Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Heaven & Hell

Virtualise the brightest and best bits of reality.
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This idea involves two quite separate bits of technology to achieve aesthetically similar aims.

I've just been gazing at a log fire.

There's something very evocative about the bright hollows in and under the burning logs. They remind me of the childish delight in small spaces to explore, with a premium on really complicated, mazy topography.

I'd like a heat-resistant sensor that I could push into the embers, which would capture those shapes being hollowed out of the wood, and the brightness of them, and feed this information into an editable virtual reality representation. The possibilities of the spaces themselves might be rather limited, but they could serve as a wonderful backdrop for a first-person game of some sort.

That's the 'hell' part. Not really evil, I admit, but it makes a nice contrast with the other part...

There's one other sight in nature which does the same sort of thing for the child in me, and that's the kind of cloud formation which, in certain lights, strongly suggests landforms, with beaches, cliffs, plateaux and hills.

So, we need another, probably much more expensive system, for capturing these shapes and colours. I suppose we could get some of the data from a series of photographs from the ground, but that's not really ambitious enough for the half-bakery; we'd want to supplement it with a scan from a passing airborne platform (maybe a hullaballoon).

Then, do the same kind of VR-ing as for the fire data... then put on the VR goggles (or whatever other kit is available) and climb those cliffs, stretch out on the edge of the vast lemon-and-rose-petal plateau, and look down...

I suppose Google Earth might one day stretch to Google Clouds, with this sort of effect achievable.

pertinax, Jul 03 2006

Stick a probe in here... http://www.ecosyn.u...res/forest_fire.JPG
[DrCurry, Jul 04 2006]

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       Why make it VR? Why not simply get a little fire resistant probe to explore your fireplace with?
DrCurry, Jul 03 2006
  

       One in the freezer as well - suitable magnification might yield a mini-Antarctican Purgatory to complete the series.
monojohnny, Jul 03 2006
  

       I think the VR clouds would be a bit vague and boring but I'd definitely spend a while in hell.
wagster, Jul 03 2006
  

       Good question, [DrCurry]. The answer is that, in any given fire, the cave system might be a bit limited. The VR representation would allow you join several together, discard any unsatisfactory bits and introduce events and characters into the landscape.
pertinax, Jul 04 2006
  

       Might be all sorts of fun with those ultra-zoomed pictures of 'alien environments.' The fingers of sea anemones, coral reefs, human fingernails, the caverns of anthills...
RayfordSteele, Jul 06 2006
  
      
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