Virtual Reality: Atari founder Nolan Bushnell wants to revolutionize VR
Nolan Bushnell is a phenomenon: In the course of his life, he has founded over 20 companies, the parents of eight children, raised, and Leonardo DiCaprio, the film sold the rights to his life story. With 74 years of age, he wants to revolutionize once again off to the right start, and with his Start-up Modal VR, the Virtual Reality technology.
Bushnell’s probably weltveränderndste performance of the founding the video game company Atari in 1972: The slot machine game “Pong” is not the first game of the story, but definitely the first, with the serious money was earned. “Pong” and his followers were so successful that a number of Atari-related company from the ground shot and the years 1972 to 1983 as “the Golden Age of Arcade Video Games” in the story received.
Then the big Crash came. But Bushnell had sold Atari since long ago, Time Warner and cheerful more company founded. Bushnell’s biggest success was out of Atari, the Arcade Pizzeria chain Chuck E. Cheese’s, which today operates 590 stores.
However, Nolan Bushnell has also set many firms in the Sand: for example, Androbot, which manufactured the mid-eighties, robots for private use. Also for the navigation system Etak the time was in 1985 Mature: GPS, there was not, the cards were stored on a conventional Audio-cassettes.
The Professional Optimist
Bushnell can’t go, progress fast enough. “I want to live in the future,” he said in an interview with “c’t”. “And the best way to do this is to invent the future.” If this works, of course, is unclear, but professional optimist Bushnell doubt, in principle, a little.
About his founded in 2012, educational game company, BrainRush, he claims that its products accelerate Learning “by a factor of five to ten”. The goal is “to change the way people learn fundamental”.
The exception founder Bushnell has, of course, even more irons in the fire. With his Start-up Modal VR, he developed a large-scale VR System for enterprises that can be used not only for entertainment purposes, but also for the Training of security forces.
Supposedly a “fool-proof” System
The most Important of Modal VR its simple design, is Bushnell emphasized. “Idiot-proof” the System, in just a few minutes. Modal VR should be able to track multiple Users on vast expanses of land. While companies like The Void with complex radio systems play a comparatively small halls, to Modal do VR on an area of about eight hectares, with only a Tracking device the size of a Desktop PC, as well as four pylons in the corners of the playing surface.
Bushnell promises on top of that, a whole-body Tracking with special suits (which have so far been no firm convincing) with an accuracy of less than a Millimeter. And the latency of under 10 milliseconds.
How does it work? Bushnell says that this is a business secret. But in just a few months, the System should be presented to the Public.
What is Modal VR, it all sounds a bit too good to be true. And yet: Nolan Bushnell has proven a dozen times that he is able to make his vision a reality. At least sometimes.
The Nolan Bushnell about Virtual Reality thinks
“c’t”: VR-experts often say that VR games are currently in a similar phase of development, such as computer games in the seventies, at the time, their game “Pong” was released. Do you agree?
Bushnell: Absolutely. I have seen the Whole of the four-square Ball in “Pong” to the Almost photo realism in “Halo” and “Call of Duty” has developed – and in less than 30 years. And I think that we are in Virtual Reality in the same Phase. However, only the Visual is VR important, but sound, touch, smell, taste; what can be different is difficult to implement. And then, if at some point the virtual reality corresponds visually with the real reality, then we get a whole bunch of interesting problems.
“c’t”: When do you think it will be?
Bushnell: I think within three to four years.
“c’t”: Really? Do you think it’s more of VR in four years from reality?
Bushnell: At least in terms of optics. I am of the opinion that we are arrived at the tone. I also believe that we could be at the smell already there. I can’t distinguish the smell of synthetic coffee genuine.
“c’t”: I know of no other company that offers such a smell Synthesizer for end-users.
Bushnell: That’s right, but that will come soon. The technology is Mature, it’s just about everything together.
“c’t”: Then feel, in your opinion, the biggest Problem for “real” VR?
Bushnell: No, this is food. Since one has, in fact, smell, taste, and consistency. So you have to simulate the feel in the mouth.
“c’t”: True. For really real VR, but this is of course very ambitious.
Bushnell: We need to define a kind of Turing Test for Virtual Reality. When does distinguish virtual reality from true reality? (Editors ‘ note: Bushnell speaks in English of “base reality”).
“c’t”: What do you think, what time is this Turing is going to succeed-Test for the first Time?
Bushnell: In 50 Years ‘ Time. I think we will come out of the thing in 10, 15 years ago, very, very close – but in order to convince someone to really complete, it will take longer.
“c’t”: What exactly is the fascination with Virtual Reality?
Bushnell: For me, this is a new area for inventions, and I’m always interested in inventions. I like it, new things to find out before anyone else.
“c’t”: VR is not yet as big a success as, for example, the Smartphone in 2007. Many people are not interested in VR. What is your opinion?
Bushnell: There are always the Early adopters and then there are people that live in the past. The like to the middle ages markets, and that is also okay.
“c’t”: You have probably tried a number of VR projects. What has impressed you the most?
Bushnell: Really good and really well thought out I found the VR roller coaster at Europa-Park. Riding on a dragon, and I thought, have to get the really, really good.
“c’t”: Can you imagine that VR disappears again? So how, after the initial Hype in the nineties?
Bushnell: No, for the first Time, the reason was clear: The people is bad become of it. And it is difficult for a business to build something, the people bad. With the current technology, I’ve spent around 100 hours in VR, and it was only me Once uncomfortable – and it was the fault of the Software, not the Hardware.