DT Daily: Interstellar’s black hole science, getting a feel for VR, first Apple computer sold goes to auction

Today on DT Daily: How a movie might change the science of black holes, getting the feel for virtual reality and the first Apple 1 computer ever sold goes to auction – can it fetch a million dollars?

Batman director Christopher Nolan’s long-awaited Sci-Fi epic ‘Interstellar’ opens this weekend, and work on the special effects for the movie may have an impact on actual science.

Astrophysicist Kip Thorne consulted on the movie, which involves astronauts traveling through wormholes formed near black holes in hopes of finding a new home for humanity. Nolan wanted the special effects to be based in reality, and some massive computer simulations of black holes were required. But when they ran the science-based black hole scenarios, some odd results came back.

Thorne said the effects int he film are both scientifically accurate and quite different from what previous black hole behavior research predicted, and he plans to write some papers on what they found.

Virtual reality could be the next big tech thing, and so far, most efforts focus on what virtual worlds look like. But one kickstarter campaign is more focused on what it will feel like.

The Dexmo F2 exoskeleton by Dexta Robotics provides tactile feedback for virtualnauts, so when you pick something up in virtual reality, you actually feel it in, well, real reality. The F2 works as a multi-faceted input device, but the system works both ways. It can also be used in other applications, such as real-time translation of sign language, or remotely disabling bombs. Really, there’s almost no limit to what it can do.

Dextra is looking to raise $200,000 and they are on their way. You can get an F2 kit for a $179 pledge, which seems pretty reasonable.

Remember that Apple 1 computer the Ford foundation just paid a tick over $900,000 for? Well, another Apple 1 computer is about to go to auction and it may well top a million dollars when the hammer falls.

Why? Because most experts agree that this is the actual first Apple 1 computer sold, and on top of that, it was personally sold by one Mr. Steve Jobs back in 1976 out of his parent’s garage. Plus, it still works, which really helps the value, and there’s even a cancelled check to Apple for provenance. In fact, this computer’s journey to auction is so interesting there’s actually a book about it.

Christies auction house has pegged the value at $400,000 to $600,000, but we’re going to bet it does way better than that when it goes to auction on December 11th.

Your host today is Holly Resnick. Miss a day? Watch all the episodes of DT Daily right here. And be sure to catch our latest podcast.

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