues, direction-based incoming flak, and just about any other thing you can think of.

    You can use their SDK (not yet available) or let the system create effects based on the sound of your application :

    AudioSense digitally samples the sound effects from your computer as they are generated in real time. It then uses a digital signal processing algorithm (that is uniquely customized for each specific game or simulation) to tell the TFS2 how to generate useful tactile feedback based upon this real time digital audio analysis.

    This with the tactile vest makes a nice feedback setup =)

    Sat 22 Dec 2007

    Wiirtual Reality

    Published at 22:05   Category Game development, VR Devices, Virtual Reality DIY  

    Johnny Lee is definitely a genius.. After the Finger Tracking and the Wiimote whiteboard, here’s how with two Wiimotes he’s creating VR games at home !!

    (not that we didn’t think about it, but hey.. he actually *did* it =)

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    If you want to have real 6Dof information from your Wiimote, check out Oliver Kreylos Wiimote projects.

    Fri 21 Dec 2007

    Future Crew – Second Reality

    Published at 17:40   Category 3d, Tech  

    Just a small post to show you a video of one of the most famous, old-school demos : Second Reality, by Future Crew (1993).

    Back then you had to tweak your autoexec.bat and config.sys to get enough memory to run those beautiful demos. If you didn’t have a Gravis Ultrasound you didn’t always get sound. You also didn’t have any 3D card so know that this is all software rendering.

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    Merry Christmas ;)

    Thu 20 Dec 2007

    Cyberwalk project

    Published at 17:34   Category VR Devices  

    The Max Planck Institute, along with other german and italian institutions, is running a program called Cyberwalk which was first demonstrated in April 2007.
    Their flyer explains it all :

    The Goal
    Un-constrained, quasi-natural omni-directional walking in virtual worlds
    The Approach

    The CyberWalk project follows a holistic approach covering science, technology and application by integrating the necessary blend of cognitive understanding with high fidelity technological development, to end up with a fully immersive showcase.

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    The site also has a lot of technical information.

    Last but not least, it seems David Carmein, who makes the Omni-Directionnal Treadmill is directly involved in the project [Update: he is not, see comments..]

    Wed 19 Dec 2007

    PSA Peugeot Citroen VR Center – New Video

    Published at 16:03   Category VR Applications, VR Displays, Virtual Reality  

    PSA/Peugeot Citroen released a new video of their VR Center. They have a CAVE, a Holobench, and an Holostage !

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    Tue 11 Dec 2007

    China’s copy of the Wii : the Vii

    Published at 18:30   Category Game  

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    No 3D, no CD-Rom, that’s the Vii.

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    And there hardware is .. well, there’s nearly nothing into it !!

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    Tue 11 Dec 2007

    Old school VR by Sega and Nintendo

    Published at 18:14   Category Game, VR Applications, Virtual Reality  

    Did you know that in 1995 Nintendo released a portable VR console, called the Virtual Boy ? With a monochrome stereoscopic HMD with a 384×224 resolution, it was priced at 180$ and reportedly Nintendo sold 700’000 units. The failure of the system had them discontinue the project one year later.

    A bit sooner, Sega also tried to release a VR console [and wikipedia here] in 1994, with LCD screens and inertial trackers:

    The Sega VR console combined full color LCD screens and stereo sound. Weight was distrusted evenly, and the device was reported to be comfortable. Also, unlike the Virtual Boy, it was truly portable, not requiring a cumbersome tripod for enjoyable game play.

    (…)

    Due to limited resources, strategic planning, the complete and utter failure of Nintendo’s Virtual Boy, underwhelming graphics and performance, as well as motion sickness, Sega was wise in not bringing this cliché console to the market.

    The company claimed the project was stopped because the VR was so real users would move while wearing the headset and injure themselves.

    Hum. Lol.. =)

    [update : here's a video of the Nintendo Virtual Boy ad]

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    [update : here's a video of the Sega VR debut at CES 1993]

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