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Have you ever gone shopping for furniture and all you want is to see how that new sofa will look in your house? This is possible with Google’s augmented reality technology (AR).

Introducing Google’s Augmented Reality Technology

The tech power house has announced updates to its AR and virtual reality (VR) technologies at its I/O developers’ conference the previous week. The update includes details of a new AR phone and VR support for Google’s yet-to-be-released Android operating system.

Google’s augmented reality tech is all about the introduction of digital enhancements to the already-existing reality. For instance, a navigation application that makes use of augmented reality can give its users access to the street in front of them through their smartphones or mobile devices while being guided to their destination by a virtual arrow floating on screen.

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Tango, a project that is considered the foundation of Google’s augmented reality technology on mobile aims to give mobile phones powerful AR abilities through the working together of different factors like wide-angle camera lens, infrared projectors, and special motion sensors to get an accurate reading of the outside world. Those who got on board early enough using Tango include furniture stores such as US hardware store Lowe’s.

AR can be used by consumers to assist them in a lot of things. A good example is shopping for furniture. With AR, the user will just have to point their phones at the place where they want that new sofa or table and the tech makes it possible for them to test out that sofa or table on the empty space. They can see firsthand how it looks and fits in their home and even adjust the item’s position and color.

 

 

Google is also looking beyond AR as it develops its own mobile virtual reality system called Daydream. Contrary to how AR works, virtual reality brings about an entire virtual world for the user and this is usually made possible with the use of VR goggles or headsets. It is possible for the user’s movement in the real world to be simulated in the virtual world.

Google’s yet-to-be-launched version of its mobile operating system, Android N will come with it a VR support, which will be installed directly into the system. An updated YouTube app is also installed through which users can find videos to immerse themselves in.

Another new feature, VR Mode, can be found in Android N. It provides games and apps that make use of virtual reality technology. Things that come with Daydream include a hand-held controller and headset. These devices are due to be out soon, and Google has released a reference for design for manufacturers and also manufacturing its own version of the headset and controller. For a smooth VR experience on Daydream, phones will have to be equipped with the necessary sensors and displays.

Watch the video below

AR / VR - Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Projects - YouTube

The post Here’s What You Need to Know About Google’s Augmented Reality Technology appeared first on VR Life.

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Virtual reality is far immersive than anything ever created in the technology world. And it is expanding at a very rapid rate. There is a growing number of people who prefer virtual reality to the real world. To them the real world is a boring depressing environment unlike a virtual one.

In the last one year, there has been a tremendous boost in the applications of virtual reality. Numerous industries are finding more uses of the new technology. VR has been used in video gaming, the health sector, education, and the porn industry.

Major Companies Behind VR

Companies like Facebook, Google, HTC, and Sony are also leaping into the virtual reality industry. Facebook bought Oculus for a large amount of money and they didn’t stop there. They have released a rookie VR that allows users to insert their friend into selfies.

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Humans experience a lot of sorrows and troubles in their lifetime and they need to forget all these. There is the constant need for entertainment and transportation to other worlds. This is one of the major reasons people are drawn to arts and literature.

Virtual reality answers this demand in an even more satisfactory and immersive manner. No one knows the limit of how far virtual reality can go, as it is still a relatively new technology. It can be combined with other sensory stimuli to bring about a more immersive experience. Some virtual realities make use of large fans to simulate a windy environment, while some VRs make use of aromas and scents to further immerse users into virtual environments.

And it isn’t stopping there. It is only just beginning. The possible modifications and future enhancements would surely be mind-blowing.

Applications of Virtual Reality

The most popular of all the applications of virtual reality is video gaming. Most virtual reality headsets on the market are for use by gamers. Some video games like Surgeon Simulator are now available on VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. There are some games made exclusively for VR. There is nothing like being in the cockpit of a fighter jet and blasting enemy planes away in VR.

 

Apart from gaming, another one of the most important applications of virtual reality is in fields like sports, science, education, military training, media, business, tourism, and fashion.

Before surgeries are actually performed, they can be simulated. The 3D models of the patient’s body can be constructed from CAT scans and ultrasound. The virtual models can be utilized by both amateur and professional surgeons to determine the safest and most efficient methods of conducting surgeries.

The military has different VR simulators, which are used to train soldiers before they are deployed to the battlefield. Games like Unity 3D and Virtual Battlespace 2 are used to prepare troops for combat.

The Google Cardboard has a lot of useful VR applications for education. Other platforms like the Oculus Rift are not left out as they also have engaging educational VR apps. Virtual reality is more immersive and engaging for students and provides faster modes of learning.

