Virtual Environment – Blurring Reality Lines

Today, we had an awesome lesson presented by Clare about Virtual Environment. I really found this lesson fascinating! Probably because it’s such a cool technology, so SCI-FI! I haven’t really heard much about it, or looked into it very much either, playing Sims on my laptop is probably the closest I have come to it. It is pretty crazy thinking about how some of this amazing, innovative technology is not very far away from being mainstream, available to the public and will be considered “normal”, a part of everyday life. So in this post we will be looking at what the “virtual” future will hold πŸ™‚

What do you think is “real”?

Yes, the infamous The Matrix movie had to put that in here :-). What do I think is real? Well, that is a hard question to answer because it is so complex. Like this quote I do believe that we “define real” by what we can touch, smell, feel, taste and hear. Like an object (toy, book, bag, etc) we can feel in our hands, we can smell and taste food, hear music and people speaking. Those are all real things, real right in front of you things. I believe “real” is more to do with our personal feelings towards objects, people, etc. I mean when your playing a game online, and your some super cool character, leveled right up, with so many magic spells and kill streaks, some people believe that’s real, personally I don’t. Online gaming is usually described as a sort of “escape from reality”, but with all this new technology being created where you can actually experience the game, see, hear, touch what is going on, how can we define the line between gaming and reality? I feel that this will sort of blur the lines more than they already have been. People who are not who they want to be in real life, can find some sort of achievement being a super cool, strong character on a game and respected by fellow gamers. A sense of belonging and self-worth. So it is very hard to explain what is real, because I believe it solely depends on the person, some people live lives that other people would consider “a dream” or “a fantasy” but to them it is “their reality”. I mean I hope the lines between reality and fantasy don’t blur as much as they do in The Matrix, but I’m certain that it will become hard for some people to separate the two, it already is sometimes. Every person is different, so every person will have their own opinion but what I personally think is real, are things that my senses tell me are real.

Definition of “real”

  • actually existing or happening: not imaginary
  • not fake, false, or artificial
  • important and deserving to be regarded or treated in a serious way

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/real

What could be two great things and two negative things about google glass?

 

This is really an amazing device, definitely something straight out of a cyborg movie. It just amazes me things like this are going to become available to everyone very soon. Imagine it everyone walking around with one of these bad boys on, haha so funny just thinking about it.

Great things

  • Provides maps (interior and exterior), turn by turn directions, reminders of important events, date, time, messages, emails, take pictures and videos, important news, hangout with your friends (they can see what you see), play games right in front of your vision. You see it immediately, clearly and it doesn’t stray you away from the task at hand.
  • Enables you to “handsfree” talk on the phone, even text. Connects to your smart phone via bluetooth so you don’t even have to look at your phone. Provides easy ways to make calls whilst driving or working.
  • So many features squeezed into a small, lightweight yet strong frame.
  • Built-in microphone combined with Google Now connects you directly to the search engine.
  • Works with both Android phones and iPhones.

Bad things

  • They will cost an arm and a leg to purchase at a whopping $1500USD.
  • To those who don’t wear glasses all the time, it is an uncomfortable, strange experience for them.
  • For the glasses to work you have to connect via Wi-Fi or have a smartphone with reliable data and Wi-Fi connections.
  • Poor screen resolution, strains eyes
  • Using bluetooth constantly on both your smartphone and glass will drain both batteries.
  • “Physically unattractive”

So, there are quite a few good and bad things about Google Glass. It is an amazing, innovative device but now that I have done some research into it and looking at the price of it I am no longer keen to rush out and purchase one. From the look of things Google are not doing too well with this product people are already waiting for what their going to bring out next, but for “nerds” this device will be very exciting!! Looking like something out of Star Trek πŸ™‚

Googleglass

http://scm-l3.technorati.com/13/02/21/75131/Googleglass.jpg?t=20130221084141

Do you think that Facebook’s purchase of the Oculus Rift company is a good thing?

