Create Stellar Views for Every Window

Renters no longer need to settle for the crappy view their cheap rent gets them. Thanks to Santa Clara, Calif.-based engineer, Ryan Hoagland, tenets with basement apartments, windows facing buildings or simply no windows at all can create their own virtual window using nothing more than a Wiimote (for the Nintendo Wii), a computer, flat-screen televisions and some fancy software.

"The idea is to make you feel like you're living in all sorts of strange places," says Hoagland. "You can live in exotic places, fancy places or downright silly places like underwater or on a space station."

In place of a swanky window overlooking, say, an idyllic beach, those who use Hoagland's Winscape package can mount flat screen televiosions anywhere they please and use specialized software to project the landscape of their choosing on a wall.

The true beauty is that Hoagland's projections look real...right down to cars speeding down the Golden Gate Bridge and fish passing by on the ocean floor. In fact, the windows will even change perspective as the viewer moves (provided that they have the wiimote in hand), giving the full effect of being able to look over a cliff or out into space. A video of exactly how real the windows can be found here and a film detailing its construction is available here.

"It's really for playing around with friends at a party," Hoagland says. "It's basically a nice illusion, but it's hard to fool the human brain for too long. It's not quite for full-time use."

Regardless of whether the technology is a full substitute for a picturesque view, it's hard to argue that staring at a view from a moving train is better than looking at a blank wall. Hoagland's downloadable Winscape software is currently available for $10 here. There's also a $2 version available for the iPhone and individual scenes are available at $10 a pop. A blog of the entire project can be found here.

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