USC Virtual Reality Lab Bringing the VR Future Today

uscvrstage.0Readers of the Videoguys blog know we've taken a keen interest into Virtual Reality and the impact it will have on the future of content creation and consumption. In this article The Verge gives us a peak inside the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies VR lab where tomorrow's VR technoligies are becoming a reality. They're using body and motion sensors, drones, VR headsets and more for VR solutions that initialy will have military apllications, but as with all technology, eventually trickle down to consumers.
The Verge by Adi Robertson

Inside USC’s crazy experimental VR lab

How the Institute for Creative Technologies tries to create our virtual future Even by virtual reality’s usual standards, the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies is taking things a little over the top.

“You’re gonna see this drone fly up,” warns Todd Richmond, IEEE fellow and director of advanced prototype development. In ICT’s warehouse-like Los Angeles lab, he’s indicating a brand-new miniature quadcopter, which researchers are just starting to put through its paces. From inside a head-mounted display, though, the drone is a hovering sphere in a nearly featureless virtual landscape. I move towards it, balancing the massive headset and trying to keep glowing elastic bands from slipping off my shoes. It drifts away. “It’ll always be two meters from your face, so you can never actually touch it,” he says. That simple floating ball requires the kind of hardware that’s rarely seen outside science fiction movies. The setup starts with a square patch of tracking cameras above our heads, safely buffered from the plastic storage tubs and old electronics that line the walls. The cameras can tell that I’m chasing a drone (and tell the drone to get away from me) because we’re both covered in LED markers. The quadcopter’s are fixed to its top, and mine are placed all over my body: two strapped onto my feet, two on a pair of fingerless neoprene gloves, one on a large black belt, a few on the large metal horns that jut up from my heavy virtual reality headset. There’s a high-powered computer in a pack on my back. "The one thing we do need to do is — we need a web shooter out of the gloves," jokes Richmond. read more...

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