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When we say “virtual reality” oftentimes people are referring to current products or interactive media. This also usually refers to 3D avatars being represented in 3D environments and worlds. However, there are a few companies and research programs that seem to be expanding on the virtual reality concept that could see a big change in the way games are played.
With Project Natal running rampant across technology-oriented newswires, due to its three-dimensional camera-capture and voice recognition technology that expands on the Sony Eye-Toy and Wii-mote concepts, a few other companies are taking advantage of the spotlight on interactive technology, too. While Natal isn’t due out until the holiday season of 2010, there are already announcements regarding new forms of virtual reality that take things a step further than Natal and I'm not talking about Helium3D. I’m talking about Intuition, an EU funded Network of Excellence science and partner program that’s aiming to push the boundaries of virtual reality to new heights.
According to an article on ICT, the Intuition project will be taking virtual reality one step closer the fictionalized representation of the VR rooms you may have seen on Star Trek.
As stated in the article, “Virtual reality looks exotic to the general public,” says Angelos Amditis of the Institute of Communication and Computer Systems in Athens. “But for many of us this looks like a key technology that could really enable innovation and creation of new jobs, opportunities and products.”
A crude version of this technology is already being put to use at UConn's Center for Health Intervention and Prevention, for helping with psychiatric diagnoses and other health, medical and science related research, according to an article on Courant. This is part of what the Intuition program is aiming to achieve but on a larger scale.
“We already have more than 60 organisations interested in taking part,” says Amditis. “Half of them are from the original INTUITION consortium and the other half are outsiders. Even during the current economic crisis people are looking at VR with great interest.”
So what does this mean for gamers? It means that in the near future we could be seeing some amazing new technology being bridged from the general science, independent research and medical fields. So far, holo-decks from Star Trek are still out of the question but looming in the near future, to paraphrase Mr. Amditis.
Nevertheless, you can bet your bottom dollar that before Natal officially hits the market next year we’ll be hearing a lot more about more interactive, virtual reality alternatives to compete in this ever-growing market of interactive entertainment.
You can check out the full article over at ICT or visit the Official Intuition Website for more details on the collaborative project. For more gaming news, insight, updates and media, be sure to stay tuned in with Blend Games.