September 17, 1991 |
Gray skies, the daily grind, family problems, international crises - the real world has always had its drawbacks. But an easy escape might soon be at hand. Put on a headset and a data-glove and you could jump into a completely different world - a "virtual reality" where the sun always shines and you can live out your fantasies. Known as VR, virtual reality has been on the drawing board for years. Now, thanks to increased computer power and a surge of interest, VR applications are finally making their debut.
April 23, 1999 |
A creepy-crawly excursion into the realms of virtual reality, David Cronenberg's Existenz is sort of The Matrix of the art house - sans the kinetic kung fu, dazzling digital effects, and 22d-century whizbangs. But there is still plenty of icky bug imagery to go around, along with computer cables that hook up to human bodies like umbilical cords. The metaphor of machines as an extension of man (and woman) isn't hard to miss. Set in a bleak, rural world of boxy churches, barns, mutant-trout farms, and hidden laboratories (it would be no surprise to see Dr. Frankenstein's cadaverous creation come lumbering down the road)
May 9, 1996 |
Set in a futuristic Tokyo with a burning chrome skyline, Ghost in the Shell is an eye-popping, mind-bending Japanimation adventure in cyberspace. The plot revolves around a female uber-cyborg, whose circuitry is augmented with voluptuous human flesh. Her mission is to locate a cyber-terrorist known as the Puppet Master, who, like her, eludes detection by the use of therm-optic camouflage. Our heroine refers to her cyber-spirit as her "ghost" and her human casing as her "shell," hence the film's title.
October 13, 1995 |
"Strange Days" represents a new generation of Hollywood movies designed not to entertain but to pulverize. Like this summer's "Batman Returns" and last year's "Natural Born Killers," "Strange Days" combines thumping, synthesized music with a torrent of images, leaving viewers not with a message or a moral, but a migraine. To this list of sins, "Strange Days" adds another - the already hackneyed subject of virtual reality. It's used here as a mechanism to draw the viewer into simulated murder, rape and assault.
August 13, 1992 |
Sister Jean Anthony, a professor of music therapy at Immaculata College, believes the field's future is intimately connected not to musical instruments but to computers. Make that computer-generated musical instruments. Sister Jean Anthony and Rebecca T. Mercuri, director of the computer consulting firm Notable Software, have been working for the last year on ways to use cyberspace, the phenomenon of a simulated environment also known as virtual reality, with traditional music therapy techniques.
August 18, 2002 |
Army Col. Bill Mathers had heard the promises before: vendors swearing that their product was going to revolutionize the way the military operated. Mathers was deputy commander of the Fort Dix battle lab, where he was in charge of finding ways to train through simulation, producing well-prepared soldiers while keeping costs down. So when Peter Rogina marched into his office in 1996 and delivered the goods - a souped-up, dead-on, photo-realistic version of virtual reality and the best imaging he'd ever seen - Mathers was incredulous.
June 4, 1991 |
A marriage of television and compact discs has produced a potent new offspring at this year's Summer Consumer Electronics Show. Resembling a plain- Jane CD player but hiding computer-strength smarts and a strong sense of adventure, this new breed of "multimedia" CD player (about $1,000) will run rich new hybrids of "electronic literature" that combine text, graphics, animated cartoons, partial screen video and digital stereo sound. Yes, it sings! It dances! It tells you stories and takes you places you've never been before!
October 7, 1998 |
It'll be big (at least according to early plans). And it'll be bright. But will it be Disney? Just about everyone, it seems, has started calling the lot at the corner of 8th and Market streets "the Disney site," in hopes that the Mouse himself will grace Philadelphia with his one of his new, virtual reality, Mousified game arcades called DisneyQuest. And yesterday, the city zoning board gave the nod to a Blue Bell developer with plans for the former Gimbel's site that include: along with a 20-screen multiplex, a 30-story hotel, a parking garage, and a gaggle of street-level shops - a five-story "arcade" space that just happens to meet the rodent's very needs.
June 10, 1993 |
The usual onslaught of spiffy new audio and video products was severly tempered at the Summer Consumer Electronics Show. Many of the big guns of the electronics business - including Sony, Sharp, JVC, Toshiba, Pioneer and Hitachi - skipped the trade show for reasons of timing or cost-saving. As a result, there were only a handful of those "golly gee, never saw that before" gizmos: Most prominent in computer/game land were Sega's wrap-around VR (virtual reality) video glasses that pull you into a 360-degree color game environment (priced under $200)
December 5, 1999 |
Chip Roach's first contact with the "virtual reality house tour" came more than two decades ago, when a salesman arrived at his office armed with an early version of the home video camera. "It was interesting," recalled Roach, cochairman of Prudential Fox & Roach. "The fellow had filmed the interiors and exteriors of almost 80 houses," Roach said. "But that was the problem. There were 80 houses to look at, and you had to fast-forward and rewind just to try to find the one that may have caught your eye. " Roach's comments, made as he returned from the mid-November annual convention of the National Association of Realtors in Orlando, Fla., were inspired by the four-day event's overwhelming emphasis on technology.