Saturday, July 28, 2007

Of Mice and Apes

At Sensics, my company, we get our fair share of curious inquiries. It's one of the fun parts about this business: every day the phone rings with someone eager to use our panoramic head-mounted display for a unique application.

A few weeks ago, someone called to ask about the range of our IPD (Inter-Pupillary Distance). Just like binoculars the often allow you to adjust the distance between the eyepieces to accommodate different individuals, head-mounted displays allow the same.
- "55 to 72 mm", we said
- "can you do an IPD in the 30 mm range?", said the caller
- "???"
- "well, I want to use the HMD on apes"

Just a few weeks went by, and another person called. After discussing the merits of immersion - high resolution and panoramic field of view - the caller asked whether he can use the HMD on mice.
- "So you want to use the HMD on mice?"
- "Yes"
- "???"

The thought of a mice wearing an HMD triggered many interesting visuals. Maybe mice can also wear football helmets? Is there a market for mice-sized HMD?

As interesting as this proposed research might be, we're going to stick with providing human an unmatched visual experience.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Industrial VR in France and Japan

We just returned from two exciting trade shows: the Paris Air Show (Le Bourget, France) and Industrial Virtual Reality in Tokyo, Japan. Hundreds of visitors came to experience how a high-performance head-mounted display enables engineers and designers to be immersed in their 3D data in the most realistic way possible (without actually building a physical version, of course).

In Tokyo, we were visited by
Many of engineers and executives from some of Japan's most recognizable companies including Canon, Mitusubishi, Honda, Sony, NEC, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Ricoh, Epson, Toshiba, Nikon, Fuji, Brother and more. Similarly, in Paris, big aerospace giants came to see how VR technology can make a difference on the effectiveness of their designs, training systems, and products. Amazingly, our visitors in Paris were able to concentrate on the demo, even when test pilots where performing air stunts with the newest fighter jets and passenger airplanes.

An HMD for every engineer is still a long way ahead of us, but the interest level and excitement that these industrial giants make us all believe that mainstream virtual reality will become reality.