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Posts under tag: virtual reality

July 1, 2015

How to make virtual reality less nauseous

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Researchers at Stanford University developed a prototype for a light field stereoscope in an effort to improve virtual-reality focus cues. The images used are standard images with varying degrees of focus in order to imitate natural vision. In real life, when you look at something, your eyes move and the lens in each eye adjusts to bring whatever is in front of you into focus. The idea behind this prototype is to bring two LCD fields into a stack which then is transmitted to each retina providing the illusion of depth and an allowance for the eyes to freely move around and focus on whatever they want in virtual space.  Current stereoscopic vision technology in virtual reality uses a slightly different images for each eye to provide a sense of three dimensional depth. Since the projections are displayed on a two dimensional screen that appear to be in front of you, it can result in nausea and dizziness also known as a vergence-accommodation conflict.

For more information about this research, check out this article from the MIT Technology Review.

February 18, 2015

Bringing Back Binaural Audio for Virtual Reality

Binaural MicrophoneYou’re probably unfamiliar with binaural audio, a technology that dates back all the way to the late 1800s but, for a variety of reasons, fell by the wayside while mono and then stereo sound became audio industry standards. But binaural audio is now experiencing a revival because it’s uniquely suited for a very modern technology: virtual reality.

Binaural recordings are designed to pick up sound exactly the way human ears perceive it. They’re made with specialized equipment: two microphones placed on either side of a stand or dummy head, sometimes embedded inside ear-shaped appendages on that head. The effect is stunning — binaural audio is able to recreate a sound field so the listener feels like they were actually there when the recording was made. The catch is that it only works with headphones, although people are currently working on ways to support external speakers.

For more, check out this article from Polygon.com (and check out the video too; wear headphones as you do)