Tag Archives: games

Eye-tracking for VR [virtual reality]

meeka-eyeI just found a really interesting article in my Reader. It’s about eye-tracking technology and its use in [some] games.

The current interface requires a learning curve to use without, imho, much added value. That said, I have to admit I don’t play first person shooters, or the kinds of games where speed and twitch response are key.

There is one area, however, where I can see this technology becoming absolutely vital – and that’s in VR [virtual reality]:

Eye-tracking is critical to a technology called foveated rendering. With it, the screen will fully render the area that your eye is looking at. But beyond your peripheral vision, it won’t render the details that your eye can’t see.

This technique can save an enormous amount of graphics processing power. (Nvidia estimates foveated rendering can reduce graphics processing by up to three times). That is useful in VR because it takes a lot of graphics processing power to render VR images for both of your eyes. VR should be rendered at 90 frames per second in each eye in order to avoid making the user dizzy or sick.

A brief explanation is in order for non-gamers. Currently, there are two ways of viewing a game:

  • from the first person perspective
  • from the third person perspective

In first person perspective, you do not see your own body. Instead, the graphics attempt to present the view you would see if you were actually physically playing the game.

In third person perspective, you ‘follow’ behind your body, essentially seeing your character’s back the whole time. This view has advantages as it allows you to see much more in your ‘peripheral’ vision than you would if you were looking out through your character’s eyes.

In VR, however, the aim is not just to make you see what your character sees, the idea is to make you feel that you are your character. A vision system that mimicked how your eyes work by tracking your actual eye movements would increase immersion by an order of magnitude. And, of course, the computer resources freed up by this more efficient way of rendering would allow the game to create more realistic graphics elsewhere.

You can read the full article here:

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/26908997/posts/1307290866

I predict that voice recognition and eye tracking are going to become key technologies in the not too distant future, not just for games but for augmented* reality as well.

Have a great Sunday,

Meeks

*Augmented reality does not seek to recreate reality, like VR. It merely projects additional ‘objects’ on top of the reality that’s already there.


#Facebook #groups – looking for suggestions

meeka shockedI know this sounds odd, but are there any good Facebook groups dedicated to:

  • gardening
  • cooking
  • games
  • technology
  • other?

And if so, what’s the easiest way of finding them?

The reason I ask is because I have to teach a class on social media soon, and for the moment at least, Facebook is synonymous with social media for most people. Except me. I do have a Facebook account and an author page, and I can teach my students how to create their own accounts and use them, but I can’t honestly give them reasons for why they might want to. I’ve heard that Facebook has groups so I thought this might be something my students could enjoy.

Any suggestions? Anything that works for you? I’m all ears. 🙂

Meeks


My new addiction – the Jacquie Lawson Circus!

I make no apologies – I’m well and truly in holiday mode, and playing games is very much a part of the equation for me. I play Final Fantasy xiv, of course, and Spider Solitaire, but my latest craze is the Balloon Pop game that’s part of the Jacquie Lawson Circus.

Rather than trying to describe the Circus, feast your eyes on these screenshots:

balloon game circus

 

Like the Advent Calendar, you unlock the various parts of the Circus by ‘buying’ tickets. Unlike the calendar, however, you can unlock all the tickets in one hit if you wish. I’ve unlocked almost all of the tickets so there are little animations all over the place, including that clock in the mid-ground. It always displays my real world time. It’s a very nice touch which makes the scene look and feel strangely real. From memory, the Balloon Pop game is the third ticket in the sequence.

The aim of the Balloon Pop game is to pop as many balloons as possible, but the minimum is three. This is what it looks like at the start:

balloon game start

There are ten levels, and the game speeds up as you progress. You also get wildcard balloons – in the shape of diamonds and crowns – that make big bangs, and give your score a big boost.

I’m pleased to say that, unlike the game in the Advent Calendar, this one I can win! mwahahahaha… -cough-

balloon game winner

For my next post I’ll try for something a little more grownup, maybe. 🙂

cheers

Meeks


Paddle Trouble

paddle trouble screenshotPaddle Trouble is a new game app for mobile phones – not normally the kind of thing I talk about on this blog.

However… it just so happens that the creator of the game is an old friend of mine called George. We met about ten years ago on a geeky forum called Guru 3D, but George was always the true geek, not me. 😉

To cut a long story short, I wanted to have a look at George’s game, but I have yet to work out how to download apps onto my mobile phone [yes, I know, I’m ashamed of myself].

After much nagging Out of the kindness of his heart, George made it possible for me to play the game on my pc. And now I’m sharing that link with you. 🙂

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/28554951/PaddleTroubleWeb/web.html

After Paddle Trouble loads [may take a few seconds], click start and away you go.

The aim is to use your mouse to knock the blue balls away from the middle, and into the ‘gutter’ on the outer edge. Left click flicks the paddle at the blue ball, and if you time it right, you can hit it for six. For non cricket people that means hitting the ball right out of the playing field.

I confess my score is pretty low, but last time I played I managed to get past 2000 points. That sounds like a lot but believe me, it’s not. 🙂

If you like the game, and know how to download apps, you can follow the links on the page to download it to your phone.

Enjoy. 🙂

Meeks


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