This week on the show, Nick and Billy talk about …
This week on the show, Nick and Billy talk about virtual worlds.
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is this real-life find out today on human factors cast
welcome to human factors cast your weekly podcast for all things human factors psychology and design Tara your host Nick Rome and Billy Hall
hello everyone and welcome to the show my name is Nick Rome human factors guy and I'm joined today by mr. Billy Hall Billy I'm always joined by you I mean you're always joined by me one of the joining of the thing you know what I'm just excited about today are you excited I am I hope everyone else is excited about today because today
but anyway sorry sorry sorry no no we're always excited here to talk about human factor stuff on human factors cast yeah yeah what human factors people and human factors everything yes exactly you doing all right though everything great with you yeah I'm good I'm good you excited about no man sky coming out Omar like come on IIIi I called my lovely fiancee kiya and I said to her hi no man sky comes out tonight at nine o'clock when we're recording this and I'm not probably going to see you for three weeks but I love you I'll miss you and send me a sandwich or two yeah you know what's happening is to our listeners we're actually recording this on a Monday night because no man's sky which is a video game that comes out tomorrow for us were you listening this is like two weeks ago so this is old news so sorry about that but we'll be sure to talk about it next time definitely because we'll have a much better perspective on the game and the universe as a whole really and that's the other thing it's such an impressive undertaking I mean such a small team with hello game making such a monumental step in video games yeah I mean well it's them developing the algorithms really yeah but well yeah it's the algorithm if you want to put it up down at the basic idea but I mean this small team coming up with this idea and saying guess we can that's very American spirit even though it's not made in America yeah yeah yeah anyway I realize this is I mean it's great that you know you and I are so into video games because what is today's topic today's topic comes from a listener question that we'll get to at the end but it's we're talking about virtual environments today which is really exciting yeah hey I love love-love-love virtual environments this is actually the reason why I went to grad school to begin with was to get into virtual reality and to kind of learn about how humans interact in that virtual space right you know I mean we we had that revelation last a podcast about the fact that you never seen the matrix but you know a lot of things have been coming out about that I mean the success of that book ready player one which you should definitely read it's on my list yeah yeah it's always on the lists list list lists but you know the fact that virtual reality is becoming such a major part of our love of entertainment you know and augmented reality too but right yeah I will talk about that because I want to know what really the clear concise difference is between those two are sure you know because but it's so cool I mean I grew up with like reboot and and if I was in the game you know how many times have we yelled at it was like if I had these powers I would do this with it now we're getting close to the idea where we can maybe do you do you remember it was like early to mid 90s where they had that Jonny Quest reboot where they did like they have that machine where they went into the virtual environments and then they actually like 3d rendered yeah yeah they even had like a bad guy that they fought in it - dude that my favorite part of that show was the intro I used to sit you know what it's all the green lines yeah yeah the the virtual landscape I used to sit in a chair and pretend like I was flying through that every time that thing came on I mean we grew up with the earliest forms of virtual reality I mean just sitting in there on those plastic motorcycles in Virtual Boy do you remember Virtual Boy I remember how thick it made me all the time but I also remember robot fighter which was all fighter this is gonna be a good show it's gonna be hard for me to not steamroll this into virtual reality because we're talking about virtual environments today right right right right
what was that no no it's just I know I know and I had that moment where I was like virtual reality yeah virtual reality but then it's in virtual environments which is still very excited it's cool it's really cool so there's there's a difference between virtual reality and virtual environments and basically let's let's go over what a virtual environment is first now what a virtual environment is is some sort of computer-generated three-dimensional and this is a definition that I pulled from somewhere and I have issue with it and I'll tell you what my issues are in a minute okay it's a it's a computer-generated three-dimensional representation of a setting which the user of the technology perceives themselves to be and within which interaction takes place let's dissect this for a second okay okay so first they say it's computer-generated all right so it has to be rendered by a computer they say it has to be 3d and then they also go in to say that the user has to perceive themselves in this environment mm-hm and they have to interact with this environment in some way right let me lay out my problems with this okay first off it's computer-generated now it just virtual yeah the definition of virtual itself is like the essence of or relating to but not actually the thing right now that's not a technical definition that's just the way I understand it right so you could be virtual something virtually something right but and and it would have the essence of whatever that thing is but it wouldn't be the thing so my my problem here is that they they define this as computer based mm-hm and that it has to be three-dimensional okay yeah would you not agree with me and please please speak up if you if you distract okay that something like Super Mario World would not be a virtual environment because by this definition it is not well it wouldn't be a virtual environment because why not because the thing like you said it's not three-dimensional right but is it it's still an environment that is yeah but we're not in the environment we're controlling a sprite within the environment right but do you when you're playing Super Mario Brothers you can't tell me you have never lost yourself in the game and gone man I am Super Mario oh well I mean like that and other games of course but I mean like it's like looking out a window I'm not outside I'm inside as much as I think that it would be awesome to be outside I might be stuck inside right so well the idea of a virtual environment is the same concept it's the fact that I'm removed from the virtual environment I can daydream that I'm there or lose myself within the story or the arc but I still think that I'm not in a virtual environment but then again also you're smarter