Mixed Reality Now a Reality
March 10, 2008 3:56 PM
comment(s) - last by
New research into "mixed reality states" promises Matrix-like "whoa"
Real-time model-based feedback is something that is far from commonplace in today's world. The basic concept of real-time feedback is to take a physical system, modeled by mathematic equations, and then couple it with a computer as a virtual system.
Sensor monitoring gives the processing logic an idea of how well the real world system is conforming to the theoretical model. The results are processed and yield adjustments (feedback) to the real world system to make it in tune with the theoretical model. The result is that the virtual and real world models converge into a single "mixed reality" system, bridging a the virtual (theoretical) and physical world.
Such an approach holds large benefits for everything from
better aircraft dynamics
smoother robotic control
. To accomplish such useful applications, researchers working on mixed reality had to start simple -- real simple.
Researchers at the University of Illinois created a virtual pendulum and a real world counterpart that behaves as the
world's first mixed reality system
. Bidirectional instantaneous coupling, adjustments both to the real world pendulum by motor feedback and the virtual pendulum by tweaking mathematical parameters, yielded a single system in which both systems' are synchronized. The result is two pendulums swinging as one.
The experiment, the first fully successful one of its kind, sounds simple but raises mind-blowing questions about reality. According to Illinois physicist Alfred Hubler, "In a mixed reality state there is no clear boundary between the real system and the virtual system. The line blurs between what’s real and what isn’t."
Hubler describes the pendulums synchronization, stating, "[The pendulums] suddenly noticed each other, synchronized their motions, and danced together indefinitely."
Two physical mechanical systems have been previously coupled, but never before has a real world and virtual one been mixed. Such a breakthrough was only possible thanks to ultra-fast computing, which allowed real-time processing of the pendulum data, and real-time response. Hubler states, "Computers are now fast enough that we can detect the position of the real pendulum, compute the dynamics of the virtual pendulum, and compute appropriate feedback to the real pendulum, all in real time."
Hubler thinks that eventually coupling of the real and virtual worlds, may lead to it being hard to tell what is real and what is fake -- a topic immortalized by generations of science fiction writers. Hubler worries people may become defensive and paranoid in the real world,
based on threats in the virtual world
The research was funded by the National Science Foundation and will be presented by Hubler at the annual American Physical Society meeting, which will be held in New Orleans, March 10-14, 2008.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: So, what exactly is the point?
3/10/2008 5:15:17 PM
I'm kind of seeing the same thing. The idea, from what I can gather, is to be able to accurately, and adaptively simulate reality before it happens - like some sort of real-time bayesian analysis (which probably a better term as this idea will inevitably be probability-based).
Still, there will always be lag between the stimulus and response, however minute - if there wasn't then we wouldn't have any need of a model, as we'd simply use the instantaneous (for lack of a better word) mechanism to adjust based solely on the real-world conditions - there'd be no simulation involved. The philosophical arguement seems to be headline fodder, as it simply can't happen without holding time still.
Adaptive computing simulations are useful, and I'm pretty sure they're already used in common applications like automatic transmissions among other things. Another bottleneck for this type of thing has been measurement technology its economics (you wouldn't put a breadboard on a 4x4...)
"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer
Morgan Readies LIFECar Fuel Cell Coupe for Geneva
February 28, 2008, 4:56 PM
Nissan's New GT-R Gets Help from Video Game Designers
October 23, 2007, 10:28 AM
DARPA Successfully Completes Automated Air Refueling Demo
August 15, 2007, 3:14 PM
Boeing Unveils First 787 Dreamliner to the Public
July 9, 2007, 10:30 AM
The Matrix Trilogy to Hit HD DVD Before Blu-ray
March 26, 2007, 10:49 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Researchers Hope to Find "Exotic" Lifeforms Inside Crater of Dinosaur Killing Meteor
April 14, 2015, 8:47 PM
Mathematician's Sociological Formulation May Explain the "Hipster Paradox"
April 14, 2015, 1:13 PM
Cool Science Video: This is What a McDonald's Burger Looks Like in Your Stomach
April 7, 2015, 1:43 PM
Most Popular Articles
Windows XP, Vista Users Can Get Free Windows 10 Upgrade Thanks to Loophole
June 23, 2015, 2:23 PM
SanDisk's 200GB microSDXC Card Turns Smartphones Into Enviable PMPs
June 26, 2015, 2:02 PM
U.S. Navy Spends $9M USD to Cling to Windows XP, Office 2003
June 24, 2015, 2:03 PM
Under the Hood: Digging Into Sony's New CUH-1200 PS4, 1 TB Ultimate Player Ed.
June 23, 2015, 10:33 AM
Xbox Outsold 108-to-1 By PS4 in Japan, Weekly Sales Fall to 100 Units
June 22, 2015, 1:54 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information