Location-based startup Dreamscape Immersive debuted its multisensory VR experience “Alien Zoo” on Feb. 7. The experience is open to the public at Westfield Century City in Los Angeles through March 2. Up to six people can visit Dreamscape Immersive’s intergalactic exhibit during one 40 minute time slot. The experience itself takes just 12 minutes, but participants need time to gear up with a VR headset, a backpack, shoe coverings, and sensor-equipped gloves. Each person has a full-body avatar in the “Alien Zoo” environment. To make this possible, Dreamscape Immersive partnered with Artanim, a Swiss research institute developing motion capture technology, which created a body-mapping software that
Canadian researchers bring us a step closer to “x-ray goggles”
Students in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada are refining a new technology that allows clinicians to see inside a patient’s body using augmented reality. The system, named ProjectDR, has functionality reminiscent of fictional “x-ray goggles,” given its ability to overlay medical images onto a patient’s body while properly adjusting those images when a patient moves. The technology, which consists of infrared cameras and markers placed on the patient’s body as well as a projector, is being co-developed by graduate students Ian Watts and Michael Feist at the University of Alberta. Proposed uses of ProjectDR span a wide range of education, therapeutic, and medical applications. Pilot studies in
Ford and EKSO Partners Up creating bionic people functions
Robots have replaced many U.S. manufacturing workers, but new mechanical exoskeletons being tested by Ford Motor Co (F.N) may help factory workers to function like bionic people, reducing the physical damage of millions of repetitive tasks over many years. The company announced this week that some of its workers are currently testing out a new wearable technology called EksoVest, that essentially allows factory workers to function like bionic people. The vest, which was designed by California-based Ekso Bionics (EKSO), acts as an upper-body support system to help workers increase productivity and reduce fatigue when completing overhead tasks on the job. “Collaboratively working with Ford enabled
Technical and industrial VR applications improve safety
Although many tend to focus on gaming and entertainment when thinking about VR technologies, virtual reality is proving transformative in technical and industrial applications, too. Three recent announcements illustrate how VR can directly improve safety: Osso VR In October, the US Department of Education announced the winner of their EdSim Challenge, which saw 249 immersive simulation submissions vie for a grand prize of $430,000 in cash and prizes from IBM and Microsoft. Osso VR won this year’s competition with a surgical training system that allows new surgical techniques to be practiced on virtual patients. Michael E. Wooten, a deputy assistant secretary at the US Department
Promising display technique may help avoid VR sickness
European researchers today announced a display technique that may help many virtual reality users avoid nausea, one of the most common symptoms of “virtual reality sickness.” Virtual reality sickness, which often causes symptoms similar to motion sickness, can result from latency between eye movement and displayed changes in the VR environment. Often, there is a trade-off when using higher resolution images in VR: although they improve realism, they also increase computational processing demands, which can increase nausea-inducing latency. These latest findings by researchers at Brunel University London, and the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences and Saarland University in Germany, builds upon a technique called “foveated
Technique using VR reduces phantom pain in paraplegics
New findings announced today by Swiss neuroscientists working at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) appear to be a breakthrough in treating phantom body pain in those suffering from paraplegia. This research is especially significant because such pain is completely resistant to conventional drug therapy. In their study, now published in the journal Neurology, researchers created a bodily illusion for their subjects, using a VR setup including a pair of dummy legs, a camera, and virtual reality goggles. “We tapped the back of the subject near the shoulders and the subject experienced the illusion that the tapping originated from the paralyzed legs,” explained Polona Požeg,
New VR Startups are Helping People with Phobias
In Oxford, according to the Guardian, there is a new startup that is trialling VR for all kinds of conditions, from phobias to pain management to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Can you imagine being professional war pilot and still be afraid of heights? Or, worse, to be afraid of something that cannot possibly harm you? I am scared of grasshoppers and moths. Not just scared. I don’t scream like a girl. If I see one on my building stairs, I’ll rather be jumping from the tenth floor. So yes, I’m really glad that people like Daniel Freeman exist. Freeman is a professor of clinical psychology
Is Virtual Reality A Path To Real-Life Health Treatments?
A key pillar of psychiatric treatment is guided imagery. Guided imagery is the practice of, with guidance, stimulating the senses and inducing mental images for the sake of health therapy or relaxation. You often see things like this in the movies – a person visits a psychologist, is told to lay on a couch, close his or her eyes, breathe and think of something peaceful. That’s a very simplified version of what guided imagery is. Guided imagery, it turns out, doesn’t need to be done with the imagination alone. In fact, with sufficiently-advanced technologies, guided imagery can be done in a way that’s much more
Can Sea Hero Quest VR Succeed in Fighting Mental Diseases?