There are some more little-known practical applications of virtual reality too.

VR could be used to develop the art of public speaking. An app for the Oculus Rift puts users in a room packed full of people. The user addresses the audience while the app evaluates the user and lets them knows their flaws. The app is dynamic as audience size and attitude can be adjusted.

And coming to the sometimes-infamous area of sex, virtual reality has a variety of usage in the sex business. Virtual porn now exists, some virtual reality porn even allows couples to perform in virtual threesomes. VR gender swap now exists. Forbes even predicts the evolution of VR sex robots.

The question of how far VR would go is a very wide one and as with technology, no one can tell for sure. There would be many who would prefer the virtual world to the real world and would not want to leave the virtual world for anything. Some are already addicted to video games and VR addiction could be more deadly.

There is even a very interesting combination of VR and 3-D-printed food.

There are some out there who need to stop imbibing too much VR and actually experience the physical world for themselves. But companies who make much money from VR wouldn’t want this.

Watch the video below

Man's reaction to virtual reality rollercoaster prank is quite extreme!!! - YouTube

The post Applications of Virtual Reality: 3-D Food Printing and More appeared first on VR Life.

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John Howard and Sebastien Motte were asked about the future post-smartphone computing innovation, and the technology industry veterans were happy to shed more light concerning holographic interfaces and mixed reality.

Industry Veterans Introduces Mixed Reality Computing Through LOOOK

The ex-Microsoft employees—Howard, a former Microsoft HoloLens creative director, and Motte, the former head of Xbox first-party business development—are such great believers in mixed-reality computing and left Microsoft to set up their own business. The end result of parting with Microsoft is their launch of LOOOK, a holographic mixed reality design and development studio based in Seattle.

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The studio, which has worked together with France-based Asobo Studio, a studio that’s been independently developing content for the HoloLens in the past few years, will provide things like application development services for businesses and prototyping. It’s also come along at a time mostly needed, entering into a slipstream being filled up with other studios, companies, and technologies racing to take advantage of the possibilities built in mixed reality.

Magic Leap, a secretive Florida-based company, is an example of companies focused on mixed reality with its HoloLens-like device. The said device has drawn so much investment funding and is currently valued at around $4 billion.

Few days ago, a set of VR industry veterans, who previously worked with DreamWorks Animation, launched a young VR and mixed reality company. Named SPACES, the mixed reality studio is currently working for companies like Microsoft and NBCUniversal on content. Impressively enough, they were able to raise $3 million in its initial funding guided by Comcast Ventures.

 

 

More About LOOOK

The three Os that formed the new company’s logo is an unending loop. Motte, a Kundalini yoga teacher, says a symbol of the “third eye” represents the O in the middle—the sources of creativity and intuition, which also addresses the creation of application and content that LOOOK wants to be a part of.

“Microsoft is really a platform company,” says Motte. He said this by way of giving details of how LOOOK was created by him and Howard.

“The content is there to drive the platform, but there’s only so much the content guys at Microsoft can do. We decided that the only way to make happen what we want to see happen is to go out on our own, where we wouldn’t have to seek approval of budgets and all that. It’s like in the gaming industry, where being indie has a lot to do with being in charge of your own destiny.”

Motte and Howard had a front-row seat at Microsoft for a few rise and forward shifts in consumer computing behavior. During Motte’s time with the Microsoft company, as stated in his LinkedIn profile, he helped the company launch and manage the Age of Empires franchise and other PC games for first party. He was fully involved in the content strategy and acquisitions of action/adventure and as well led the MMO games for the launch of the Xbox. He also led a team of worldwide business development that responsible for first-party Xbox games, and discussed partnerships with consumer brands and independent games studios for Microsoft Studios entertainment content exclusive to platforms like HoloLens and Xbox LIVE, among other platforms.

In mixed reality, users interact and see with interplay of practical and real-world environments. Within the facts that surround LOOOK, the team will collaborate with clients and work out where mixed reality applications can solve a particular need or their workflows.

“That will transform how we work and play going forward.”

Watch the video below

Microsoft HoloLens: Developers Imagine the Future of Holographic Computing - YouTube

The post LOOOK: Holographic Computing Welcomes You to the Future appeared first on VR Life.

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Immersive 360-degree videos are the rage now. These videos have been shot with special circular camera arrays that record the entire panoramic view from a particular fixed point. Viewers can click and drag to adjust the viewpoint and view the object from as many angles as they desire as the video plays back.

