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Virtual Dictionary

Sword of Damocles

Professor Ivan Sutherland?s display ?Sword of Damocles?, built in 1968, was the first, crude demonstration of a system that might one day make virtual, indistinguishable from ?real?.

It consisted of a headband with a pair of small CRTs attached to the end of a large instrumented mechanical arm through which head position and orientation were determined. Hand position was sensed via a hand-held grip suspended at the end of three fishing lines whose lengths were determined by the number of rotations sensed on each of the reels.

It was, in short, the first Binocular Omni-Orientation Monitor, or BOOM display, and is generally regarded as the first VR hardware in existence.

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Sword of Damocles


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Sutherland's Sword of Damocles
The first true computer mediated VR system was Professor Ivan Sutherland's 'Sword of Damocles' display system. Built in 1968, the sword got its name directly from the greek story of Damocles, the sword which hung suspended by a hair, directly above the king's throne. At any moment, the hair might snap, and the sword plunge down, killing the king.

Tad Williams is almost totally, an author of fantasy novels. All save four of his books fall into the realms of fantasy, sword and sorcery. These four, make up the Otherland series. Otherland marks quite a diversion for this author, as Otherland is from a genre known as Cyberpunk.

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Virtual Property Theft ? Physical Murder
Industry News

Industry news, from 01-04-2005. Hands up who saw this one coming? That?s right, you can all put your hands down now. Virtual property, existing only in a database server, has long been a hot topic in virtual reality, as to who actually owns it. Now, this case has reached a new level, with the murder of a man accused of stealing a virtual sword.


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SWORDS, Special Weapons Observation Reconnaissance Detection Systems. A robot killing machine we have covered before.

We first looked at SWORD units in 2005, when they were undergoing testing, prior to being shipped out to b...

On the first of April, we reported on the first case of physical murder through virtual theft in which, a Shanghai player Qiu Chengwei fatally stabbed play...

The technology known as 3-D printing is already widely used in industry, and it's been catching on with hobbyists and do-it-yourselfers around the world.

There are online businesses that will take your digital design and cre...

The days of human warfare, and battle tactics may be numbered. The robot soldier is coming.

The US Congress ordered in 2000 that a third of the ground vehicles and a third of deep-strike aircraft in the military must become r...

Whitfield Diffie, chief security officer and renowned cryptographer for Sun Microsystems delivered a keynote speech delivered at Thursday's AT&T Cyber Security Conference which concentrated on the mounting challenges for businesses trying ...