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Carnegie Mellon research aims to combine touch with useability in VR: A winning approach?

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James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

Virtual reality (VR) is able to create stunning immersive visual experiences – yet they remain an alternative dimension, with the user experience somewhat obtrusive. Research into haptics – the area of interaction between virtual and physical forms – is ongoing. Yet new research from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) has aimed to unlock the challenge of simulating touch in VR.

The device uses multiple strings attached to the hand and fingers to simulate the feel of obstacles and objects. “By locking the strings when the user’s hand is near a virtual wall, for instance, the device simulates the sense of touching the wall,” the university explained. “The string mechanism enables people to feel the contours of a virtual sculpture, sense resistance when they push on a piece of furniture, or even give a high five to a virtual character.”

The shoulder-mounted device looks to take advantage of spring-loaded strings to lessen weight, consume minimal battery power, and maintain low cost. This compares with other haptic techniques whereby strings were used, with motors deployed to control them. The CMU researchers wanted to move away from this method, looking towards a system which was unobtrusive and affordable.

The device, which weighs less than 10 ounces, could cost as little as $50 in a mass-produced form, with user testing, according to the team, finding the device was more realistic than other methods.

“Elements such as walls, furniture and virtual characters are key to building immersive virtual worlds, and yet contemporary VR systems do little more than vibrate hand controllers,” said Chris Harrison, assistant professor at CMU’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, virtual reality has been seen as a potential answer for those stuck within their four walls during lockdown phases. The economic impact of the virus, however, has cut a swathe across almost all technology sectors, with VR no different – take Magic Leap’s recent layoffs as an example.

While some initiatives have proved a major success – the city of Helsinki recently put together a ‘VR gig’ with more than half a million virtual attendees – other industry opinion has been cool on the subject. Writing for the New York Times last week, Kevin Roose noted a conflict between the potential for escapism and the traditional bugaboo of hardware user experience. “After several weeks of testing, I suspect that the future of lifelike digital interactions will not be found inside VR headsets and computerised goggles, but instead will be built on top of the less flashy technology we’re already using,” Roose wrote.

Some are taking a more optimistic approach. Forbes writer Joe Parlock, albeit taking more of a gaming-focused view – an area which Roose admits is strong – argued that the comparisons are apples against oranges when it came to VR’s limitations. “We don’t argue that flight sims are dead because most people don’t build a plane cockpit in their garage to play them,” he wrote. “VR is a hobby, one that is adjacent to mainstream gaming, and it doesn’t need to meet arbitrary goals comparative to flat gaming to be considered successful.”

What may have made the Helsinki concert experience so good, as the Guardian’s Sarah Baxter notes, is that there was no headset required – and that through Virtual Helsinki, the Finnish capital’s digital twin, initiatives would naturally be at a more advanced stage.

This makes for an interesting analysis when considering the CMU research. Anything which maintains, or even enhances, usability, while limiting clunkiness, has been a goal of the wider wearable technology industry for some time. Whoever gets it right may well be onto a major winner.

You can find out more about the CMU project by visiting here.

Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their use-cases? Attend the co-located IoT Tech ExpoBlockchain ExpoAI & Big Data Expo and Cyber Security & Cloud Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam and explore the future of enterprise technology.

Tags: Carnegie Mellon, CMU, haptics, VR

Source: https://virtualreality-news.net/news/2020/may/07/carnegie-mellon-research-aims-to-combine-touch-with-useability-in-vr-a-winning-approach/

Blockchain

All Eyes on Ethereum

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One Ether now costs more than US$3000. Did you ever think you’d see the day?

You gotta hand it to the crypto markets: in some ways they’re comically predictable. A month ago, Ethereum was everyone’s favourite whipping boy, a bloated, expensive under-achiever that couldn’t even double its 2017 all-time high. Lol what a weakling.

And with competitors like Cosmos, Solana, Polygon and Polkadot nipping at its heels, perhaps this was the beginning of the end for the network that gave us smart contracts, ICOs, ERC-20 tokens, DeFi, yield farming, NFTs and, to be honest, the entire idea that blockchain was a multi-functional and era-shaping technological breakthrough that you ignored at your peril.

How things have changed. On Monday Ethereum blasted through the US$3000 mark like it was barely there, throwing on an extra 15% while it was at it. The network is now worth a shade under US$400 billion, putting it on par with Mastercard and Walmart, and officially making Vitalik Buterin, the 27-year-old prodigy who created Ethereum, a bona fide billionaire. So, is this how the Flippening begins?

Network to net worth

Due to the speed with which things move in crypto, we tend to underestimate some of the metrics that actually speak to a technology’s success. The new shiny thing is almost always more exciting than some dusty old contraption built in the positively prehistoric year of 2015. Did they even have electricity back then?

But Ethereum stands out from almost all other blockchains in that it’s already being used, at scale, by millions of people and companies. While that may seem like Business 101 – get more customers, be more successful – when it comes to blockchain usage is a particularly powerful factor because of the way it harnesses network effects to improve the value of the system itself. Use it more and the whole system becomes more valuable, both financially and practically, for the network’s users, miners, stakers, investors and developers. Oh, and Vitalik, of course.

