Our virtual future in the lab

Inside USC’s crazy experimental VR lab

Even by virtual reality’s usual standards, the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies is taking things a little over the top. “You’re gonna see this drone fly up,” warns Todd Richmond, IEEE fellow and director of advanced prototype development. In ICT’s warehouse-like Los Angeles lab, he’s indicating a brand-new miniature quadcopter, which researchers are just starting to put through its paces. From inside a head-mounted display, though, the drone is a hovering sphere in a nearly featureless virtual landscape. I move towards it, balancing the massive headset and trying to keep glowing elastic bands from slipping off my shoes. It drifts away. “It’ll always be two meters from your face, so you can never actually touch it,” he says. .,…[READ]


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