How Virtual Reality Can Make Your Building Smarter [Macworld / iWorld 2012]

SAN FRANCISCO, MACWORLD / iWORLD 2012 — Next time you’re nodding off at school or in the office because there’s too much C02 in the room, a sensor can open the window and wake you up.

This is just one of the cool functions that a group of uber-smart high school students and an affable professor have designed through virtual reality in Hawaii.

How Virtual Reality Can Make Your Building Smarter [Macworld / iWorld 2012]

Wiekling and students during the presentation. @cultofmac.

In a talk titled “Enahanced Virtual Reality with HTML5,” Dr. Bill Wieking, who directs the energy lab at Hawaii Prep Academy and five students (Makiko Thorbecke, Phon Hoang, Duncan Michael, Bo Bleckel and Zane Moran) showed off a nifty VR model that they use to control the lab – from monitoring the Co2 levels to checking on the rain water collected from the roof. They demoed the VR model above in Flash, but they also have an HTML 5 version that’s still in alpha.

“Every day, every week there’s a new HTML5 integration, it’s getting better,” Wieking said.

To create the VR, they’re using Tourweaver  and toggling between Macs an PCs to get the job done – for example using the Mac processes to RAW files but using PCs to handles adding the hot spots. To get the shots, Wieking recommends avoiding standard video mounts (they’re not stable enough) the crew uses a 10.5 mm Nikon lens, a Kaiden mount and Manfrotto tripod.

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Nicole MartinelliNicole Martinelli heads up Cult of Mac Magazine, our weekly publication available on iTunes. You can find her on Twitter and Google+. If you're doing something new, cool and Apple-related, email her.

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