The Emerging Tech of Virtual Reality Applications
By Omed Habib
Reality itself is going through a digital transformation thanks to leaps in
3D rendering and the crunch-speed motion feedback data. Although the modern
definition of virtual reality (VR) has been making promises for three
decades, the emphasis was always on the potential. Now it's here. This is a
tour of the state of VR in 2016 and where developers are taking it as VR
spreads far beyond the world of gaming.
The Desert of the Real Before 1900
Taking control of our own "virtual reality" has always played a role in human
endeavors, from the first cave paintings 30,000 years ago to the deus ex
machina of Greek theater. That concept first crystallized into a stereoscope
covering the user's eyes in 1838 with Charles Wheatstone's 3D reflecting
mirror mask. Take away the photograph holder and Wheatstone's device ... (more)
Spoon, a Seattle-based virtualization and Cloud Computing company
specializing in letting users launch desktop apps via a plug-in but with no
further installs, has launched its Spoon Cloud Gaming service, a free service
that delivers on-demand desktop games.
More than 200 titles were offered at launch, including Jewel Quest and Farm
Frenzy as well as the massively multiplayer game Second Life.
Gaming seems to be a natural fit with Cloud Computing's elasticity. Company
Founder and CEO Kenji Obata is making this theory real, noting that Spoon is
"(bringing) virtualization to the gaming community," adding that the
company's approach is to use "a hybrid of remote and local computing
resources, reducing bandwidth requirements while ensuring smooth,
uninterrupted game play."
Sounds like a trend to me.
Part 1 of this article ("Java Gaming: Understanding the Basic Concepts,"
[JDJ, Vol. 9, issue 10]) covered the basics of a game framework. Part 2 goes
into more depth on the actual 2D rendering specifics and the resulting demo:
the Ping program (see Figure 1).
Game rendering is a subject that has great depth and complexity. This article
focuses on the topics that we believe are the most important to 2D games and
Java games programmers: Fullscreen and DisplayMode management Buffering
Images Video memory constraints Performance tip: intermediate images
Fullscreen and DisplayMode Management
A game developer must decide whether to run a game in fullscreen mode (where
it occupies the entire monitor display) or windowed mode (where it is one of
many windows on the user's desktop). Both modes are appropriate for different
types of games. For example, a game that... (more)
When you go into a TV store, you’re besieged by a bunch of flashy ads, and
TVs that claim they know what is best for you. They want you to buy into
their ecosystem, with their own custom adapters and wires. Samsung wants you
to buy all Samsung with proprietary controls, Panasonic and Sony the same.
But consumers need to be smarter, and need to choose better. Much like with
3D, consumer electronic companies have been using their custom ecosystems to
try to up sell substandard technology, and substandard monitors (instead of
good monitors at a lower cost). They tack on their “smart” capabilities
(Facebook, Twitter, Netflix and more) in less than optimal user interfaces,
which are rarely upgraded or improved. While this is merely an add-on, it is
not worth paying for.
Please don’t pay for this proprietary garbage
All TVs should be now is just a monitor for your inputs.... (more)
We’re starting to writing a book for O’Reilly that’s titled
“Enterprise Web Applications: From Desktop to Mobile.” The book will be
available under the Creative Commons license, which means you can read it and
provide your feedback from the get go. Here’s the github repository where
we’ll keep the current version of the book. In the morning we had a
discussion about the meaning of the word Enterprise applied to Web
applications. Below is the draft we came up with and we ask your input –
would you agree or have a different understanding of the meaning of the term
“Enterprise Web Application”.
The easiest way to do this is by example. Creating a Web application that
will place process orders is not the same as creating a Web site to publish
blogs. Enterprise applications, including company-specific workflows, might
need to be integrated with a number of internal syst... (more)
“Dad, if my character dies in the game, would I die in the real world?”
What a beautifully naive question that my son, Trevor, asked me during a
son-dad conversation about how games might change over the years.
Earlier last year, Mattel’s CEO, Bryan Stockton, was fired. After three
years, it was clear that Mattel was continuing to be challenged with sales
weakness, and lower gross margins, which drove down shareholder value.
