Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology and MIT Researchers Develop a Natural and Comfortable “Seamless-walk” Virtual Reality Locomotion System
Limited physical spaces in modern, urban life pose locomotion challenges. Virtual reality (VR) translates such constrained real spaces to larger, virtual spaces using efficient locomotion systems. However, current VR locomotion systems are uncomfortable and raise privacy concerns. To tackle this, researchers from Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Korea and MIT CSAIL have now developed “Seamless-walk,” a foot-based VR locomotion system that offers a natural and comfortable experience for applications in VR gaming and healthcare.
Urban real-world environments have limited physical space for foot-based locomotion and present challenges to natural VR locomotion (since virtual environments are much larger than the corresponding real-world environment), a fact that has been noted in past studies (Mandal 2013; Pai and Kunze 2017). To compensate for this challenge, efficient virtual reality (VR)-based locomotion techniques have been proposed to enable natural and immersive locomotion experiences akin to walking in large, virtual environments. However, the VR locomotion systems often require attaching an equipment to the body or video-recording the user’s body pose. This leads to discomfort caused by equipment size and discontinuous adjustment as well as privacy concerns related to capturing the entire body without blind spots. Against this backdrop, researchers from Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), Korea in collaboration with researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL), USA developed a novel foot-based VR locomotion system, called “Seamless-walk,” that offers a more natural and comfortable locomotion experience without requiring the use of any walking equipment or a video of the user’s body pose during walking or interaction with objects using their hands.
In their recent article published online on 17 January 2023 in the journal Virtual Reality, the researchers, led by Dr. Kyung-Joong Kim, Associate Professor at GIST, have detailed the development of the VR locomotion system. “When we started collaborating with MIT, they introduced an interesting new sensor called the ‘intelligent carpet.’ In our view, it was a great opportunity as well as a challenge for us since it had not been developed for any specific application. Therefore, we wanted to make something practical and interesting with this sensor and our AI technology,” explains Dr. Kim. “Accordingly, we decided to develop a VR game controller with the ‘intelligent carpet’ sensor that would be useful in VR gaming.”
“Seamless-walk” has both immediate and long-term potential applications. “In the long run, we believe that our technology could be used in healthcare. ‘Seamless-walk’ is not only a VR gamepad but also a gait recognition and analysis method,” says Dr. Kim.
Seamless-walk works in the following manner: the intelligent carpet captures high-resolution foot pressure imprints in real time as the user moves around by measuring the applied pressure through resistance changes. The footprint information is then fed into a machine learning model that extracts the strong pressure points using a technique called “K-means clustering.” In this method, the pressure points are divided into two clusters, corresponding to the user’s left and right feet. From these clusters, the user’s body direction and foot intervals are then extracted to estimate the angle and movement speed.
Moreover, Seamless-walk has a modular structure that enables a scalable and inexpensive installation of a touch sensing platform. The team conducted tests on 80 individuals using Seamless-walk in a 3D virtual world exploration game, demonstrating that the novel technology of the system guarantees an immersive, natural, and comfortable experience. At the same time, it does not compromise the overall VR experience, outperforming existing VR locomotion methods.
“In the future, we plan to add more detailed gait analysis functions to the current system. This would enhance our sensor and gait analysis system to provide fall detection and health monitoring in a comfortable manner without any privacy issues,” highlights Dr. Kim. “This method could also be used at the gym for monitoring the gait of users on the treadmill or checking their balance during weight training.”
Taken together, this novel development has the potential to advance gait analysis in VR gaming and healthcare.
XLA REVEALS ‘METASITES’ 3D INTERNET FRAMEWORK
XLA, a community-driven organization of video game and entertainment industry professionals, will today announce ‘Metasites’; a modular 3D internet framework leveraging metaverse, cloud, and AI technologies.
Funded with an initial $100M USD, XLA Metasites empowers users to transform virtual worlds by creating unique content. XLA Chief Product Officer Alexey Savchenko will present a demo of Metasites at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco this afternoon during a panel called “Emerging Approaches: What the Metaverse can teach us about Social and Narrative Design through Synthetic Media”.
The presentation will reveal Metasites’ high fidelity graphics, core experience, instant access to the system in the cloud through the browser, OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 integration powering non-active characters and their behavior, virtual assistant IVEE, ability to semantically analyze text and generate 3D scenes in UE5, and many other features. Metasites allows creators to deploy Unreal Engine 5 content and connect to the XLA ecosystem of features and services.
“We call them Metasites, and the idea here is that every one of these locations is part of an infinite network of 3D, explorable spaces. Like hyperlinks, portals connect these worlds, and the core infrastructure operates on a series of open protocols and standards – much like today’s web,” Savchenko will say. “We strongly believe that the future of the internet is in 3D and are looking to partner up with creators and brands from all spheres and industries to build it together.”
Access to Metasites for individual creators and enterprise clients will be based on a revenue share model, providing every user full control and management of their content. Users can access virtual assets and various tools, including a versatile SDK, experiences editor, inventory and item management system, payment processing, marketing tools, and more. XLA also aims to provide a seamlessly interoperable encounter related to digital items – with various functionalities connected to inventory objects within different environments.
“What we’re creating,” Savchenko will say, “is an evolution of the internet and new form of storytelling – authors shaping worlds that create their agency, presence, and stories, accessible across multiple platforms. It’s not about bringing games to new audiences. It’s about making it easier to communicate, educate, commerce, play, and create while being justly rewarded for your actions.”
Metasites will be revealed at GDC at 4:40 PM PDT in Room 24, West Hall, Moscone Center, alongside Hexagram Founder and CEO Rob Auten. The framework is set for closed beta in summer 2023, with enterprise and creators programs opening next quarter and full commercial release expected in Q4 2023.
