I was looking at these VR goggles.
Released for sale later this year I believe. Fish-eye lenses fill the full field of vision in stereoscopic 3D and they accurately track your head movements. They look pretty good I think.
I wondered if coupled with 'virtual gloves' how well it might work for juggling? Sometimes it could be handy to be able to slow the juggling down a little and then gradually increase the speed.
I think it'd be difficult to get any benefit out of it without any tactile feedback from the props, so you'd need some kind of haptic feedback rig as well... Suddenly it's not all that portable!
It would be better to be able to feel the props. Do you think it would be absolutely necessary? Perhaps a tutorial for learning just the 3b cascade. Would it make things any easier to then go on and juggle a real cascade? If a motion tracker sensed the power and direction of the virtual balls while gloves detect throws and catches by finger movement.. or is that kind of thing decades away yet?
I think that without feedback to feel the ball in your hand, juggling would be much more difficult and feel very different. Feeling the weight of the prop in your hand tells you how hard to throw it to get it to the right height, for example. Different weight balls behave very differently when thrown, but visual feedback doesn't tell you the weight. Also, tactile feedback is required for correcting for where the ball hits your hand. Remember that when juggling, you're not looking at your hands. Learning to juggling would be very difficult if you only have binary information about whether a ball was caught or not.
also, differently weighted balls need subtly different hand shapes to get a good positive catch. That's nothing to do with the path the balls take in the air and so would be really hard to simulate with only visual cues.
I think without the tactile feedback, it would make an interesting game, but would probably be of little use as a learning aid.
To give you some idea of how important tactile feeback is, go grab some pingpong balls and try to juggle them at your normal 3 ball height. They're very light objects, so should give you very little tactile feedback compared to a juggling ball) but they'll behave similarly to how I'd expect a visual simulation of a thrown ball to behave. For bonus points, keep your hands open and relatively flat (like a novice would)
Hard isn't it!
As for VR simulations making it easier to go on and learn the real skill - do you think that works with driving games? I can see how it would work with a full on car simulator (full motion simulation rig etc) but I can't see how simulating the driving experience without any of the physical feedback would be of much help in learning how to drive a real car.
I understand creating computer games to simulate things that can't easily or shouldn't be done in real life (monster truck racing/first person shooters), but juggling? Why virtually do something as opposed to actually doing it?
The only reason I can think of would be to slow down gravity as a progressive training tool.
To understand or design new patterns is what I was thinking, like stepping into a siteswap animator. It might also be interesting to pass clubs with someone on the other side of the world. But you're right, it wouldn't really work or feel right without the tactile feedback. I was rather hoping to be able to take juggling with me when I dissolve into the virtual world, although I think maybe juggling would be one of those things best saved for reality to prevent myself withering away.
Here's the first time I've seen VR juggling. Still no tactile feedback but I bet it's not too far away.
And a little info about Alex Schwartz's VR juggling simulator. Am I the only one getting excited about VR then?
I'm excited about virtual reality, but not for juggling or anything else I can easily experience for myself. Virtual reality will always be less than reality by definition.
Juggling without tactile feedback is just waving your arms about, I'm sure you could get pads that press into your palms to simulate holding a ball, but without the accompanying weight of the prop (& lack of after a throw) it's a bit pointless. I suppose you could have a series of tubes pumping a mass of liquid into your glove & out again, but that won't feel like a throw. Virtual reality should be for exploring the Marianas Trench or similar.
What if we were juggling our (real) props with our headsets on. In the VR world we would see the props in real-time augmented vision. We could all meet together at a VR juggling convention. VR is going to revolutionise learning I think.
.. so the VR isn't replacing reality, it's an extension of it. It makes reality better.
I've been chatting with someone that's creating a VR juggling app. I mentioned that I thought learning juggling in VR might aid the learning of real juggling. Apparently it has already been shown to increase the speed people learn actual juggling. There are a few papers on it, eg:
Also the tracking of real objects in VR seems to be becoming a reality as this jugger demonstrates with the new (awkward shaped) Vive trackers.
He said he'd keep me updated. Perhaps I'll ask him to leave a little info here at the Edge if anyone's interested..
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