July 1, 2014
KiKoon - Virtual Reality Helmet
Kick-Start the Future
The internet in some ways has become stagnant for me. I know billions of people have yet to properly experience its reach but technology is lagging behind its greater purpose. When I lived in NYC in the 80s I remember being holed up in my apartment when it snowed or rained and yearning for a way back to sunny Florida where I grew up. New York was cloudy or raining a lot, sometimes for weeks on end. I sure those days inside helped me with my musical career and made me write more music and prefect my guitar playing and performing. I wanted blues skies and warm-ocean so much that when I was overwhelmed I would to drive to the airport and take a flight down to Florida. It's most likely why I settled in sunny Southern California were we get around 350 days of sunshine a year. I like to think of it as an "endless summer". It's beautiful here near Santa Barbara but the Pacific Ocean could be a tad warmer for my taste. Oh well, you can't have everything.
When home computers and the internet merged in the early 90s, I thought about my days in NYC and how wonderful it would have been to virtually visit Palm Springs, Pebble Beach or Acapulco. That is why I started registering domain names that were passionate and emotional to me. If a word conjured up an image or emotion, I wanted it. I was one of the first to create a geo-domain destination online with PalmSprings.com back in 1995. I was also experimenting with VRLM (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) for 3D interactive vector graphics in 1996. I wanted PalmSprings.com visitors to virtually fly over a 3D city landscape and land wherever they chose in order for them to become familiar with a place they would eventually visit in person. The technology and bandwidth for that kind of visual wasn't available yet.
I've been a gamer since the mid 80s playing dungeons and dragons for those who may remember. It was a C prompt command game with binary characters as monsters. It was your imagination that brought the imaginary of doom and gloom to life, which was emotionally exhilarating. In 1989 I went to a local "Egg Head" computer store to buy a graphic intensive game. I wanted to see what a great graphic game would look like on my computer- so I thought. The best game they had came with eight 5 ¼ floppy discs. At the time I was using the Dos Plus platform on my computer. There were no hard drives that you could use so I had to keep swapping the discs back and forth to further the game. I remember it being so cumbersome with cheesy. I thought "this has got to get better, a lot better". The graphics were rough and it lacked the immediacy required for a person to forget their surrounding and immerse themselves.
Currently "gaming" has good enough technology to allow the participant (gamers) to lose themselves from the real world and enter a completely different virtual world. When I play a game I feel as though I am stepping out of my real world and entering another. I know every inch of my virtual terrain in much the same way I do at home. Somehow we need to get the gaming world to intersect with the internet in spatial terms. The gaming world is years beyond our static internet. The two need to find a way to merge together within the same foundational fabric.
It has to be "real" virtual reality:
Seriously, the new virtual headsets are lacking and I think they need to look at a more natural interface like water. Virtual reality has to fool the mind into believing the experience is real and legitimate, real beauty or terror. We are fortunate that our head concentrates many of our senses such as touch, sight, smell, hearing, taste, emotion, temperature, balance and cognition. Our heads are the perfect inter-"face" for us to interact with virtual technology.
One night, back in 1992, I had a fantastic dream. It was more like a vision it seemed so real. My head was in a helmet that was clear but had a mist swirling within it where projections of images were created. It looked so life-like that I woke myself up and immediately wrote down what I saw. I created a logo and basic concept on my computer and printed it on my dot matrix printer, then placed it in an envelope and mailed it to myself. I even called IBM headquarters and spoke to someone about developing it but IBM advised me they no longer had the R&D funding and capabilities it once had. For more than two decades I spoke about the virtual reality helmet to friends and family. Sadly, I had never been able to find that letter again. At the 2014 TRAFFIC conference, for domainers and investors in Vegas this year, a friend was smoking a vapor pipe and I said to him "you know vapor is the future of the internet" and I told him some of my story. He mentioned that I should get a patent and I recalled the letter that I could no longer find. He advised me to still get a patent even though it was twenty-two years later.
I went back my home in Moorpark and tried looking everywhere for that letter again. After all, if I found it I would have some proof of my vision. Over the years, I looked through everything and everywhere to no avail. I was at the point where I was about to finally give up for good but felt like I needed to give it one last try this time praying and visualizing that I would find it. I again went to my old file cabinet and instinctively pulled out two folders. I brought them into my kitchen where my wife Sheri was preparing dinner and laid them on the counter. I open the smallest folder first and there, right on top, the first thing I saw was the letter! I've looked through every inch of that file cabinet so many times before. It was so odd to me that it could be there. It was like seeing and old friend. It had the stamp and my company letter head Powwow Productions from 1992. It is still unopened but I know what is in it. Was this the right time for KiKoon?
KiKoon - Virtual Reality Helmet
This application uses water vapor (or synthetic vapor) as its interface. A double shelled helmet that surrounds the user's head can also be suspended from the ceiling. The outer shell has fiber optic strands that are imbedded throughout and are activated by lasers from the back of the helmet. Three types of water and separately charged to react; one for Red, one for Green, and one for Blue (RGB). The charged water vapor is activated by three lasers that project a 3D prism effect of the water particles maintained within a sealed pressurized atmosphere of the space between the outer and inner layers that sustain and suspend the vapor. The lasers illuminate the vapor and its density catches the lasers intensity and protects the eyes.
The droplets can be composed of a mixture of attractors to charge and control them, possibly positive, negative and neutral. Hence, from the mist come dynamic visuals of color and depth. What is most important is that the water droplets remain separate from each other and are allowed to perform as a sort of cloud in the confined space. They must stay in a mist or vapor condition in order to be properly controlled by the lasers that will project the information to their selectively charged droplets.
These vapors are charged in such a way that they can commingle in the airspace between the inner and outer shells. The proper atmospheric level/pressure is needed in order to keep the droplets from attracting or bonding to each other.
Why KiKoon is needed and should be developed.
Is KiKoon is even possible to produce? I am not a scientist or engineer but perceiving something before the internet became useful makes me believe there was a reason I saw it. I believe Thomas Edison had a similar vision of the light bulb but did not know what the filament was made of that gave off it's glow. He must have seen that it was glass and had a vacuum. From there he needed to work to find the other properties to make it reality. His vision was real.
If we can create a true virtual experience that actually puts the host in a real or fictional position, we can then expand our life dimension. It applications can be profound for medicine, education, entertainment, travel, even space and robotics. Imagine actually visiting Palm Springs or Nashville from our home or interacting with band members as if they were performing on the same stage while being in different states or countries. Feeling the air and seeing the depth of the space around us. What we now see around us could be a virtual projection. Can we fool the mind into believing it? All we need the "right" interface.
Besides the finding the letter, I also came upon an entry from my 1992 calendar where I had written-"The potential of this is incredible. I have seen the future." I still feel that way.
© 1992-2018 Michael Anthony Castello