NYX Soulmate Launches Match for Web3
NYX, a Web3 startup leveraging NFTs, is excited to announce the launch of Soulmate, an AI-powered match platform for Web3. NYX Soulmate utilizes a proprietary artificial Intelligence (AI), and hard science to match users based on who they are, not how they look.
Lee, Chief Executive Officer at NYX Soulmate, said: “Web3 avatars and PFPs are nothing but empty shells if they can’t convey to Metaverse entities who we are. Immersion is incomplete without individuation. NYX opens up a world of possibilities towards the individuation of web3 experiences by way of (through) matchmaking.”
Each Soul NFT contains biodata that the AI uses to suggest compatible matches. The platform also rewards participants when they choose to interact socially.
Zr0, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer at NYX Soulmate, said: “We want to leverage web3 to make a positive impact on the fight against the loneliness epidemic.”
Leveraging blockchain technology and smart contracts, SOUL NFTs can be privately owned and integrated across platforms. It breaks the silo, creating a layer of socialization that can be experienced by the user in any NFT community, game or metaverse of their choice.
Soulmate takes users through a process of self-discovery, incorporates fine art into the experience and suggests like-minded people to connect.
Su, Chief Data Scientist at NYX Soulmate, said: “If we look at references like Ready Player One or Snow Crash, they predict a Metaverse that doesn’t rely on selfies. We are building a matchmaking AI to support that.”
Key features and benefits of NYX Soulmate:
- A way to personalize the web3 ‘face’ you show in the Metaverse.
- Make connections with like-minded individuals through matchmaking algorithms.
- Network in business and personal endeavors with a more informed knowledge of others in the Soulmate ecosystem.
- Own the companion fine art PFP with traits directly informed by your personality.
- Custom built discord serving as a town square to Web3 communities. The first server with cross functional networking capabilities.
More details about NYX Soulmate are available on their website.
YAHAHA Partners with Korean Startup Dabeeo to Launch Artificial Intelligence Mirror World Project in The Metaverse
In a world-first, trailblazing new social entertainment platform YAHAHA has partnered with Dabeeo, a Korean startup technology platform, to launch the Artificial Intelligence Mirror World Project. Through this exclusive partnership with Dabeeo, users can now quickly build 3D maps and landscapes from the real world in YAHAHA. To launch the collaboration, YAHAHA is hosting a new challenge on its platform, where creators can win a prize of up to $2000 with a total prize fund of $4600. Get involved in the challenge here.
Available to consumers for the first time, Dabeeo’s innovative technology creates maps using positioning and geospatial data technology integrated with AI and satellite imagery. Previously each building and object from the real world would have to be built manually, but now this process has been simplified, supporting YAHAHA users around the world to create realistic scenes from real cities quickly. The 3D creation platform has future plans with Dabeeo to create a mirror world, where everything we can see in cities and streets can be re-created in YAHAHA.
An easy-to-use social entertainment platform, YAHAHA supports participants to create, publish, share and play content. YAHAHA’s priority is to make 3D content creation available for users of all levels, lowering entry levels with no-code creation, premade assets, and tutorials. Its unique Studio tool makes content creation as easy as drag and drop, so there are no barriers for new creators to overcome.
YAHAHA is passionate about interoperability in gaming, especially as the world continues to move toward a more digital lifestyle, where real and virtual life merges in all sorts of different ways. This aligns with Dabeeo’s vision to integrate technology and real-life experiences. With Dabeeo’s technology, YAHAHA creators can purchase newly designed assets and begin experimenting with this technology to create real life features in different scenes.
The first real world scene that Dabeeo will introduce in YAHAHA is Hongdae Club Street. This street in Hongik University area, Seoul, South Korea is known as the mecca for clubgoers, as it is packed with hip-hop, jazz and dance venues. As part of the launch of the Dabeeo partnership, YAHAHA is hosting the K-Club Street Creator Challenge. From September 1st creators can compete to win prizes up to $2,000 by adding their own details to scenes in the YAHAHA platform – the world’s first ever contest campaign with a real world-based template. There will be an indoor music space and an outdoor busking area for users to customise, with YAHAHA and Dabeeo awarding prizes for the best environments. Sign up to create your unique creation here.
Pengfei Zhang, Co-Founder, COO at Yahaha Studios, says: “We are really happy to announce our partnership with Dabeeo, and to bring an exclusive new way of creating to the YAHAHA platform. This fascinating AI technology is providing users with exciting, real life features to make their creating experience easier and more life-like.
“The YAHAHA community can showcase their skills with the K-Club Street Creator Challenge whilst exploring these new features and will help to push the boundaries of what Dabeeo’s AI technology can do. We can’t see what they create!”
Dabeeo will ultimately use the mirror world technology in multiple major cities, enabling YAHAHA users to interact with new exciting scenes. Dabeeo also plans to extend the use of its AI technology to provide more scenes from across the world on YAHAHA, giving users access to parts of the globe that they can interact and create with, all within its social entertainment platform.
Juhum Park, Founder and CEO of Dabeeo, said: “Partnering with YAHAHA allows Dabeeo to unlock a new world of creating, expanding our reach and developing our technology on a wider scale. YAHAHA’s audience of creators means our data can be used in many different ways, including the unique creations that users design. We hope that our technology will help to bring a new level of entertainment to the YAHAHA platform and we are greatly excited for our future plans.”
Find out more about YAHAHA here.
Blockchain3 weeks ago
The Odsy Foundation Raises $7.5M in Seed Round Led by Blockchange Ventures To Decentralize Access Control in Web3
Blockchain4 weeks ago
Spielworks co-launches its Wombat X accelerator with Cronos, Newcoin, and more, fostering robust Web3 game development
Latest news1 week ago
BBC Studios takes Top Gear and Doctor Who to the Sandbox Metaverse