University of Tokyo Expands Second Life Type Games

Nov 07, 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/res… iles/002/pdf/001.pdf

Explore further: Researchers create global road maps showing potential economic and ecological consequences of new roads

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researchers look at small RNA pathways in maize tassels

Aug 22, 2014

Researchers at the University of Delaware and other institutions across the country have been awarded a four-year, $6.5 million National Science Foundation grant to analyze developmental events in maize anthers ...

Sunlight, not microbes, key to CO2 in Arctic

Aug 21, 2014

The vast reservoir of carbon stored in Arctic permafrost is gradually being converted to carbon dioxide (CO2) after entering the freshwater system in a process thought to be controlled largely by microbial ...

Severe drought is causing the western US to rise

Aug 21, 2014

The severe drought gripping the western United States in recent years is changing the landscape well beyond localized effects of water restrictions and browning lawns. Scientists at Scripps Institution of ...

Recommended for you

Godzilla stomps back in ultra HD, wires intact

Aug 27, 2014

At a humble Tokyo laboratory, Godzilla, including the 1954 black-and-white original, is stomping back with a digital makeover that delivers four times the image quality of high definition.

Overly polite drivers, not roadworks, cause traffic jams

Aug 25, 2014

British motorists who are too polite or timid in their driving style are the cause of lengthy traffic jams across the UK, particularly when faced with roadworks or lane closures, according to a leading Heriot-Watt ...

Voice, image give clues in hunt for Foley's killer

Aug 21, 2014

Police and intelligence services are using image analysis and voice-recognition software, studying social media postings and seeking human tips as they scramble to identify the militant recorded on a video ...

Smartphone-loss anxiety disorder

Aug 21, 2014

The smart phone has changed our behavior, sometimes for the better as we are now able to connect and engage with many more people than ever before, sometimes for the worse in that we may have become over-reliant on the connectivity ...

User comments : 0