than me so so there's some there's a researcher by the name of Jim Blas kovitch and UC Santa Barbara and he does this TED talk and I believe he talks about it in his book frame readers that are for any listeners that are interested in reading this it's called infinite reality by Jim Blas kovitch and Jeremy bailenson and they will post it on our Facebook as well yeah it goes through and they talk about how you know what is virtual reality and one of the things one of the points that Jim blasts kovitch makes is that you know a virtual virtual reality isn't necessarily I'm going towards virtual reality here but I'm abstracting to virtual environments one of the things that Jim Blasket one of the points that Jim blasts kovitch makes is that really anything that takes you out of where you are could be a virtual virtus virtual reality and by abstraction I'm saying virtual environments as well mm-hmm so for example if you have if you're reading a book mm-hmm you're transported to a different world okay I see what you're saying but isn't that more of an artistic than a hard-line idea of what it is well look here's the thing for years and centuries and generations we have been telling stories to put ourselves out of this reality and into another right that's why we tell stories yes that's why we go to the movies yeah watch movies listen to the radio back in the day stuff like that exactly all I'm saying and you know based off Jim Blasco pitches point is that simply being immersed into these environments mm-hmm the fact that they're not computer-generated or 3d based mm-hm you might be able to abstract that their virtual environment because they're not there they're in your brain they exist right just because they don't exist in pixels like does that I see what you're saying yeah yeah yeah okay I get it but I mean like you're talking about the ideas of like virtual reality we're talking about the idea of in virtual environments being in something doing something but isn't that the goal of virtual reality what makes this different than virtual reality so virtual reality so let's see the definition I have here virtual reality is a realistic and immersive simulation of a three-dimensional environment created using interactive software and hardware and experienced or controlled by movement of the body again I've already gone over my issues with these definitions right in that I think that it spans well beyond computer-generated graphics oh and and you know what listeners if you think I'm totally full of it feel free to leave me a comment I don't care like it so many of them thought here's an idea that you could get in a cross of what you're saying a haunted house yeah that I mean it's that I mean it is not going to you are physically there but it's supposed to transport you to a different place I'm gonna listen and emotion fear like you feel like you're in a meat closet with a chainsaw wielding maniac you know what I mean you you feel like you're in a graveyard they try to put you in that's right that's that's really interesting I I don't know if I would consider that virtual reality though because it's so it is transporting you somewhere else in your mind right you think you're there but it's a three-dimensional it is a physically constructed environment though and I think that's the difference right as a book but you're not so if you're reading you know a book and reading a description of the place that this character is in uh-huh that's not physically around you so you think the idea of the virtual reality whether it is or isn't a virtual environment is the fact of whether it transports your mind there or not yes so well crafted or not so that old adage about the guy playing Missile Command and it being about a nuclear strike and after he created he kept having nightmares about it because it transported him there yeah is the same concept you know yeah and so one of the points I forgot to mention this to the in that same TED talk he starts off with saying you know in an average minute our mind drifts 16 times what exactly and then he goes on to say you know all it I'll promise or I'll make a deal with you if you limit it to eight I'll only do it eight as well and then he goes into AK but I mean so that's that's that's his point but anyway well let's stick with the actual definitions for now just to avoid confusion that was a little bit of a tangent for me to go off like that but I think it's an important distinction to make so anyway the difference between virtual reality and virtual environments according to these definitions right is and and widely accepted by the community is that there's this sort of control by movement aspect in virtual reality so typically what people think of when they think virtual reality is this head-mounted display Brian pair of Green's that you put on your face and you look around baby yeah and and the act of moving your head controls your camera view in the environment and so you know their their varying levels of interaction with it you can some systems have you move your hands um some even give you tactile feedback that that kind of thing so that's really the difference is a virtual environment is something in which you interact with but don't move your body to do but there's really this line is really a thin and maybe maybe you'll start to see this as we go on right so but that's virtual reality yeah I mean like I remember ver I'm remember the few times I mean I don't know if this is considered virtual reality or not but I remember getting in those cockpits and doing those flights or spending hours and days in a mech pod actually doing that because it was 360 view I can move myself around and look in the environment I had the controls I was moving my hands and doing that sort of stuff like a person and they gave me for speed back right would you consider that a form of virtual reality I would okay because you are you're interacting with your body in a way that you know you're moving your hands which moved the mech right right whereas if the virtual environment itself is what's relayed on the screen uh-huh I think that is really what it comes down to right that the there's this separation between the screen and what's beyond the screen is the virtual environment and virtual reality is the placement of you the user into this environment oh so in York it's kind of like the idea of the zero point I get it kind of like um well it's kind of like that Google Streetview type of thing where it takes you walking down the streets of Vienna seeing everything like that even though you're on pictures you're not the physical person in that place but it gives you a 3d view of what you would see on those streets so if you use the Google cardboard yeah you put it on your face right and you were to do Google Street View right that would be virtual reality what you would be experiencing virtual reality because you're looking around this place that you're not actually in right it has transported you into another place the environment I don't know it would necessarily be virtual yes it's pixels yes it's a picture but it's a real environment that