Category Archives: News and Technology

A pink headset will not fix VR’s woman problem.

Google announced a new Daydream View VR headset available in gray, black, or coral pink to complement the Google Home colors. Although it isn’t available until November, the company happily splashed images of attractive young women enjoying VR now that the soft foam case and remote control are the color of vaginal hygiene products and lady razors.

What can I say about superficially gendered “pink marketing” that hasn’t already been said here, and here, and here…? When a VR headset is designed to accommodate a ponytail (or a manbun) only then I will acknowledge there was a woman somewhere in the design process.

A pink headset is good for one thing: preventing a man from stealing your electronics due to the talismanic “cootie powers” of the color pink. Wait three months and all the unsold pink headsets will be priceslashed in the bargain bin. I’ve bought pink electronics and pink accessories – even a pink iPad cover – at a fraction of the price of the blue item sitting next to it on the shelf. The un-appeal of the color makes it unmarketable to most buyers regardless of gender. I call it the “Your Dick Will Fall Off Discount”. It would actually be funny if it weren’t such an insult to a major reason women are shunning VR.

“Women are more susceptible than men to motion sickness in general,” says Thomas Stoffregen at the University of Minnesota, in an article from New Scientist. Stoffregen and his team ran experiments in which 36 people – half of them men, half of them women – played two VR games using an Oculus Rift headset. “A game in which players had to push a marble around a maze only made a few people feel nauseous. But a game that involved taking a virtual stroll around a haunted house triggered feelings of sickness in 14 out of 18 women and only six out of 18 men.”

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00221-016-4846-7

Why women experience motion sickness more than men isn’t understood. Stoffregen suggests it’s the fact that women have smaller feet (!) and this leads to postural sway – nevermind his test subjects were seated and that women typically have bigger butts and shorter torsos which would seem to make them more stable not less.

Computer scientist Mary Czerwinski has a different take on the problem. “Men are quicker to create a mental map of an environment and orient themselves within it…. Unfortunately, it tends to be the case that women have lower spatial ability – and that’s true in virtual worlds too,” she says.

A study of simulation training at Microsoft found that women were just as good as men at virtual navigation when they had a large computer display. “The gender difference simply disappeared,” says Czerwinski. A standard monitor gives a viewing angle of about 35°. With a larger screen, giving a viewing angle of 70°, women navigated better. And with two screens delivering a 100° angle, women matched men’s spatial abilities.

But there was a proviso. Women only matched men when the 3D virtual environment moved smoothly as they progressed through it. “You have to generate each image frame so the optical flow simulates accurately the experience of walking down, say, a hallway,” says her colleague George Robertson. Women find it easier to get their bearings when this animation is smooth and realistic, rather than jerky.

A superficial color change does nothing to address VR’s hardware limitations. VR sickness will continue to hit women harder until the image quality and framerates improve. Selling VR products the color of Pepto-Bismol isn’t going to help.

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UMotion

With UMotion Community you can create as many animations as you like using the well known forward kinematics approach. All basic features like Root Motion, Animation Events,… are included.

With UMotion Professional you’re able to import and edit animations created in external applications (including motion capture animations). With the Inverse Kinematics and the Child-Of constraint you can create good looking animations even faster.

Key Features:
[PRO] Import Mocap and 3rd Party Animations (from the Asset Store or any modeling application)
[PRO] Constraint System (Inverse Kinematics, Child-Of and Custom Property)
Bone Animations (useful for characters, creatures,…)
Transform Animations (useful for not rigged models like most guns on the Asset Store)
Animate in Play Mode (play the game, pause to edit the animation and continue playing)
Humanoid, Generic and Legacy Animations
Root Motion
Animation Events
Detailed Documentation
Video Tutorials

Smartsuit Studio for Mac OS

Rokoko has announced Smartsuit Studio for Mac OS X, adding to the Windows 10 and Linux versions. Smartsuit Studio software allows real-time visualization of Smartsuit data, motion capture recording, and FBX and BVH export.

The Smartsuit offers a self-contained motion capture solution in a ready-to-wear package with wireless inertial data streaming and on-board recording. Calibration takes less than one minute.

Smartsuit Pro includes one Smartsuit, a Smartsuit Studio license, and native plugins for Unity, Unreal, and Motionbuilder for $2500, delivered in 4-6 weeks. A bundle of 3 Smartsuits is $6500. Smartgloves are expected in 2018.
Learn more at Rokoko.com

iPhone X Face Tracking

Face ID is enabled by the TrueDepth camera and is simple to set up. It projects and analyzes more than 30,000 invisible dots to create a precise depth map of your face.

The TrueDepth camera analyzes more than 50 different muscle movements to mirror your expressions in 12 Animoji.

see: Apple buys Faceshift