Virtual Worlds vs Virtual Reality

What is the difference between a virtual world, and virtual reality?

A virtual world is a fake place you can visit. Virtual reality is an immersive way of experiencing virtual worlds.

The difference between virtual worlds vs virtual reality is kind of like the difference between a web page and colour monitors. A virtual world, like a web page, is a container of content. A VR headset, like a colour monitor, is a way of looking at content.

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Introducing Idoru.js

idoru.js is an experiment I’m working on with artificial characters in virtual worlds. The idea is that to provide good “user experience” (UX) in a virtual world, a character must have good “stage presence” to stimulate engagement.

The idea is to create a framework for an artificial character that is charming and attentive to the user. This character can then be “dressed up” with any imaginable avatar. It can be given any “job” that anyone cares to script.

A screenshot of the very first prototype of idoru.js - with a rudimentary avatar and chatbot.
First idoru.js experiment.

A good suit and deep knowledge are not enough to make a person engaging in the real world. A person needs body language. A person needs to be attentive to the person they are engaging. They need to make eye contact. They need to interact with a person’s personal space in a thoughtful, polite way.

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Immersive Media – the biggest media revolution since audio

Cave Paintings - early static mediaIn the beginning, there were cave paintings. And with that, mankind moved into an age where thoughts could be shared with others, in the absence of the original thinker. Mankind had invented static media.

Then, not long ago, mankind invented dynamic media. Audio. Movies. Video. Streaming media. Call it what you will, it differed from static media in that it had an element of time. One second worth of content takes one second. Most unlike static media, which is timeless. Continue reading “Immersive Media – the biggest media revolution since audio”

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Augmented Reality, Pop-up Books and Gardening

I saw an item in the news today about Google contemplating using augmented reality (AR) to turn old-school paper books into dynamic pop-up books.

http://techxplore.com/news/2016-03-google-envisions-delivery-ar-elements.html

An illustration of Google's idea for using augmented reality to create virtual pop-up booksThis is a fascinating idea. Physical media are part of the real world. If you can augment reality, you can also augment physical media. This would give you augmented physical media. Continue reading “Augmented Reality, Pop-up Books and Gardening”

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Direct-to-retina imaging – VR in the real world?

Could glasses, that exist today and project images of actual reality directly onto the retina, eventually evolve into a vehicle for allowing VR to be experienced without shutting out the outside world?

New glasses project images directly onto retina with a mini-laser

I for one have wondered what will be the future of VR goggles. It seems clear (pardon the pun) that until we can free our heads from the giant headsets that have to block out the real world, so that we can see the virtual world, we won’t be able to blur the lines between real reality, and virtual reality, to any great degree. Continue reading “Direct-to-retina imaging – VR in the real world?”

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