How Brain Waves Can Control VR Video Games

Virtual reality is still so new that the best way for us to interact within it is not yet clear. One startup wants you to use your head, literally: it’s tracking brain waves and using the result to control VR video games.

Boston-based startup Neurable is focused on deciphering brain activity to determine a person’s intention, particularly in virtual and augmented reality. The company uses dry electrodes to record brain activity via electroencephalography (EEG); then software analyzes the signal and determines the action that should occur.

neurons2

You don’t really have to do anything,” says cofounder and CEO Ramses Alcaide, who developed the technology as a graduate student at the University of Michigan. “It’s a subconscious response, which is really cool.”

Neurable, which raised $2 million in venture funding late last year, is still in the early stages: its demo hardware looks like a bunch of electrodes attached to straps that span a user’s head, worn along with an HTC Vive virtual-reality headset. Unlike the headset, Neurable’s contraption is wireless—it sends data to a computer via Bluetooth. The startup expects to offer software tools for game development later this year, and it isn’t planning to build its own hardware; rather, Neurable hopes companies will be making headsets with sensors to support its technology in the next several years.

Source; https://www.technologyreview.com/
AND
http://neurable.com/

Virtual Images that Blend In And Interact With The Real-World

Avegant, a Silicon Valley startup that sells a pair of headphones equipped with a VR-like portable screen, is breaking into augmented reality. The company today announced that it’s developed a new type of headset technology powered by a so-called light field display.

Avegant ARCLICK ON THE IMAGE TO ENJOY THE VIDEO

The research prototype, which Avegant eventually plans on turning into a consumer product, is based on the company’s previous work with its Glyph projector. That device was a visor of sorts that floats a virtual movie screen in front of your eyes, and developing it gave Avegant insight into how to build an AR headset of its own.

Like Microsoft’s HoloLens and the supposed prototype from secretive AR startup Magic Leap, Avegant’s new headset creates virtual images that blend in and interact with the real-world environment. In a demo, the company’s wired prototype proved to be superior in key ways to the developer version of the HoloLens. Avegant attributes this not to the power of its tethered PC, but to the device’s light field display — a technology Magic Leap also claims to have developed, yet has never been shown off to the public.

The demo I experienced featured a tour of a virtual Solar System, an immersion within an ocean environment, and a conversation with a virtual life-sized human being standing in the same room. To be fair, Avegant was using a tethered and bulky headset that wasn’t all that comfortable, while the HoloLens developer version is a refined wireless device. Yet with that said, Avegant’s prototype managed to expand the field of view, so you’re looking through a window more the size of a Moleskine notebook instead of a pack of playing cards. The images it produced also felt sharper, richer, and more realistic.

In the Solar System demo, I was able to observe a satellite orbiting an Earth no larger than a bocce ball and identify the Big Red Spot on Jupiter. Avegant constructed its demo to show off how these objects could exist at different focal lengths in a fixed environment — in this case a converted conference room at the company’s Belmont, California office. So I was able to stand behind the Sun and squint until the star went out of focus in one corner of my vision and a virtual Saturn and its rings became crystal clear in the distance.

Source: http://www.theverge.com/

Apple Testing Augmented Reality ‘Smart Glasses’

As part of its effort to expand further into wearable devices, Apple is working on a set of smart glasses, reports Bloomberg. Citing sources familiar with Apple‘s plans, the site says the smart glasses would connect wirelessly to the iPhone, much like the Apple Watch, and would display “images and other information” to the wearer. Apple has contacted potential suppliers about its glasses project and has ordered “small quantities” of near-eye displays, suggesting the project is in the exploratory prototyping phase of development. If work on the glasses progresses, they could be released in 2018.

apple-iglass

AR can be really great,” says Tim Cook, CEO of Apple in July. “We have been and continue to invest a lot in this. We’re high on AR in the long run.

Apple‘s glasses sound similar to Google Glass, the head-mounted display that Google first introduced in 2013. Google Glass used augmented reality and voice commands to allow users to do things like check the weather, make phone calls, and capture photographs. Apple‘s product could be similar in functionality. The glasses may be Apple‘s first hardware product targeted directly at AR, one of the people said. Cook has beefed up AR capabilities through acquisitions. In 2013, Apple bought PrimeSense, which developed motion-sensing technology in Microsoft Corp.’s Kinect gaming system. Purchases of software startups in the field, Metaio Inc. and Flyby Media Inc., followed in 2015 and 2016.

Google Glass was highly criticized because of privacy concerns, and as a result, it never really caught on with consumers. Google eventually stopped developing Google Glass in January of 2015. It is not clear how Apple would overcome the privacy and safety issues that Google faced, nor if the project will progress, but Apple CEO Tim Cook has expressed Apple‘s deep interest in augmented reality multiple times over the last few months, suggesting something big is in the works.

Past rumors have also indicated Apple is exploring a number of virtual and augmented reality projects, including a full VR headset. Apple has a full team dedicated to AR and VR research and how the technologies can be incorporated into future Apple products. Cook recently said that he believes augmented reality would be more useful and interesting to people than virtual reality.

