Tag Archive: Reality


The Daya Bay Neutrino Experiment is designed to provide new understanding of neutrino oscillations that can help answer some of the most mysterious questions about the universe. Shown here are the photomultiplier tubes in the Daya Bay detectors.

Strange particles called neutrinos have a habit of switching identities, changing from one flavor into another — a transformation that may help probe some of the fundamental mysteries of the universe.

Now researchers conducting an underground particle detector experiment in China have published their latest measurements of this shape-shifting, which is called neutrino oscillation, and report the most precise values known for certain parameters describing how it occurs.

Neutrinos come in three flavors — electron, muon and tau — which each exist as a mixture of three possible neutrino masses (though the actual value of these masses is currently unknown). Neutrinos may start as one flavor, say electron neutrinos, and then switch into muon or tau neutrinos as they travel through space.

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A new 3D-tracking app aims to help hopeless handymen and women become expert mechanics.

Tech firm Inglobe Technologies released a demo that shows off its augmented-reality 3D tracker. The app helps car owners navigate the ins and outs of their engines by displaying icons on engine parts. What’s more, a virtual hand demonstrates how users can perform maintenance tasks such as adding oil.

A group of students from the Royal College of Art in London has developed headsets that allow the wearer to adjust their sight and hearing in the same way they’d control the settings on a TV or radio (+ movie).

The Eidos equipment was developed to enhance sensory perception by tuning in to specific sounds or images amongst a barrage of sonic and visual information, then applying effects to enhance the important ones.

“We’ve found that while we experience the world as many overlapping signals, we can use technology to first isolate and then amplify the one we want,” say the designers.

Eidos by Tim Bouckley, Millie Clive-Smith, Mi Eun Kim and Yuta Sugawara

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Hello Future: Immersive Cocoon

The world of interfaces continues to evolve and surprise us. We still think of it as something we can hold, fold and place in our bag to carry anywhere. What if you can be part of an intuitive and holistic experience where your interface is not reduced to a mouse-click or a two dimensional tablet screen. Welcome to the Immersive Cocoon, a surround display dome with sophisticated motion sensor technology that inspired  the technology depicted in ‘Minority Report’. Now your body becomes the interface, as you are enveloped and your body movement becomes part of this digital environment to make our everyday lives more enjoyable, at least that is what this conceptual project tries to explore.

The Immersive Cocoon opens its hatch silently and extends a small set of stairs that helps you move into this 360 degree display covering the entire interior walls. Inside you can sit, lean, and accommodate an adjustable work surface depending on how your imagination desires to utilize the Cocoon. You can connect into a virtual meeting across the globe, do yoga while at the airport or even visit a preserved temple in Tibet right from home, mall, or anywhere else this product will be located. I am not going to lie, I would like this in my job as I would not mind having lunch looking at the Milky Way everyday.

The Cocoon‘s potential extends beyond leisure and into education, productivity, training and other uses that would benefit from this immersive technology. This spherical pod seems to show promise in many levels but the question always become its financial feasibility and social acceptance. Although innovative, something this ground breaking seems to have a hard time being implemented in public spaces. Seeing the roll out of this technology will be interesting and full of insight as more people interact with it. We can guarantee that it doesn’t lack thought and ingenuity as its 3D motion tracking system was developed by John Underkoffer, a former fellow of the MIT Media Lab. This conceptual prototype developed by NAU out of Zurich, Switzerland, shows immense opportunities into future daily and exclusive activities.

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Optical Illusions: How we see

Decelerator Helmet slows down reality, in real time

The recent Judge Dredd reboot showed us a world in which a drug could dramatically slow the world down with pleasurable, or horrific effects. Now a very real inventor has created a helmet that simulates that kind of real-time slow motion perception, but without the druggy side-effects.

Created by German artist Lorenz Potthast, the Decelerator Helmet allows the wearer to experience the real world at a slower speed that can be adjusted using a small, handheld controller. Potthast embedded a small computer and head-mounted display inside the helmet, with an additional display on the outside of the device, presumably to allow onlookers to see what the wearer is seeing.