As parents, we ALL know that it’s a very competitive toy aisle, and our
kids are much different than we were at their age.
Mattel’s toys haven’t been “good enough” at a time when peers like
Hasbro and Lego continue to report higher and higher sales. It’s not just
Mattel. Nintendo, the one-time market leader video games brand best known
for legendary characters like Super Mario, has been struggling to keep up
with the times as mobile gaming explode... (more)
By Omed Habib
The age of computers is over. You are now living in the age of intelligent
processing by just about everything else. Like vacuum tubes and tape drives,
desktops and laptops are on their way to becoming odd relics of a distant
age, if people remember them at all. That may sound a bit extreme, but the
fact is that applications are not married to any technological substrate, not
even the most advanced mobile devices. That is why smart developers have
next-generation technology like drone controllers, big data management tools,
and connectors for the Internet of Things (IoT).
The World After Web Apps
rebirth as a result of t... (more)
This article provides a quick look at how the pros are creating games and
other multimedia apps on Linux and in the cross-platform space. Any Linux
programmer interested in writing games, multimedia applications, or other
tools that make heavy use of Linux as a desktop would do well to read on.
Most people have heard of Microsoft's DirectX, even nonprogrammers. Many
gamers have also heard of OpenGL, which is typically used as an
interchangeable term, but in fact is only the 3D graphics alternative to this
platform. Other technologies used in Linux and cross-platform game
programming include OpenAL, PhysicsFS, SDL, and the loki_setup tool (this
one's for the Linux and Unix space in particular). OpenGL - Cross-Platform 3D
Graphics LibrariesJohn Carmack at id Software (www.idsoftware.com) is often
credited for the survival of OpenGL (www.opengl.org), as from the beginni... (more)
At the JavaOne Developer Conference, Nokia and Sun Microsystems extended
their cooperation to simplify the development and delivery of mobile
multiplayer Java technology-based games for developers, service providers and
operators. Under this extended collaboration, the Nokia SNAP Mobile solution
will be integrated with Sun's Java 2 Platform Micro Edition Wireless Toolkit,
Sun Java System Content Delivery Server and Sun Java Enterprise System
running on the Solaris platform to deliver a carrier grade solution.
This end-to-end, integrated offering will provide mobile operators and game
distributors with a reliable and scaleable platform for the download of Java
games and multiplayer Java game connectivity. As the first game developer to
adopt the SNAP Mobile solution, Sega Mobile launched and demonstrated the
world's first SNAP Mobile based Java games at JavaOne this we... (more)
SHANGHAI, China, Feb 7 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- The9 Limited , a leading online
game operator and developer in China, announced today that it would host a
conference call and webcast on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 at 8:00 PM, US
Eastern Time / Thursday, February 24, 2005 at 9:00 AM Beijing Time, to
discuss The9's financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2004,
which would be released shortly after the close of the market on the same
day. The press release will also be posted on The9's Investor Relations
section of its web site located at http://www.the9.com/ .
Conference call details:
Investors, analysts and other interested parties will be able to access the
live conference by calling +1-617-786-2903, password "81178862." In the US,
members of the financial community may also participate in the call by
dialing toll-free +1-800-299-9086, password "8117... (more)
Maybe some of you remember a time when we created a sprite on a piece of
graph paper and afterwards hacked zeroes and ones in so we could see
something eventually move on a TV screen. I have to admit that those days
have been gone for a long time and a lot of things have happened in IT since
I developed simple games on my C64. And one of these new things is XNA Game
Studio (the current version is 2.0).
Is this something for you? Well, maybe you have a good idea for a computer
game, but don't know how to do it. In the past game development was very
hard, but it's become easier (I wouldn't call it easy now, but it's a lot
easier than it used to be). And wouldn't it be great if you could deploy your
game not only to your PC, but also to an Xbox 360 and play with or against a
friend on his own PC or Xbox 360 over the network? Ah, I see I've got your
What Is... (more)