Source: http://www.macrumors.com/

Tesla’s Competitor Faraday Future Presents Its Electric Car

A car firm hoping to disrupt the auto industry has shown off its first concept vehicle at the CES tech show (Las Vegas). Faraday Future said its battery-powered FFZero1 would project information over the driver’s view and include a smartphone dock in its steering wheel. The firm highlighted, however, that the modular basis of its design meant it could easily reconfigure the elements to create other types of electric vehicles including pick-up trucks.
The company – which is backed by the Chinese internet TV provider LeTV – said it was on course to deliver its first production vehicle in two years’ time. Its research chief Nick Sampson – who was formerly an engineer at rival electric car-maker Tesla – suggested his firm was able to move faster than others thanks to its adoption of “variable production architecture“. He explained this meant it would use the same basic underlying structure on all its vehicles, adapting it to include anywhere from one to four motors, battery packs of various sizes, different types of wheelbases and other optional parts.

faraday future electric car

The internet-connected 1,000-horsepower FFZero1 incorporates several ambitious elements including:
– The ability to top 200mph (321 kph) and accelerate from zero to 60mph in less than three seconds
– A helmet that provides oxygen and water to the driver
– “Aero tunnels” that channel air through the vehicle to reduce drag and cool the batteries
– A multi-touch screen interface and augmented reality views projected onto the road ahead

The car’s obviously very radical but that’s what concepts are all about,” commented Thilo Koslowski from the tech consultancy Gartner. “I think Faraday has a good understanding of what it has to do in order to be successful. But we will have to see if it will be successful. I can tell you that the established vehicle manufacturers are not standing still either.

Scott Evans, associate editor at the Motor Trend news site, was more doubtful: “Faraday Future claims to be disrupting the industry and completely rethinking the car, but is promising stuff everyone else is doing,” he tweeted.
Source: http://www.bbc.com/

Futuristic Vision Of Fashion

In the September issue of Vogue, the magazine for rich and beautiful people, 12 pages are dedicated to Google glass, the high-tech spectacles. This article titled “The Final Frontier” offers “a futuristic vision of fashion,” and free advertising for Google.
Vogue September 2013
In the first pages model Raquel Zimmermann wears a pair of the charcoal -colored $1,500 glasses

The features of the glass are impressive and located in the right earpiece attached to the frame: a nanocomputer with memory and a processor, a camera, speaker and microphone, Bluetooth and wi-fi antennas, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass and a battery. All inside the earpiece. Of course the final objective is that eventually, Glass will have a cellular radio, with online capabilities; hooked up wirelessly with your phone for an online connection.

The Google glass is catching eyes in the fashion world. At last year’s New York Fashion week in September, models at the Diane von Furstenberg event walked the catwalk with the glasses on.
They are many different companies around the world competing with Google to produce similar glasses. Let’s mention the US companies Microsoft and Apple. We label these devices with the generic appellation quantglass as each one has a very different mark.

Source: http://www.quantglass.com
AND
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QuantGlass
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http://vogue.com

Google’s vision of augmented reality

If you venture into a coffee shop in the coming months and see someone with a pair of futuristic glasses that look like a prop from “Star Trek,” don’t worry. It’s probably just a Google employee testing the company’s new augmented-reality glassesGoogle company is the last to declare its interest for augmented reality. Apple with its nanocomputer iLens one year ago, Microsoft lately, and the American Army (DARPA) secretely, have been  working hard in this specific research field. In a a post shared on Google Plus, employees in the Google company laboratory known as Google X, including Babak Parviz, Steve Lee and Sebastian Thrun, asked people for input about the prototype of Project Glass

Click to enjoy the video demonstration.

 We’re sharing this information now because we want to start a conversation and learn from your valuable input,” the three employees wrote. “Please follow along as we share some of our ideas and stories. We’d love to hear yours, too. What would you like to see from Project Glass?”

 

See more on DARPA, Apple and Microsoft projects:
http://www.nanocomputer.com/?p=1703
http://www.nanocomputer.com/?p=1512
http://www.nanocomputer.com/?page_id=563

Augmented Reality

Microsoft and the University of Washington are in the final stages of development for a new augmented reality project that may change the way people see the world. Early last year, the duo announced that they were working on an augmented reality contact lens. The lens could be used to enhance human vision like normal contact lenses, but it could also augment a person’s vision with digital information. Microsoft claims that the project will show just how practical augmented reality really is. 

Augmented reality is commonly used in the marketing and gaming fields. The technology has, thus far, been considered little more than a novelty. Most mobile devices equipped with AR browsers are used to find directions to certain locations or to find deals at local retail stores. Microsoft says that their AR lens will be much more practical, as it will give wearers tools that are not found in mobile devices.
The lens is equipped with facial recognition technology, which allows users to find information on a specific person, such as name and age. The lens will also be able to interface with Windows platforms and other mobile devices, allowing users to access information stored in computers in, literally, the blink of an eye.

 

The project is in its final stages. The lens has been tested on rabbits and is expected to move to human testing within the next few months.

Source: http://www.hitl.washington.edu/artoolkit/

Let's remind that APPLE has last year produced already a first prototype of Nanocomputer iLens : http://www.nanocomputer.com/?page_id=563