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MIT Media Lab's Surround Vision brings virtual reality to a tablet (video)

Tim Stevens
April 9, 2010
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Sure, 3D adds a little more dimensionality to your couch-bound viewing experience, but it's far from the truly immersive virtual reality people have promising for decades. Surround Vision isn't quite VR either, but it's an interesting way of breaking the perception barrier, allowing a viewer to pan around a scene outside the perspective offered by one display. It's a project by Santiago Alfaro, graduate student at MIT's Media Lab, and relies on a tablet with a compass. In his demo he filmed video from three perspectives and is able to display the center perspective on the main TV while panning around to the other two with the tablet. It's an interesting idea to bring some aspect of interactivity to the viewing process, but we could see Hollywood turning it into the next big gimmick, with the leading man pointing off screen dramatically and saying "Oh my god, what's that?" before waiting patiently for a few seconds while the audience scrambles to pan around and find the horror. Yeah, we've got your number, Michael Bay. Immersive video demonstration after the break for you to lose yourself in.





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