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In 1939, when a prototype television was demonstrated at the World's Fair, a reviewer from the New York Times was not impressed. "The problem", he wrote, "is that people must sit and keep their eyes glued to the screen. The average American family doesn't have the time for it." -- M.D. McDonald and H.L. Blum. [Sean McLinden ([email protected]), com-priv, 6/7/93.]

Anthony Ryder of RPI showed a new "head-mounted display" (HMD) at the 5/19 Meckler conference. It's a 3-ounce LCD unit worn like a pair of sunglasses. Resolution is about 400 x 200 per eye, covering 40 degrees. It's $6K at present, of $9K for higher resolution. Advances in the next 2-3 years should bring 110 degrees for $300 to $1500. Infrared eye tracking is also coming, from RPI, Sega, or others. [Bernie Roehl (broehl, sci.virtual-worlds.] Virtual Research has a 2-ounce color HMD for $8K. Another from n-Vision has higher resolution and a wider field of view, but is heavier and costs about $70K. The best quote of the conference was from Dr. James Clark: "SGI is like a jet and 3DO is like a hot-air balloon; we are powered by an engine, they are powered by hot air." [Rick Deluxe ([email protected]), ibid. Bill Park, 6/1/93.]

Sega's Christmas offering will include a $150 3D VR cartridge with $899 clip-on TV receiver, 5-ounce Virtual Vision goggles, and earphones. The image appears to be a 60-inch TV about ten feet in front of you. An $80 sensor ring, the Activator, can be placed on the floor around you to sense your punches and kicks. [Wired, 5/93. George Munroe ([email protected]), UNITE, 6/1/93. net-happenings.] (There's a picture of the goggles in Newsweek, 6/14, p. 6.)

If you'd rather display your work in 3D to a room full of people, Shebute' inc. is selling a projector that requires only the wearing of transparent polarized glasses. Contact [email protected]. The non-interlaced 3D projector is made by Dr. Sadeg M. Faris, VRex, Inc./Reveo, Inc. (Hawthorne, NY), (914) 345-8877, (914) 345-9558 Fax. $3K to $215K (for a video wall). [Ronald J. Logsdon ([email protected]), sci.virtual-worlds, 5/31/93. Bill Park.]

To keep up with VR, contact Joel Orr ([email protected]), president of The Virtual Worlds Society, 5224 Indian River Road, Suite 106, Virginia Beach, VA 23464; (804) 495-8548. [sci.virtual-worlds. Bill Park, 6/1/93.]