By >RENO J. TIBKE
Eidos Masks: Giving Humans Superpowers (of perception)
The Eidos masks are really, really cool.
New toys like Google Glass are neat, but augmented reality (AR) has been around forever. Going back to WWII-era active gun sights, forward to the heads-up displays of modern aircraft & automobiles, to smartphone apps that overlay directions, traffic conditions, restaurant reviews, or, through facial recognition, the name of an acquaintance or colleague; throughout the basic concept and implementation of AR has remained fundamentally unchanged.
The same could be said for virtual reality (VR), with one caveat: for practical purposes, it doesn’t really like, you know, exist. In 1992, when Lawnmower Man came out and hundreds of computer scientists died in tragic eye-rolling incidents, VR and enthusiasm for it pretty much crawled into the sci-fi/fantasy corner where it’s spent most of the last 20 years. VR is an endlessly fascinating concept, and it’s endlessly unavailable (though the Oculus Rift shows promise).
The novel and intriguing Eidos project, consisting of a pair of prototype sensory enhancement masks developed by students at the Royal College of Art in London, has very simply but cleverly shoehorned together both AR & VR into an indirect, yet direct augmentation of analog perception.
Basically, the system is digitally processing analog reality and then feeding it back to the user’s organic sight & sound receivers in real time – which is neither discretely AR nor VR, but kinda simultaneously both.
Potential applications abound, so have a watch below, and the admittedly convoluted explanation above should make sense:
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Akihabara News Contributor Reno J. Tibke is the founder and operator of Anthrobotic.com.