virtual reality

The North Country Honor Flight sponsors World War II and Korean veterans on flights to Washington DC three to five times a year.   Since it was created in 2013, the group has made 22 flights and brought 328 veterans to the nation’s memorials.  But organizers were concerned that some veterans were unable or unwilling to fly.  On the last Honor Flight of the year, the group inaugurated a new virtual reality tour.

WAMC's Jim Levulis trying out the VR experience.
Morgan McGuire

Today we are taking a look at virtual reality. Here to talk about this eerily-realistic technology is Williams College Professor Morgan McGuire. He is an associate professor of computer science at Williams who has contributed to video game franchises such as Call of Duty and Marvel Ultimate Alliance. McGuire also runs Williams’ computational graphics research program. 

Children of the New World introduces readers to a near-future world of social media implants, memory manufacturers, dangerously immersive virtual reality games, and alarmingly intuitive robots. Many of these characters live in a utopian future of instant connection and technological gratification that belies an unbridgeable human distance, while others inhabit a post-collapse landscape made primitive by disaster, which they must work to rebuild as we once did millennia ago.

Alexander Wesinstein is the director of the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. He is the recipient of a Sustainable Arts Foundation Award, and his stories have received the Lamar York, Gail Crump, and New Millennium Prizes, have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, and appear in the anthology New Stories from the Midwest. He is an associate professor of creative writing at Siena Heights University and leads fiction workshops in the United States and Europe.

An image of the virtual reality experience.
Valve Corporation: Courtesy of Williams College

Could a history lecture be enhanced by allowing students to virtually experience a moment in time? Faculty at Williams College in western Massachusetts think so and WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Jim Levulis went to find out how they intend to do it.

Our tech guru Jesse Feiler joins us this morning to discuss augmented and virtual reality. What are they and what is the difference? We will get into that in just a moment.

Jesse Feiler helps people and organizations get to know and use new technologies. Projects have included building the page caching module for the Prodigy Web Browser for Mac in the very early days of the Web, location-based apps for iPhone and iOS, as well as books and classes on new technologies. Forthcoming books include “iPad For Seniors for Dummies" (9th edition) and “Learn Apple HomeKit on the Mac and iOS.”

Current projects involve using apps and FileMaker databases for identifying and managing risk in nonprofit organizations as well as helping small communities build location-based apps to promote tourism, downtown economic development, and the wise use of natural resources.

Morgan McGuire is an associate professor of computer science at Williams College.
Courtesy Photo

A lecture today at Williams College will delve into the world of virtual reality and what’s ahead for the emerging technology.

  Margaret Atwood is the author of more than 50  books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays including Cat's Eye, Alias Grace, and A Handmaid’s Tale. Her latest, The Heart Goes Last, is a funny disturbing tale about a new future in which the lawful are locked up and the lawless roam free.