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“Fully immersive iPod-like device” concept

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By Dennis Lloyd

Publisher, iLounge
Published: Wednesday, March 17, 2004
News Categories: iPod

KDLAB, a design firm in New York produced an astounding peice of work known as iSPEC or iPod3. Imagine you’re wearing 3D glasses with built-in earphones which immmerses you into a virtual reality environment of your choosing. In this case a reproduction of the Overlook Hotel’s lobby from the movie “The Shining” by Stanley Kubric. As you wear the glasses you manipulate the interface and environments appearing in the glasses by using wireless, finger mounted controls. We had recently placed this concept in our iPod Concepts gallery and have noticed it has appeared on several websites since. We emailed the producer, director and 3D designer/animator of iSPEC, Joseph Kosinski of KDLAB after viewing the concept video.

“The short film you saw, “iSPEC”, was a short film/spec project done for a couple of reasons: 1] to explore the idea of a fully immersive iPod-like device and potentially generate some commercial business 2] to push the limits of 3DS Max 6 and Mental Ray which I was beta testing at the time. The spot was first shown at SIGGRAPH 2003 at discreet Evolve event and has since been shown at the RES magazine screening series in Los Angeles. The video was produced at KDLAB in New York City in June 2003.”

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Comments

1

Here’s Johnny!!!

Posted by Vincent on March 17, 2004 at 11:12 PM (PDT)

2

KDLAB is advertising iSPEC as “iPod cubed,” not “iPod 3.”

Posted by Ben Rosenthal on March 18, 2004 at 4:00 AM (PDT)

3

Can they even use the name ‘iPod’ in the name of their product?

Posted by Can They Do That? on March 18, 2004 at 5:52 AM (PDT)

4

Haha I like how they take something not actually related to the iPod in any way, but work the iPod into it just for the sake of getting media attention. Too bad for them VR is LAME.

Posted by Biff on March 18, 2004 at 6:52 AM (PDT)

5

Okay, to clarify: this isn’t an _advertisement_.  Rather, its a demo of their 3d design/production/direction skills, that is based on a CONCEPT for a future ipod.

That is, they’re not marketing any product except for their skills.  As for the “vr is lame” thing, you should realize that augmented reality is probably going to be the ‘killer app’ for wearable computers: imagine that you have a pair of glasses like these, connected to a small but powerful computer in your pocket that is wirelessly online.  The system employs a GPS to place you in the physical world, which provides an access point to map the Real World, i.e. a set of online sites referenced to physical location isntead of simple IP numbers.  Next, the glasses track your eyes to determine what object in space you’re focusing on.

Based on that data, its able to superimpose all kinds of data, such as biographic info for a person, geographical data for a landmark, purchase data for consumer products, etc.  Not to mention the sort of data access demonstrated here.

“VR” may be lame, but Augmented Reality is going to be amazing.

Posted by Druid on March 18, 2004 at 7:20 AM (PDT)

6

awww…. i thought they were going to actualy start manufacturing these :(

Posted by StinkieDMB in Pittsburgh, PA on March 18, 2004 at 7:22 AM (PDT)

7

I doubt that this can be manufactured in the near future. Fitting all that into a set of glasses is not going to be easy.

Posted by Sraphim on March 18, 2004 at 7:27 AM (PDT)

8

By 2010 this kind of thing should be doable, and by 2020 it will be commonplace.

—-
thewired.blogs.com/teotwawki
the techno-mediated cultural conspiracy

Posted by Nicky G on March 18, 2004 at 7:33 AM (PDT)

9

Is it me, or are we going backward into late 80’s technology. It just seems like a bad remake of “The Lawnmower Man”. I don’t need Virtual reality to pick my criteria, all I need is a list and an organization feature. Cool presentation, although I can’t say much for the idea.

Posted by Stylescraper on March 18, 2004 at 7:56 AM (PDT)

10

Hey maybe if people start comparing themselves to the iPod on their resumes they’ll get more job interviews!

Posted by Biff on March 18, 2004 at 7:57 AM (PDT)

11

if it wasn’t for people having visionary ideas we wouldn’t have the products we have today. So stop being so narrow minded and keep your fingers crossed we’re all still living when this kind of consumer product hits the shelves.

