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Here’s to a new age of ‘reality’

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Feel the power of VR

Everyone is now familiar with virtual-reality headsets, but what about other wearable VR equipment? Cerevo have announced an upcoming release of Taclim, which it says are the world’s first VR shoes and VR gloves. This tech allow users to actually feel VR experiences via tactile devices — one in each glove and three in each shoe.

Developed in collaboration with Nidec Seimitsu Corporation, Taclim generates tactile sensations to match its users’ visual experiences. Game players can feel sand, grass — even the texture of the shoes that their game characters are wearing. Not only this, but because Taclim is also equipped with 9-axis sensors, both the gloves and shoes can also add more motion data to the VR experience, making it an even more immersive. For developers, there is also a Unity plug-in.

Two kinds of Taclim are being released: a Bluetooth one and a Sub-GHz version that will reduce any interference from other Bluetooth or Wi-Fi devices in a crowded gaming environment. Both are recharged via Micro USB cable and on a full charge (three hours) they offer up to two hours of gameplay.

The equipment may look like giant sandals and a pair of handgrips, but this is expensive tech: Slated for release in autumn, the prices haven’t been set yet, but will be from ¥100,000 to ¥150,000, depending on the specifications of the models.

bit.ly/taclimvr

Follow the arrows

Mixed Reality (MR), also known as hybrid reality — a combination of real-world experiences with virtual reality, augmented reality and virtuality — is being touted by many as one of the most important advances in technology to be utilized this year. Taking that to heart is the user-interface design company Up Arrows, which has launched a free app that gives users the opportunity to experience an MR-like environment while brainstorming ways they think the public can benefit from it.

The android app brings up a whiteboard, that appears onscreen with the user’s real location visible in the background. Using the whiteboard like a noticeboard, users can then exchange and add to ideas by publicly posting virtual sticky notes.

Users can zoom in and out on the board and choose the colors and positions of stickies, while the whole brainstorming process can be viewed via the app or a web browser. Up Arrows plan to collect the most interesting ideas, which it hopes it can take into the research and development process.

bit.ly/uparrow

It’s a small world

This camera from Shanghai Donya is designed to be attached to remote-controlled toy cars or trains, but it’s also just a fun little gadget to have.

The Comicam is a Wi-Fi-enabled gadget that is L-shaped so that its lens can hang off the front of a model train to give users footage of a driver’s point of view. You can find out what it actually would be like to travel through a miniature diorama.

A rubber band is all it takes to attach it to a toy, and it shoots photos and video clips at 30fps in HD (1,280p×720p). Users will need the smartphone app to control and record footage, which, the camera can do on a full charge for up to 30 minutes when using Wi-Fi, and up to 70 minutes without.

The Comicam is priced at ¥6,480, records on microSD or microSDXC and comes with a detachable tripod plate so that it can be used elsewhere.

bit.ly/comicam