Posts Tagged ‘The Matrix’

Can you see the future?

I am sure everyone has been bored on an airplane and opened up the latest version of SkyMall to check out the latest in gadgets and home accessories.  One object in particular always catches my eye: iWear VR920.  For the cheap price of $399.00 you too can have the world’s best-selling pair of virtual reality glasses.  Not only is the customer able to look like a character from The Matrix, but they also get to experience the wonders of a virtual reality. There has even been experiments if this virtual technology could be used with medicine to help patients psychologically heal from injuries.  Although the iWear glasses are sold on a commercial basis for personal use, advances in technology could discover a way to help patients recover from psychological events or help train combat fighters to decrease deaths.

With all new inventions, there are many faults in the product including the stability, and the graphics of the virtual reality. But like all new age technology, once the original is created it can only be improved from there. So who knows, maybe one day we will only communicate through a virtual world, or maybe the reality of Chew-Z and Can-D is not far in the future.  The Vuzix iWear glasses are able to track your head movement so the character reacts to your movements and provides to equivalent of a 62-inch screen from a safe distance of 9 feet.  These revolutionary glasses give the viewers a full immersion into the virtual world of the game of their choice. Not only do viewers get to experience their favorite games in a 3D experience, but they will feel like they are a part of the game.  The concept of virtual reality glasses brings a whole new meaning to the concept of gamer addiction as they feel they are physically in the game.

The technology of the virtual glasses can easily be improved with lighter designs, better graphics, and faster movement tracking technology.  After such advances in technology it is not far fetched to think that maybe one day we will be able to slip on a pair of glasses and join the Avatars of tomorrow in a foreign land where we cannot die and virtual cyberspace becomes our reality.



March 31, 2011 Leave a comment

Moviegoers have been treated to increasingly more eye-popping visuals lately, as the number of 3D movies has skyrocketed in the past few years. Ironically, 3-dimnesional visual technology is far from new; in fact, the earliest 3-D film, The Power of Love, premiered 88 years ago, though it obviously displayed  visual effects  far from what viewers saw when they watched Avatar or Toy Story 3.


Avatar, as we discussed in class, began an upward trend of 3-D movies. Whereas only 3 movies were made in 3-D in 2008, Avatar seemed to have opened the floodgates, giving way to 12 movies in 2009, more than 20 in 2010, and over 30 in 2011. Perhaps much of this 3-D fever can be attributed to Avatar’s commercial success, as it was one of the highest grossing films of all time. But on another note, the rampant rise of 3-D movies can be considered a detriment, as this focus on visuals has undoubtedly taken away from the other qualities that make movies great. While seeing Avatar in theatres (with glasses, popcorn, and soda, of course) was an unbelievable visual spectacle, it is a movie that lacks character development, and centers around a plot identical to that of Pocahontas.


I am all for visually striking movies, and the bullet-time parts of The Matrix are some of my favorites scenes in any movie, ever. However, the Matrix, as Bob Rehak notes, has a theme-driven purpose to its special effects. Since the characters are able to bend and break the rules of their physical world, it makes sense that the movie have visual elements that are slightly different, slightly more advanced, and in the end, cooler. But that was 10 years ago. Today, this new (maybe not as new as we think) wave of movies utilizes visuals as more of a cloak, meant to veil the true nature of these movies. Clash of the Titans was awful, Tron was an outrageous waste of $14, and The Last Airbender went so far as to receive a 6% on Rotten Tomatoes.


But the point is that people still went to see these movies, as flashy visuals have begun to trump everything that makes movies great. I am all for making movies fun to look at; you know I’d go live in Pandora in a heartbeat. But, to all those Hollywood producers out there reading our blog: 3-D is good, but let’s try to make actual movies from now on, OK?


Superbowl XLVI 3D coming to….a TV near you?

March 17, 2011 Leave a comment

After reading and watching all of these “hi-tech” books and movies in class, I am left wishing that we had technology that allowed us to experience a matrix or travel to a space station base. Though we seem nowhere close to creating a “matrix”, or at least not like the one found in the movie, we are making great strides in visual technology, specifically 3D projection. Aside from all the 3D movies coming out, the concepts of 3D TVs is finally coming true. My first question when I heard about 3D TVs was “well how does that work?” 3D technology can be produced in a variety of different ways: stereoscopic capture, multi-view capture, and 2D plus depth. The basic idea of a 3D picture is projecting two images slightly off center, one for your left eye, and one for your right. This can be done using eyeglasses that separate the images for each eye. The TV can also split the images automatically for the viewer so that there is no need for glasses.

Given our experience with 3D movies, why wouldn’t we want our TVs to also project in 3D? First off, the starting price for a 3D TV is around 2,000 dollars. Assuming your tech savvy enough to buy a TV, you will probably invest in a 3D Blue Ray DVD player for around 400 dollars. Many of the TVs come with eyeglasses (4), however each additional pair goes for around 150. Since this is such new technology, there are no standards in the industry; therefore a Panasonic pair of glasses will not work with a Samsung TV. If you have a few friends come over, and you don’t have enough glasses, or the right brand of glasses, you can’t all watch the TV.

On top of this, there are not that many stations to choose from. ESPN and SKY 3D (the fist 3D channel), are two of the few 3D channels. Occasionally other channels will broadcast special programming in 3D, such as sporting events or movies, but there are not many channels that you can rely on for constant 3D broadcasting. Lastly, though the selection of channels is limited, what programs DO we want to broadcast in 3D? Do we really want to watch Oprah or Gossip Girl in 3D? I personally want 3D television to enrich my entertainment experiment, but for shows like Lost or 24, or the Superbowl and not for The Real Housewives of Atlanta or commercials for OxyClean . There is no definite line for what shows or programs should be broadcasted in 3D and which ones should stay in 2D because it is simply a matter of public preference. However, until this technology drops in price, improves in functionality, and expands in options, it will quickly phase out of the industry.