Everyday virtual reality? Developers at this MIT event had some ideas for the future


RealityVirtually, a virtual reality tradeshow hosted by MIT, offered a glimpse into the future and the possibilities of this developing nascent technology. Although most of the development has been in VR hardware, some teams have been developing VR applications to assist visually impaired people with “zoom in “ applications or virtual cane which could detect obstructions. Other teams are developing memory aides and incorporating VR into physical therapy regimes. For the complete Boston Globe article, follow our link. Read More.

Everyday virtual reality? Developers at this MIT event had some ideas for the future

By Scott Kirsner | NY Times

If you’ve seen a set of virtual reality goggles — in person or otherwise — you may have jumped to a few conclusions. Maybe a useful gadget for hardcore gamers, but not for me. Who wants to stand around swiveling his head and looking like an apprentice welder from the Planet Cybertron?

And how much more antisocial could people possibly get?

But over the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, virtual reality drew nearly 450 people from about 35 countries to the campus of MIT for an event called Reality Virtually.

The participants formed small teams and spent four days building, from scratch, fully functional pieces of software for virtual reality and augmented reality headsets. (Augmented reality, a sibling of virtual reality, uses glasses that you can see through but that can overlay digital imagery onto the real world.)

The event offered an incredible glimpse into the nascent medium’s possibilities. It’s a medium, Northeastern University professor David Tamés observes, for which “the hardware development is way ahead of where the storytelling and the applications and the content are. People are pouring huge amounts of money into the hardware, and nobody is really making the big investments in the software.”

(Tamés was among the participants at the Reality Virtually event.)

In other words, this is like television before Ed Sullivan or “I Love Lucy.” And the hardware makers know they need to do a better job of persuading people why they might need this gear; at Reality Virtually, they were offering cash prizes of up to $3,000 to teams that came up with the best software demos. Continue Reading

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