you're looking at so that's that's another fine line right like I I could argue either way that it is or is not right I don't know what do you guys think let us know in the comments section below I'd love to hear what our listeners think of it I do too I think this is a really thing this is something very artistic that a lot of people can get involved in which is exciting it is you know and I mean really there's no right or wrong with this but I mean I mean there's there's a clear space where it is but there's not a clear space where it isn't does that make sense yes but what is the difference between a virtual environment and a virtual world well so a virtual environment if you think about an environment that's just like one sort of area that you can interact with right now the virtual worlds they contain virtual environments and they're kind of like this shared space between people so mm-hmm you know they're kind of populated by many users who have their own avatar and simultaneously but independently sort of explore this world right so think about things like Second Life that would be a virtual world world of warcraft virtual world because it's shared and so that's that's the important distinction between a virtual world and a virtual environment it's still a virtual environment but it's a virtual world because there is more than one person interacting with it does that make yeah yeah yeah it's more of the one versus the many idea you know I have a bunch of fruit but not all of them are apples kind of idea the virtual environment would be the Apple Ryan the virtual world would be the fruit in that analogy yeah it's a weird like yeah but I mean it's like the one do you oh gosh what's that analogy that they always say not all apples all apples are fruit but not all fruit are apples that's the one that's it that's it right I get it okay I mean so we can find where can we find virtual environments I mean like what is the scope right so you know virtual environments I mean they've exploded obviously since the advent of computers right but we can find them pretty much in every application now but some of the main ones that are really interesting or like education right that was one of the ones I thought up too while I was looking at it but you were talking about the idea of the Google Streetview thing like for example a lot of people could take virtual tours right like the Louvre and and Gettysburg and other places of significant virtual tourism right another thing entertainment with video games yeah player one baby you know and and to be fair like video games all video games are virtual environments right virtual reality are not I mean we're talked earlier about no man's sky one of the biggest things about that game is not the story or the characters or the bad guys in it it's about the idea of exploring a virtual universe a virtual world that would be a virtual you world because there's multiple players interacting with it yeah on a grand scope it's really cool yeah that's interesting because there's no guarantee we'd actually even meet anybody on it except you and I have plans to meet in games oh yeah we're gonna have coffee on a little planet what do you think is at the center Oh me I think it's a bunch of series like gateways and wormholes to other parts of the world of the universe really I think it's the end game I think it's literally if everyone's trying to get to the center that's the one place where everybody meets up and who knows there might be raids there might be like something wouldn't it be really funny if it's just a giant floating ahead of Sean were saying welcome I mean I honestly think they want longevity to the game right right you can only get so much by exploring and getting to the center and it is on a server right now I wonder I wonder than they said like it's very unlikely that you'll run into other humans until you get to the center where everybody else is yeah you you're going to get there and you're gonna see other people all right now I'm thinking that there's like some sort of endgame there I don't know what it is it could be raids it could be like you want to know what the scary thing is we don't know if your weapons will work on me we don't know a friendly fire is a thing or not oh I'm sure it I'm sure you can kill other human players if you imagine that though think about it you traveled halfway across the galaxy oh spent immense amounts of time on your little cargo ship it's not combat capable but you've spent so much time on sharing to all this stuff and exploring all these things you show up in the center I come up with my Raptor with two giant guns on the side of him said you're gonna have a bad day I mean I was watching some streams earlier and it doesn't look like it looks like it's a like one of those games where you like drop your loot and it's visible to you uh-huh and then you just like spawn at the nearest space station and go pick it up we don't know that we don't know that but we're going on tangents about no matter how much you talk about more later there's okay so let's Haman there's yeah there's more there's video games which is the entertainment side right right right there's other applications we're talking about applications of rebel environment okay there's also medical applications there's a virtual like doctor who's like in Philadelphia working on kids in Brazil who have pancreatitis that's purcha reality is it yeah because those environments are real they're not they're just telophase I telophase okay okay okay okay no I there's a very specific example I kind of want to talk about this a little later though okay okay okay well there's also commercial and social applications but again let's let's get let's save those for later social I'm sorry what kind of social app if you say that it's a single person experience what is a social application about it that's one of the things that I actually had a question mark next to on mine on my notes well like we said before all virtual worlds have virtual environments but not all virtual environments are virtual worlds so things like Second Life world Warcraft those are all social as well I'm glad this is a family podcast because there were the other questions I'd have but I'll save that for another time okay you can ask me offline is it relating to Second Life and sort of these no just virtual environments and social aspects oh is this like tinder like when we were talking about ten yeah yeah yeah yeah social social meetup or whatever yeah yeah what was it called social like social exploration no it was something anyway anyway but what do you need to make a virtual environment like we've talked about the idea that a lot of things are these kind of broad terms but what is a virtual environment what do we pay get down for right so at the bare minimum mm-hmm for for like hardware you need some sort of window okay yeah right so this could be the head-mounted display in virtual reality yeah this could be a TV right this could be any sort of screen that kind of it could even be a speaker mm-hmm you know if you're if you're listening to a virtual environment