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March 13, 2009

Virtual Cocoon


A March 4, 2009 post on SoftSailor tells you all about it; excerpts follow.


Virtual Cocoon Is The First Virtual Reality Headset That Can Mimic All Senses

British scientists have designed a virtual reality headset [above and below] that is able to recreate the smell, sound, sight and taste of every place on the Earth, as it is nowadays or was thousands of years ago. The user will be able to smell the rarest flowers on Earth, hear the sound of whales or feel the heat of the sun in the hottest place on Earth.

The Virtual Cocoon, designed by a team from York and Warwick universities from the UK, is composed of a headset with a high-dynamic high-definition computer screen, fans that blow hot or cold air over the wearer’s face, high-quality speakers and a smell tube which releases chemicals that make the wearer smell a specific location.

Being only at the concept phase, it should take 3 to 5 years to complete, says Professor Alan Chalmers from Warwick. The professor think the new technology will be used in schools, in long distance conferences and by people who want to feel what it's like at a specific touristic destination.

Along with the usabilities already listed, it will surely be used in gaming, offering an extraordinary experience. Just think how would it be to play Second Life using that helmet.

Of course the scientists don’t intend to replace real life but rather to let people use this device to complement it.

The headset connects to a PC via WiFi through which downloads the data that is being shown to the user so she won’t be stressed by cables. Its dynamic screen combines LCD and LED technology to offer pictures up to thirty times brighter than conventional displays, Prof. Chalmers says. The speakers will feature surround sound.

Currently they are not sure how the headset, software and data will be distributed or released, but Professor Chalmers believes owners will be able to buy software that will allow them to visit virtual places. Also, he thinks that in the future it might be possible to explore other parts of the world in real time, with a recording device attached to a car, for example. The device could record sounds, sights, smells, and the feel of the place and send it directly to the headset via the Internet.

Prof. Chalmers also states that the smell will be generated by a new technique pioneered by him along with his team. In the future they plan to also provide texture sensation by using tactile devices.

Nothing is sure yet, but the designers said an approximate price for the device would be £1,500 ( $2,116 ) plus the cost of software.



Second Life?

I'm thinking World of Warcraft, Grand Theft Auto and their ilk.

[via Milena]

March 13, 2009 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


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It would just be used for gaming, I'm sure. Never, never would the Ministry of Love develop it and use it for their own purposes- especially not combined with doping their subjects with LSD. Nope, nope, nope. Wouldn't happen.

Posted by: Lilorfnannie | Mar 14, 2009 10:12:43 AM

OMG I agree, Joe. The video game possibilities! Even Mario Kart would take on a whole new dimension. I do not however want to go into "The Godfather" especially if I had to feel the punches. oof!

Posted by: Tamra | Mar 13, 2009 9:23:02 PM

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