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Arkwood scribbled down some notes. He sucked on the tip of his pencil, then pressed again the damp lead upon a sheet of his jotter.

‘I am a political journalist in these wavering times,’ my Belgian chum announced, ‘I have no time for virtual worlds.’

‘Don’t be so hasty,’ I replied, ‘My virtual world can keep you well informed.’

Here it is, empty but for a TV, clock, bottle of water upon the floor and a table. Oh, and a chopping axe.

oculusrift_pictureframe_virtualworld

Yet there is a picture frame fixed to the wall. Let’s take a closer look.

oculusrift_pictureframe_virtualworld_may

Why, it is Theresa May, the British Prime Minister!

‘I know who Theresa May is,’ Arkwood snapped, ‘What of it?’

I told him to keep the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset fixed to his cranium. For the picture frame will change as the news changes.

Just read my article on fetching and parsing online data within a C++ Microsoft Visual Studio application. And with the Oculus SDK for Windows and OpenGL we can render current affairs into a virtual room.

Here’s what happens when we make an HTTP request for an online news page using libcurl and parse its fetched HTML using htmlcxx. We find a mention of “Trump” in the text, and so switch from a picture of Theresa May to a mugshot of Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America.

oculusrift_pictureframe_virtualworld_trump

‘You see Arkwood,’ I grinned, ‘you can stay bang up to date with the comings and goings at the halls of power. All within the comforts of a virtual world.’ A tactile exploration of information awaits.

Ciao!

P.S.

I put together the picture frame in Blender, the 3D creation suite. It was simple to design, just squashing a cube down and stretching it out with the (S)ize hotkey. The (E)xtrude hotkey created the raised frame around the picture.

Once the Blender model was imported into my C++ app, I used OpenCV to load an image of Donald Trump – ready to usurp the default texture of Theresa May if he should so happen as make the news.

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