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Relaxing Eyes when using Virtual-Reality-Glasses?

Relaxing Eyes when using Virtual-Reality-Glasses?


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Accommodation is the process by which the vertebrate eye changes optical power to maintain a clear image or focus on an object as its distance varies (eye focusing). For distant vision, the ciliary muscle must relax and the eye's crystalline lens is stretched out.

When using a Virtual Reality Device (Occulus Rift, Samsung VR, Sony VR, Google Cardboard etc.) the eye has to focus on the screen that is only a few centimeters away from the eyes. I am aware of the Vergence-Accommodation Conflict. Yet I ask myself,

Is the ciliary muscle relaxed or contracted when looking at a (virtually) far distant object projected on the LCD of the VR-Device?


The eyes cannot focus on something a few centimeters away. The average maximum distance where the eye can still focus is 14 Diopters in young people (Duane, 1922) (approximately 7 cm in 8-year olds). The distance to the eyes of the display in a head-mounted display (HMD) is often less than this and hence the eyes cannot possibly focus on this. Instead, with the use of lenses, a virtual image is created at a virtual distance approximately a meter away (Fig. 1). In the Oculus Rift DK1, for example, the virtual screens were infinitely far away; in the Oculus Rift DK2, they are about 4.5 feet (1.4m) away (source: Immersive Computer Graphics). One meters is a comfortable viewing distance with minimal accommodation needed and hence little eye strain (source: Immersive Computer Graphics). At around 6 meters the eye is unaccommodated.


Fig. 1. Virtual image in a HMD. Left: eye failing to focus on a very close real screen. Right: eye able to focus on the virtual image of the same real screen created by an interposed lens. source: Immersive Computer Graphics

Reference
- Duane, Trans Am Ophthalmol Soc (1922); 20: 132-57


Virtual Reality For Kids: Parent’s Guide (2021)

As a parent of two little angels (/devils), I do not feel any shame admitting that parenting is hard and sometimes I feel completely lost. There are just so many different situations, milestones, and choices you have to make.

Children and their relation to technology is one of the choices. To be honest, it is such a complex topic with different nuances, where there probably is no single right or wrong answer

This article aims to help you gain more knowledge about virtual reality, its suitability for kids and the possible risks and health effects it might have. Hopefully, after reading you will be able to devise your own vision and strategy about when and how you are going to let your kids experience VR.

Disclaimer: I am no medical expert. In preparation for my own kids reaching the “VR age”, I gathered information from various scientific researches and articles (listed here) and tried to conclude the material into a single useful guide.


Virtual reality startup Relax VR wants to relieve stress in corporate environments

Australian startup Relax VR believes virtual reality is an effective medium for self stress-management.

By Tas Bindi | February 17, 2017 -- 01:45 GMT (17:45 PST) | Topic: Start-Ups

Image: Relax VR

The early promise of virtual reality (VR) was vast: We would be transported to new worlds and live in alternate realities. While scientists and programmers have been investigating the possibilities of VR since the 1960s, it's only in the last few years that the technology started to gain mainstream traction, with VR applications spanning from education to real estate.

Australian startup Relax VR is looking to bring VR into high-pressure corporate environments to relieve occupational stress -- a significant contributor to mental and physical illness, as well as lack of workplace productivity.

Founded by Eddie Cranswick and Sourabh Jain in January 2016, Relax VR is a mobile meditation application compatible with Google's Cardboard and Daydream, as well as Samsung's Gear VR headsets.

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The application, which was launched in the iOS and Android app stores in Q2 2016, virtually transports users to tranquil locales of their choosing -- from beaches in Portugal to the Great Ocean Road in Australia -- and immerses them in 360-degree videos. A soothing voice is overlaid onto music to guide the user.

The goal of the application is to allow users to divert their attention inward and teach them to self-manage their stress.

Cranswick, who is based out of Fishburners' coworking space in Ultimo, Sydney, told ZDNet that immersion and presence play an important role when combining meditation techniques with virtual reality for stress management. As such, delivering the right user experience from the moment the user opens the application is paramount to Relax VR's efficacy, Cranswick said.

The startup recently appointed Madrid-based clinical psychologist and VR researcher Ivan Alsina Jurnet as its chief scientist to conduct research and measure the real-world impact of Relax VR.

