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Tag: VIRTUALREALITY

Overdue Reviews: 'Strange Days'

Overdue Reviews takes a critical look at tech-centric films that are well-loved, well-loathed or eye-rollingly obscure. When Kathryn Bigelow's 'Strange Days' was released in 1995, it didn't even break $8 million at the box office; with a production budget of $42 million, it was by all accounts a commercial disaster. Even the critically panned 'Johnny Mnemonic' pulled in $19 million, and cin...

TV on the Radio's Newest Video Pays Tribute to Virtual Reality, Amazing Beards

Before she won an Oscar for 'The Hurt Locker,' Kathryn Bigelow made 'Strange Days,' a futuristic sci-fi movie imagining a world where people did "playback," a virtual-reality drug that allowed users to live in another body. Brooklyn art rockers TV on the Radio tapped into Bigelow's tale with 'Will Do,' which puts each of the guys in wire-laden, blinking BluBlockers to experience a techno fan...

Lockheed Builds Jets in Seriously Awesome, Kind of Embarrassing Virtual Environment

When designing a new aircraft, engineers must be able to get a feel for how the jet might come together -- and, generally, the only way to do that is to actually build a mock-up and crawl inside. But, with the Collaborative Human Immersive Laboratory or CHIL (which is pronounced exactly how you'd expect... with a heavy dose of shame), engineers can get some "hands-on" time with their creations th...

Virtual Avatars Help Heal in Cybertherapy

Virtual reality has been used for years to treat such phobias as heights and spiders, but improvements in the technology -- particularly in the field of artificial intelligence -- are allowing researchers and therapists to expand the scope of virtual treatments. It's now possible to use virtual people and avatars to address social problems like anxiety, alcoholism and gambling addiction. Researche...

Abstinence Avatar Game Teaches Kids How to Avoid Sex, 'Winning' Is Really Losing

Now, this is exactly what we've been yearning for: a video game that teaches us how to be abstinent. With avatars. Because real gamers usually have dates galore, right? Researchers at the University of Central Florida have created just such a game, in the hopes of encouraging kids to avoid kissing and making out and stuff. "Players" must wear a motion-capture suit, equipped with special infrare...

Virtual Reality Puts Men in Women's Bodies in Gender-Bending Experiments

Share Men may be from Mars, and women may hail from Venus, but this age-old interplanetary divide may soon be lessening -- and not because of ANTM's Isis King or Chaz Bono's fake stubble. As the Guardian reports, scientists at Barcelona University recently gave male volunteers virtual reality headsets in order to transfer them into women's bodies in an attempt to further examine human prejudi...

Virtual Reality Treadmill Looks Perfect for Human-Sized Hamsters

One of the ironies of virtual reality is that the endless digital worlds which it provides require some real-life square footage in which to operate. Researchers and programmers have been battling this problem ever since VR's heyday in the '90s, coming up with weirder and weirder-looking contraptions to mask the fact that you're "walking" through a make-believe "world." German, Italian and Swis...

Virtual Reality Nuclear Power Plants Help Train Scientists

According to NPR, scientists are using virtual models of nuclear power plants to better prepare nuclear inspectors and to make real-life plants safer. As part of a project called Virtual Simulation Baseline Experience (VISIBLE), scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico work with realistic, projected depictions of power plants. They're created using the same high end animation...

Drinking From Virtual Straw Looks Fun, Parching

Ever wanted to drink without really drinking? Well, participants at the International Collegiate Virtual Reality Contest in Japan were recently treated to a seemingly completely bizarre experience: drinking from a virtual straw. Masahiko Inami, founder of Inami Laboratory, developed the straw-like user interface (SUI) as part of a game called 'Conspiratio.' Showcased at the conference, the game a...

Robotic Steps Let You Walk in Place, Forever

Never ones to let an economic downturn get them down, Japanese researchers have created yet another bizarre robot that will probably never reach U.S. shores. The bots, shaped like large tiles, measure the pressure of your step and determine where you'll next place your foot, according to Popular Science. They then scoot to that spot on the floor, giving you the sensation of walking in place. Pic...

Virtual Golf Makes Sport More Accessible for South Koreans

Don't expect Tiger Woods to practice this way, but for many South Koreans, hitting the virtual greens is much more practical than playing the real sport. According to a report from CNN, many of the country's 3.5 million golfers opt to play golf simulators instead of the 260 golf courses, which tend to be prohibitively expensive and crowded. In contrast, a round of virtual golf costs somewhere be...

Virtual Reality Exhibit Gives You Animal Senses

The 36th annual Siggraph conference, which celebrates "computer graphics and interactive techniques," hit New Orleans last week with exhibits ranging from animation workshops to displays of 'emerging technologies' like the Pull-Navi ear-navigator. One of the more intriguing exhibits, presented by Texas A&M University's (A&M) visualization department, featured a "deep immersion," virtual-...

Bizarre Virtual 'Restaurant' Air Yakiniku a Huge Success

Proving once and for all that perception is everything, Japanese virtual restaurant Air Yakiniku has become the 29th most searched site on Yahoo!. (Warning: Google Translator does little to help with this one.) Allow us to explain. The virtual Korean BBQ restaurant, originally designed for the Japanese market, virtually hands its customers an apron, which they are asked to print out onto a she...

Japanese Dinosaur Exhibit a Virtual 'Jurassic Park'

While cloning is still in its infancy, the Canon corporation is doing the next best thing to genetically reproducing departed species: virtually recreating them. According to DVICE, the global imaging company, which has also designed a virtual aquarium exhibit, is developing a museum show in Chiba, Japan called "Dinosaurs -- Miracles of the Desert." Wearing virtual reality goggles, visitors to C...

Google's Holodeck Presents Interactive StreetView at 360 Degrees

Ah, Google. Making human contact obsolete one development at a time. At its Mountain View Googleplex, the search engine-turned-megalith brought out its StreetView Holodeck simulator for the Google I/O Conference on Wednesday. The Holodeck, like a Disney ride for adults, is a small, circular, one-person viewing room with a 360-degree view of the nearby area projected on its walls. (Think Street...