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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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VRが身近なものに

 
バーチャルリアリティを体感できるOculus Riftを秋葉原で試したことがありますが臨場感がすごかったです。昨年からニューヨークタイムズもVRの流れにのりimmersive journalism(没入型ジャーナリズム)と名付け連動記事を定期的に出しています。こういうのは未体験のものの感じをつかむには最適だと思います。今回はクジラのコミュニケーションについてでした。sperm whaleはマッコウクジラだそうです。

A Conversation With Whales
By JAMES NESTOR APRIL 16, 2016

The New York Times Op-Docs and Annapurna Pictures are presenting a virtual-reality film, "The Click Effect," about the free-diving researchers in this Opinion essay. To view it, download the NYT VR app on your mobile device, if you don’t already have it. (Go here for Android, and here for iPhone.)

Words checked = [1514]
Words in Oxford 3000™ = [84%]


As a result, most research on sperm whales’ communication has been conducted from a boat. This has nonetheless revealed some fascinating facts: Sperm whales live in close-knit societies; they are raised by matriarchal units that can include three generations; they appear to share regional dialects and family nicknames. But studying the animals from the deck of a boat can also be limiting. Researchers can analyze their clicks but can’t see how the whales’ interactions change in response to those clicks, which is crucial for understanding how they communicate.

Those willing to get in the water with the whales face another problem: The disruptive gurgle of scuba gear scares the animals away. They avoid submarines and robots. Rebreathers, which recycle the divers’ exhaled breath into breathable air, are relatively quiet but also expensive, finicky and too difficult to deploy on a moment’s notice when pods approach.

The best option for studying the behavior and communication of whales is free diving. This is what it sounds like: diving dozens, sometimes hundreds of feet, on a single breath of air.


フリーダイビングによる研究でクジラの言語理解だけではなく直接コミュニケーションとれるようになる可能性にも触れています。

While all almost all cetacean experts agree that the whales’ clicks are a form of communication, most are skeptical, at best, that we will be able to understand, and even join, these conversations.

Yes, I realize that the idea of talking to sperm whales sounds nuts. It certainly sounded ludicrous to me when I first met Mr. Schnöller and Mr. Buyle in 2012 on an unrelated magazine assignment. And the team’s free-diving approach seemed like a death wish. The only free diving I’d ever witnessed or read about was competitive free diving — a reckless and often deadly sport. Then there were the terrifying whales themselves. I’d read “Moby-Dick.”


VRを体験するにはiPhoneの場合、以下のアプリをDLすれば見れます。

NYT VR – Virtual Reality Stories from the NYTimes
By The New York Times Company

Google Cardboardなしで見ましたが、安いものなので一回買って試してみようと思います。

Videos can be watched with or without Google Cardboard.

VR未体験の方はぜひお試しあれ。

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Yuta

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