Robotic telepresence machine, PS Vita and Sony 3D Personal Viewer

Usually if you wanted to find a telepresence robot, or head mounted personal viewing screen, you would have to turn to science fiction movies.

However, gadgets that you would usually describe as futuristic are actually beginning to make an appearance in our real lives.

First up today we had the Vgo. VGo, is a “telepresence robot” which allows a user to interact with people in remote locations.

Standing about four feet tall, the VGo unit displays the user’s real face and voice through the robot’s ‘face’.  The user sees the location through a camera and drives VGo around a workspace, controlled via any PC or laptop over the internet. Being in two places at once is definitely becoming more and more of a virtual reality.

Features:

  • WiFi connectivity, battery power, and advanced robotics for driving deliver complete freedom of movement
  • See, hear, talk, and move in any location – be in two places at once
  • Mobility enhances your effectiveness at a distance by freeing you from the bounds of a conference room or office
  • 100% remote controlled – be fully-empowered even though you are not there at the remote site
  • High quality audio / video and easy remote driving via any PC or laptop with an internet connection makes it feel like you’re really there
  • Advanced security controls and privacy policies mimic real life
  • Self-contained wireless audio-video appliance
  • Remote user controlled mobility, volume, mute, camera lights, and hi-resolution snapshots
  • WiFi and Battery status indicators
  • Auto docking for battery recharging
  • Strict privacy and connectivity controls
  • Spoken visitor arrival announcements and text messaging
  • Sensors to assist driving

The VGo is being brought into this country by Asnet Technologies which expects to charge in the region of $10,000 for each unit depending on the operational usages.

Next we had the Sony 3D Personal Viewer Head mounted Display. As the blurb says “it’s 3D, HD, and customized to fit you. The Personal 3D Viewer packs innovative technology into a lightweight device, delivering unparalleled home entertainment in an immersive environment. Sit back and enjoy, without anyone kicking your seat.”

What’s the reality?  You feel like a gamer from the early 90’s when every arcade came had a “Virtual Reality” headset.  This is not virtual reality but it does give you a really vibrant 2D or 3D cinematic/gaming experience though it it takes a while to get used to.

It’s priced at $1199.95 and available from Sony stores.

Finally we had the PS Vita (Sony’s new handheld gaming system which goes on sale next week).  This machine takes the kiddie gaming capabilities of the iPhone and throws it out the window – this is a real gaming machine.

How? It has new functionality: a touch screen on the front and the back, dual analogue sticks and six axis motion controls.

Plus 3G functionality (only with the 3G PlayStation Vita): Gaming and social media connectivity on the go – linked in with Vodafone, you can game and check social media and browse the internet anywhere and rich & immersive gameplay with complete Playstation Network integration.

With real games fully designed for the platform (not short versions for a smartphone) this is a brilliant gaming experience.