Get ready to lose yourself in videogames—literally. In May, the Excalibur Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas installed the first public Virtusphere, a human-sized hamster ball that lets you move through virtual worlds by walking, running, or crawling inside it. Until now, the sphere has been used primarily for military and police training.
Now, wearing a virtual-reality visor, anyone inside can play a first-person-shooter game or tour historic Russian architecture.
As new spheres pop up in malls and arcades, users will be able to jump into movie trailers or globe-trot using Google Earth.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.