Jain, who is a yoga and meditation teacher, said the evidence collected by Jurnet will be core to capturing the corporate market, which is a focus for the startup this year.

"There's some research that indicates VR is actually more effective at relaxation than traditional cognitive behavioural therapy. It's a great tool for relaxation and we have science to back that up now," Jain said.

Cranswick noted that selling to corporates is very different to selling to consumers. After the initial discussion, it can take months to progress through the approvals process, which can be challenging for startups taking the B2B approach, he admitted.

But the B2B approach is particularly lucrative for the Relax VR, the founders said. In 2016, the startup was focused predominantly on consumer adoption, but is now in talks with corporations about integrating Relax VR into their employee wellness programs. Pilot programs are currently being organised, though the founders could not disclose further details at the time of speaking to ZDNet.

"We're looking to deliver a structured relaxation program that employees in high-stress environments can sign up to. Corporate wellness is something that we think is a very valid use case for Relax VR," Cranswick said. "But we need to approach it the best way possible. In B2B, it's very important to provide something that's evidence-based, to make sure we've got data to back our [proposition]."

In addition to seeing consumer adoption across a range of global markets outside of Australia including the US, the UK, Germany, Japan, and South Korea, Jain said Relax VR has captured the attention of massage chair manufacturers that are looking to integrate VR headsets to their chairs, as well as companies servicing hospitals.

"We're keeping an eye on how VR is used in hospitals for patient care, especially in the US because hospitals there are generally more advanced when it comes to technology adoption. Once virtual reality headsets are rolled out in hospitals, there will be a massive opportunity for us," said Cranswick.

"It's a great use case, because we'd be able to transport people confined to their beds -- and in many cases, in a lot of pain and experiencing anxiety as well -- to somewhere peaceful. Hospitals don't usually provide a good experience so I think VR has a lot of power to keep people uplifted and keep their minds active."

Relax VR is not the only company to recognise the potential of virtual reality in health settings. In December 2016, Australian health insurer Medibank launched an immersive VR experience for Australian hospitals on Google Daydream, in collaboration with a group of neuropsychologists at Melbourne-based VR developers Liminal.

The "Joy" experience, which was designed entirely in 3D using Google's Tilt Brush, provides hospital patients with a virtual experience to attempt to relieve loneliness and isolation, particularly for long-stay patients with restricted mobility.

Victorian-startup Build VR also recently launched its Solis VR unit, a Gear VR handset that features video scenarios to trigger positive emotions for dementia patients, even for those in the later stages who are barely responsive.

Solis VR users start in a computer generated atrium in front of a wall with five paintings, with each one reflecting a VR experience. When the user looks at a painting, a 360-degree video begins, which could be of anything ranging from scuba diving, canoeing, or a trip to Bali. The experiences offer a distraction when dementia patients are experiencing boredom or displaying repetitive behaviour.

In the future, Relax VR will look to integrate biofeedback systems that measure the physiological aspects that are related to stress, such as body temperature and heart rate variability. By collecting biofeedback changes in real-time, users will have a greater understanding of not only their stress patterns, but also the impact Relax VR is having on their stress patterns over time.

Image: Relax VR

"I'm quite excited about seeing where wearables can be integrated into the experiences. Being able to measure stress indicators and providing that data to users would give them a holistic picture of how the relaxation is affecting them over a period of time," Cranswick said.

While Relax VR is not the only meditation application in the VR world, Jain and Cranswick believe their competitive advantage is their domain expertise.

"I'm a meditation teacher. We now have a clinical psychologist. We have a strong understanding of the content behind relaxation, what helps people relax. Whereas what we see with our competitors is that they tend to have more expertise in virtual reality, and they're kind of jumping on the meditation bandwagon as part of exploring what they can do with VR," Jain said.

"[Their products are] generally not as effective in relaxing users, even though they might be more entertaining."

Relax VR has been applying to accelerator programs and was accepted into one in San Francisco. However, the terms that were put forth by the accelerator were a little too far from ideal, the founders said.

"The whole application process was a good learning experience and it was also good validation for us -- they thought we had potential. But at the stage that we applied, it was better off for us to not take that opportunity at that time," Jain said.

Trevor Townsend, managing director at Startupbootcamp Melbourne, believes the excitement towards technologies such as virtual reality will fizzle out this year.