although this goes back to my argument earlier let's just stick to what what everybody else talks about anyway so some sort of window into this environment right you also need some sort of input into this environment so whether that be a keyboard mouse a game controller or even even a head mounted display where it Maps your movements of your head you need some sort of way to interact with this environment you're right because that it's just a pretty picture right right you got it and then in terms of like so that's what you need from the hardware perspective obviously you need a machine to be able to render these environments and and in order to produce them you need software right and you need some sort of software that will allow you to create these environments right so whether that be unity or unreal or you know there's Google Sketchup which is I've never even heard of that one yeah it's a I mean I think it's just called Sketchup now or maybe it was Sketchup before and now it's called Google Sketchup I'm not sure but it's another way to make virtual environments and it's actually free software so if any of you were listening and want to give virtual reality a shot it's actually really easy to pick up mm-hm and create your own virtual environments what's really cool is about Sketchup is that in my lab when I was in grad school we actually well one of the one of the postdocs on campus he actually built a program that allowed you to create a program or an environment in Sketchup and poured it into the head-mounted display software so you could just walk around any environment you create so literally one day I was sitting there playing around with so in Sketchup they have these libraries right that people have created these these cool 3d models you import them into your document into your file mm-hmm and so obviously I found everything pertaining to Star Wars and just tossed it all in one thing it was really ridiculous and you know not even 30 minutes later I was walking around underneath the Star Destroyer and walking up into the Millennium Falcon it was really cool Oh Jude did you cry a little nah because the head said oh yeah yeah yeah anyway really that's that's what you need to sort of make a virtual environment you need this hardware to look into it and to control it and then you need the software side to produce the actual environment itself okay I mean like that's what you need to actually get into it but what do you need to experience a virtual environment right so the one missing component that I didn't mention before is the person well yeah man that's what you need right right right to experience it you need to be a person mm-hmm that is the missing loop in that system right so if you think about it in terms of a you you would start at the input which is the keyboard and mouse or at the controller or whatever and then that would go into the computer into the software mm-hmm and then at the other side of the you it would give you some sort of output on the screen right right so but my input of reaching my hand out goes through everything and until the output it affects the situation that I have there you got it yeah and and the missing component with experiencing a virtual environment is actually the human right so once the human is in there it becomes a loop right so you have the human that gives the input that goes to the software that goes to the output that the human then perceives and provides more input based on that output and it's a forever loop it keeps going forever I like that idea all right but so how does this how developers develop this what are some things developers have to keep in mind when designing virtual environments so some of the things like in in the case of virtual reality and I'm trying really hard not to go super into virtual reality because that's a whole nother show that we can get into I'm exam I am - I like I said I love virtual reality that's what I went to grad school for anyway the one thing that they have to be careful of is with virtual reality is like the limitations of space right so if you have somebody in the physical environment right there interacting with a virtual environment that has different temporal and spatial demands oh right so maybe not temporal it depends on what kind of game you're playing or what kind of thing you're doing like super hot that'd be temporal right right right right time but like let's say let's say we're sitting here at the human factors caste sound booth right right right and I have a head mounted display on uh-huh we're sitting at a desk right now if the virtual environment demands of me to walk across the room I can't do it because there's a desk in my way right so what I've seen at least is this sort of invention of these experiences that sort of don't require the user to move so you see these experiences where they're sitting stationary like mm-hmm a flying simulation you're looking around the cockpit you're not move from your seat because you're in a cockpit it's controlling you yeah yeah but you're actually moving the ship around right right learn how to fly or job simulator the video game where you're in like a little cubicle or a little desk area do you're not movin yeah you're not moving you're not moving I get it I get it I guess you might be bending doing things like that but it has certain strengths right yeah you're keeping the physical environment in mind with that oh so there's also that kind of goes into my next point which is limitations of body right you don't want to you don't want to create some sort of input that the user has to do like let's say there's a button 20 feet up on a wall you don't want to have that in the virtual environment because your hand can't reach 20 feet up right you have to design for the average human so that way everybody or mostly everybody can do these inputs right you don't want to like create something where your arms have to be 6 feet wide and you know some people can do that but other people can write like one of the examples that I found online was talking about how Second Life was using a lot of people to overcome social or physical limitations that they would normally be judged for or nervous about in the real world right like the limitations of their body or it overcomes their limitations of their body so they can do simple things so it does that would that also work on the other side of it I don't know if that's necessarily what we're talking about here but please bring that up when we talk about application okay but you see where I'm coming from I do yeah you do yeah is the limitation of the body also a granting factor of the body well we're talking about what designers can keep in mind for therefore actually creating these virtual environments and that might be one thing that they want to consider depending on the content of the virtual environment right but I I don't necessarily know if that would be like a primary concern I get you I get you okay they're all there are also other points that they have to sort of consider is something that is that has plagued the virtual reality industry at least for