Nowadays it’s perfectly normal to have a laptop on your desk, a tablet in your bag and a smart phone in your pocket. When you’re in the mood to play a game, you can – all you have to do is open the select app and start playing. Why wouldn’t we let this opportunities into our lives, not just for fun – but for solving health issues? Video games have been known to have a wide variety of effects on the mind of people. It hasn’t been long since Virtual Reality became a vital part of gaming industry as such. During the years of researching, studies had
Xenoma Mixes AI with AR / VR, Launches e-Skin Clothing for Gesture Tracking
A year ago, small Japanese company Xenoma launched its concept dubbed e-skin, clothing fit with wires that enable positional and gesture tracking without the use of external cameras. The vision of the company is to create stretchable clothing with built-in electronics that detect user’s movement, all while being a piece of clothing which can be worn comfortably with machine washability just as regular shirt could do. Now, e-skin is coming to Kickstarter. “Connected clothing will be the most natural way for people to interact with others and their smart devices in the future,” said Ichiro Amimori, Co-Founder & CEO of Xenoma. “e-skin apparel is completely different from
Who is Trying to Make Key App for VR?
It’s hard to avoid the hype around virtual reality (VR) headsets like the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift or its mobile counterpart, Samsung Gear VR; much of that excitement is focused on console, mobile, and PC gaming. However, the technology has applications in most industries. Let’s take a quick look at some of the more significant developments in VR elsewhere in the world, in travel i.e. tourism, medicine, and virtual replacements for smokey casinos. Travel / Tourism Travelling without leaving your seat is one of the big ideas behind VR headsets so it’s perhaps no surprise that Destination BC (British Columbia, Canada) and Visit Australia are
Google Acquires Eyefluence Weeks before the Daydream Launch
Eyefluence is company founded by William Torch and Jim Maggraff, with the goals to create eye tracking system that measures the intent of your mind, not just the motions of your eyes in order to control technology. This new system would allow a user to control device through movements of users eyes. This kind of tech may seem unnecessary for present day smartphones and PC-s, but as the world of immersive computing continues to barrel towards us it will become infinitely more relevant. Google certainly thinks so as it has just acquired Eyefluence for itself. According to an official statement on the Eyefluence blog: “Today, we are excited to announce that
VIDEO: Elon Musk Speech at the Climate Conference in Paris
Elon Musk, serial entrepreneur and hands-on executive for his disruptive businesses, Tesla Motors, SpaceX and Solar City gave a short, but sweet speech during the 21st Climate Change conference, which takes place in Paris, France. There’s no denying that humans are impacting the environment, but even if that could be argued, one cannot argue that we as a society have to become more efficient. Just as tractors replaced horses and oxes in the fields, and those replaced human labor, we need to look beyond the tractor to increase efficiency and consequentially, productivity of the said piece of land. Instead of giving you a long article filled
60 Minutes on this Bicycle can Power Your Home for 24 Hours!
People often complain about the high costs of energy and the fact that they “never have time to workout.” This invention certainly solves both conundrums. And, most importantly, this free power invention has the potential to lift the 1.3 billion people who presently live without electricity out of poverty. As Manoj Bhargava, the founder of the Free Electric hybrid bike, shares in the video below, it is possible to generate electricity at home while simply doing a daily workout routine. When an individual pedals the bike, the action drives a flywheel, which turns a generator and charges a battery. This means from just one hour of pedaling, a
Croatian Doctors Insert the World’s First 3D Printed Acrylic Vertebrae
3D printing or Additive Manufacturing is slowly, but certainly changing the world for the better, and shortening the time-to-market. In the world of medicine, shortening that ‘time to market’ literally means saving lives. There are numerous theoretical examples where 3D printing could save lives, and we have now witnessed three surgeries where the technology moved patients from their death beds to recovery rooms and regular life. Only over the past 12 months, we started to see doctors using 3D printed vertebrae to help their patients. First two operations happened in China, on two separate patients. A 12-year old was operated in August 2014, while a 21-year old cancer patient was operated
Johns Hopkins Will Use Apple Watch, ResearchKit For Upcoming Epilepsy Study
According to Apple Insider, the Johns Hopkins’ ResearchKit study will utilize the health capabilities of Apple Watch for their upcoming pilepsy study with emphasis on seizure prediction. This marks one of the coolest ways to use this gadget from the Cuppertino based tech company. Event though Apple Watch hasn’t seen stellar sales numbers, its use is fairly well-known and studies like this could prove to be a valuable tool in health applications like this. In a nutshell, the Johns Hopkins University entered in a partnership with developer Thread Research, where they will harness Apple Watch and iPhone sensors to power an ambitious ResearchKit study on
Intel Invests in CareDX, Biotech Molecular Diagnostics Company
According to the company tagline “Personalized Treatment Surveillance. Better Outcomes.” CareDX, Inc. is a molecular diagnostic company which is known for its AlloMap service that monitors patients with heart transplants. Current focus is on expanding the AlloMap line of blood-test products with cfDNA for Heart and cfDNA Kidney – potentially changing the lives of millions of transplant patients worldwide. Key of the company is ‘gene expression profiling,’ using the best of semiconductor industry to analyze blood cells on a molecular level, in order to identify gene activity in various types of blood cells. By building patient maps, doctors can research and predict how a patient is reacting to treatment, inflammation