I-Cocoon brings new possibilities.

May 7, 2011

Check it out.

I need one of these. I need one right now.

Designed by NAU, the I-Cocoon is essentially a virtual reality pod. The inner realm of the sphere will be surrounded by touch screens. Motion detection cameras will monitor an individual’s movement inside the pod. With the motion detection and touch screens combined, you pretty much have a Kinect on crack. The practical uses for such a device are endless. With the user as the interface, new levels of interactivity will be reached.

One of the obvious ways to utilize this technology is by applying it to our teaching methods in school. It has been show in many neurological and virtual reality studies that students learn better in their subject when they are fully immersed in an environment that relates to their subject. Think about a history class that could actually take a trip back in time through the use of the I-Cocoon, instead of having to tediously memorize facts and data from a big thick book. Instead of reading about historical events, students are able to see these events reenacted right in front of them. As the AI and touch technology within virtual reality advances, students will be able to interact with these historical figures and totally become immersed in their study. For the students who struggle with the general education system revolving around memorizing and testing, the I-Cocoon brings a breath of fresh air and hope for a radical change in the way we view education.

Now, lets turn the opposite way and see how this device could set a new standard for gaming.
This thing would pretty much be the dream gaming machine.

Seriously, imagine gaming inside of this pod. It’s a whole different beast than your standard monitor and controller. You not only have a 360 degree view of your game environment, but you are also no longer separated from your character. You become the game character that you play. There are no more external controllers or monitors needed. You are the center of attention and action. Instead of sitting there on the couch, you have to be both mentally and physically aware of your surroundings. This could bring in a lot of cool experiences from different types of game genres. Imagine playing a horror game with all of that surround sound and imagery. That alone could take the horror genre to a whole different level. This is just one example from one genre.

There are so many other cool applications for this I-Cocoon. NAU reveals many of the possibilities, including working with Amazon to create a virtual store where you can actually walk around and physically manipulate the virtual consumer items with your hands. They also talked about working with companies such as National Geographic to bring a whole new level of interactivity between the user and nature.

Imagine not needing to physically travel to a doctor’s appointment. Imagine having your own virtual checkup, complete with a virtual doctor who appears on the screen and suggests you what sorts of medical actions to take. Imagine the infinite possibilities for treatments of post traumatic stress disorder.

The side effects and possible consequences from having such an immersing experience should also be taken into account. However, that is another post for another day. Right now, lets focus on the insane amounts of awesomeness that radiate from this product design.

If these cocoons really do make it onto the market, they will cause a whole new revolution. A virtual revolution.

NAU hopes to have these little orbs of wonder commercially available by 2014. That is, if we survive 2012.


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