for a while which is cyber sickness yeah I've always heard about that you know you get a little sick yeah and a lot of that has to do with the the hardware demands right so the the computers that process these environments have to render these things at lightning-fast speed based on your input right like you move your head and if that thing just lags even a little bit and your input sort of follows where your head goes it's really disorienting because that is not how you perceive the environment all right so you know because of cyber sickness these developers have to consider maybe downgrading the graphics a little bit for the computer to run a little bit better they also I mean you know they also want to create these situations where maybe they're not moving so fast maybe maybe it's just a viewing thing where they're where they're looking around instead of like a first-person shooter uh-huh which is really fast-paced and you have to be really aware of your environment and you have to use your head to shoot and so when you're moving around all over the place it causes disorientation so these these are some sort of things that they have to keep in mind now what about the nose situation I've always heard about this problem with that with VR sickness and them being like if you have a nose in it it helps a lot is that a thing like I always hear about noses like being able to focus on your nose keeps you right so I haven't heard about the nose but I have heard of so there's there's this content and you know a lot of virtual reality research is still in its infancy so this this is still up in the air right there's there's research that suggests that if somebody can see out of the bottom of their virtual reality headset all right that they can still that they'll get less sick because they kind of know where they are in the physical environment - Wow right they can perceive everything so are our senses which our senses are crazy and that's a whole nother episode anyway okay so there are these little balls in our ears that roll around and they're in sync with what we see right and so you're talking about things that give you like the lack of it gives you vertigo and stuff like that yeah okay and so so the idea is that if you can see the ground and it's in sync with what your the balls in your ears are doing then you know you're more you're less likely to get sick but there are other things that you have to consider let's get back to the sorry so it's okay it's easy to go off on tangents on these another thing we have to consider when designing these environments is how sort of multimodal inputs interact when they work together multimodal yeah so a modality is some sort of input right okay so like a mode yeah so I I'm going to interact with this virtual environment by moving my head right or I'm going to interact with this virtual environment by moving my hands with these controllers that track my movement uh-huh using both of them together would be multimodal because you're both interacting with Oh anesthetic I see yeah you're also interacting with you know your your head my hand it's running my face I see it with my eyes I feel it with my face I'm touching my face right that aspect alone doesn't make it multimodal but the fact that there's two ways that you're interacting with the environment does okay okay yeah okay I get it so what developers have to keep in mind is that you know sometimes these things don't work together so if you're if you're playing virtual reality with a keyboard and mouse right you can't necessarily understand or you can't necessarily see the keyboard so you don't know what you're pressing right same thing with a gamepad but if you had these hand controllers right then then it's only a couple buttons on either one of them and you pretty much know where you're at mm-hmm yeah yeah yeah like how we have on the Kinect and the PlayStation camera and everything like - tc5 has it as well right right okay kinds of things and then the last point I wanted to make is that presence is a big one and now presents really sort of dictates the success of the virtual environment mm-hmm so do you know what present do you know what I mean when I say well I would just think showmanship or or the look of it like look are the idea of being in a virtual world no like the artistic side of it I was thinking it was like that has a bit to play with it but what presence actually is it's like um the feeling that you're there okay when you're really into a book yeah yeah yeah presence is high because you're like all those times so we got a horror novel in horror simulations because they they feel like they actually they feel like they're there oh that's a big one for the success anyway at least in my opinion right so you know if if you don't feel like you're there and truth is it doesn't take a whole lot but the more presence you can create the more convincing the environment will be to whoever's experiencing it that's crazy there seems to be a lot of facets that people go in as designers oh yeah I mean a lot of things that people I it makes me a little scared when people are starting to gonna start using things like unity and stuff like that to make virtual assets and not actually considering it cuz let's be honest here there's some really bad games out there there are bad uses of the practition it almost seems like it will become like an app store type of idea I hope not I mean like surgery you'll be able to do like surgery or heck even online classes but quality is going to be the biggest thing yeah I really hope you know developers keep in mind that there are there is a lot of thing and you know the trend is I think that they are uh-huh and you know there there are some solutions at like the software level that have really advanced this along so in unity for example I've created virtual environments in unity that take a look at visual illusions which is really cool using you know an oculus rift but basically like they make it so easy because all you have to do is put a camera and right and that camera will you know automatically calculate the inner pupillary distance which is the distance between the two peoples and your eyeballs and it'll automatically calculate you know the differentiation and the frames like it does this automatic it's just one component you don't have to be like there's here's these two things so secretly what you're doing is you're playing mind games with people bring you know what in this specific one I was because I was creating an illusion oh god when will you use your powers for good and not evil Nick I was getting at some fundamental underlying of how we process visual illusions so I was just trying to figure out how to conquer fear all right all right fair enough fair enough but go on go on no I'm sorry go on no I'm pretty much done oh you're done now okay I'm done but you're talking about the idea of making the illusions I mean we talked about the idea of doctors I want to get back onto the idea of the media entertainment of it the applications of this virtual environment right you know I want to talk about that okay like