360fly, a Pittsburgh-based company, launched the a spherical camera with a single lens at CES 2014, the 360fly. The 360fly camera provides the viewer with a sharper 360-degree, stitchless, high-resolution 4K version with a subtle hint at virtual reality.

It’s worth noting, however, that these 360-degree videos are not part of virtual reality regardless of the close relationship between the two. Viewing 360-degree videos through a virtual reality headset will make you feel you are in an alternate reality, but the video seems to lack depth and realism to make it as believable. In other words, it is lower tech than full-on virtual reality, albeit still an immersive technology that everyone can appreciate.

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More on the 360fly Camera

The 360fly camera is packed with notable features that will help you produce stunning 360-degree videos and get the best out of your 360 camera rig. Smartphones are being created now to support HD 360-degree video playback. The 360fly camera does cone with some attractive features of its own. With it, you can can also take traditional 2-D photos and videos at 16:9 aspect ratio and 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution.

The camera is water resistant (for depths not below 10 meters) and the internal memory for storing recorded videos has doubled from 32GB to 64GB. It offers 1.5 hours of continuous recording for absolute viewing experience. The 4K camera upgraded their resolution to 2880 x 2880 pixels at 30fbs and the camera has new sensors, an e-compass, GPS, and gyroscope. You can track altitude and speed and overlay this on to video. The camera is absolutely breathtaking.

The Big Names Behind the Development of 360-Degree Videos

The company behind the 360fly camera isn’t the only one jumping into the 360-degree videos craze. Google is also one of the ardent promoters of the project and have developed its own jump camera solution that consists of 16 camera modules arranged in a circular array. Facebook is also venturing into creating its own 360-degree camera and adopting a new video technology while offering a new unique perspective on the world.

Despite all the advancements that have been made, the technology still has a long way to go to be compelling. But the wonderful thing is, you don’t need expensive gears like camera systems to create 360-degree videos. These clips work in three ways: capture, stitch, and playback.

 

 

Capture is using multiple cameras, with overlapping fields of view to record an entire 360 x 180 degrees field. Stitching is turning the individual videos into a single, high-resolution, and seamless panoramic video. Play is remapping the 360-degree video that is delivered as regular video file or stream to show only the entire field of view the user is looking at.

The examples of cameras that can be used to capture each view and blend them into a 360-degree panorama include the Samsung Gear VR camera, LG 360 cam, Picoh Theta, and a couple of others that are doing pretty well on the marketplace.
Livit is a streaming app that can live-stream 360-degree videos, but because it is achieved over 4G networks via phone, the resolution that you’d get is limited.

 

Watch the video below

The post 360-Degree Videos Will Soon Take Over the World appeared first on VR Life.

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EyeSight has carved a niche for itself and established a name over the past few years by bringing gesture control to some computer platforms like mobile devices and smart eyeglasses. The company’s latest announcement brings its technology to virtual reality—a format that makes the most sense as it will propel this technology to new heights.

EyeSight Brings Virtual Reality to Phones with New Software

The company is keeping mum over details of the project, but according to a spokesperson, the proprietary nature of the technology won’t make EyeSight divulge the specifics. However, the virtual reality being introduced now is a software innovation that makes use of smartphone cameras to bring virtual reality to phones. The technology is towing along the lines of the Google Cardboard.

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The innovation does not need any additional hardware, as it makes use of the phone’s CMOS sensors. The startup from Israel has made some simple functionalities known through a YouTube video. And with the little tutorials available there, you can get to know more about these new functions.

 

 

All of this is still in its development stages, but EyeSight mentioned it had plans to consider working with developers on the SDK in “the near future.” When asked for an explanation on what the company is offering part from their latest activities in bringing motion controls to virtual reality, the company’s CEO, Gideon Shmuel, said, “[We] designed our computer vision to provide more engaging interactions with VR using finger movements that are natural and intuitive to the user. By delivering gesture control solutions that are embedded, we enable touch-free interactions for VR without any hardware additions or modifications needed, while we are further working to deliver immersive touch-free control with 3D sensors that are both embedded or computer powered.”

Hopefully, in the near future, a more immersive demo will be provided for our perusal.

Virtual reality technology will continue to see new and fresh innovative ideas like this one, and this is what will ultimately continue pushing the limits and breaking barriers. And in a short period of time, we will start to see more and more amazing capabilities.

Watch the video below

eyeSight Gesture Control for Smartphone-Powered VR - YouTube

The post EyeSight Unveils VR Gesture Demo with Standard Phone Hardware appeared first on VR Life.

