Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Valve working on “wearable computing” for gamers


Valve working on “wearable computing” for gamers

Following Google’s Project Glass, video game developer Valve has revealed that it too is working on technology that we can wear. Speaking of “wearable computing” Michael Abrash of Valve spoke of technology where “both computer-generated graphics and the real world are seamlessly overlaid in your view.” Think “Terminator vision” vision, says Valve. More exciting glimpses into the future this way. 

Michael Abrash, a video game developer at Valve has written a blog post in which he reveals that “wearable computing” could be a viable future concept. It is just one of the things he and his studio is working on. He states that following developments in desktop, laptop and tablet computing, wearable computers could be part of the next platform shift.

“The logical endpoint is computing everywhere, all the time – that is, wearable computing…” Abrash says. “I have no doubt that 20 years from now that will be standard, probably through glasses or contacts, but for all I know through some kind of more direct neural connection. And I’m pretty confident that platform shift will happen a lot sooner than 20 years – almost certainly within 10, but quite likely as little as 3-5, because the key areas – input, processing/power/size, and output – that need to evolve to enable wearable computing are shaping up nicely, although there’s a lot still to be figured out.”

Such as? How software will work with any wearable tech, how it would look, how does one interact with it and how does the computer know what a user is looking at. These are all challenges facing Valve right now.

However, Abrash did want to make one thing clear. There should be no rumours of robotic gaming glasses at this point in time. “To be clear, this is R&D – it doesn’t in any way involve a product at this point, and won’t for a long while, if ever – so please, no rumors about Steam glasses being announced at E3.

“It’s an initial investigation into a very interesting and promising space, and falls more under the heading of research than development.”

It’s fascinating stuff from the gaming developer. If there is something to take out of it all, if not E3 rumours, it is that, as Google has already shown, augmented reality lifestyles using computer-aided vision could be part of our daily routine closer than we might have first thought.

Still trying to get your head over it all? Then check out Google’s Project Glass vision here. If Google’s plans are anything to go by we’ll all be wearing futuristic headsets giving us built-in sat-navs and smartphone capabilities simply by wearing a pair of glasses. Scary or exciting? Let us know what you think.

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