Of course, crossing the street in a traffic-filled city with this thing on wouldn’t be a good idea, but in almost any other controlled, assistant-guided situation, this device could deliver an amazing slo-mo vision of reality that has never been seen before.

Potthast makes no mention of the software facilitating the device’s functions, nor if he has any plans to take it commercial, but in the meantime you can see the Decelerator Helmet in action in the video below.

Inception

Christopher Nolan’s 2010 blockbuster Inception is set in a distant future where military technology enables one to infiltrate and surreptitiously alter other people’s dreams. Leonardo Di Caprio plays Dom Cobb, an industrial spy tasked with planting an idea into the mind of a powerful businessman. The film has a complex, layered structure: Cobb and the other characters create dreams within dreams within dreams, but they cannot distinguish between reality and the dream states they fabricate.

Most of us distinguish between real and imagined events using unconscious processes to monitor the accuracy of our experiences. But these processes can break down in some psychiatric conditions. Patients with schizophrenia, for example, can experience auditory and visual hallucinations that they believe are real, while some brain damaged and delusional patients live in a world of perpetual false memories. Japanese researchers have developed an “Inception helmet” that manipulates reality to simulate such experiences, and could be used to study cognitive dysfunction in psychiatric disorders.

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Wisdom 101

The most important teaching I’ve ever rubbed up against has been ‘virtual reality.’ From thought, to culture, to money, politics, philosophy, and religion, to the translation of exterior inputs into an internal collage that we casually refer to as ‘human experience’, to physics, to the very action of reading – of changing these funky shapes into meaningful words – virtual reality is Wisdom 101.

Art by: Dunno. You know? Lemme know!

Transparent Tablet Does the Twist

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Feel a little awkward interacting with humanity? Would you rather hold up transparent mobile device and filter reality through a lens that bombards you with a 3D cheat sheet?  Don’t worry, Samsung’s got you covered.

The South Korean tech company recently released a video envisioning a a shape-shifting, bendable, see-through tablet/smart phone that explores, locates and translates the world into a kaleidoscopic viewfinder of multimedia.

Besides being a veritable concierge to the world, the device would also do such old-fashioned things as make phone calls and take pictures. And because the handheld is transparent, you can avoid bumping into people or falling into fountains while text messaging.

Much ado has been paid to the device’s AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) display. Active-matrix OLED displays include a thin film transistor that acts as series of electrical switches that control the flow of electricity to each pixel.

Considered to be a leader in AMOLED technology, Samsung has already demonstrated flexible AMOLED screens. And with multiple translation and ‘Aura’ apps already out there, it’s only a matter of time before Samsung’s vision of the future becomes tomorrow’s reality.

According to a new study, a person’s brain patterns could be modified and his performances improved just by watching a computer screen. A new learning  method was discovered by scientists that uses decoded MRI imaging to modify brain performance. This method could also be used to help patients recuperate from different types of injuries or accidents or even learn a foreign language of fly an airplane. The study was published on December 8 in the journal Science.

The study, conducted at Boston University and  ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan has proven that using a patient’s visual cortex, scientists can induce brain activity patterns to match a state that was previously known and thereby enhance visual performance

Just imagine a person looking at a computer screen and modifying his brain patterns to match a sportsman or recuperate from spinal injury. Although scientists are not there yet, they suggest that such possibilities may soon be reality.

Scientists have discovered that pictures are gradually filled in a person’s brain,  appearing at the beginning as lines then edges, shapes, different colors and motion in early visual areas. The images are then filled in with more details making a blue pyramid appear as a blue pyramid for example. Scientists analyzed the early formation of different early visual areas, to observe their ability to improve learning and visual performance.

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Augmented Reality in a Contact Lens

A new generation of contact lenses built with very small circuits and LEDs promises bionic eyesight. 

The human eye is a perceptual powerhouse. It can see millions of colors, adjust easily to shifting light conditions, and transmit information to the brain at a rate exceeding that of a high-speed Internet connection.

But why stop there?

In the Terminator movies, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character sees the world with data superimposed on his visual field—virtual captions that enhance the cyborg’s scan of a scene. In stories by the science fiction author Vernor Vinge, characters rely on electronic contact lenses, rather than smartphones or brain implants, for seamless access to information that appears right before their eyes.

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