Comments

  1. Bob says:

    It’s actually the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Zurich (ETH), Switzerland.

  2. davedarko says:

    Zürich is in Switzerland.

  3. YAY NEAR HOLO DECK

  4. schlackbob says:

    come on really?!
    confusing an elite university with a company and relocating it from switzerland to germany…..in the age of google a site like HAD should really do better.

    greetings from germany, thats right next to iraq :/

  5. EccentricElectron says:

    Hackaday so needs a proper editor… it’s a shame that sending people to space takes priority over the basics in the budget.

  6. Roman says:

    OK, it already has been said, but both the geographical and organizational confusion in this post are nothing short of embarrassing. Fine, one doesn’t have to have the whole human knowledge in one’s brain, but hey, since we have it at our fingertips nowadays, the lack of a minimal amount of research is almost insulting to the regular, or informed reader.

  7. Celt says:

    If you are not familiar with the largest city in Switzerland or ETH, a quick web search would have saved the embarrassment of this poorly researched article.

  8. schlackbob says:

    upcoming shitstorm on the horizon……

  9. Jan says:

    That walking technique is called “redirected walking” and is known since 2001 or so at least:

    Razzaque, Sharif, Zachariah Kohn, and Mary C. Whitton. “Redirected walking.” In Proceedings of EUROGRAPHICS, vol. 9, pp. 105-106. 2001.

    A later paper by the same author (with PDF):
    Razzaque, Sharif, David Swapp, Mel Slater, Mary C. Whitton, and Anthony Steed. “Redirected walking in place.” In Proceedings of the workshop on Virtual environments 2002, pp. 123-130. Eurographics Association, 2002.
    http://www.cise.ufl.edu/~lok/teaching/dcvef05/papers/rdw.pdf

    Virtual reality didn’t start with Oculus Rift, folks.

  10. Evan says:

    This is great for on-the-rails motion, but it wouldn’t work well in situations where users can pick their own movement paths at random. I think they found a great use case for the system though– house walkthroughs are ideal for this.
    Elegant project!

    I think it’s funny every comment up until this one has been a location correction. You’d think one would have been enough.

    • Jan says:

      Redirected walking is exactly for the free movement. If you are “on the rails” (predefined trajectory), there isn’t much need for it. Granted, there are limits to the technology, it is not a silver bullet. See the papers I have linked above.

  11. Rich says:

    It’s so cool! In little rooms the user maybe feel the distortion, but in a 30×30 meter or larger area like a hangar, the user can run kilometers in a straight line without any problem.

  12. SparkyGSX says:

    You would probably need a fairly large room to be able to fool the user into thinking he is walking in a straight line for an arbitrarily long distance, and if the virtual world is more or less free (not restricted by virtual walls), the algorithm to determine the curves would become rather interesting; it should probably try to keep the user in the center area of the real-world space, to have sufficient and roughly equal margins on all sides, because the user can start moving in any direction at any time.

    I wonder if the system has a sufficiently fast responds to head movements (linear movement, turning and tilting) to allow the user to run while using visual cues for balancing. I recently tried running while blindfolded (with guidance), which is surprisingly difficult.

    Walking around in a house that hasn’t been build yet sounds like a somewhat reasonable application, but it’s hardly more than a gimmick, without a significant real-world impact, and why anyone would want to use this to work on designs of assembly lines, instead of proper CAD/CAM software, is beyond me. It sounds like they’re still looking for a problem to be solved with their solution.

  13. Stephen says:

    It interest me particularly that the idea of bending people’s paths to make them think they’re in a larger space was actually introduced by Larry Niven and Steven Barnes in 1981’s “Dream Park”. This story takes place in a large physical set instead of virtual reality, but we are told at one point that the objects on the “horizon” are moved around so that the explorers will end up going round in circles, not realising it because the set is changed behind them.

  14. Hirudinea says:

    Has anyone asked the users of this thing if they “feel” that they aren’t walking in a straight line? When people are deprived of vision they think they are walking in straight lines when in fact they are wandering all over the place (come on, who hasn’t seen that on Mythbusters?) so it would seem that with a sensory input telling you are going straight you’ed have to make a pretty sharp turn to feel it. Oh and how about using a cell phone vibrator to tell you when you “hit” something solid.

  15. Eirinn says:

    “We’ve seen some ingenious setups before, but nothing as efficient as this.”

    Really? Valve did this last year: http://37.media.tumblr.com/07ea8e80332c7c77651617882eac39fb/tumblr_n0uoe9fumm1sb5390o1_1280.jpg

  16. IdareYou says:

    Won’t this cause motion sickness?

    • Leithoa says:

      Depends on the sensitivity of the user. I would imagine unless there were prolonged periods of frantic movement probably not.
      Most(all?) motion sickness is caused by an outside force. Since you’re body knows it’s moving and your eyes agree that you are moving there shouldn’t be any dissonance between the two unless the software has you juking left while the world goes left as well.

  17. elaich says:

    What word does he use when he refers to those barcode thingys?

  18. Caleb says:

    Why don’t your youtube embeds support fullscreen?

    • DarwinSurvivor says:

      That’s often a restriction put in place by the uploader. Sometimes it is done to force the user to the youtube page where they can see the description, comments, etc.

  19. scswift says:

    Very clever, but what if that path he was walking down came to a T instead of simply branching off to the right? The wall would be on his left, so if he were to turn that way he’d run right smack into it. I can’t see how this would ever work in a free roaming environment. I can see a very limited number of cases where you could distort the halls to fit inside the smaller room, but for general use, in a real space? Never work.

    • Simon says:

      I guess the real trick to this is when the situation (walk though) is some what scripted

    • tehDorf says:

      My take-away from the video was that you can use VR to trick your brain into thinking you are walking in a straight line when, in fact, you are walking along a slight curve, and also that you can trick your brain into thinking you have made turns that are not as sharp as they actually are. That probably works the other way around as well, making the user think they’ve turned a lot, but they have really only turned a little.

      Using these principles and a large enough space (someone mentioned a hangar) you could construct a VR environment that allows for near-unlimited free roaming of the virtual environment by continually influencing their path to keep them near the center of the physical area.

      There would need to be safety measures in place in case they get too close to the wall – either in the VR environment, such as a virtual force-field wall that starts to appear as they get too close; or by bringing the user back to reality, perhaps by switching to a live view of their environment (e.g. a camera on the front of the headset).

  20. icanhazadd says:

    HACK.

  21. Spinxz says:

    PLEASE link to the CORRECT video and not the stolen one:

    then you would also find more information about this:
    https://www.ethz.ch/en/news-and-events/eth-news/news/2014/02/virtual-room.html

    and for those who want to know the details about the research
    http://www.iwf.mavt.ethz.ch/ConfiguratorJM/publications/Planning_R_138929287149018/3dui_2014.pdf

  22. Andrew says:

    I came here to watch some shitstorm over ETH Zurich being based out Germany.

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