“Our mission is to make the world more open and connected. For the past few years, this has mostly meant building mobile apps that help you share with the people you care about. We have a lot more to do on mobile, but at this point we feel we’re in a position where we can start focusing on what platforms will come next to enable even more useful, entertaining and personal experiences.

This is where Oculus comes in. They build virtual reality technology, like the Oculus Rift headset. When you put it on, you enter a completely immersive computer-generated environment, like a game or a movie scene or a place far away. The incredible thing about the technology is that you feel like you’re actually present in another place with other people. People who try it say it’s different from anything they’ve ever experienced in their lives.”

-Mark Zuckerbergs Facebook Page
https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10101319050523971

There are a couple different opinions online about Facebook buying Oculus Rift VR for $2 billion USD. People either think that it’s no surprise, Facebook are always looking for more ways to make money and compete with other social media websites like Twitter. Or people we’re completely surprised by it because Facebook apart from the mini-games they provide have nothing to do with gaming and Oculus Rift is all about virtual 3D immersive gaming. There are also people that are over the moon that Facebook purchased Oculus. My opinion is a bit of a mix of everything, mostly I don’t really see how Facebook can enhance Oculus apart from the marketing side of things, because yes they have never had anything to do with actual gaming before, and now all of a sudden they purchase a product which is most likely going to be the future in gaming. Although, after the announcement happened VR visionary Palmer Luckey defended the decision to join the large and controversial company, for someone who has made VR his lifes work he knows sure well that developing new technologies requires money, lots and lots of money! So I can kind of understand why he did it, to keep VR alive financially.

β€œThe partnership accelerates our vision, allows us to execute on some of our most creative ideas and take risks that were otherwise impossible. Most importantly, it means a better Oculus Rift with fewer compromises even faster than we anticipated.” – Palmer Luckey, Reddit

This is a hard one, because of Facebooks lack of experience with gaming is cause to some what doubt their ability to enhance Oculus Rift. However, they have proven their abilities to grow businesses when they bought the photo sharing app Instagram nearly two years ago, there were 30 million active users, today there are over 200 million. Fortunately Facebook seems to be smart when buying other businesses and Mark Zuckerberg has said that they don’t plan to just throw Oculus out there to the public for purchase, it is a five to ten year initiative. He has fully acknowledged that Oculus was built to enhance gaming, but he hopes to enhance Facebook with it as well. So in conclusion, if Facebook helps VR financially, remembers the true value of Oculus is gaming and doesn’t rush to make a profit on it, this should end up being a good investment for both parties and you “nerds” out there have nothing to fear πŸ™‚

http://www.gamespot.com/articles/why-you-shouldn-t-worry-about-facebook-buying-oculus-rift/1100-6418545/

Post a link to (or embed) an online video that demonstrates the use of either of these technologies and explain briefly what it is and why you have chosen it

What this video is, is basically going through the Top 20 games available to play on Oculus Rift. Why I chose it? Because for someone (me) that has never really looked into Oculus Rift VR before and never paid attention to what it actually does, this video is really awesome to see how games are presented on this device, so interactive and just awesome!! Has really made me want to play on the Oculus, and I’m not much of a gamer. This is truly a really amazing, mind blowing, innovative device and I can’t wait to be able to purchase one! It definitely will blur the reality lines a bit, but it does it in style :-). I also had no idea what sort of games you are able to play on it, so it’s really awesome to see the different kinds of games that really do suit what the Oculus is and what is does. To experience things unlike you will ever get to experience in everyday life, even on this world. Truly truly amazing!!

1367775740
http://www.riftenabled.com/files/uploads/1367775740.png

This has been a really eye opening, fascinating blog to do and research about! Gotta love technology and the way it has the ability to have you in an absolute state of awe. I honestly cannot wait for what the future of Virtual Reality and all the imaginative technology that comes with it!

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1 Comment

  1. A great post Anna! Thank you so much πŸ™‚ I am really pleased that this has opened up a ‘new world’ for you (pun intended!). I think the possibilities around these technologies is incredibly exciting and where IT is headed!

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