what are I mean like we talked about education first right okay yeah so let's get into education so one you know one major movement right now that I'm actually really happy as a thing is they're using minecraft to teach kids how to code how redstone what about it it's logic based and they're basically programmable logic controllers that allow you for automation through this node I thought it was I thought redstone was just like a like an optic like I mean I'm not an optic a circuit like it's just circuitry that's coating oh that's all that codeine oh my hell I can codeine I can make a lamp I mean coding is I don't want to simplify coding and say that it's basically doing that with yeah we have a blank page to think about I know I I've done coding before and it's it's kind of the same idea you have a little bit more flexibility with different languages mm-hmm but that fundamental like if I do this then this happens that if then logic is the basics of coding and so teachers and classrooms are using minecraft's because it's a virtual environment because it's a game right because it's easy for kids to get behind as an education tool mm-hmm so they're using this virtual environment as an education tool that's really cool yeah I think that's a great idea I mean being able to actually use modern-day things things they do on an everyday basis you know I mean I learned to type from from I mean I learned math from math plaster I did type excuse me I did typing through Mavis Beacon oh yeah and typing of the Dead remember that one I did not do that one oh that was great I killed all the zombies with all the verbs man yeah so yeah there's I mean those are virtual environments - what about yeah I mean like would you also consider the idea of like lectures and things like that might be oh yeah those things absolutely the virtual classrooms you know and again skirts that space whether or not it's a virtual environment if you know it's just a camera in a real classroom but I definitely think if there was like an avatar and this is really interesting too is that they did the same guys who I mentioned earlier with the book Jim blasts kovitch and Jeremy bailenson they died I don't remember which one of them did this it was really cool though they did a they did a study where you know in a classroom they had a teacher that was an avatar uh-huh okay now this avatar made eye contact with all the students in the classroom at the same time make sense because it was an avatar and it could do that it wasn't limited by physical limitations I as the teacher look at a camera and it looks at all the students individually and that eye contact has shown to increase engagement with students well yeah I mean the idea of eye contact alone you know right they're deeply into each other's eyes every hour every week yeah we do it's magical it but yeah I mean you get my point though right yeah yeah they're being more engaged because they can actually interact with the the teacher at you know at a personal level so that's really interesting I mean like the practice the uses for that you know I mean classrooms are overcrowded yeah and a teacher changing a lecture and maybe even getting messages over the classroom about what they're doing and when they're doing it that means that only you have to do is have a supervisor that someone says that is there they are plugged in during the type of class that they're taking yeah that's interesting what about but you know that's entertainment but I really want to know about all the cool virtual entertainment things I mean I want to know how long it's gonna be before I can be in my own movies uh well virtual entertainment I mean you know you can like we said earlier it's video games right it's you can watch a movie in a virtual environment now have you ever done that I have is it's it's cool because you feel like you're in a movie theater uh-huh and that screen looks like it's 20 feet tall in front of you yeah it's really cool yeah yeah yeah and and what's really neat that's really neat is watching 3d movies in this because you don't need glasses you're already wearing them and it calculates what your 3d should look like based on your position in the movie theater oh that is crazy but it's really cool there's a there's a lot of cool things going on with entertainment and we've covered a lot of it already right right right one thing I want to say though which is really cool to me so there's this there's this medical application okay yeah you were talking about medicine being medical applications being one of those things right and so so really there's kind of two areas there's the behavioral or cognitive sort of rehabilitation aspect and then there's the motor rehabilitation aspect and so what I mean by this there's the behavioral cognitive side let's look at that first okay this is this is influencing the brain through virtual environments so there's you know different ways that it can help but one of the coolest applications is this sort of getting over phobias so imagine Billy that you are afraid of spiders okay okay I know you're not you're a big brave man but big red dog I'm a big brave dog what are you afraid of let me let me ask you that oh that's um no I'm not I mean I'm afraid of anything in particular that way oh yeah you know them women they scared it please okay holy you're not afraid I'm not afraid of anything in physical but let's go over that bad yet let's say um I don't know I'm afraid of scarecrows okay let's say you're afraid of scarecrows right right so what would happen is in this virtual behavioral cognitive therapy what they would do is they would say okay here is a scarecrow and it's you know six inches on the screen okay are you okay with this yeah yeah sure let's do yeah yeah all right here's the Scarecrow it's creepy look okay okay that's it that's all we're gonna say all right but you know eventually it ramps up they keep showing the Scarecrow bigger and bigger until the person you know they wait until the person's to it they do and here's the crazy part so with virtual environments and specifically virtual reality the application with this so you put them into a virtual environment they're in virtual reality and they see the Scarecrow in front of them okay yeah scary is held with someone who's afraid of scarecrows yeah yeah yeah but because they've been ramping up through this virtual environment it's the same now and the same idea of what we used to do with people with fear of snakes we would have them or or almost animals now scarecrows can't actually hurt you but something like snakes can uh-huh it's rare but let's say let's use the example of snakes this is why you would want to use a virtual environment because you can show them a snake and they can reach out and touch the snake and it won't buyback and they can get over their fear by exposure to this like think I'm the snake up watching it how it naturally moves right yeah around arms and things like that gets close and one of the little snoot of the poop on the snoot depth yeah yeah yeah I saw the mean one of the one of the main applications is arachnophobia fear