How to get your brain to believe touching something

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The Big Future: Can we build a virtual world?

The web is fine, but how do we get the internet we always wanted — a “real” space you can walk around in, like the Metaverse from Snow Crash? It’s not a new question, but it’s one that’s being taken a little more seriously now that a huge company like Facebook is putting its weight (and its money) behind virtual reality. In this week’s Big Future, we look at what it takes to build a convincing virtual world, why we’re not there yet, and what we might do if we got one. It’s not that hard to trick your eyes. The quintessential virtual reality products are headsets like the Oculus Rift. In some ways, there’s not much to them: you’re strapping a flat screen to your head, and it’s split into stereoscopic 3D and magnified by lenses to take up most of your field of vision. But it’s incredibly important that it respond to your head’s motion, even when the resolution is low. ….[READ]

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