Most realize that virtual reality and augmented reality will revolutionize computing, gaming and many more industries. So it’s no surprise that a company like Magic Leap is generating a ton of buzz.
The focus of Magic Leap involves virtual reality overlaid on the real world in a manner is called mixed reality. In a mixed reality world, objects are aware of their environment and can interact with the “real” world. The results are stunning and the potential is mind-boggling.
The company has not released a prototype yet, let alone an actual product, yet it has already raised $1.4 billion from a who’s who of Silicon Valley VCs and companies. Expect to hear much more about the company and its technology in the months and years to come.
The video raises the question of whether stand-up comedy will be a fit for virtual reality. It may not seem like the best fit, but wouldn’t it be cool if we could figure out a way to have us sitting in the front row for a classic comedy concert, maybe with a hologram of Eddie Murphy or Chris Rock?
Considering that the average person can pull out a device smaller than their hand and access the collective general knowledge of the world, and that a group of above average people managed to shoot a remotely operated vehicle on a planet hundreds of millions of miles away, it takes a lot for a new technological idea to make you take notice.
But that is the case with Ikei Laboratory’s Virtual Body Technology, as it explores that age old fascinating concept of virtual reality in an exciting and new way, where the user is allowed to see, hear, smell, and feel what another person would be seeing, hearing, smelling and feeling in a completely different part of the world.
It’s not quite stepping into someone else’s shoes, especially as the avatar isn’t real and the experience is predetermined, but what’s impressive is the sheer set up of the device, which revolves around a motion capable chair facing a 3D monitor, surrounded by fans that simulate smells and sensations (like the wind), while the user wears a pair of high quality headphones and fits themselves into a foot rig that’s motion and vibration can simulate walking and running. It’s extremely comprehensive in recreating genuine physical experiences.
Honestly, this kind of thing has been around for a while, and is even used in high-tech movie theaters and theme parks as an attraction. This design is slightly different though in how many sensations and experiences it can recreate and, more importantly, how accurately it can recreate them. Even with all of our technological advancements, virtual reality is still an idea that eludes us in the classic sense of the term, but this device is a practical step forward in closing in on the idea.
Right now the main motivation behind the device is to allow elderly people who may be unable to do so traditionally the chance to explore new places in the most complete way possible. However, it is also capable of scenarios like recreating the sensation of running like world champion Usain Bolt. In other words, it has the potential to provide a uniquely entertaining experience for anyone who straps themselves in.
Well, unless they choose the Jay Cutler simulator.