of spiders right because they're small and they're you know you can emulate the touch a lot easier okay you basically just put a spider what about people doing full-on touch stuff yeah wow that's crazy and then there's there's another whole side of it with like motor rehabilitation so what this does is like for like someone who suffered through a stroke or someone who has cerebral palsy right they can actually put on these suits that have these reflective balls all over them right I like to use in like a motion capture yeah yeah okay and what what it does is the camera actually captures their body movements and they can see in a 3d environment how their body is moving and correct it accordingly so the the doctor can sit there with them and say okay do you see how your back is is kind of hunched over now please lean back and you can see the difference in your body posture July I see you know just like they always say like Oh personal trainers could do the same thing it was like you're bending yeah you're lifting your heels I'm not lifting my heels play it back on 3d watch it you know and even if they take a video of it it's hard to see but if they do it like that it makes a lot more sense okay yeah and that could be like behavioural that could be posture that could be a lot of things used in the medicine field that's really exciting that's cool it's cool stuff yeah yeah it must be expensive though virtual environments much more than video games yeah but I mean like what other things we also like commercial use right so so I mean back to video games god yes it was the thing about it's based in its based it yeah that's what I was thinking about the idea of it is is that we're basing our whole idea of video we mentioned the video games a lot because it's the most thing that people get the most exposure to it is you know it's a consumer side of it because it was the easiest thing to produce where that makes the quickest amount of money right and I mean so like for someone who hasn't played video games since the 90s there's there's more there's video games now exchange real world money all the time and so people can actually use video games for trade you know that there's these really expensive hard to get items that you can actually sell to other players for real world money right so they use it for commerce you know and like there's there's a whole group of people who farm gold and and right and currency in these multiplayer games that will then turn around and sell it to the player base and make money off of it and that's the thing like I I've never seen kids use Minecraft in code because I'm an older man I mean in entertainment I mean in medicine and stuff like that I've never heard of these virtual things that you're talking about it makes sense to me but I've never heard of them right but I mean and so like the commercial side of the videogames people are using these things these virtual environments as a form of almost trading currency yeah they're using it as a job almost I mean like the famous I have you've heard of Eve right yeah I mean I think we talked about it maybe before on the show but the biggest idea of it is is that they actually put a real world dollar amount on a lot of the items of Eve because they made it so it was a monthly thing what's crazy to me is these ships that they build an EVE are like worth real-world million thousands of dollars yeah the reason is is because you all the materials well all the materials all the time put into it yeah the idea of it is is that if has a set price everything is generated by people and the exact amount was that it is the currency okay you can even use it to purchase real world monthlies to your monthly subscription fee you can get to the point where you wax up those jobs is self-sustaining to keep playing the game you play the game practically for free as long as you're doing what you're doing and you can even hire people because 99.9% of all the assets created and Eve that the players can interact with are created by the players so I get what you're saying by the commercial use of real world because if if I ever blew up one of those ships for some reason or or one of those thousands and thousands all their ships I'd be afraid for my life right someone could come and find you there was a guy who actually had to go into hiding because he actually was in a war with another clan or Corp got to the top of it of that Corp right and he still had people he was Anthony rude everybody over and he hit disband which shoots all the ships and shuts down all the stations in the game I heard about this yes I'll tell you the story okay story one of these days but did it I knocked the whole Corp out to the point that they couldn't exist anymore that's crazy cuz if you get out of your ship guess what I can do get into it right it was crazy so yeah and then that that these games like Eva's kind of hits the social aspect as well I mean we kind of talked about this earlier right second life and and just video games in general I mean people make a living off of social life I mean a second life to this day which I do not know oh yeah no think oh they make assets day and but and then they buy them too obviously obviously yeah like I I've never played second my fav you know like it seems like a novel approach but I just I fear the internet ah there's my fear I fear the internet so what we'll do is we'll strap you into a virtual headset and slowly expose you to the Internet all that's that's a lot of bad stuff god oh yeah just message board after message board of anger and hate movie tree all names and cat videos and oh my god I feel like I feel like I would be like the guy in a Clockwork Orange when he's being rehabilitated alright should we wrap this up I think so we're going on to a Clockwork Orange podcast alright so this is the part of the show where we take questions from you guys no review today because we had so much to talk about sorry let me just have a great topic and when we have fan interaction we rather go with that then just try to find something to review I mean those if you like the reviews please give us things to review as well we'll take anything on we just want to do what you guys want to hear so this is the part where we take questions from you guys our listeners and Billy what is our question today our question comes from an email sent to us by I'm sorry if I mispronounced it but corrido Kirito uh once we read the question I think I shiraito writes hey guys I love the show so far I'm writing to you because I recently watched an 800 yeah I watched an anime series called sword all online I've heard of this anime series where the main character gets sucked into a virtual reality online role-playing game my question is how close do you think we are to this type of full-body immersion technology and what kind of thing do you see it having other than I'm sorry what kind of things do you see it having other than video games thanks for the weekly laughs keep up the good work oh thanks Kirito I hear it though that I think it's I think it's Kitty tone cuz I did I've actually seen this anime that