This ScienceDaily article reports Vadas Gintautas and Alfred Habler of the Center for Complex Systems Research at the University of Illinios are the first to create a linked virtual/real system by connecting a real world pendulum with a virtual version that moved under time-tested equations of motion. From the article: "What's nerdier than creating an online avatar that fights dragons and raids strongholds? Creating a virtual pendulum that you can sync up to your real-life pendulum. Leave it to physicists to do just that, resulting in a mixed reality state in which the two pendulums swing as one.
This NewScientistTech article reports a liquid that sets into a conducting web around brain cells might solve the problem of wiring up medical implants to nerves or the brain, US researchers say. From the article: "Connecting electrodes to the nervous system is difficult because the tissue becomes inflamed when in contact with metal. This creates a layer of electrically insulating scar tissue that makes it harder to send or receive signals.
"Interactive Virtual Hair Salon" (Full Paper)
Kelly Ward, Nico Galoppo, Ming Lin
Presence: Teleoperators & Virtual Environments, June 2007, Vol. 16, No. 3, Pages 237-251
This BPS Research Digest Blog post take a look at how virtual environments (such as World of Warcraft and Second Life) provide new research tools. From the post: "Virtual worlds (such as World of Warcraft and Second Life) have received a great deal of media and academic attention recently. While these virtual communities provide us with a new and fascinating area of study, it is also important to understand how these virtual environments provide us with new research tools.
This ScienceDaily article reports University of Central Florida researchers are preparing to study whether interactive, virtual reality simulations of wildfires can make US residents more willing to invest in preventing them. From the article: "The UCF research team is developing an interactive simulation of a wildfire spreading through Volusia County. Participants will decide how much they want to invest in prescribed burns and insurance, and their decisions will be contrasted with those who only receive written information about the danger of wildfires.