The Ninja Run: a VR Movement Experiment

VR is an area that is seeing plenty of DIY experimentation, andΒ [FultonX] has an interesting hack of sorts in that he’s discovered something that meshes well with how we perceive motion and movement. It’s an experimental movement system for VR he calls the Ninja Run, and it somewhat resembles skiing.

ninja-run-analysis-optimizedEven room-scale VR suffers from the fact that the player is more or less stuck in one place. Moving the player from one spot to another isn’t currently a gracefully solved problem, and many existing methods are not immersive or have other drawbacks. One solution in use is a sort of teleportation, another “slides” the player to another area on command (like gliding across ice). [FultonX] found these existing solutions lacking, and prototyped the Ninja Run concept which he found was surprisingly intuitive and effective. Video demo embedded below.

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Sunday software sound hacks

[Ico Doornekamp] sent us his ultrasonic-entirely code based-thermin project in response to yesterdays Virtual theremin. By using the programming environment Pure Data, he is able to transform his laptop into a dual input device (while only using a single microphone) without modification. By being so open-ended theoretically anyone can have a theremin within a few moments of downloading, but he does mention it might not work on all hardware.

Also in relation to yesterday’s use of a Wii remote [blobKat] let us know about his thesis project, performance based music making. After studying the connection between musicians and their use of laptops decided that they would want more interaction and movement in their music creation. He combined gesture recognition and synth based movement with Wii remotes to achieve his ends. The video above is an explanation and example of his efforts.

Breathing Walls with Shape Memory Alloy Wire

When you need something quietly bending or moving, don’t underestimate SMA’s (or Shape Memory Alloys). The Living Glass project by architects [David Benjamin] and [Soo-in Yang] catalogs an experiment in building interactive, flexible, “breathing”, walls out of SMA wire and microcontrollers. Although they use Basic Stamps, the project could easily be extended to more cost-effective microcontrollers for large surfaces. The project is well documented with videos (AVI) of each prototyping step and even includes the ideas that were ultimately scrapped. Even if you don’t build a wall of interactive gills, this project should give you plenty of ideas for uses of SMA wire embedded in semi-flexible materials.