News

USC Invites You to Mars: Traverse the Red Planet at Virtual Viewing Party Tonight at SIGGRAPH

August 5, 2012

Portable virtual reality device from the MxR Lab at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies brings 3-D Martian landscape to your iPhone or Android.

Contact: Orli Belman
USC Institute for Creative Technologies
310 709-4156, belman@ict.usc.edu

What: Just before the Curiosity rover sets down on Mars, Siggraph attendees can explore the red planet themselves using only their smartphones and the FOV2GO, an award-winning do-it-yourself virtual reality viewer developed at the Mixed Reality (MxR) Lab of the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies.

This low-cost cardboard device, combined with software from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, enables people to navigate a detailed stereo model of the Mars Gale Crater, finding points of interest and unique facts provided by NASA. Images behind this immersive 3-D experience were provided courtesy of JPL-CalTech MultiMedia and NASA/JPL-CalTech.

When: 8:30 p.m., Sunday, August 5th, immediately following the Siggraph Technical Papers Fast Forward.

Where: The Geek Bar, Room 404 in the Los Angeles Convention Center. The event will kick-off SIGGRAPH’s live feed of the Mars Rover landing, scheduled to take place at 10:30 p.m.

Who: The team behind this virtual voyage to Mars includes:
Mark Bolas, director of the MxR Lab at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies and associate professor in the Interactive Media Division at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Perry Hoberman, associate research professor in the Interactive Media Division at USC School of Cinematic Arts, where he also heads S3D@USC, the Center for Stereoscopic 3D.

Thai Phan, ICT lead designer for the Viewing Party app, and
production team Nonny De La Pena, David Nelson, David Krum, Peggy Weil.

More: The FOV2GO was named Best Demo at the 2012 IEEE Virtual Reality Conference. CNET Senior Writer Daniel Terdiman called it, “one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen done on an iPhone.”

DIY: Dowload a free app on your iPhone or Android as well as plans to build your own cardboard viewer on the MxR Lab’s website.
http://projects.ict.usc.edu/mxr/diy/fov2go/

About the USC Institute for Creative Technologies
www.ict.usc.edu

An academic research center, the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies brings film and game industry artists together with computer and social scientists to study and develop immersive media for military training, health therapies, science education and more.

The institute’s Mixed Reality Lab (MxR) focuses on immersive systems for education and training simulations that incorporate both real and virtual elements. Projects push the boundaries of immersive experience design, through virtual reality and alternative controllers. The Interactive Media Division of the USC School of Cinematic Arts and the MedVR and Graphics Labs at ICT are frequent collaborative partners.