An informal list of great projects, papers, and technologies (not my own) that have been inspiring for me lately:
- Evolved Virtual Creatures: Virtual world of random articulated creates + evolutionary mechanisms = interesting look at how evolutionary algorithms can create task-optimized morphologies + controllers (YouTube video). This inspired my 2D virtual 2D swimmer project in December 2011.
- Google’s Project Glass: Take the power of a smartphone and combine it with a head-mounted camera and display. Unreleased and still highly experimental, but I admit that it gave me nerdy goosebumps when first unveiled… this is the stuff that sci-fi dreams are made of.
- Omni-Directional Treadmill: Most VR sims focus on interactions where you need to stand still; devices like this allow virtual environments to feel big. The device itself is neat; the control systems behind it that keep you from hitting the edges are even more fun!
- KinectFusion: Fantastic 3D reconstruction of static scenes by using a low-cost piece of consumer hardware