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Virtual Reality - The Complete GuideVirtual Reality - The Complete Guide

Virtual Reality - The Complete Guide

Virtual Reality - The Complete Guide 2016

THE BIG BOOK SERIES VIRTUAL REALITY - THE COMPLETE GUIDE 2016 – the year when virtual becomes reality... INSIDE: VR buyer’s guide including headsets, cameras and more; the free apps that will immerse you in this exciting new world; meet the man who changed VR forever – Oculus Rift founder Palmer Luckey… All this and much more with our new 116-page guide to the world of virtual reality.

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Immediate Media Company London Limited
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IN THIS ISSUE

access_time1 min.
welcome

I don’t know about you but my youthful days were filled first with Lego, then an Acorn Electron before progressing to the Commodore Amiga and, ultimately, the pub. Californian Palmer Luckey, on the other hand, still only 23, grew up watching sci-fi films, reading sci-fi novels and tinkering with computers in his parents’ garage. What did we have in common? We both grew up wanting to escape. But while myself and many others sought a getaway in our imaginations or the bottom of a pint glass, Luckey wanted to immerse himself and others in a virtual world. The result of his tinkering cost Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg $2-billion in 2014. Now the Oculus Rift is ready to hit the mass market, signalling the new dawn of virtual reality. We check out…

access_time12 min.
the history of virtual reality

VIRTUAL REALITY s is often the case when recounting the story of technology that’s sprung from Silicon Valley, the history of virtual reality throws up a lot of the same names and places. And when you’re dealing with such high-tech ideas, sometimes the truth can be blurred as much by military interest as it can be by late nights and too much caffeine. What we do know is that virtual reality, or something very close to it, was first mentioned in a 1936 short story by Stanley G Weinbaum. ‘Pygmalion’s Spectacles’, published in the June 1936 edition of Wonder Stories magazine, features ‘a device vaguely reminiscent of a gas mask’ that has ‘goggles and a rubber mouthpiece’ and which plays back holographic recordings held in a strange liquid, bringing sights, sounds,…

access_time2 min.
evolution of virtual reality

1838 Charles Wheatstone shows that the brain can construct a 3D image from two 2D ones with his Stereoscope photo viewer. 1936 Pygmalion’s Spectacles published, a short story that predicts the form and function of VR helmets. 1960 Morton Heilig patents the Telesphere Mask, a head-mounted 3D display for showing films but without head-tracking. 1961 Philco Corporation’s Headsight uses a screen for each eye and a head-tracking system linked to cameras for remote viewing of dangerous military situations. 1969 Artist Myron Krueger develops Glowflow, a computer-controlled environment that responds to the people in it. 1983 The ‘Atari Shock’ wipes billions off the value of American videogame companies. VR research is one of its victims. 1991 Virtuality’s 1000 Series arcade machines are released. Powered by an Amiga 3000 computer, they o"er only nine games. 1992 Feature film The Lawnmower Man, based in part on the work…

access_time1 min.
the virtual boy

The Virtual Boy, released in 1995 across Japan and the US but never in Europe, was a 3D games console that originated in stereoscopic screen technology from Massachuse!sbased Reflection Technology Inc. Turned down by Sega, the singlecolour display found its way into the hands of Gunpei Yokoi, head of an R&A team at Nintendo and the father of the Game & Watch and Game Boy handheld games consoles. Having experimented with colour screens, the original red and black display was chosen for the production model as it was not only cheaper, but provided a greater sense of 3D depth. Although marketed as a form of VR, the Virtual Boy’s head-tracking capabilities were removed during development due to fears over inducing motion sickness in players, and it was designed to be used…

access_time1 min.
the innovator

How did you first experience virtual reality? In 1989 I went to Boston, where there was a SIGGRAPH [Special Interest Group on Graphics and Interactive Techniques] exhibition. I had a recommendation from MIT for an animation which I was working on at the time. While I was at SIGGRAPH I met Jaron Lanier, who was quite a colourful character. We were both waiting in line and he was very nice to me, letting me go first to buy my ticket. I attended his talk and realised that this was real, that [VR] was really happening and that you could use it. I decided to turn my 3D animation into a VR movie, which became Angels. Describe the equipment that you used. It had a similar helmet to what you’d use today, except it…

access_time2 min.
the omnidirectional treadmill

The omnidirectional treadmill ties into the idea of ‘immersion’ – the perception of being physically present in a non-physical world. As you move your feet, the virtual world moves around you, as displayed through your head-mounted display. The treadmill is designed to keep you in its centre, either through a mechanical solution that moves the surface beneath you no matter which way you’re facing or an array of spheres your feet can slide across. Users are often tethered in place or surrounded by a safety barrier so they don’t launch themselves onto the floor. A Kickstarter campaign by Virtuix was successful, raising money for the development of the Omni, a device to help you move naturally and freely in virtual worlds, but the concept of the omnidirectional treadmill goes back much…

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