The party is ON! Join us at TNW Conference 2021 in Amsterdam for face-to-face business!

The heart of tech

This article was published on May 12, 2017

    Car VR and the other weird tech at CHI 2017

    Car VR and the other weird tech at CHI 2017
    Rachel Kaser
    Story by

    Rachel Kaser

    Internet Culture Writer

    Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback riding. Check her Twitter for curmudgeonly criticisms.

    CHI 2017, an annual showcase of human-computer interaction hosted by the Association of Computing Machinery, has given us some truly bizarre-looking innovations. Here are a few of my favorites — all no doubt interesting from a technical perspective but still weird to look at and watch in action.

    If you live in a cold area of the world, you might like BreathScreen, an ephemeral user interface created with visible breath.

    Speaking of tech that involves the mouth, Project Telepathy uses facial electromyography and beamforming speakers to turn words you silently mouth into sound projected directly at a single person. Great for private conversations, not so easy on the face under the massive tracking rig.

    One piece of VR tech that sounds especially alarming when you first hear of it is CarVR — as in, virtual reality in a moving car. The videos demonstrating it don’t show the driver using it, which is a relief. CarVR uses the movements of the car to simulate the user’s movement in the virtual world.

    And finally, the one that sounds the most physically taxing is the system which provides “Haptics to Walls & Heavy Objects in Virtual Reality by Means of Electrical Muscle Stimulation.” If you touch a wall in VR that doesn’t exist in the real world, an electrical stimulant creates a counterforce, meaning you jerk your arm away rather than phase through the wall. It sounds and looks kind of brutal:

    via Spectrum