Immersive 3D: ‘Please touch’ coming soon?

Tom Marcinko @ 28-08-2008

immaterialteapotThe ability to touch and manipulate 3D images is key to the future of interactive entertainment, not to mention every other episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Now two UC-Santa Barbara researchers say they’ve built a prototype room-sized 3D display using projectors, a user-tracking system, and two FogScreens, which produce 2D images using microscopic water droplets and ultrasound.

To achieve the 3D effect, the same image is rendered on two overlapping screens at different depths. Users’ head positions are tracked since the 2D images on each screen depend on the user’s viewing direction. The system computes the image alignment in real time, and users see a single, fused 3D image where the screens overlap.

But a room-sized DFD [depth-fused 3D] still presents technical challenges for researchers. For instance, the fog from two FogScreens can bleed through and disrupt each other, air conditioners and open doors can cause turbulence that interferes with the image quality, and alignment and tracking errors can occur because people view the 3D images with two separate eyes.

Possible future applications include virtual museums, surgery, and offices, not to mention virtual catch or Frisbee.

[Image: 3D teapot by Cha Lee, UCSD, IEEE]


Virgin America’s Entertainment Tech

Jeremy Lyon @ 03-08-2007

796174803 Ebfd404Bb4 MOn Virgin America’s new planes you can build a private playlist from the 3,000 on-board MP3s, play Doom, watch satellite TV, chat with other passengers or order lunch, all from the seat back in front of you. The computers that make this possible run Linux, booted over the network from one of the three servers at the back of the plane. Artur Bergman of O’Reilly Radar has a more detailed description of the experience, and a Flickr photoset with a bunch of cool pics.


REAL CITY by Carrie Vaughn

Jeremy Lyon @ 01-06-2006

Carrie Vaughn‘s “Real City” is a modern Hollywood fable set in a post-post-modern future.

Real City

by Carrie Vaughn

Stalking around the party without her referencing link flashing names and stats at her felt a little like being drunk. It was Cass’s way of making an adventure for herself. Off-balance, senses muffled, she indulged in self-induced paranoia. Smiling faces, links hooked to their ears, nodded in greeting as she passed. They all knew who she was, thanks to their links, and she hadn’t a damn clue about two-thirds of the people here. She was working blind and stupid, and it made her giddy, along with the glass of wine she’d had.

It seemed like most of Hollywood had shown up for the RealCity Productions launch party. Probably because they all wanted to be able to say they’d been here and known the company was doomed from the start.

Vim had said they had to have a party to manufacture hype.

“We don’t have the money for that kind of party,” she’d told him.

“Oh, but we will! We have to throw parties like this if we’re ever going to have enough money to throw parties like this!” Continue reading “REAL CITY by Carrie Vaughn”


THE OTHER SIDE OF SILENCE by Ruth Nestvold

Jeremy Lyon @ 05-01-2006

Frequent Futurismic contributor Ruth Nestvold has done it again with “The Other Side Of Silence” – a disturbing tale about the future of executive entertainment.

[ IMPORTANT NOTICE: This story is NOT covered by the Creative Commons License that covers the majority of content on Futurismic; copyright remains with the author, and any redistribution is a breach thereof. Thanks. ]

The Other Side Of Silence

by Ruth Nestvold

“If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence. As it is, the quickest of us walk about well wadded with stupidity.”

– George Eliot, Middlemarch

Judith went through the pile of data cubes one more time, hoping she had just overlooked the game somehow. It was uncanny the way children always seemed to know instinctively when interruptions would be most inconvenient for their parents. She had a deadline in less than a week, an environment for Chrysalis Biotechnics, the biggest, most powerful company in their corporate zone in Portland. It could make or break her career as environmental artist. Continue reading “THE OTHER SIDE OF SILENCE by Ruth Nestvold”


IS YOU IS/IS YOU AIN’T? by Michael Canfield

Jeremy Lyon @ 01-11-2004

Ladies and gentlemen, we present “Is You Is/Is You Ain’t?” by Michael Canfield. Super babies. Ninja action. Alcohol. Entertainment. What more need I say?

[ IMPORTANT NOTICE: This story is NOT covered by the Creative Commons License that covers the majority of content on Futurismic; copyright remains with the author, and any redistribution is a breach thereof. Thanks. ]

Is You Is/Is You Ain’t?

by Michael Canfield

I got my first break as stunt-double for the top goodie on Super Comix Babies. For the third season the producers cast me in a recurring role. Before the series ended its seven-year run, one or two scripts even revolved around my character. You always remember your first job fondly, I guess, but the public remembers me — if at all — for my own series: NinjaBaby. Two films spun-off from it — New York NinjaBaby and NinjaBaby II: Back to the Womb — made good money at the time. Back to the Womb is still considered important for the first use of an in-vitro actor, Tommy Baker, who played me in flashback sequences. Tommy came to a bad end; it’s a tough business. Good friends burned-out early: drugs, depression, suicide. I’m luckier than most. NinjaBaby fans tell me the movies sacrificed the grace notes that made the series a classic. I don’t know. I can tell you that when we produced the original series, we called it shit.

I won’t kid you, the main reason I contracted to upload this biography is the money. I want a way out of my baby body — expensive surgery. Thank you for buying this link: even if you don’t like what I have to say, you’ve helped an old actor out. Continue reading “IS YOU IS/IS YOU AIN’T? by Michael Canfield”


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