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VR technology is now used in a lot of ways. It is everywhere and is known to everyone. It’s not only for gamers. Now even marketers are now incorporating VR technology to promote their products.

VR Technology as a Marketing Tool in Today’s World

One good example is Nintendo. You just need to go into the streets these days and make something of a general inquiry from the public, of course, of what the Nintendo brand is all about and you would be amazed to see that nearly all of them, if not all, would have something to say. The age bracket does not matter, whether they are the game-loving twelve-year-old kids or even aging parents, you would most likely always get a yes when you ask them whether or not they have heard about or used a product of the Nintendo brand. This is not down to luck or some inexplicable reasons but is mostly due to the fact that the company, Nintendo, is a world-class when it comes to the type of marketing strategies that it employs, making it a force to be reckoned with in every household now and a name that rings a bell in every mind all around the world.

Nintendo: How It All Started

Recalling as far back as the year 1995, the world gaming and technology giant who could do no wrong launched into a venture of the virtual reality rig under the name Virtual Boy. It should be noted that at that time, Virtual Boy was the first of such commercially available virtual reality rigs, and it turned out to be a major failure for the Nintendo brand.

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 The failure mostly came from reasons such as poor displays, which could give you headaches, single color/ spectrum displays, and the like. What was peddled as, and should have gone on to be, gaming technology’s future turned out to be a major fall for the gaming giants. It suffered so much failure that Nintendo put wraps on the program just within the first year of starting it in the first place.     This move disappointed a lot of lovers of technology who had been expecting a ground-breaking discovery in the world of gaming only to be let down by the purely packaged concept of virtual reality. They had no means to relive what they had seen in all those glamorous science fiction movies and they had to resort to pushing those kinds of hopes to the shadows of their minds, leaving it as just fiction. It was not to remain so for much longer, though, as a just a little over two decades later, the entire script changed.

Partnerships and Collaborations

Oculus Rift and HTC are now in a partnership to see that VR launched in the ’90s but ended up failing are restarted, now that the world is at a better technological pace to handle such. Although expensive for now and geared toward the gaming industry mainly too, number of brands including Facebook have already started to show interest in what could be the newest way to market goods and products.


Marketers are considering the fact that these specific VR technologies feature the art of motion, which can enable customers to move around a defined space and even touch things, making it awesome for product advertising. The VR technology also helps to collect user data from each customer’s experience, which would help them determine the impact of every one of their adverts. That is really one interesting future to look at for marketers now.

Watch the video below

Virtual reality set to take off in 2016, researcher says - YouTube
 

The post VR Technology: The New Face of Marketing appeared first on VR Life.

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Say, you’re playing a game that has you on edge, maybe something really scary like The Brookhaven Experiment, and someone suddenly taps on your shoulder to get your attention. The effect can be quite jarring, and it will most likely get your heart pumping pretty hard.

Valve Corporation has thought of this possibility and found it to be an issue for a considerable number of users. As a solution, Valve launched the Knock Knock feature.

Valve Introduces ‘Knock Knock’ Feature for Steam Users

One of the aspects of virtual reality that newcomers find very difficult to overcome is how isolating it can be, both socially and for your actual senses. Once your VR headset and headphones are strapped on, you’ve completely blocked out the real world, so it’s hard for someone in that real world to get your attention. Of course, they can try yelling at you or tapping you on the shoulder, they might, however, not get through to you. Or even worse, they will end up freaking the hell out of you.

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To solve this problem, Valve has launched a new feature called Knock Knock in the most recent beta build of Steam VR. Knock Knock will enable people in the real world room you’re in to get your attention without giving you a heart attack. At the press of a button, Knock Knock will send a quick alert to the headset user. The alert appears on screen in the same way that regular Steam messages pop up; messages appear at the bottom of the player’s field of view and you have to look down to read the message.

 

 

Outside Disturbance in the Face of Full Immersion

Even though virtual reality hardware is now in the hands of consumers, we’re still a long way from perfection. Developers are still trying to figure out how to best use the mechanics, while the hardware and platform designers are still figuring out best practices for comfortable VR experiences. A lot is being said about how VR requires low latency response and high framerates, along with the benefits (read: necessity) of low persistence displays. When all these pieces of the puzzle are complete in a system, it’s easy to get lost in the virtual world and forget about your real surroundings. This is of course great for becoming immersed in the content, but when someone outside of VR wants your attention, it can be a problem.

