University of Tokyo Expands Second Life Type Games

November 7, 2007 by Mary Anne Simpson weblog
University of Tokyo Expands Second Life Type Games
Second Life Display. Credit: Digital World Tokyo

A team of undisclosed researchers at the University of Tokyo have a prototype in development that will bring the public one step closer to entering the Virtual World.

A team of researchers at the University of Tokyo is in the development stage of presenting an important addition to games like Second Life. The project has not released the details of the work, but Nikkei dot net and Digital World Tokyo have unearthed some fascinating details of the innovation research in progress. The virtual reality prototype allows players to walk around the game environment like explorers examining the various on screen environments.

The prototype is a waist mounted camera and a companion specially designed carpet that has fixed points of reference assigned and calibrated for movement in the real world. The apparatus interprets these real world movements into the virtual world either through a headset or big screen display.

While neither sources cited which lab or department at the University of Tokyo is working on this almost limitless innovation, there are some likely leaders in the area. An interview by University of Tokyo students with Professor Hirose, Michitaka in 2004 explained the future of "expanded virtual reality," as it extends to space and time.

Professor Hirose, Michitaka is head of the Intelligent Cooperative Systems lab. He explained how going back to the 1990s the virtual world was contained in a box--the computer. His work and others have extended the virtual world to include wearable computers being researched by Ms. Ueoka and virtual experience in ordinary places by Mr. Yamashita. The limitless bounds of virtual reality is the focus of Professor Hirose, Michitaka´s lab.

The professor characterized the two schools of virtual reality research. The first is devoted to developing wearable head gear and mobile apparatus The other is devoted to exploring the five senses of human beings. He pointed out that beneath the two there may lay an inner connection.

In previous public exhibitions the professor and his collaborators have introduced the CABIN that allowed visitors to step into the huge screens of the display. In addition, another Mayan Civilization display allowed visitors to view a virtual space of information technology and content. The professor is cognizant of the importance of reaching the public at large for promoting the future of virtual reality.

In other projects, his team has endeavored to create a 21st century time machine. The Lifelog Project was initially developed to create an oral history of human actions, but has expanded to the ability to predict future actions based upon simulations that can be run through the computer. It is a small wearable device that records human interaction. The complexities of this work defy imagination, but appear to be just another day in the lab for the professor.

In a quote from the interview, the professor stated that "the real world is becoming virtualized... and the world of information is free to move forward or backward." His concern for the future is that while some view the freedom to be a dangerous, "if we free up our imagination, we can develop many interesting things from here."

For further reading on the subject, please see:
www.rcast.u-tokyo.ac.jp/en/research/profiles/002/pdf/001.pdf

Explore further: Tuberculosis video game battles world's oldest disease

Related Stories

Study identifies new cheating method in MOOCs

August 25, 2015

While the proliferation of massive open online courses (MOOCs) has expanded learning opportunities for individuals around the world, the digital classroom is also subject to many of the same issues as the traditional one, ...

Rethinking the computer game as a teaching tool

August 23, 2015

Christian Varona didn't rely on textbooks and slideshows to learn history. When it came to studying for daunting Advanced Placement tests, he didn't turn to a tutor, either.

Without humans, the whole world could look like Serengeti

August 20, 2015

The fact that the greatest diversity of large mammals is found in Africa reflects past human activities - and not climatic or other environmental constraints. This is determined in a new study, which presents what the world ...

Recommended for you

Smart home heating and cooling

August 28, 2015

Smart temperature-control devices—such as thermostats that learn and adjust to pre-programmed temperatures—are poised to increase comfort and save energy in homes.

Smallest 3-D camera offers brain surgery innovation

August 28, 2015

To operate on the brain, doctors need to see fine details on a small scale. A tiny camera that could produce 3-D images from inside the brain would help surgeons see more intricacies of the tissue they are handling and lead ...

Team creates functional ultrathin solar cells

August 27, 2015

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria has developed an ultrathin solar cell for use in lightweight and flexible applications. In their paper published in the journal Nature Materials, ...

Interactive tool lifts veil on the cost of nuclear energy

August 24, 2015

Despite the ever-changing landscape of energy economics, subject to the influence of new technologies and geopolitics, a new tool promises to root discussions about the cost of nuclear energy in hard evidence rather than ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.