Posted by tony on March 18, 2004 at 8:05 AM (PDT)

12

Now THAT is genius! As for the idea, maybe I’m easily impressed… ok well I am easily impressed, but it was a pretty cool and solid concept. Well developed and it gets you thinking and talking about it. Exactly what a concept should do.

Posted by BrawnyDT in Brooklyn,NY on March 18, 2004 at 8:10 AM (PDT)

13

Very impressive ... i like it very much… it should be nice to navigate ... instead touch the wheel ....

bye

Posted by Verbax on March 18, 2004 at 9:36 AM (PDT)

14

“if it wasn’t for people having visionary ideas we wouldn’t have the products we have today. So stop being so narrow minded and keep your fingers crossed we’re all still living when this kind of consumer product hits the shelves. “

First of all, this idea is hardly original. The Museum of Modern Art in NYC recently had a media exhibit in which patrons were given a pair of Sony Glass-tron goggles with a video line in. The plug in/out idea was a little cumbersome, and I left the exhibit convinced that the movie-watching experience is better when you are seated and not moving around. The moving around causes one to lose focus on the subject matter at hand. Ask yourself this, what kind of media would you be watching on your way to work or on a daily basis while walking around? The News, Weather Forecasts, Music Videos or would you be playing a video game? Has anybody given this any thought? If you want to see some really cool technology, check out this link and view the video:

http://www.universaldisplay.com/foled.php

Posted by Stylescraper on March 18, 2004 at 12:10 PM (PDT)

15

What is wrong with people.. that video is far from being impressive. It starts off with a very amateurish looking, cheezy 3D sweep in sequence.. a bunch of text, then footage from a film, along with some basic filters… all of which feature a ‘product’ that is not an original idea, and doesn’t even go the length to show the actual conceptual product working… lame. And all you people praising this as being an amazing idea should read more fiction, this idea has been around for years. I can’t believe this was actually shown publicly as an demo of their production skills. After seeing this, I wouldn’t call them to do any work for me.

Posted by not impressed on March 18, 2004 at 12:44 PM (PDT)

16

I agree with “not impressed”. The interface is unbelievably unintuitive, and it brings me back to the points mentioned on my earlier post.

Maya kicks 3DStudioMax’s butt!

Posted by Stylescraper on March 18, 2004 at 1:01 PM (PDT)

17

Oh please ... at what point do I claim this is original? This really does annoy me, I clearly do not offer an opinion about this particular product, I merely am frustrated by peoples lack of vision. What does it matter if an idea was conceived 50 years ago or 100 years ago, what matters is the idea is out there, and having the idea dosen’t mean that you will be the one to produce the goods. It may take others with superior knowledge to finally bring it to the market place.
This product will most likley never hit the streets, at least not in this form, and who is to say that it won’t be refined before being released. It’s easy to mock ideas it’s harder to make them work, so I can understand anyone not wanting to see potential in an idea, ANY idea and not just this one.
But hey what do I know.

Posted by tony on March 18, 2004 at 1:47 PM (PDT)

18

by the way, far from being video footage from the film I think you’ll find that the room has been reproduced using 3d software and rendered (possibly maya and mental ray). And is therefore a little more impressive. The lighting is excellent as is the reproduction of the hotel. Although I’m not overly keen on the camera movement, I find it to be too computer generated.

Posted by tony on March 18, 2004 at 1:57 PM (PDT)

19

While not being an original idea, this site is doing more to make it seem like so than the originator… the concept itself is one that I have been fond of for years, and I think companies SHOULD be investing in this technology. As Druid pointed out above, “Augmented Reality” as he puts it, is something that will one day (soon I hope) be as common as cellphones. The fact that it’s not available today just makes me wonder what the helll companies are waiting for…anyway, I like it… but where is the storage device? It would’ve looked more complete if there was a little device in that picture that was the hard drive/computer.

Posted by kloan on March 18, 2004 at 2:03 PM (PDT)

20

No, VR goggles aren’t anything new.  Everyone knows that.

The slickest thing about KDLAB’s concept is how they managed to turn the iPod’s menus into something like 3D space.

Can it be done?  Sure, why not.  The US’s Secret Service is rumored to be able to receive data on their sunglasses already.  Remember, the technologies on the market today are the ones that haven been shaken down through several years of development.

Posted by Leland on March 18, 2004 at 6:53 PM (PDT)

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