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MissionV Blog

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** MissionV is now available for your school **

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MissionV has launched! Having been in test mode with 11 schools since early last term we are delighted to announce that our learning platform is now available to all.

MissionV takes the best of game-based learning and wraps it a safe, secure, online service that makes it easy for teachers to manage in the classroom. The software is already compatible with the virtual reality headsets that will arrive on the market by 2015 and take online learning to amazing new places; think virtual field-trips to anywhere you can imagine.

Last April the good folks at Technology.ie captured the delight at one school – St. Kierans NS, Broughal, Co. Offaly – where students were trialing the platform –

MissionV is excited to offer the same opportunity to your school. For further information please contact James Corbett at James@MissionV.ie or 087-3207756.

Irish Minister for Education tries virtual reality

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It was a pleasure to be invited to exhibit at the recent Tech Week Ireland event in Dublin Castle. And we were honoured that the Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn, spent quite a while chatting with us and trying out the Oculus Rift headset for himself. I think it’s clear to see in the photo below that he was quite charmed by those virtual reality butterflies!

British Library’s old maps become 3D virtual worlds

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“The British Library has challenged video game design students to turn old maps and engravings from its collection into virtual worlds. The students combined maps from the library’s collection with games company Crytek’s CryEngine to create the 3D environments. The Off the Map competition was part of video game festival GameCity held in Nottingham.”

Controlling space robots with video-game controllers

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Engadget posted an article entitled, ‘NASA’s JPL maneuvers a robot arm with Oculus Rift and Kinect 2, points to more immersive space missions’, the wonder of which I think is best summed up in the paragraph – “Imagine how inspirational it would be for a 7-year-old to control a space robot with the tools he’s already familiar with!”

 

Scoble tries out the Virtuix Omni

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Robert Scoble is an American blogger, technical evangelist, and author whose latest book, ‘Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy‘ looks at “the converging forces that promise to change virtually every aspect of our lives”.

Here he interviews the inventor of the Virtuix Omni virtual reality treadmill, Jan Goetgeluk, and is clearly excited about the experience he had in trying it out –

Tricking the brain with VR

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PBS News Hour aired a new report last night on ‘Tricking the brain with transformative virtual reality’. It’s well worth 6 minutes of your time –

 

Virtual Reality will change the way we Work, Play, Meet, Learn and Live

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Jan Goetgeluk is the inventor of the Virtuix Omni, the omni-directional treadmill for virtual reality applications which had a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign earlier this year. He recently delivered a 9 minute talk at TEDxHouston 2013 where he explained how Virtual Reality will change the way we work, play, meet, learn and live. Quite a claim but one that’s hard to dispute after watching his presentation –

Kinect plus Oculus Rift = superhero powers

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The Open Virtual Worlds group at University of St. Andrews in Scotland are doing much pioneering work in the area of virtual worlds and virtual reality. I absolutely love their latest ‘hack’ which combines the immersion of the Oculus Rift with the gestural control of the Kinect camera to allow a user to fly around her virtual world with Superman-like ease. It looks like incredible fun but more importantly underlines the added sense of immersion when the user interaction is ‘as 3D’ as the visuals –

A touch of class

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We’re in danger of becoming a Kickstarter news site here but it’s where most of the really interesting new projects in virtual reality are making their public debuts. We’ve written quite a bit about the visual side of VR but just as important is the more ‘touchy feely’ side, or rather Haptics.

In technology terms haptics is a tactile feedback technology which takes advantage of the sense of touch by applying forces, vibrations, or motions to the user. I remember when I bought my first games console in 1996 and experienced the Rumble Pak on the Nintendo 64 controller for the first time when playing GoldenEye 007. It was an extraordinary sensation to feel force feedback when firing a weapon, regardless of how primitive it was.

But the Reactive Grip™ – Touch Feedback for VR & Video Games promises to deliver an entirely more realistic experience. “Tactical Haptics aims to bring a revolutionary new touch feedback technology to virtual reality and video games that blows the doors off traditional “rumble” vibration feedback. Reactive Grip touch feedback works by mimicking the friction and shear forces that we feel in the real world when holding an object or touching a surface. This is accomplished by measuring the movements of the player’s hand and actuating small sliding plates in the grip of the controller to recreate the friction and shear forces you expect when holding an actual object such as a sword, slingshot, gun, or fishing rod. We call it Reactive Grip feedback because it reacts to your actions and motions in the virtual world.”

I can’t wait to get my hands on this technology (no pun intended).

A bigger step forward…

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The great John Carmack, now with Oculus Rift, explains eloquently why virtual reality is a bigger step forward in computing than “the next factor of 4 difference that we get in GPU power” –

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