V-Rtifacts

Where Are They Now?

The City and the Stars – VR a Billion Years From Now!

Back when VR really had some cred, the Diaspar Virtual Reality Network hopped on the bandwagon. Imagine, if you will, a dial-up service with a feature list, every item containing the phrase “will be”, as in this feature will be available… but when? Yes, its somewhat ironic that the network is named “Diaspar”, as this is Arthur C. Clarke’s vision of a city some one billion years in the future, as in: “Diaspar will be a great city for hype-meisters…”

Arthur C. Clarke’s Tale of One Billion Years Into the Future

OK, to be fair, Diaspar did promise some sort of shared virtual worlds (based on Rend386 and your dial-up connection), but that trebled the per hour cost of the service. And yes, they had an online store where you could buy a VictorMaxx StuntMaster HMD (we’re getting closer to the hype now!), but its not clear how the helmet ties into their future interactive offerings. Pricing is shown below, or click on it to see the entire product slick.

Welcome to the “Where Are They Now?” Club

The somewhat short lived “Virtual Reality Systems” magazine ran an irregular column “Bitz and Bytz” subtitled “These news items are excerpts of what happened in the world of Virtual Reality during the past 12 months.”  Have a gander at the Spring 1994 Quarterly update.

Joining the WATN club:

Liquid Image MRG2.2 Disassembly and Potential Upgrades

I’ve gotten a ton of emails hurled at me about the Liquid Image MRG2.2 VR helmet. The gist of most of them is: “Hey, I love the wide field of view and how rugged the MRG2.2 is, but I wish I could upgrade the LCD resolution, and, is there a way to make this HMD stereoscopic?”

It’s time to hurl the challenge back at you. These two videos explain in detail how to tear down an MRG2.2, what each of the components are, how they interconnect, and suggestions for how this puppy could be upgraded. If that’s not enough, head over to the V-Rtifacts store for a FREE download of all the technical info on the Sharp LCD, backlight, and all the MRG2.2 cable and connector pin outs.

There ain’t no doubt that the LCD resolution can be upgraded, but the challenge is to see who can do it the most cost effectively. Stereoscopic viewing? The video suggests some possible approaches, but they’re untried as far as I know.

Part 1

Part 2

Typical desktop magnifier, similar to what's used in the MRG2.2

As you might have already guessed, my attorneys from Itchy & Twitchy, Esq. want you to know that disassembling and modifying electronics and power supplies can be dangerous and even life threatening. Don’t mess with this stuff if you don’t know what you’re doing. Thanks to Itchy and Twitchy, you really shouldn’t mess with this stuff, even if you do know what you’re doing. If you zap yourself, it’s not my fault; you were warned. And… don’t rub that thing, you could go blind!

CYBERSEX – You’ll Never Buy An X-Rated Video Again!

Apparently Cybertech didn’t anticipate Torrents and the Usenet. Anyway, “sigh-burr-sex” seemed like a slam dunk in ’94. No one seemed concerned that a machine might rub you the wrong way.

Money quotes from the Cybertech Systems marketing slick:

CYBERSEX

  • You can enjoy your “dream partner” any time you want.
  • Frequency depends entirely on you; The words “no” and “headache” do not exist in virtual reality.
  • The safest and most satisfying sexual encounters known to man – always.
  • How often can you handle it?

I shudder to think about the “intensive development:

After 3 years of intensive development he developed the CYBERSEX HOME VR-SIMULATOR SYSTEM.

Blaming the liberal media?

Phil Donahue experimented with it on national TV in front of millions of viewers.

Asked by the author (Cybertech founder):

So what’s in it for us? … My staff and I will be “virtually” set for life, as the expression goes.

In the virtual world, anything is possible!