Valve Thinks Of Augmented Reality Goggles

Major gaming industry company Valve (famous for all time classics Half-Life, Counter-Strike and Portal) is working towards augmented reality solutions.

There is no official project yet, but in different interviews key people like Gabe Newell and Michael Abrash discussed the future of gaming, mentioning that Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality goggles (similar to Google Glasses) are logical evolvement of consoles.

Everything goes mobile, so do games. And while we can have games on our mobile phones, they are not so comfortable and easy to play. Michael Abrash thinks that augmented reality (AR) games and apps via goggles will have a visible domination in 3-5 years already.

Valve Augmented Reality Logo

And virtual reality (VR) even sooner. Reason for this is simple – it is easier to create completely new universe, than combine two in real-time. Main problem is tracking of the user position. Imagine, you see the building wall and AR app puts a billboard on it. Now, when you move (even your head), billboard should remain there and distort properly. Otherwise, illusion is broken.

This is something even harder, than Google’s project. Their Glasses initially display augmented object “in the air” or with “real world stitch precision” sufficient for normal smartphone use. But games usually require much better reality emulation.

VR for the time you are sitting on your sofa and AR to provide additional information, while you are on the street.

Another good point from Michael is about convergence of AR and VR. Future devices should ideally have both options. VR for the time you are sitting on your sofa and AR to provide additional information, while you are on the street. Sounds reasonable.

Let’s hope, Valve really has something in the pocket and will tease us from time to time. Just imagine Half-Life 3 using augmented reality technologies. Tetris will also be ok for a first step.

Virtual Astral Projection

Ever wanted to feel the wind of Everest? Or maybe heat of the blow, while helping teammates to fight the enemy? Soon, in every household 🙂

Folks from the Ikei Laboratory of Tokyo Metropolitan University are developing a virtual body technology, which fools not only your vision and hearing, but also emulate smells, wind breeze and movements. It has been unveiled at the Digital Contents Expo 2012 in Tokyo last October and consists of a special chair, helmet and some weird cables 🙂

Virtual Astral Projection

To speak frankly, system does not allow input (at least at the moment). You have to relax and enjoy someone else’s feelings and not everyone can accept it. You are in other person’s body, so it is more like watching an “extra 3D movie” (these cinemas have funny names like 4D, 5D, 5D etc.), than playing a game yourself and control the result.

Or, it can be called a “virtual astral projection” as you kind of inhabit another person’s body, though cannot do any silly things.

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