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  • Mon 28 Jul 2008

    Tsukuba Walking System

    Published at 18:22   Category VR Devices  

    Just when I said nothing interesting was happening it seems lots of things are spawning !

    From NewLaunches :

    University of Tsukuba Japan has developed a dome shaped virtual reality walking system for patients patients suffering from a stroke etc. The VR treadmill can accommodate a 80kg person for a walking speed 1m/sec with strides of 80 cms. The dome has a viewing angle of 270 degrees horizontally and a 60 degrees vertically. The system is not fully developed and is very expensive for hospitals to install. 

    YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image

    I’m not sure why a simple treadmill is not enough.

    And is this curved screen cheaper and/or more suitable (including development of hard&soft) than a Sensics HMD or a Crescent HMD or a Fakespace  Wide5 HMD (of which I haven’t talked yet but it really rocks!) ?

    There must be good reasons, please tell me =)

    Fri 25 Jul 2008

    DIY 3D Controller

    Published at 14:42   Category VR Devices, Virtual Reality DIY  

    Kyle McDonald shows at Instructables.com  how to make your own cheap 3d desktop tracker.

    Here’s a small video (non embeddable in my wordpress..)

    You need :

    • One Arduino board
    • (3) 270k resistors
    • (3) 10k resistors
    • Solder
    • Wire
    • Aluminum foil
    • Cardboard

    It’s using capacitive touch sensing.

    How cool is that ?

    Thu 24 Jul 2008

    Virtual Walk Game Controller

    Published at 15:07   Category VR Devices  

    Hum look at that :

    YouTube Preview Image

    It doesn’t really seem to qualify as “natural walking”. Ok neither does the Virtusphere, and I can’t comment on the ODT since I’ve never tried it but as they want to study natural walking, it better be.

    But this does look a lot less impressive and as a result you look even more silly. With expensive systems you at least have the Wow effect before realizing you look silly =)

    Why do I mention how this makes you look like? Because I’m pretty sure that this has a huge impact on the acceptance factor of such devices for mass market.

    Anyway I’d have to test it to get a better feeling..

    Wed 23 Jul 2008

    Laval Virtual 2008 – Videos

    Published at 15:29   Category Virtual Reality  

    Back at Laval Virtual, David did a lot of videos for internal DS communication of applications made with Virtools VR Pack. They have now released the videos on Youtube here!

    Warning, it’s a bit corporate ;)

    I’ve also added some of those to the State of VR .

    Here are some :

    YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image
    Thu 10 Jul 2008

    What is (not) VR ?

    Published at 16:38   Category Metaverse, Perso, Virtual Reality  

    (03/07/10: I know have a proper definition for VR)

    (19/04/09: Hey people who come directly to this particular post, tell me where do you come from? =)


    Sorry about the lack of updates, I have lots of excuses for that =)

    First it seems nothing much exciting or very new is happening these days (or I’m missing it). Then we’ve been working quite hard (as usual of course) to get you a brand new release of 3DVia MP, Virtools big brother. I have revamped the device manager  so that it’s much more powerful and will provide better support for VR devices in the future ;)

    We also received a nice big screen for stereoscopic projection and 6 NaturalPoint Optitrack cameras for tracking, but we’re still waiting for the projectors :-/ I’ll make a review of the cameras quite soon.

    Virtual Reality ?

    Back to the topic : Google is launching “Lively“, another 3d personnal space, and everyone is calling it Virtual Reality (resulting in pollution of my VR GoogleAlerts).

    I think I need to clarify what VR is for me and I think for the majority of the VR scientific and industrial community. I’ve been wanting to do that for quite some time, so what better place than here, what better time than now? (c) “Rage against the machine”.

    I’m not going to give a full definition of VR, just quickly what makes “my” VR different than the “marketing” VR.

    Executive summary: Quicktime VR, Second Life and Google Lively are not VR.

    Executive summary of the conclusion: maybe “my” VR should change its name. Check the last paragraph for a suggestion.

    I’m allowing myself to call it “my” VR since it’s such a big part of my life ;) Here are examples of “my” VR.


    The term VR was invented when computer dinosaurs still walked the earth and Jaron Lanier created a dataglove to manipulate a 3D World.

    As often described by professionals, “my” VR involves  3 important points : realtime rendering, interaction, immersion.

    - Realtime rendering :  you get the idea, a movie can’t be VR (even though one day maybe…)

    - Interaction : you must be able to interact with the virtual environment. This rules out Quicktime VR and any kind of panoramic virtual tour as being part of “my” VR. Ok you can move the point of view, but it still doesn’t has the next point.

    - Immersion : that’s a tough point. Lots of people would argue that you could get immersed in SL or WoW, but that’s degree zero of immersion. If you’ve ever been in a Cave and felt the way I felt, it’s like comparing a kiss to the kamasutra!

    I think I’ll add a fourth point because I feel its another important and distinctive feature :

    - Natural interaction, body interaction : remember what it was when you first touched a keyboard or a mouse (or watch your parents now); that’s not natural. Natural interaction enforces immersion, and with “my” VR, moving an object is as simple as grabbing it and moving it with my hand, as you would for a real object. Zero learning because you’re using what you’ve learned in the real life! Your whole body is acting, and that’s why you’re interacting naturally, why you’re feeling immersed. Your body is not engaged when using SL, Livery or Quicktime VR!

    Common features

    All the people calling their application Virtual Reality are trying to represent an alternate reality, and I can’t take that away from them. If you take the term in a broad sense, they’re totally entitled to do so since there is no reason it should be restricted to the use of a group. They’re also trying to use the hype that VR generally generates among mortals. Fair enough.

    So we’re all doing VR!

    Immersive Virtuality ?

    It seems we won’t be able to prevent people from using this term, so maybe we should try to evolve and choose a new name for our field.

    David Nahon, the Dassault Systèmes VR boss (and my boss) suggests using Immersive Virtuality, which does a good job at explaining the difference with “my” VR and the “marketing” VR. We could at least add Immersive to VR, making it Immersive Virtual Reality and not losing the VR letters..

    So, what do you think ?