"Technologies such as Internet of Things, virtual reality, and augmented reality will start to enter the trough of disillusionment in 2017," Townsend told ZDNet earlier this year. "They have been much hyped, and although our industry will be working long and hard to make the technology vision come true, the overshoot of expectations and the reality of what is actually possible and the difficulties of delivering the vision will dampen the enthusiasm for these topics."

Townsend also believes VR and AR will be solutions looking for problems.

"Like the ill-fated 3D TV people will be slow to adopt such technology [and] that means they need to drastically alter the way they consume entertainment. Immersive experiences will arrive, but probably still not in the way we have envisioned," Townsend said.

Meanwhile, Cranswick believes the VR space is moving faster than it meets the eye.

"I attend a lot of VR events in Australia and I've seen this space move quite quickly over the last year in terms of the general public interest. Enterprise applications of VR are driving a lot of the early adoption, but I think consumer-wise, there have been some big pushes from the likes of Samsung and Google," Cranswick said.

"There's still an element of education that's required for the general market to understand virtual reality. It's a very experiential medium, so you need to try it, it needs to be in more retail stores. A lot of companies need to get the demonstrations happening in greater numbers. Getting people to try it is going to drive adoption. Usually, when someone has tried VR they understand it straight away."

Relax VR is currently a paid app on iOS, Android, and a freemium app on Samsung Gear VR. The monetisation model for corporate customers will be different, though nothing has been finalised yet.


How to Make Yourself Sleep Using Hypnosis

This article was co-authored by Alexandra Janelli. Alexandra Janelli is a Certified Hypnotherapist, Anxiety and Stress Management Coach, and owner and founder of Modrn Sanctuary, a holistic health and wellness facility in New York, New York. With over 10 years of experience, Alexandra specializes in helping clients push through their roadblocks to achieve their goals by utilizing her hypnotherapeutic-based approach. Alexandra holds a BS in Conservation Biology & Landscape Ecology from the University of Miami. She graduated from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute with an Advanced Training Graduate Diploma in Hypnotherapy and Handwriting Analysis. Alexandra is also a Certified Life Coach from the iPEC Coach Training Program. She has worked with Academy Award Nominee Actors, world-renowned photographers, singers, top-level executives, and professionals across many sectors of business. Alexandra has been featured on MTV, Elle Magazine, Oprah Magazine, Men's Fitness, Swell City Guide, Dossier Journal, The New Yorker, and Time Out Chicago.

There are 19 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

This article has been viewed 280,363 times.

Whether you suffer from insomnia or are just feeling overwhelmed with the stress of day-to-day life, falling asleep may not be as simple as lying down and closing your eyes. Too many distractions and stressful thoughts can interfere with your ability to give your body the rest it needs. Hypnosis can help you disengage from distracting thoughts, and it can be done with a professional or alone in your home. Most experts recommend a combination of relaxation, focus of attention, suggestion, and imagery to achieve a state of hypnosis. [1] X Research source The following guide will walk you through these steps and offer additional lifestyle tips to help you relax and transition into a soothing sleep state.


VR Applications : Decrease Stress without leaving Home

VR applications works in several revolutionary projects, the company is taking a unique approach by using the technology for mediation purposes. Traditional mindfulness may soon be accessible through a non-traditional medium.

Cigna Virtual Relaxation Pod

The new project is by health service provider ‘Cigna’. The two companies teamed up with `Story’ to create ‘Cigna Virtual Relaxation Pod.’ The product uses VR technology for meditation purposes. The pod delivers a two-minute-long immersive VR experience. It is based on guided meditation practices. Users Oculus Rift headset, which transports them to one of the simulated environments listening to the expert meditation instructors.

As we know that meditation is linked to the reduction of stress, the VR pods serve as one of the valuable tools for helping consumers relax.

Buddhify 2

Buddhify 2 is an app-based stress reliever designed to bring mindfulness into the busiest lives. The app has 40 different guided meditations like working online, commuting, and going to sleep, ranging from 5 to 20 minutes. Buddhify provides a timer for keeping track of time for unguided meditations.

The app provides tips to practice mindfulness and track a user’s progress, keeps a tab on stats during a week, or how many days consistently, and the user has been practicing meditation.

The app is aimed at improving one’s wellbeing and reducing stress over time and especially introducing first-timers to meditation without it seeming intimidating.

