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VR Respite Room
Use Virtual Reality webcams and Artificial Ambience to 'get away from it all.'
This idea isn't about Virtual Reality per se which is well baked. It
is about a specific, and hopefully novel, way of using VR to 'get
away from it all' without the time and expense of travel.
The idea is to build a windowless, waterproof room within your
house outfitted with a comfortable
chair. Mount a flatscreen
(preferably a non-backlit HD LCD) on the front wall and one on
each of the side walls but cover them with window glass and
frames using as much effort as it takes to make them look like
windows rather than just mounted screens. The technology itself
isn't all that critical. If you can afford and desire full-on VR
helmets then go ahead. Old CRT screens would still suffice if
that's all you can afford.
Each of these screens will permanently display live images from
the natural location of your choice. ( My preference would be for
an African waterhole.) The screen in front of the viewer would
show the waterhole itself while the ones on the left and right
would show the corresponding views from the source blind in
Africa. Sensors from the blind would also transmit sounds and
local weather conditions which would be replicated in the Respite
Room. If it is 38C with 93% humidity in Africa then so would it be
in your room. If a rain shower passes over then the lighting would
dim and sprinklers in the ceiling give you a spray.
I believe it is important to pick your location, whether it be an
African waterhole, Canadian mountain lake, South American
riverbank or whatever and stick with it forever - no channel
surfing. After a few years of slipping into your Respite Room to
enjoy little breaks from your day-to-day life, the suspension of
disbelief would become total. You would be in complete synch
with the local seasons whilst recognizing individual animals and
being engrossed in their natural dramas.
||My only concern with doing exact temperature and
humidity matching is that it will detract from the
through_a_window experience you're trying to
simulate; it would definitely be fun if you had wall-
to-wall screens. I like the three webcam immersion
idea. Shirley someone is doing this?
||not sure if you are really selling this idea very well. the whole second half just sounds like a flaw in the product.
||I assume you would have a sound feed, too. It would be possible to make it 2-way: you clap your hands, and the sound is transmitted to Africa, where the animals are mildly startled... That wouldn't work so well unless you had exclusive access to the link, though.
||//the whole second half just sounds like a flaw in the product// Temperature changes, rain showers, buzzing insects, variable cloud cover and such are all part of the 'being there' experience. You're quite able to disable those features if you so wish and just watch the screens - but the Discovery Channel is already baked.
||Wall-to-wall screens would be nice as would a ceiling display. The scope of technology is dependant upon what is available for your budget.
||What if there was a way to pay for exclusive time
interacting in the environment? Pay a dollar to
simulate a birdcall sort of thing.
||I've seen this in a TV show. I think it was called a 'holodeck'
or something. Anyway, their version of it was complete
tripe and would never work, but yours sounds feasible.
||Budget limitations? This is the halfbakery, man, the home of the kiritimaticentrifugomobile for Pete's sake. We're going to change the moon's albedo and flood part of Australia just to make it a bit nicer!
||True [me think snot] I never put an upper limit on what could be spent but am aware that we're not all Maxwell Buchanan. Actually, I'm not sure he is either.
||Yes, [methinksnot], but the point of this is that an ordinary, if determined, person could actually do it. Sure, you could create a spectacular immersive setting given an unlimited budget, but that would be a different idea. So budget limitations do deserve a mention.
||It could be a nice small business idea. The tricky bit is setting up the original feeds from the waterhole, mountaintop or wherever. Once they're established then anyone could access them for a small fee. The only wrinkle would be the 2-way aspect [spidermother] and [daseva] mentioned. I'm not sure having 500 online viewers clapping hands, simulating birdcalls or dispensing gazelle food pellets would be viable or desirable.
||By the same token, hordes of people physically visiting the water hole is problematic in all sorts of ways. Shared, virtual tourism FTW?
||Have you heard about the internet feed from the bald eagles that happened to nest on a window ledge? That would be a starting point for this kind of trickery.
||I understand and respect what you mean with regards a
budget. Today I feel full of "possibility" and the 'bakery is
the house of YES WE CAN!
||However, on a more practical note, the moolah invested In
the interactive sprinkler system, waterproofing, drainage
(presumably) and all that palaver would go a long way
towards more, biggerer, betterer screens (or a smell-o-
||Quite, quite true [methinksnot]. Please remember though
that the idea
pertains more to
having a getaway-from-it-all room permanently displaying
live feeds and feedback from another locale rather than
any specific plumbing and hardware. The
technology could range from full-on
holodeck (currently impossible) to wraparound posters
(static and boring). The sprinkling and drainage systems
could all be left out as they would be pretty involved and
costly as you say.
||It is more important to get 'a sense of the place' rather
than 100% fidelity. Perhaps a slight spritz of moisture
puffed at your face rather than a full-on downpour
although it would be desirable to replicate the subtle
changes in light levels one experiences in the Great
as well as the general temperature variations. It is all
aimed to aid your suspension of disbelief so you feel as if
you really are 5,000 Km's from home and your day to day
||I know when it's 40C and sticky here in Perth it would be
very pleasant to escape to a chilly room with live images of
a Canadian winter lake and watch the whiskeyjacks and
ravens fossick in the snow. Conversely those in a frigid
climate would surely appreciate a quick trip to their hot
African room to check on how that family of bush pigs are
going raising the young'uns. Affordable Escapism is what
||// Affordable Escapism is what we're after. //
||Check in your nearest store for a green bottle with a black and white label that says, "Gordon's Gin".
||//Gordon's Gin//. Good idea. But the two concepts aren't
mutually exclusive mate. I can easily see myself coming
home from a hard day's work then settling down on the
veldt to watch the wildebeest migration with a G & T in
hand for an hour or so. Gawd, I wish I could do it now.