How far we’ve come

Ethereum’s issue has always been its inability to scale. If you can’t handle hundreds or even thousands of transactions a second, then you’re not really fit for purpose as a global computer. The result for Ethereum has been a year of increasing network congestion and brutally high transaction fees. Yet the fact that so much continues to be built and transacted on Ethereum tells you exactly how strong these network effects already are.

There’s also an increasing focus on three major changes to the Ethereum network due to arrive before the end of the year:

  • EIP-1559: Lifts one of DeFi’s major innovations in the field of ‘tokenomics’ by implementing a token burn system on every transaction. You use the Ethereum network, you burn some ETH, never to be seen again.
  • Optimism: due for a full launch in July, the Optimism sidechain should significantly improve the speed of Ethereum by leveraging largely incomprehensible processes such as ZK-Rollups and Sharding. It’s already being used by the Synthetix protocol, where it has saved users over $10 million dollars in transaction fees.
  • Ethereum 2.0: This is the big one, Ethereum’s transition from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake. It’s been coming for years, but the importance of the change cannot be overstated. Already more than 4 million Ethereum are being staked on the Ethereum 2.0 contract, offering an insight into how much ETH might fall out of circulation once the entire thing goes live (potentially in November).

In short, Ethereum is just getting started. The price might seem gaspingly high right now, but remember that Ethereum isn’t trying to be Walmart or Mastercard. It wants to be the thing that Walmart and Mastercard are built on – and that’s a prospect worth having a stake in.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://blog.coinjar.com/all-eyes-on-ethereum/

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Blockchain

CARBON: A perfect avenue for showcasing talent

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Creative professionals sometimes find themselves figuring out where to showcase their creations and profit from them. 

It’s a tough situation to be in. But with CARBON, the dilemma is lessened. 

CARBON creates an avenue that gives creators both a place to show off their talents and a chance to earn money.

CARBON features an ecosystem of a global scale that integrates open finance, fashion, art, music, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

One of its objectives is to enable a community that can inspire, support, and reward professionals.

What the CARBON marketplace looks like

As what an ideal marketplace should be, CARBON has a lot to offer, helping emerging brands and artists have a shot even at the highest levels of competition they have to deal with.

Items related to fashion, art pieces, music, and digital assets such as NFTs are offered in the CARBON marketplace. A dedicated team will carefully select these products.

The market will also see exclusive collaborations featuring various artists and brands for physical commodities and digital items that will be dropped on a weekly basis.

As for its audience, they should prepare for a diverse experience brought by a market evolving into a global ecosystem.

About CARBON

CARBON was founded by Chad Pickard who also acts as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO). It is an open finance wallet and super ecosystem that is built for the whole world of fashion, art, music, and culture while also integrating digital assets through NFT offerings.

It has its native token, the $GEMS, and its wallet integrates Neobank functions like the financial technology company Revolut and a non-custodial smart wallet for decentralized finance (DeFi) and cryptocurrencies.

This integration allows users to hold fiat (government-backed) and digital currencies as well as NFTs in a single platform.

The wallet is linked to the market, giving users the ability to directly select items that they desire.

CARBON doesn’t just work as a marketplace where purchases can be made, but also as an avenue where professional creators get to showcase their talents and inspire others to promote their own. It provides them with a winning environment.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://bitcoinerx.com/bitcoin/carbon-a-perfect-avenue-for-showcasing-talent/

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Blockchain

How Tokenplace can help crypto traders get the best buy and sell prices

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Any seasoned crypto trader knows that the price of a digital currency can vary across different exchanges worldwide.

Thus, one of the basic strategies for investing in digital currencies is to scout for the best buy or sell price and that’s where Tokenplace comes in.

Access to different crypto exchanges via one platform

To take full advantage of the price variance across exchanges, some traders often resort to opening accounts on different platforms. But Tokenplace eliminates this need because the platform allows one to access different exchanges worldwide.

This means that a user will only need his Tokenplace account and password to gain access to the entire crypto market. This is a lot simpler compared to having to main multiple accounts and passwords for other exchanges for different trading pairs.

Tokenplace is basically an online trading platform and exchange aggregator. With its automated order-splitting, orders are automatically broken up to ensure that traders get the best price for every coin they want to trade.

Easy to use and features-packed trading terminal

Tokenplace is also very appealing to newer investors because it is very easy to use. For instance, users will only need to access a single window for their deposits, withdrawals, trading, and exchanging.

The platform can be accessed from both desktop and mobile devices. Tokenplace’s onboarding and one-time registration process are also one of the quickest in the industry.

Tokenplace uses advanced algorithms for its multi-exchange order splitting feature. With this high-tech tool, users can get the best buy and sell price every time they trade.

Website: https://tokenplace.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TokenplaceTOK
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/tokenplace

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is a paid press release, which BitcoinerX has posted as part of a commercial agreement. BitcoinerX is not responsible for producing this content and does not endorse the products or services mentioned. It is the responsibility of the company posting the press release to ensure the material is credible and accurate. BitcoinerX is not responsible for any damage or loss caused to anyone who chooses to use the company, product or services mentioned in the press release. BitcoinerX does not recommend using the information in the press release to form the sole basis of investment decisions.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://bitcoinerx.com/blockchain/how-tokenplace-can-help-crypto-traders-get-the-best-buy-and-sell-prices/

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