WellBe Bracelet

Practicing mindfulness is a goal of yours, then you may want to support the WellBe bracelet. Currently, who are seeking crowdfunding site Indiegogo, the stress-reducing accessory, and the accompanying app has been developed to restore mental and emotional balance. It detects stress in addition to the system that offers ways you can calm your nerves down.

The tranquility-enhancing jewelry is very much eco-friendly because it has been carved out of cork. The WellBe monitors heart rate and determines how stressed out the user is based on the time, place, and people around during the day. The mindfulness bracelet offers to tell you if the people you are around are bad.

The wristband syncs to the smartphone of the user, which will tell him when his stress levels are too high and also offer ways to deal with it, such as meditation and breathing exercises.

Jelly Fish

Modern lifestyles are stressful than ever, so the color lamp ‘Jellyfish2’ is designed to enable a person to unwind and relax with the colors and motion of the ocean.

The ‘Jellyfish2’ lamp is used as therapeutic lighting to unwind at the end of the day, with the ability to illuminate using 16-million different colors. The product is designed as a lamp hangs on the wall and uses the flat wall surface to display different colors and motion.

The ‘Jellyfish2’ color lamp comes with a remote control to allow users to pick specific colors they want to experience or use the ‘Flow Color’ mode. This focuses on being ever-shifting never to provide the same illumination design twice.

Muse Headband

The Muse Headband increases mental wellbeing to ensure the user’s brain is relaxed and trained, especially during activities that help users mind reset after a long day at work or school. As users become more reliant on technology and work-driven, mental wellbeing is being pushed to beyond limits due to the pressures and stresses of the fast-moving society.

The Muse Headband aims to help users relax. It is an excellent aid for those who practice yoga, meditation, or relaxing breathing activities. Being a tremendous meditative tool, the wearable gadget is a helpful aid for migraine relief and hypertension symptoms. It helps by lowering blood pressure levels.

The VR product is practical and also a smart investment that keeps users’ mental health and mood in check.

Aurai Eye Massager

A company called InTrust has presented the Aurai Eye Massager. Eye massagers are becoming so popular that they are often sold at pharmacies and are prized for the ability to provide relief from stress and tension, headaches, and stress. What makes the Aurai a standout is the fact that it uses the power of water to relax the eye area gently.

The headset looks almost like eye massagers, except for being connected to a tube. It allows water to get pumped into the headset. By using the device, a user has to place the eyelids over the soft gel-like face mask inside the headset. There are many criteria to choose from, including options for cold, hot and vibrating massages that last about six minutes each.

Beyond just providing relaxation and de-stressing, the VR device helps to provide a reduction in feelings of tiredness in the eyelids, reducing dryness in the eyes, and puffiness under the eyes.

Pacifica

Pacifica is a handy technology app that encourages its users to do stress-reducing exercises. Stress brought on by a demanding job or a heavy academic workload can affect nearly anyone of us. Pacifica app helps all those who have been struggling with anxiety. It reminds them to take care of themselves during the hectic day.

The mobile platform works around the theme of allowing users to rate their mood and feelings throughout the day. Based on this data, users can discover their mood trends and pinpoint the source of their anxiety. To reduce anxiety levels over time, the app encourages us to carry out different stress-reducing activities. These small exercises include everything from mindful meditation to deep breathing. The idea is to help users discover what activities help to improve their mood and alleviate their anxiety.

Work stress affects everybody and anybody, but it may be different, and the app provides a helpful way out to figure out what calming VR techniques are best for each individual.

Breo ‘iSee360’

Whether due to work stress, tension, headaches, or a need to relax, people are looking for cost-effective ways to reduce stress. The Breo’ iSee360′ Eye Massager is one of the economic means of doing so from the comfort of home. Designed perfectly to fit over the eye area and it provides a gentle as well as intense massage depending on preference, the Breo’ iSee360′ Eye Massager is battery powered, which means no cords to trip over and the ability to bring it anywhere.

The Breo ‘iSee360’ Eye Massager features a built-in music player that allows users to fully immerse themselves in a spa-like experience without ever leaving the comfort of their home. As more consumers spend time working remotely, the incorporation of such at-home spa therapies helps to decrease stress without leaving the house.


Contrast sensitivity and visual acuity in subjects wearing multifocal contact lenses with high additions designed for myopia progression control

Objectives: To assess the visual performance of multifocal contact lenses (MFCLs) with high addition powers designed for myopia control.

