Scan room, explore virtually

[Patrick] directed us to his project for alternate realism. The final goal is to be able to walk around in a space wearing a head mounted display, exploring a virtual representation of that space. This virtual representation could be altered, stylized, augmented and modified in countless ways. It is an exploration in perception, similar to enjoying different styles of painting, we could enjoy different styles of viewing a real space. Currently, it isn’t quite real time. He has to scan a room with a somewhat bulky device, then plug into his display to explore it. Being able to scan quickly and reliably enough shouldn’t be far off. [Patrick] notes that others have done almost real time scans at home already.

Perspective tracking with only a web cam

[Johhny chung Lee], eat your heart out. Check out what these guys are doing with face tracking and immersive 3d as their final project in class. They’re using a singe camera and an FPGA to produce the demo you see in the video. Facial tracking is done by skin color, so that might have some issues in some environments, but being able to have perspective shift with you, without rigging up some more hardware is fantastic.

We realize that this is completely different that what [Johnny] is doing. We love [Johnny]‘s work and think it is ground breaking to be able to pull this stuff off with a cheap game controller. We just couldn’t help but draw the parallel from the end result.

[thanks Bruce]

Mouse runs through VR maze

vr_mouse_setup

In an effort to determine the brain of animals during movement, scientists have built this contraption. It is a VR pod for a mouse. While we’re pretty sure/hopeful that none of you need a mouse VR system, we think the rig is interesting enough to stand on its own. It appears to be a convex mirror setup, projected in a dome. The controller is interesting in that it looks like a giant trackball hack. They’re using an optical mouse rigged to a ball floating on a cushion of air. This makes it much easier for the mouse to move. There’s a video of the whole thing in action after the break.

Continue reading “Mouse runs through VR maze”

Augmented FPS gaming

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[MikeFez] sent in this info about his augmented FPS set ups. He started this project back with an original XBox in   2006. He wanted a more immersive way of interacting with his games. Pointing out that gaming visuals and interactivity have come leaps and bounds while the controllers themselves have basically just added a few buttons, he explains his goals. He wanted to have to move his body to move his character and possibly physically aim. The original project, for the XBox, was successful in that he used a floor pad to control his character. Since then, the Wii has come out and he has moved to the PC as his main platform. As expected, he is now using the Wiimote as the aiming device.

Wiimote head tracking desktop VR display


If you thought [Johnny Lee] was done making us all buy Wiimotes, you were wrong. Now he’s back showing off a simple, but incredibly effective VR head tracker. He swapped out the LED’s on a pair of LED light safety glasses with a set of IR LEDs and used his PC/Wiimote combo to do the work. The demo is just fantastic. As usual, you can download the software from his project page.

$25 head mounted display


[Jake] sent in his source for a cheap head mounted display. In his writeup he notes that the spy video car comes with quite a pile of handy electronics – video tx/rx, camera and this simple black and white monocle head mounted display. (Which happens to be available as a replacement unit for a mere $20) The screen is a Kopin 300M (Black and white, 300×240 pixels) The display is actually somewhat usable out of the box, but he takes the time to note some simple mods that’ll improve the displays performance.

If you ever bought a virtual boy just to gut the display, then you know you want one. In fact, I’ve got a perfect project in mind for this particular toy.