Facebook Twitter Google+ Shout YouTube SoundCloud RSS

Galactica’s Immersive 3D-VR ‘Holoband’ Is Coming

21st Century Wire says…

Few people will be surprised these days to see technology from TV jumping into our day to day life. Here’s the latest one…

In the sci-fi series Caprica, a spin-off of the hit remake series of Battlestar Galactica, the Holoband was a central piece of the story, as residents of the planet Caprica unknowingly opened-up a Pandora’s box of artificial intelligence (AI), and artificial consciousness.


(Image: Caprica’s Holoband)

“A holoband is a user interface technology that allows for a seemingly fully immersive virtual reality experience in a space known commonly as V-world. Holobands are worn in front of the eyes and secured on the bridge of the nose and behind the ears, similar to eyeglasses. Real-world sounds and sights can interfere with the experience, so users must keep their eyes closed.” (Source: Battlestar Wiki)

In Caprica, it was the virtual reality environment within the Holoband which was the key to the acceleration of the the AI which eventually enabled a Cylon-AI takeover, and ultimately – the defeat, of humanity.

Enter Microsoft’s new Hololens…

XRAY_02


The HoloLens has great gaming potential, but it’s not quite there yet


The Switch

Microsoft invited me to an “Unannounced Experience” so secret that they wouldn’t tell me what it was even the night before I went in. It turned out to be a demo of its HoloLens as applied to the gaming world.

The HoloLens is the company’s augmented reality headset — a device that fits neatly over your eyes and projects a small screen that can display digital images and holograms over the real world.  To wear the HoloLens you have to first give Microsoft your IPD, or inter-pupilary distance, to calibrate it properly. (I was a 61.5, in case anyone wants to buy me a Hololens or a pair of Warby Parker glasses.)

The device, which is still in development, has an array of sensors that map the room around you to properly place the objects in your field of view. The potential for gaming here is clear. The HoloLens’s wireless design and a display that lets you see the real world as well as the virtual one lends itself to what could basically be laser tag on steroids. Imagine: You could shoot virtual and real-world enemies in the arena.

[The latest version of the Oculus Rift made me want to throw up. In a good way.]

(…) The first game I tried was called “Project X-Ray,” a short shooter in which monsters quite literally crawl out of the walls. The HoloLens accurately mapped the room so that portals appeared flush with the walls, opening the way for laser-shooting scorpions and other bugs to find their way in and attack. As a player, I had to shoot the enemies and duck under their attacks to defeat the game. (I’m sure I looked really cool dodging enemies that weren’t really there. Alas, Microsoft did not allow photos or video, so we’ll never know).

(…) The second demo I got to try was the Minecraft simulation that Microsoft showed off during its press conference. I had the option to play either on a digital screen projected on the wall or on a tabletop. On the wall, there were a few modes — regular 2D, 3D or a mode that let me “peek” around the edges of the screen to look at the Minecraft world beyond.

Playing on the tabletop meant that I basically went into God mode. I could see the whole map rendered in 3D in front of me, walk around it, raise and lower the landscape and quite literally call down lightning to smite the Microsoft employee who was playing with me. (Or his enemies, depending on how benevolent I felt). 

(…) It was also surprisingly hard to keep my head still while aiming the cursor —  though that may be more a comment on the state of my neck muscles after several days at a convention than the technology itself.

The headset shows a lot of promise for the gaming world, but the applications seem more obvious for tasks where immersion isn’t necessarily the goal.

(…) The HoloLens isn’t nearly as convincing or immersive as virtual reality headsets such as the Oculus Rift

Read More at The Switch

READ MORE AI NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire AI Files