Methods: Twenty-four non-presbyopic adults (mean age 24 years, range 18-36 years) were fitted with soft MFCLs with add powers of +2.0 D (Add2) and +4.0 D (Add4) (RELAX, SwissLens) and single vision lenses (SVCL Add0) in a counterbalanced order. In this double-masked study, half of the participants were randomly fitted with 3 mm-distance central zone MFCLs while the other half received 4.5 mm-distance central zone MFCLs. Visual acuity was measured at distance (3.0 m) and at near (0.4 m). Central and peripheral contrast sensitivity was evaluated at distance using the Gabor patch test. The area under the logarithmic contrast sensitivity function curve (ALCSF) was calculated and compared between the groups (i.e. different additions powers used).

Results: Near and distance visual acuities were not affected by the lenses, neither Add2 nor Add4, when compared to Add0, however, CZ3 significantly reduced distance visual acuity with Add4 when compared to CZ4.5 (-0.08 logMAR vs. for CZ3 and -0.18 logMAR for CZ4.5, p = 0.013). MFCLs impaired central ALCSF only when Add2 was used (15.99 logCS for Add2 and 16.36 logCS for SVCLs, p = 0.021). Peripheral ALCSF was statistically lower for both addition powers of the MFCLs when compared to SVCLs (12.70 for Add2 and Add4, 13.73 for SVCLs, p = 0.009). The above effects were the same for both central zones used.

Conclusions: MFCLs with CZ3 diameter and high add power (Add4) slightly reduced distance visual acuity when compared to CZ4.5 but no reduction in this parameter was found with medium add power (Add2). Central contrast sensitivity was impaired only by MFCLs with the lower add power (Add2). Both add powers in the MFCLs reduced peripheral contrast sensitivity to a similar extent.

Keywords: Contrast sensitivity Multifocal contact lenses Myopia Myopia control Myopia progression.

Copyright © 2019 British Contact Lens Association. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Relax About ‘Birthing People’ Already

On Mother’s Day this past Sunday, conservatives on Twitter rallied around their new favorite joke — which is really just a variation on their one joke.

“Happy Birthing Person’s Day,” they all tweeted, rolling in retweets and the shared laughter of a bunch of usernames consisting of a first name followed by a bunch of numbers.

Ben Shapiro, the Babylon Bee, and countless o ther right-wingers all parroted the same punch line without a hint of originality. It’s a rewarmed variation of Shapiro’s “happy legal guardian of unspecified gender day” joke, which he’s made nearly every Mother’s Day and Father’s Day since 2013.

This year’s variation on the “haha laugh at trans people” punch line derived from a phrase used by Rep. Cori Bush last week while talking about her own experience of nearly losing her children in childbirth and the high rate of maternal mortality for Black pregnant people.

The tweet kicked over a transphobic hornet’s nest. Conservatives and gender-critical feminists pounced on the chance to tell a Black mom she was wrong. The tweet prompted nearly 7,000 replies and over 3,100 quote tweets, mostly mocking Bush for using the term “birthing people” rather than “mothers.”

Gender-neutral reproductive health language like “birthing people” or “pregnant people” has found popularity as trans people have been increasingly accepted by a wider swath of Americans. The reasons behind the language are fairly straightforward to understand and include far more than just transgender parents.

“Birthing people,” for example, is not only inclusive to trans men and nonbinary parents who give birth but also to surrogates or women who plan on making their baby available for adoption and don’t plan on being mothers.

This, of course, is the cultural rub for conservatives and their gender-critical allies, all of whom consider birthing and raising children to be the raison d’être of being a woman.

Instead of being chill about potential differences in life experience, they instead try to force others to conform to their beliefs about womanhood and motherhood. And they enforce this through incessant mockery and outright cruelty. Some, like actress Rose McGowan, attack trans women over the language, even though trans women have literally nothing to do with any of this (because trans women understand that womanhood is more than motherhood destiny).

Literally no one criticizing Bush stopped for a second to listen to her harrowing and painful story, nor do they care a wit about the crisis over Black and Indigenous maternal mortality. Several years ago, racial disparities in maternal mortality rates were ostensibly a bipartisan issue in Congress now they’re a punch line for every loser on Twitter eager to take a rhetorical punch at trans people.