How to Get Knock Knock

In order to access Knock Knock, you will have to opt in to the SteamVR beta for now, although the feature will eventually make its way to the regular release channel. To join the beta, locate SteamVR in the Tools section of your Steam Library. Then under the Beta tab in SteamVR properties, select Beta – SteamVR Beta Update and click Close. A key is not needed for the beta.

Once the beta update is downloaded by SteamVR, open it and right click on the HMD icon. The Knock Knock can be found directly above the Mirror mode option, and when you click on it, a window opens up with the Knock Knock button. If someone wants to get your attention, all they need to do is click on that button.

Knock Knock is available now if you opt into the SteamVR beta.

Watch the video below

Knock-Knock, Ready Or Not, Here I Come - YouTube

The post Knock Knock: Steam VR Introduces New Feature One Can Use to Get VR Player’s Attention appeared first on VR Life.

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Disney hasn’t been in the publishing front for a while and their support for Disney Infinity may have waned, but the PC gaming market is where their interests lie now. They have recently launched a new fee application that lets VR users into the very large Disney media universe—the Disney Movies VR.

Everything About the Disney Movies VR

According to Engadget, the free app Disney Movies VR has launched recently on Steam. All it needs is a VR headset, a PC with at least Core i5 and 3GB of HD space, 8GB RAM, and probably a controller. For the GPU, you’ll need at least an AMD R9 290 or GTX 970. The system has to be of high specifications. With the app, you’ll be able to have the experience of some of the movie magic from the Walt Disney Studios.

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A collection of short movie segments is available for users to go through via a VR head mounted display unit. Some of these segments contain clips from the movie Captain America and also a scene from the Jungle Book and even some parts of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In one of the clips, users are seen going on a run through the Star Destroyer on Jakku from the most recent Star Wars movie, while another clip shows BB-8 stringing up itself so as to be stable while in the Millennium Falcon.

The concept of the Disney Movies VR app is different and brings a cool feel in the way it makes users experience VR without heavy instrument. However, there haven’t been much positive feedback on the app so far.

 

 

There have been different complaints about the app, giving it a mixed rating of sorts. Some users say that the absence of 3-D positional tracking doesn’t give unlimited interactive experience and they easily got dizzy and nauseous from other apps that aren’t more than 360-degree panoramic shots. It is believed that it’s easy to get motion sickness using virtual reality headsets due to the fact that your eyes make it look like you’re moving when in truth you actually aren’t moving at all; mixed signals are sent to your brain as it believes that you are moving, resulting in motion sickness.

The automatic panning and forced view isn’t the only problem. The judge and 20fps standard on some videos are what have brought about the most complaints. As known, VR needs to run at least 60fps so that users won’t have experience any kind of sickness (a standard of 20fps is enough to make anybody sick). This reason is one of the reasons why Sony has made it a point of note that no product must run under 60fps if it would be run on the PlayStation VR. Sony also offers a special optical frame buffer to make the interstitial frames double so that the impression that apps are running at 120fps will be given. It’s a device meant to prevent health risks.

In conclusion, the Disney Movies VR app is definitely cool, as it gives VR users something to play around with while spending zero dollars. but the frame-rate issues really need to be fixed for HTC Vive users.

Watch the video below

Disney Movies VR - Virtual Reality Content Platform - YouTube

The post How to Get the Disney Experience Without Moving Around appeared first on VR Life.

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Google has an elaborate plan to launch a virtual reality concept and technology into the world in a way that would be adaptable to one, some, or all the services that it currently provides.

Google Plans to Launch Mass-Friendly VR Program through Daydream Franchise

Right now, the dream that Google has is finally starting to come into reality with the concept of Google Daydream, the virtual reality program the global giant has now already released into the open. The plans Google has on Daydream would not come as much of a surprise to anyone who understands the modus operandi of this brand.

Google is looking to make virtual technology not just mobile but also high quality and equally affordable to those that would want a taste.

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In all of Google’s talk as regards the Daydream franchise, the brand has been making use of the word “presence” generously. Presence is that defining cutting-edge technology that aims to keep users within the realm of virtual reality and prevent them from stepping off. With the immersion into the virtual world being in totality and without effort at all, it would also lead the user to think that they were actually in the places that they were seeing, making it a very wholesome experience.

Google, instead of going into competition with the likes of HTC and Oculus in the game of virtual reality, which they had both defined to a certain extent, has decided to altogether start a new plan for itself, rewriting the rules that so govern the concept of VR, ensuring that they can excel in their own rights.

