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What’s Next After 3D? Appear in Your Own Movie

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If you guessed "4D" to the question above, you might not be far off. Companies like Phase Space are working on a technology, which allows actors to wear sensor suites and translate their actions, real time, into animated characters. To do this level of work for commercials and movies - a la "Avatar" - typically costs between $1,000 and $10,000 a second. PhaseSpace's solution costs about $10 a second. Says author, Rob Enderle: "While in its beginning stages, the concept of people being able to enter the movies they watch, or eventually being able to create 3Di movies could dramatically alter both what we watched and how we interacted with it. This technology may be applied to gaming via a head-mounted controller and voice-alteration." Imagine "virtual cameras" which allow the director to walk around, look at the tablet, and see into the movie world from all angles, making for intriguing participatory experiences.

 

The Next Big Thing: Crowd Sourced Movies and Immersive HD Games

According to Enderle, it isn't hard to imagine that an immersive game, properly cut and directed, couldn't actually be an interesting movie. When you combine the ability to immediately translate real actors into high-definition, animated, photo-realistic characters, in realistic, real-time-rendered environments, and view them all in real time, you have the potential to bend gaming and movies in a way that we may not be able to tell the difference.

 

To watch a sample, click here: 
 
 
To read the complete article by Rob Enderle, click here:
 

Digital Storm Honored with CES Innovations 2011 Design and Engineering Award

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3Di Multi-Display Gaming System: The Future is Total Immersion

Digital Storm has been named an International CES Innovations 2011 Design and Engineering Awards Honoree for Black|OPS with 3D Vision Surround Technology. The award is sponsored by Consumer Electronics Association, host of the Consumer Electronics Show, scheduled to open in Las Vegas, Nevada January 6, 2011.

With the debut of Black|OPS with 3D Vision Surround Technology, Digital Storm and NVIDIA's 3D VisionTM Surround Technology expands gaming real estate across three monitors in full HD 3D. With the system's customized PC, gamers can expand their view of in-game action, allowing them to see enemies sooner, get a complete survey of strategy games, and race their cars even faster than before.

Microsoft Sells Over 2.5 Million Kinect Units in First Month of Release

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According to an article in game website wwwgamasutra.com, Microsoft announced that Kinect, its new 3Di-camera-based motion controller, has sold over 2.5 million units worldwide in its first 25 days of retail availability. Kinect is on pace to sell as well as it did during its first ten days, where the peripheral moved an estimated one million units in its first ten days of release in the United States and five days of availability in Europe. In a recent interview, a Microsoft representative expected to sell three million units during the holiday season, and later increasing that number to 5 million units if Kinect continuing selling at its current pace.

In a related story, Sony Computer Entertainment says it's sold in 4.1 million PlayStation Move units since the device's launch two months ago. It's a slower start than Microsoft's Kinect --but Sony says it's bullish on "momentum" for Move entering the holiday season.

To witness the Kinect Dance of Celebration, click here:

To read the entire article, click here:

Turtle Beach Debuts Ear Force®  7.1 Channel Universal Gaming Headset Bundle

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Turtle Beach, manufacturer of premium gaming headsets and audio entertainment accessories, has announced the debut of its Ear Force DPX21 Universal Gaming Headset Bundle designed for the PS3TM, XBOX360® and PC/Mac platforms.

The DPX21 combines two of Turtle Beach's products into one deluxe combo package, partnering the battle-tested PX21 headset with the Ear Force DSS for a full Dolby digital surround sound headset. Designed for PlayStation Network or XBOX LIVE, you are virtually guaranteed to win every battle - well, maybe not quite, but you're certain not to miss any sound queues. Footsteps from behind, weapons loading at a distance and other sonic events happening all around become quite clear.

Motion Actuators Reform Bad-Boy Bass

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Let's face it. Some of us can never get enough bass. Unfortunately, we may live with, or near, others who don't appreciate the visceral impact of a fine explosion or a rocket blasting off. Ultra-low frequencies exist in the real world, but even high quality subwoofers typically cannot accurately reproduce frequencies in the "kinesthetic" range (0-15Hz). So what do we do? Crank up the audible bass, which does not get any lower. More subwoofers? Hearing loss, anyone? Structural damage? Puleaze!

XBOX 360 Kinect Glitch Fixed

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Apparently, Microsoft has ironed out one of the kinks with Kinect, its motion sensor accessory for XBOX 360, to allow it to recognize players who are sitting. Previously, the base node for the skeletal model was set from the bottom of the spine, thus confusing the system when players were in a seating position with their knees in front of their pelvis. Microsoft recently changed this from its previous position to the back of the neck, thus alleviating the problem.

Such problems become significant, especially when game developers have to code for the possibility of gamers on the floor, as with Blitz Games Studios "The Biggest Loser", which require players to do push-ups and sit-ups, explained Blitz Games CTO Andrew Oliver.

To learn more about Kinect, click here:

Golf Simulators Share Space With Home Theaters

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Now that the cold, blustery season is upon us and with springtime a long way off, golfers around the country will be aching to swing their clubs. The newest generation of Golf Simulators offers a total immersion experience, including HD video and realistic computer graphics of the world's great courses. No matter how bad the weather is outside your home, in the Simulator, it's always sunny and clear at Pebble Beach, Princeville, Pinehurst, St. Andrews, Torrey Pines and dozens of others. And no one will be rushing you to "play through" except your friends or family who want their turn.

 

Sharing Home Theater Space
With clever AV design, simulators can share the space now occupied by a dedicated Home Theater in basements and bonus rooms. Both systems require a projector and a screen. There are a few caveats, however. Consider flush-mounting the theater speakers in the ceiling using angled baffle or pivoting tweeter speakers, to keep them out of the way of flying golf balls. Although the Simulator screen is sufficient for certain gaming activities, like Wii, we don't suggest any serious Home Theater aficionado will be satisfied by viewing a screen that's been plunked a thousand times by Callaways or Titleists. So use a separate screen for movies, please. Likewise, a dedicated theater projector will provide the high performance to which we've become accustomed.

D-BOX GPH-120 Hybrid Motion System

January 8, 2009 By Dennis Burger 57 comments
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Shake It, Baby

D-BOX Technologies introduced its new GPH-120 Hybrid Motion System today at CES, and if the number of people lining up for their chance to try one out is any indication, this less-complicated, less-expensive take on the company’s classic motion control technology is going to be a hit.

SE2 Labs’ ITC One

October 8, 2008 By Dennis Burger 84 comments
SE2 Labs ITC One

Don’t call it a home theater in a box—SE2 Labs’ ITC One packs a lot of functionality into one sleek package, and does so with style to spare

Within ten minutes of unpacking and installing SE2 Labs’ long-awaited all-in-one device, the ITC One, I realize that something is seriously wrong. Most of my video outputs aren’t working and one speaker isn’t getting sound. I’m seriously dreading having to lug this behemoth back to my front door to send it back.

Not a very flattering intro, I know, but this unfortunate incident ends up being key to my realizing what an amazing product SE2 Labs has created.

An Adult Perspective

March 1, 2007 By Dennis Burger 33 comments
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I’m used to providing tech support for friends, especially those new to the world of home theater and high-definition video. But never have my phone lines been as busy as in the days after Sony’s PlayStation 3 hit the stores. "What’s the difference between 720p and 1080i?" "Should I rip my CDs in AAC, MP3, or ATRAC?" "Why am I not getting sound from this SACD I bought?" "Why won’t this Blu-ray movie that came with the PS3 play on my DVD player?"

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