"Sanctuary is the world I imagine when I play the piano–a fantasy forest that grows around me and my music. In this virtual world, I can create an intimate and secluded stage where I can overcome my anxiety by minimizing my awareness of the audience." Yurika Mulase is a pianist and an Interactive Telecommunications student at NYU.
Virtual Reality, a tech geek dream for decades, was long hobbled by high latency, clunky hardware, and perennially absurd reports on network news. That all changed in 2011, when Palmer Luckey, then 18, built the first Oculus Rift prototype in his parents' garage with iPhone repair money. Awed by its powerful sense of presence, developer John Carmack became a fan and demoed it at E3. The ensuing Kickstarter campaign shattered all fundraising goals, and Facebook controversially bought the rights for a whopping $2 billion -- alienating erstwhile partner Valve Software, the iconic creators of Half-Life/Portal/Steam. A Cambrian explosion of headsets followed: Morpheus, HoloLens, Google Cardboard, Gear VR. But perhaps most interesting is Valve's own counter-project: a breathtaking "room scale" VR set-up with Tron-like "Chaperone" and tracked motion controls called the HTC Vive. With this week's commercial launch of Rift and Vive bringing us to the threshold of a new interactive medium, look inside for guides, notes, and killer apps for this, the stunning arrival of consumer VR. [more inside]
It's E3! As various tech companies demo, talk up and otherwise flog their entries in the great VR headset race, John Walker of RPS suggests they may be wasting their money.
There are dozens of questions surrounding Magic Leap’s supposedly magical, definitely mysterious, and potentially overhyped creation. Will it be an “eyeglasses-like device,” as The Wall Street Journal has reported, or a pair of contact lenses that project images right on our eyeballs? What’s it for? Does it have practical applications? Or is it all about entertainment? And when will it be available?
We can take advantage of the dense and real-time nature of our system to perform novel Augmented Virtuality (a.k.a Mixed Reality) interactions... A user can choose a set of planes to alter the original input with an application display, allowing for instance to read a Facebook Wall on a real wall. The user can still safely navigate an environment without fear of collisions and perform tasks like zooming in/out as natural as walking closer/further from surfaces.-Dense Planar SLAM (Simultaneous Localization And Mapping)
The VR Chicken Matrix: "a virtual chicken world in which caged animals think they're wandering happily around in the open... got me thinking again about Facebook's recent purchase of Oculus VR."
Birdly: An Attempt to Fly. "‘Birdly’ is an installation which explores the experience of a bird in flight. It tries to capture the mediated flying experience, with several methods. [...] Visualized through HMD (Oculus Rift) the participant is embedded in a virtual landscape where his body is the body of a Red Kite. The whole scenery is perceived in the first person perspective of a bird. To intensify the embodiment we include additional sonic, olfactoric and wind feedback. Soundwise you perceive only the roaring of the wind and the flaps of the wings." [more inside]
Mark Zuckerberg buys Occulus Rift the darling of 3D VR gaming (previously: 1, 2) for about $2B. Given that the Oculus Rift was poised to be a major breakthrough for gaming, getting acquired by a
advertising company social network has sent The Internet into a collective freakout.
Reverse engineering Strike Commander. Fabien Sanglard realized he wanted to play ORIGIN Systems "Strike Commander" combat flight sim using an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset (Sanglard on Oculus Rift development). But, after he learned the source code went missing during the shutdown of Origin by EA, he decided he no choice but to reverse engineer the massive—for the early 90s—game (eleven 1.44MB floppy disks!).
Gender Swap - Experiment with The Machine to be Another. "Gender Swap is an experiment that uses The Machine to be Another system as a platform for embodiment experience (a neuroscience technique in which users can feel themselves like if they were in a different body). In order to create the brain illusion we use the immersive Head Mounted Display Oculus Rift, and first-person cameras. To create this perception, both users have to syncronize their movements. If one does not correspond to the movement of the other, the embodiment experience does not work. It means that both users have to constantly agree on every movement they make. Throughout this experiment, we aim to investigate issues like Gender Identity, Queer Theory, feminist technoscience, Intimacy and Mutual Respect." [NSFW, Via]
Combining 3D scans of real life models in ultra high detail with the Oculus Rift and the Razer Hydra for movement controls to make one of the most realistic and spooky experiences in Virtual Reality [NSFW Artistic nudity] Welcome to the future. [more inside]