 

 

Google is undertaking a follow-up of their initial Cardboard development, which was largely successful and giving to this project a very wide virtual reality platform. They have also made this platform so accommodating that not only Google would be able to design for the platform but other third party virtual reality enthusiasts as well.

In the latter part of this year, it is believed that devices that are well capable to launch Daydream services will begin to hit the market, having its hardware and software fully optimized to meet the needs of virtual reality.

An Android N VR Mode would be the platform on which this virtual reality concept would be expressed and interpreted to the smartphone devices. This platform is expected to give sustained performances to chipsets, has head-tracking algorithms to monitor head movement of the user, is equipped with controller support, and has an ability to render into the VR mode incoming calls and messages.

Already, Google has got people waiting by showing to the world what it would be like to access services such as YouTube in the Daydream franchise and has also showed with Unreal Engine 4 games how the controller support sets up. From these sneak peeks, it can be seem that Daydream franchise wishes to bring high-end VR experiences to users.

To make this a much bigger success, Google would be looking to combine the affordability and ease of use that cardboard promises with the great VR headsets such as the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift.

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VR MODE FUNCTION IN Android . - YouTube

The post Google in the Works to Provide the Masses with Cutting-Edge VR appeared first on VR Life.

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Researchers have devised an ingenious way to conduct cross-species brain research on an unprecedented scale. This time, they are building virtual reality worlds where lab animals such as mice and monkeys will set foot in. The lab animals are taken through the virtual environments in video games and the scientists study their brain patterns and activity.

VR Worlds for Mice and Monkeys Built for Research

Neuroscientists usually work with lab rats and other animal models to study the brain, but their findings aren’t always applicable to humans, explained Julio Martinez-Trujillo, who’s based at Western University’s renowned Brain and Mind Institute in London, Ontario. For starters, humans can’t be dropped in a maze like lab rats are; the space required for that kind of endeavor will be the size of a building.

“A challenge in neuroscience is how to bring animal research closer to human research,” Martinez-Trujillo told Motherboard. “We decided to try to solve it by using tools that are available in the video game world.”

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In a recent study, published in Journal of Neuroscience Methods, a team of neuroscientists—including Martinez-Trujillo, Roberto Gulli, and Guillaume Doucet, who are both also affiliated with McGill University—talk about a new virtual reality “toolbox,” which they have designed to be used in building video games and virtual environments. These VR worlds for mice and monkeys will aid brain research in both animals and humans.

Video games and virtual reality have already been used in a limited number of lab animal studies, said Doucet, who has a background in 3-D animation. But in those cases, “the VR was specifically made for mice,” and so the scientists’ findings didn’t really translate to other species. Most neuroscience experiments use MATLAB or Python, he continued. “These are not made for 3D animation or VR experiments, so I created a way to take a video game engine and have scripts that could interface with already existing experiments,” he said.

 

 

Basically they have designed a bridge that will provide the necessary framework to create 360 degree VR environments that will enable an in depth study of animals and humans.

Doucet and his team employed a video game development framework known as Unreal Engine 3, which is used in plenty of big-budget, commercial video games. That’s what “handles the virtual environment,” Doucet said, and makes sure it looks realistic: that a shadow lands in the right place when an object is moved, for example.

“We created a translator, or an interface, between [our] experimental programs, and the video game language that works in the virtual world,” explained Gulli.

While the toolbox hasn’t yet been tried for studies concerning animals and humans, the team has done some work with monkeys, which is still unpublished, Gulli said. “We used the VR toolbox to create an environment in which monkeys had to navigate through a virtual world,” he explained, “and create memories within it.”

As these monkeys explored the maze, they had to look for cues to help them figure out what to do; for example, the colors of the walls might change to tell a monkey to turn left or right.

Monkeys aren’t wearing VR helmets, Gulli said, “although it is programmed in such a way that they could put on [3D] glasses.” Instead, they’re sitting in front of a computer screen and navigating with a (reinforced, monkey-proof) joystick. “It’s pretty intuitive to them,” he added. “They can learn to use these joysticks on the timescale of minutes.”

According to Martinez-Trujillo, they’re hoping to implement a human version of the study soon.

Neuroscientists are still figuring out how humans and other species respond to virtual reality, but research carried out so far in the virtual world does seem to tell us a lot about how we respond to the real world too. Now we’ll be able to know what happens in the brains of lab rats and other species in these environments—and how it compares to humans.

Watch the video below

How Animals See The World - YouTube

The post Virtual Reality Worlds Are Being Built for Mice and Monkeys appeared first on VR Life.

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