How does a virtual reality headset work?

Virtual reality, which I’m going to define as ‘the creation of a computerized 3D environment that can be interacted with and manipulated in much the same was as the real world can’, is a pretty multi-faceted concept. There are quite a few ways to allow interaction with a virtual environment (VE), but the headset is perhaps the best known.

So, the key thing that a VR headset needs to be able to do is track the movements of the user’s head (and, where possible, their eyes) in order to allow for better interaction with the VE. After all, if I tilt my head from where I’m sitting and look at the ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage action figure that stands on my desk, the positioning of my eye line will change my perspective of the figure. So VR, in order to be convincing, needs to work on the same principle. Continue reading

Why Can’t I Use a Radio or a Phone on an Aeroplane?

The real reason is that the signals generated by your radio receiver (yes, it generates signals as well as receives them) can interfere with the aeroplane’s navigation equipment.

 

In an article for ‘The Straight Dope’, published in 1987, Cecil Adams (who ran a similar, but far superior, column to this one) explained it far better than I could. He said,

 

“Most modern receivers use something called a “local oscillator,” which is sort of an internal transmitter. The oscillator generates signal A, which is mixed with the somewhat raw incoming signal B to produce nice, easy-to-work-with signal C. There’s usually some sort of shielding around the oscillator, but it’s not always effective and sometimes errant signals leak out to make life difficult for other radio equipment nearby. If the other equipment happens to be an aircraft navigation device, somebody could wind up digging furrows with a $25 million plow. So do your bit for air safety and bring a tape player instead.” Continue reading

How does a virtual reality headset work?

Virtual reality, which I’m going to define as ‘the creation of a computerized 3D environment that can be interacted with and manipulated in much the same was as the real world can’, is a pretty multi-faceted concept. There are quite a few ways to allow interaction with a virtual environment (VE), but the headset is perhaps the best known.

So, the key thing that a VR headset needs to be able to do is track the movements of the user’s head (and, where possible, their eyes) in order to allow for better interaction with the VE. After all, if I tilt my head from where I’m sitting and look at the ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage action figure that stands on my desk, the positioning of my eye line will change my perspective of the figure. So VR, in order to be convincing, needs to work on the same principle. Continue reading

Why Can’t I Use a Radio or a Phone on an Aeroplane?

The real reason is that the signals generated by your radio receiver (yes, it generates signals as well as receives them) can interfere with the aeroplane’s navigation equipment.

 

In an article for ‘The Straight Dope’, published in 1987, Cecil Adams (who ran a similar, but far superior, column to this one) explained it far better than I could. He said,

 

“Most modern receivers use something called a “local oscillator,” which is sort of an internal transmitter. The oscillator generates signal A, which is mixed with the somewhat raw incoming signal B to produce nice, easy-to-work-with signal C. There’s usually some sort of shielding around the oscillator, but it’s not always effective and sometimes errant signals leak out to make life difficult for other radio equipment nearby. If the other equipment happens to be an aircraft navigation device, somebody could wind up digging furrows with a $25 million plow. So do your bit for air safety and bring a tape player instead.” Continue reading

How does bone conduction work?

Bone conduction headphones (commonly referred to as ‘Bonephones’) are actually really clever. In order to best explain how they work, I’ll need to take you on a journey into the Human ear…

No, not literally. That would be disgusting.

OK, so you know how sound travels through the air? Surely you must have done that science experiment at school where you hear sound disappearing into an airless vacuum? Yup, it’s just like that. Continue reading

How does bone conduction work?

Bone conduction headphones (commonly referred to as ‘Bonephones’) are actually really clever. In order to best explain how they work, I’ll need to take you on a journey into the Human ear…

No, not literally. That would be disgusting.

OK, so you know how sound travels through the air? Surely you must have done that science experiment at school where you hear sound disappearing into an airless vacuum? Yup, it’s just like that. Continue reading

Inform, Entertain and Educate, Two-Way Radios in Broadcasting

The disparity between how easy it is to watch a television program and how difficult it is to make one is truly staggering.

Outdoor shoots are often rushed, always difficult and dependent on a number of factors completely outside of any Human control (principally: the weather). Managing a live broadcast outdoors is a difficult job that only highly trained professionals are properly equipped to deal with.

Mistakes can cost huge sums of money and even jobs to be lost in an instant. As a result, it is of absolutely paramount importance that an outdoor shoot runs as smoothly as possible. It is not possible to control all the variables in this equation, therefore the factors that are controllable need to be handled with a great deal of care and attention. Continue reading

Games pioneer John Carmack joins virtual reality headset firm

Latest news – The Band at Oculus are re-inventing the Virtual Reality Headset with their crowd funded Oculus Rift headset. John Carmack of half life, call of duty and Quake fame and a guru in 1st person shooters, has joined the Oculus company to progress a game, presumably a 1st person shooter, for the headset. Watch how this develops because the future of games may be in this appointment. Continue reading

Games pioneer John Carmack joins virtual reality headset firm

Latest news – The Band at Oculus are re-inventing the Virtual Reality Headset with their crowd funded Oculus Rift headset. John Carmack of half life, call of duty and Quake fame and a guru in 1st person shooters, has joined the Oculus company to progress a game, presumably a 1st person shooter, for the headset. Watch how this develops because the future of games may be in this appointment. Continue reading