A Japanese scientist has recently developed technology – which includes a high-speed camera and special glasses – that will allow users to manipulate and work with computer-generated 3-D virtual reality images with their hands. The technology was developed jointly by Masatoshi Ishikawa, a creative informatics professor at the University of Tokyo, and a company based in the United States.
Basically, the system uses the 3-D eyeglasses with polarized light filters – very similar to those used in cinemas to view 3-D movies – in conjunction with a high-speed processing camera. The technological breakthrough lies more with the usage of the camera, as it captures the motions of the user’s hand. These captured images are then processed by a computer and projected into the 3-D image that the user is looking at, giving the feeling that the user is actually moving in and with the 3-D image. The speed of the camera is key, taking only 0.027 second to project the movement, the developers said. “Because human eyes can only perceive a time lag as fast as one-30th of a second (0.033 second), 3-D images appear to move simultaneously when touched by the projected hand,” said Ishikawa.
This is probably the second time Ishikawa’s high-speed camera has been involved with a technological development. The camera was also part of a robotics effort, with the Ishikawa Oku Laboratory at Japan’s University of Tokyo creating a robot that is unbeatable at the universal children’s game “Rock, Paper, Scissors.” The camera, being so fast, was able to send details to the computer that controlled the robotic hand that it was virtually unbeatable at the game.
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