he's talking about uh-huh and I mean it makes sense because in reality guy yeah yeah yeah it's it's them probably get it posed to you all the time on Facebook and every night yeah yeah it's like Star Wars if it's virtual reality I've already seen it guys but thank you for keeping me in the loop and thanks anyway so anyway so yeah Kitty toe is the main key so his question here is how close do you think we are to this full type of immersion technology um well I want to break this down to an idea of something I understand as well I mean it's the same concept but I I'm a big fan of ready player one I've read the book many many times I have the audiobook I have the regular book all that suggests so I have not read ready player one yet it's like I said it's on my list no no I want to break down like the things they need in the game to make it go right so the first thing they have is the visor and goggles right right so okay do we have that hold up so okay in this anime mm-hmm I don't want to call it a cartoon because some people will get offended and we have a fan base that we adore so in this poem in this anime they basically what happens is they have this headset AHA right that plugs in neroli to their the base of their spine does it plug into the base of their spine and literally plugs into the base of their spine Jesus and it takes over all their senses so the idea is that instead of brain signals going to the rest of your body this intercepts it and then interprets those signals into inputs to this game where are these kids parents that let them get implants like that but go on so there's that aspect of it and then and then in Reverse there's feedback that comes from the game and inputs it into neural signals and their brain then perceives it because all all of our sensory input and we got to do it episode on sensory systems but it all comes through our spinal cord right okay so so it's it's grounded sort of in in fact right right right and so I don't know if we necessarily have the technology the technology to do that right the human brain is so difficult to even get an understanding of like the most basic parts right are and tapping them to that spine day-in day-out of our entertainment or even well okay hang on there's before you before you go I mean even other uses there's this really sadistic sort of twist to this this show is that if you die in the virtual environment it fries your neural saying it's some status I thought I was like I love I love our fans and our people but what the hell are you people watch hey I watched it - I watched it - so anyway there's there's this creator who's like really sadistic and he you know if you die in the game you die in real life and he locks everybody and he turns off the logout button so you can't get out uh-uh it's a great it's a great series I would imagine so it's gonna be on my watch list just if I feel cruel and mean no but I mean I get what you're saying it's good I mean like you have like in my idea you have the hot goggle you have the things right we don't have the cerebral impact that you know of yet right and then we usually have the force feedbacks but if we take that out we would have to have like a haptic suit yes yeah so there's there's a souther sort of I guess pie in the sky idea that we can take these pills that have nanobots in them what that I know that sort of attached to our neurotransmitters mm-hmm throughout the body and do effectively the same thing I think nanobots are a little bit in the future in science fictiony but I mean they're they're on their way right imagine that we would try to cure disease with nanobots before we came up with the idea of how to make yourself feel like you're being touched in a virtual oh gosh I went down a dark bro you did you did I'm going back up from that lie to me and like before we come up with nanobots to make a feedback thing for your body yeah and so you know in terms of how far out we are I don't know because we're we're constantly coming up with new technologies right that sort of get at these multimodal right ways of interacting with virtual fire I think we're a long way off from human brain interfaces well I mean this might be like very top-down idea of it but we have that way of like those 4d see like rides that we always see where you know like Star Tours right where there's wind blast you know or sparks flying and that and then there's movement and generation I mean isn't that kind of a form of like forced feedback that we could utilize I mean mind you that would be stupid expensive to have in your home but I'm working on it first off you're working on mechs you're always working on oh I'm working on putting that full immersion into my home oh yeah yeah yeah there's those systems I want to have more hang out yeah that guy I want a simulator with the hydraulics and everything anyway no but I I think what the the listener is getting at here is this this sort of not doing like the bare minimum and having the environment come to you mm-hmm right instead of you building up this environment around you and still having it simulate this like Star Tours you're in a right you're not interacting with it but I meant like it's still a 3d environment I mean you're you're in it's not a virtual environment because it's real around you the screen is what's beyond the screen is a virtual world right but you are not in that virtual world yourself I mean as virtual reality in the sense that you are interacting with it because you're watching it there's I don't know this is the sign you can see him Nick falling down a logic case of stairs into more deeper topics than to get into god there's so many there's so much to go into but I think like I would really love to get to that point I just don't know if we're capable of that lawnmower man level of virtual reality we have to wait and see so kid Ito to answer your question I don't know but oh my god would it be so cool to do that I'm away I'll dream about that every day I mean I would love to be able to actually pilot a virtual mech you know have the gyrations and be in there and get out of the cockpit and fight a dude I want I'm really excited for Star Wars VR like no yeah yeah yeah the x-ray you sure you didn't get really upset about the idea of like Star Wars Connect you know where you could do the solo yeah yeah all right let's not bring that okay that's a good place to enter anyway that's it that's it for today if you guys want to be featured on the show we're all over social media go ahead and comment on our SoundCloud Facebook we're on Twitter as well or send us an email at human factors cast at gmail.com with all of your questions be sure to LIKE and follow us on all the social media - we're always trying to keep in touch with interesting topics you want us to talk about on the show I've been your host Nick you can find me on LinkedIn calm flat with two O's Billy Hall where can they find you they can find me on Twitter at Comstock Clerk that's Arthur it only has one oh but I still feel something all right thanks again for listening to us here on human factors gas until next time get out of the bed