Being immersed in the Gear VR

Hurts so good: 12 hours with the new Samsung Gear VR

I have long been fascinated with the idea of virtual reality, but despite the explosion of VR devices and media over the last few years, I haven’t really spent much time trying it out. I’ve done a total of maybe 15 minutes in an Oculus Rift and another 20 in Google Cardboard. I’m a dilettante of the highest order, always going on about how it will change the world when I’ve barely experienced it myself. ….[READ]


The senses of self-driving cars

The Dream Life of Driverless Cars

On a brisk afternoon in October, an oddly-­equipped Honda CR-V inched through London traffic. At the wheel was Matthew Shaw, a 32-year-old architectural designer; with him was a fellow designer, William Trossell, 30, and a small team of laser-­scanner operators. All were skilled in their technical fields, but their goal was art. What they hoped to scan was not just the shape of the city streets but the inner life of the autonomous cars that may soon come to dominate them. Shaw and Trossell have been fascinated by 3-D scanning since they met in architecture school. ….[READ]


Being immersed in a large space

The Making Of eleVR’s Virtual Reality Puzzle Game “Float” Is Fascinating

A company called eleVR, which does research in virtual reality and isn’t a gaming company at all, just shared a video for a virtual reality game they’re working on called Float. It’s a puzzle game and platform where you can visit floating islands to make them “come alive again.” You can play it on the HTC Vive, which is heavy on motion-tracking, only right now. Almost as fascinating as the game premise itself, albeit in an early stage, is the explanation of what went on before it was playable — a lot of research. ….[READ]


The NYT VR in Paris

Finding Hope in the Vigils of Paris: A Virtual Reality Film

Arriving in Paris after the terrorist attacks last week, we didn’t find people in a state of despair. Instead, as we traveled to the various sites of the attacks — the bloodiest in Europe in more than a decade — we realized we were documenting a place that seemed determined to push past the violence. Even though demonstrations were not allowed, large groups of people showed their determination to return to a French way of life, the very thing the attackers had sought to disrupt. ….[READ]


Videos are not virtual reality

Stop Calling Google Cardboard’s 360-Degree Videos ‘VR’

I love seeing people get excited about their first taste of VR. The sooner more people experience the transformative power of VR, the better. But if the high-powered, desktop headsets that are coming next year are the main course for virtual reality, then viewing 360-degree video using Google Cardboard is an amuse-bouche at best. It’s a decent first taste, but 360 video is as far from real VR as seeing the Grand Canyon through a Viewmaster is from standing at the edge of the canyon’s South Rim. With technology as potentially polarizing as VR, I worry that the slightest hiccup will have a negative impact on people’s perception—and adoption—of that tech. ….[READ]


How to get lost in VR

The Swayze Effect

The gospel around here at Story Studio is to deliver a compelling, immersive, evocative VR experience by telling a great story. As a studio founded by former Pixar team members, we believe in a simple mantra: “Story is King!” We even put it up on the wall. We even put it in the studio name! But there’s another mantra we believe in: “Presence is VR Magic.” We knew telling a story where you feel present would be a significant technical challenge, but we were surprised by how much it is a creative problem as well. ….[READ]


The VR Auditorium

LSBU invests in virtual reality tech

A far reaching vision by LSBU to get its students learning interactively has led to commission a state-of-the-art Virtual Reality (VR) suite from Virtalis. The £300,000 contract has resulted in the recent installation of both a VR Auditorium and a Head Mounted Display (HMD) Suite, which together enables four avatars to simultaneously interact with each other collaboratively. Tony Roberts, Academic Director, Department of Engineering & Design within the School of Engineering at LSBU, explained: “We wanted to give our students a hands-on experience of using VR as a development tool. ….[READ]