Wow. I can't believe they made another version of TOtal Recall, yet there I was immersed in it. Or three episode of The Matrix (Why didn't they just stop after the first?)
Virtual Reality has been a mind-blowing concept through fiction for a long time, so much so that the stories get told and retold, creating mirror-on-mirror like reflections of our own inner virtual fantasies.
None of it ever matches up to the virtual reality we all live with -- that with which we are born: the ability to dream. Like life itself, it can't be completely controlled, but it frees us to do anything -- eat seal, seduce our perfect lovers, soar to unreachable height, fly without wings, speak different languages, and accomplish incredibly athletic feats.
Do we really need to recreate virtual reality when we have something that is better? Must we have control over virtual reality? Isn't that itself unreal?
Total Recall was a bit different, focusing on memory as opposed to real-time experience, but the matrix did touch on extremely in-depth virtual reality. I think what sets this story apart a little bit is the ability to expeirience existing as an animal, including its desires or emotions.
The distinction of reality, virtual, perceived, or "real" is dicey at best, or at least the latter two are.
VR has been with us as long as art and language--though it's not clear which of those came first. Listening to a story around a campfire excites a subset of the very nuerons in much the same way as living that story does.
Photography was thought to put painters out of business, instead it brought abstraction and imagination. Movies were assumed to destroy novels, TV assumed to destroy movies, video games to destroy movies, and VR as an entertainment device could destroy them all--but none of that happened.
Novels are an amazing example of VR. You sink into a story, come to know the characters, spend 10-12 hours with them, fear their fears, root for them and love and hate them. But it's just a pile of paper or a stream of bits.
Sharing experience, whether in classrooms, labs, or out in the world, all has components of VR.
The point being that VR is inseparable from the human experience which is inextricable from interaction within societies, cultures, and so forth.
Adding tools can be destructive, but it all depends on how they're used. A major conflict in The Sensory Deception is that the developers want to restrict their VR technology to nature experiences that they believe can benefit humanity but the VCs, of course, want to maximize profit by doing more commercial apps.
Speaking of VR, anyone notice that game developer extrodinaire John Carmack of the original Doom game joining Oculus the VR headset maker as a CTO? I requested an interview and they said a few bazillion others have too but NO INTERVIEWS for the foreseeable, alas.
Yeah, I can imagine they are getting drowned in requests for interviews about Carmack. The first big misconception was that he left ID. Now that they cleared that up (he hasn't), things should begin to calm a little.
I've actually been talking to Palmer about possibly speaking at an event , hopefully we can make that happen.
Ransom is a key participant at DesignCon, so bring your copies of Sensory Deception to the next show in January (http://www.designcon.com/santaclara/) and he'll be happy to sign it, I'm sure. Better get those autographs now..before fame and fortune grab him from our midst!:)
Our brain can trick us plenty when it comes to interpreting our normal sensory inputs, now we're entering a world of deliberate sensory deception. Yikes! We're in for a heck of a ride!:)
It's really true! Great minds do think alike! (Or maybe I'm deceiving myself again:) There have been a number of books released by members of the DesignCon Community, including one just in the past few weeks on Signal Integrity Characterization Techniques coauthored by the famous, but sadly retiring, Eric Bogatin and Mike Resso of Agilent.
We'll have a chat session around both in the coming weeks, and anyone who brings a copy to the show can have it autographed the authors. I'm thinking a special authors' event would fit the bill.
Between now and then, though, a kick-off chat on EETimes on Sensory Deception, led by Ransom, would be fascinating! I'll ping him.
OK, so I'm sitting here with Amazon open. Should I buy the paperback or the MP3 CD version? After some serious thought, asking Ransom to sign a CD at DesignCon 2014 just isn't the same as getting an autograph on a printed book.
You can order the MP3s on CD and they come in a pretty box, like a DVD. But what do you do with a box holding one CD that you put on your computer straight away? I think they should give you all the different media if you buy any of them...
Blog Doing Math in FPGAs Tom Burke 2 comments For a recent project, I explored doing "real" (that is, non-integer) math on a Spartan 3 FPGA. FPGAs, by their nature, do integer math. That is, there's no floating-point ...