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This applies to video games, driving sims, and exercise bicycles with large displays which keep you amused while exercising.
Old idea, not what I'm claiming: you have an exercise bike hooked up to a big screen, showing a drive through the country, tour de france track, whatever... as you speed up
and slow down, so does your virtual drive through the countryside. (the display is a movie of a
real place - not a computer simulation)
Problem with this is that the only control you have is speeding up and slowing down. You can't really go left or right, which to my mind takes out most of the fun and certainly shatters the illusion.
My solution: when filming the route, use a long horizontal boom fitted with multiple cameras (say every 3 inches apart, and as wide as the road). Then as you go left or right, switch the camera track to the appropriate recording.
(addendum: by 'go left or right' I didn't mean turn off on another path, I simply meant adjusting your position in the road, for instance to overtake another cyclist. Though just to confuse the issue, although this technique allows for filming a real scene, if there is any traffic in the scene it has to be simulated! (Two big reasons why... left as an exercise to the reader) Still, it's more convincing to simulate a few cyclists or cars in a real scene than it is to simulate life-like scenery as well...)
By the way, the multiple cameras have an unexpected side-effect benefit; if you have a 3D (stereo) display, you don't need anything extra - just use two adjacent cameras from the array instead of one. (Hence why you need spacing between them that matches the eye separation)
Large arrays of cameras already exist for various Matrix-like special effects. This would be a re-use of the same technology.
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||I can see how this would work for _looking_ left and right, but not _going_ left and right. To facilitate the latter, you would need to film an infinite number of possible routes, which is impossible.
||//you would need to film an infinite
number of possible routes// Two should
suffice, one on either edge of the road. All
other routes can be obtained through
||Nice idea. Of course, one could just go
outdoors as well.
||Ah, so the idea is to ride on either the left or right side of the road - not actually turning to the left or right as I had interpreted it.
||You're presumably still limited, though,
to the strip of land which was filmed?
How about using some more
sophisticated images and processing
software to give you complete freedom
within a large area?
||Perhaps you might decide to spend a
few days touring Kruger National Park
on your bike, then buy a different disc
and cycle round Sydney. You might
even be able to enjoy the surreal
experience of pedalling around the
Great Barrier Reef, or across the Martian
||[Edit: this anno was written whilst
Texticle was adding his. You don't
need an infinite number of routes, just
an awful lot of still images and some
very clever software; better yet, create a
3D model from the images, and then
you can tour the model in any way you