Anti-trans folks insist that using a catch-all gender-neutral phrase like birthing people instead of mothers erases women. But women are people too. This is about allowing people to define themselves within the complex world of sex, gender, and reproduction, rather than following a strict doctrine of biology as destiny.

Several days after her “birthing people” tweet, Bush wished everyone a happy Mother’s Day over Twitter, which sparked another round of mockery. Bush clearly describes herself as a mother, and that’s fine. But Bush, and trans people, understand that “birthing people” and “mothers” can sometimes be two different things, though they most often are not.

But the conservative jokes have grown into another cancel culture freakout. Literally no one on the left unironically called for renaming Mother’s Day it was all a conservative fiction. But now conservative culture warriors are running around claiming that the left wants to cancel Mother’s Day.

Give me a break. They’ve made up something to get mad about and then gotten mad about it. Again.


These slick new AR glasses project shockingly high-quality visuals

Like virtual reality before it, augmented reality is the newest, hyped-up technology ripped straight from science fiction that technology companies worldwide are trying to bring to life. But unlike most fledgling companies in the burgeoning AR space that are still dealing in half-finished prototypes and experimental proof-of-concepts, Chinese startup Nreal has arrived on the scene this week with a surprisingly capable pair of AR glasses scheduled to hit the market later this year.

I got to try an early version of the company’s product and came away impressed with what I saw. There are two selling points to Nreal’s glasses. The first is that they don’t look awful and you might actually feel comfortable wearing them in public, or at the very least in front of your friends or family at home. On the technical end, it’s also quite the feat that Nreal packed all that projection gear, sensors, and cameras into a frame that’s way slimmer than, say, the Vuzix Blade glasses. Nreal says the glasses weigh just 85 grams, or less than one fifth of a pound.

The second is that the glasses push 1080p projection through both lenses with a 52-degree field of view, letting them achieve something much closer to the Magic Leap One headset or Microsoft’s HoloLens than what we’ve seen most AR glasses shoot for in the past, which tend to be nothing more than a jazzier heads-up display. (The FOV on Nreal’s device actually beats that of both the Magic Leap and HoloLens, although the next HoloLens will supposedly include a much improved FOV.)

I will say that I was shocked at how high-quality the visuals were. As someone who has recently tried demos on the Magic Leap One, these were almost as good in a much less obtrusive package. I was able to try a few experiences, the first of which let me project a screen onto the wall and resize it with a small circular controller. The second demo featured a trio of virtual dancers on the table in front of me. Both featured incredibly crisp visuals, and the wide FOV makes a huge difference when it comes to actually enjoying what you’re looking at instead of having to spend half the time making sure you don’t clip part of the image off by moving your head.

So as a video-watching device, the Nreal is quite capable. But the whole promise of AR is to understand your surroundings and blend the virtual images with real-world objects. That’s where the Nreal isn’t nearly as good as Magic Leap, at least based on the demos the company is showcasing. The other demo I tried was a cute little laser-pointer and AR kitten experience that let me send a virtual car around the room as I pointed the controller at various spots. Nreal programmed the demo so the cat would recognize the tables in front of us and jump on them, but I couldn’t get the cat to hop onto the chairs, suggesting the glasses might have some trouble doing real-time mapping and object recognition at the same level of sophistication as Magic Leap.

Similar to Magic Leap, Nreal’s device requires a cable into a separate processor pack that’s designed to go into your pocket. It’s of a similar size as Magic Leap’s and it appears to get just as hot or perhaps even more so as it’s running, which is certainly a consideration when for any AR glasses that will want to remotely attempt to deliver all-day use or at the very least any experiences that last more than a few minutes. One neat feature is that the motion controller for Nreal’s glasses is a small circular puck that connects magnetically to the processor pack.

Nreal tells me that because the processor pack uses USB-C, you’ll be able to simply use your phone to power the glasses. However, the company says it’s only working with Samsung right now to make that feature work, and it’s unclear if you’ll be able to use other phones or if the feature will arrive without any hiccups at launch. Still, that’s a smart idea and it could make such AR experiences more accessible and portable.

As for specs, the Nreal glasses have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, 360-degree spatial sound through two speakers, and built-in microphones to enable future voice control and smart assistants. There are other built-in sensors for providing full 3D movement through 3D scenes, known as 6DoF (six degrees of freedom), while the wireless controller is only three degrees of freedom, so it can’t provide the same level of hand interaction as you’d get in a VR headset like the Oculus Rift.

