While advocates proclaim the superior immersive qualities of 3D, the current crop of 3D TVs can actually have the opposite effect on many people by giving the impression of peering into a box filled with tiny - albeit 3D - people. Design and advertising firm NAU proposes a different solution with its latest concept dubbed the Immersive Cocoon that looks to provide the sense of immersion without the 3D.
We've seen a number of devices that attempt to immerse a user in a virtual space using wearable displays, such as the Vuzix's iWear VR920 video visor and the VirtuSphere, which also offer the option of 3D. NAU's concept instead does away with the 3D altogether to place users inside a four meter (13 ft) diameter carbon fiber sphere featuring a 360 degree interior dome-display.
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To transport the user into a 'virtual' world, the dome features sophisticated motion-sensing software including motion capture cameras, motion-sensing floor panels, surround sound and even air conditioning. Navigation through a recreated Pompeii, sunken Egyptian tombs or floating under the ocean with jellyfish, is accomplished with Minority Report-like hand gestures and body movements.
NAU says the Immersive Cocoons could be used for educational purposes, as a tele-work device or for immersive gaming with other Cocoon users across the globe.
NAU hopes that its concept will be picked up for corporate leasing or executive airport lounges where users will be able to purchase time in a public Cocoon.