See the world through the eyes of a CHAMELEON: Dizzying headset lets wearers look in two directions at once


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Categories: Gadgets
  • PolyEyes 2.0 headset was created at University College London (UCL)
  • It uses pivoting cameras in domes that let wearers see two views at once
  • The effect is similar to how a chameleon is believed to see the world
  • Headset is part of a suit designed to extend our human senses

They may be primarily known for their colour-changing skin but chameleons also have unusual eyes that let them look in multiple directions at the same time.

Now a prototype helmet has been created that mimics this trick to help wearers see the world from a similar perspective.

The PolyEyes 2.0 headset uses pivoting cameras linked to a computer and screen to create the visual, and somewhat stomach-turning, effect.

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A prototype helmet has been created that lets humans look at the world from a chameleon's perspective. The PolyEyes 2.0 headset (pictured) uses pivoting cameras in plastic domes to create the visual trickery 

The wide headset, which resembles the head of a hammerhead shark, was created by researchers at the Interactive Architecture Lab at University College London (UCL).

It uses two Raspberry Pi computer modules in addition to cameras that pivot in transparent plastic domes mounted on the outer edges of the headset.

The arrangement gives a wearer a 180° view on a screen inside the helmet, Popsci reported.

But most intriguingly, because each camera inside the eye can pivot independently, a wearer can see the world a little like a chameleon.

 

The headset uses two Raspberry Pi computer modules with cameras that pivot in transparent plastic domes mounted on the outer edges of the headset. As each camera inside the eye can pivot independently, a wearer can see the world a little like a chameleon (the effect is shown above) 



The arrangement gives a wearer a 180° view on a screen (still pictured) inside the helmet. But most intriguingly, because each camera inside the eye can pivot independently, a wearer can see the world a little like a chameleon


The chameleon's eyes can move independently, giving the scaly predator two views of the world at once and a superior ability to catch prey with its sticky tongue.

Scientists recently claimed they think a chameleon's brain can coordinate its eyes to help it focus on prey, allowing the animal to flick from stereo to mono vision when hunting.

This is something the headset doesn't allow.

The headset is part of the Polymelia Project in which researchers are designing a conceptual suit made from other prostheses such as an exoskeleton, to question the limited way humans experience the world.

They explained: 'We think of the body as the original prosthesis we all learn to manipulate, so that any replacement or extension becomes part of a continuing process of upgrading the human entity.

'The Polymelia Suit (PolyEyes, PolyLimbs, Exoskeleton, Sensing Suit) suggests a new communication language for the future of prosthesis and of humanity.'

The suit is designed to let a wearer communicate 'with some other entities in another room, whom you cannot see.'

A controller built into the suit allows the wearer to decide whether to receive or share stimuli such as a view.

In July, a team led by Hadas Ketter Katz from the University of Haifa in Israel, investigated the chameleon's unusual eyesight by baiting colour-changing lizards with computerised prey projected onto a wall in front of them.

'When prey is detected, the chameleon's eyes converge to view it binocularly and 'lock' in their sockets so that subsequent visual tracking is by head movements,' the study, published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, said.

 

The chameleon's eyes can move independently,  (pictured in this stock image) giving the scaly predator two views of the world at once


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