On the front, you have two cameras that are used to perform what’s known as SLAM, or simultaneous localization and mapping, which is the computer vision technique that lets both self-driving cars and other similar AR headsets map a scene and also track objects as they move through it. That last bit is crucial for AR, and the fact that Nreal is only using two cameras, where as Magic Leap has three on each side of the front of its One headset, is likely why it’s not as adept at mapping environments and enabling interactive AR features.

Even given those issues, Nreal glasses certainly don’t look and feel like a product from a company that’s less than two years old. The device is slated to ship some time around the third quarter of the year for a price likely under $1,000. The big issue, of course, will be what will actually run on it, as there’s no existing library of AR content save what Magic Leap is investing in building itself and with its gaming partners and the low-key apps that exist for iPhones and Android devices. But Nreal is certainly a company to keep an eye on as the AR industry marches toward viable products we may one day actually want to buy.


Motion tracking

Head tracking is one big advantage the premium headsets have over the likes of Cardboard other mobile VR headsets. But the big VR players are still working out motion tracking. When you look down with a VR headset on the first thing you want to do is see your hands in a virtual space.

For a while, we've seen the Leap Motion accessory - which uses an infrared sensor to track hand movements - strapped to the front of Oculus dev kits. We've also tried a few experiments with Kinect 2 cameras tracking our flailing bodies. But now we have exciting input options from Oculus, Valve and Sony.

Oculus Touch is a set of wireless controllers designed to make you feel like you're using your own hands in VR. You grab each controller and use buttons, thumbsticks and triggers during VR games. So, for instance, to shoot a gun you squeeze on the hand trigger. There is also a matrix of sensors on each controller to detect gestures such as pointing and waving.

It's a pretty similar set-up to Valve's Lighthouse positional tracking system and HTC's controllers for its Vive headset. It involves two base stations around the room which sweep the area with lasers. These can detect the precise position of your head and both hands based on the timing of when they hit each photocell sensor on both the headset and around each handheld controller. Like Oculus Touch, these also feature physical buttons too and incredibly you can have two Lighthouse systems in the same space to track multiple users.

Other input methods can include anything from hooking an Xbox controller or joystick up to your PC, voice controls, smart gloves and treadmills such as the Virtuix Omni, which allow you to simulate walking around a VR environment with clever in-game redirections.

And when it comes to tracking your physical position within a room, Oculus now offers an experience to match the HTC Vive, which it didn't do out the door. Rift owners now have the option to purchase a third sensor for $79 and add more coverage to their VR play area.

The problem, though, is that this still isn't on par with HTC. While two SteamVR sensors for the HTC Vive can deliver a tracked play space of up to 225 square feet, two Constellation sensor cameras from Oculus only provides coverage of 25 square feet, with a third camera sending the recommended space goes up to 64 square feet. That may change with Oculus Santa Cruz, the company's hi-spec standalone headset.

Sony is also hunting around this area, if a recent patent is anything to go by. The filing details a VR tracking system based on light and mirrors that uses a beam projector to determine the player's position, though whether such a feature would appear on the current device or second iteration of PSVR (or not at all) is all speculative at this stage.


I like viruses. My career has been dedicated to understanding the mechanisms that viruses use to manipulate their hosts and the counter defense systems that microbes employ to defend themselves from infection. As a pre-doctoral fellow, my dissertation focused on the unusual viruses that infect thermoacidophilic archaea. In what was maybe the best Ph.D. project ever, I traveled around the globe collecting samples and isolate viruses from geothermal features located in some of the world's wildest places (e.g., Yellowstone National Park, Kamchatka Russia, etc.). The resilience of life in these seemingly inhospitable environments (i.e., +80C and

pH3) fueled my curiosity to understand the genetic, biochemical, and structural basis for life at high temperatures. Today I continue to be intrigued by the mechanisms of resistance but instead of high temperate my lab aims to understand how bacteria contend with pervasive viral predators. Our work focuses primarily on understanding the structural and functional basis of adaptive immunity in bacteria.



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    This argument is simply unbelievable

  5. Zule

    In my opinion, they are wrong. I propose to discuss it. Write to me in PM.

  6. Nikobar

    Rather amusing message



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