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The pioneer of VR

Virtual Reality Owes a Lot to the Air Guitar

Legend has it virtual reality started as a way to make a really good air guitar. “Absolutely. Hell yes. Hell yes. Exactly,” virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier told me with characteristic good-natured enthusiasm when I asked if there’s truth to this anecdote. “I know this sounds incredible,” Lanier said in a phone call Sunday, “but the very first app we ever made on any of the original virtual reality equipment—which included the first gloves for interaction—was to play virtual musical instruments in the air.” “The very first virtual world I made was a musical one,” he continued. “The very first demo that shipped with a commercial VR system was virtual musical instruments.” ….[READ]

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The flip sides of VR

A Virtual Reality Manifesto: The Good, Bad, and the Ugly

“I can’t wait to see the art that people make with this.” Those were the first words from my friend Ryan after spending ten minutes in virtual reality. He’d just tried Tilt Brush, an incredible experience which allows the user to paint in three dimensions. Tilt Brush is a deeply meditative and powerful experience, allowing us to turn the space around us into glowing and shimmering works of art. And it’s not just for tech obsessed uber nerds like me—Ryan is normally the first one to push back when I go on grandiose rants about the future of technology. ….[READ]

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The VR moviemaking

The Future Of Film: We’ll Be Watching Films In Virtual Reality

Virtual reality’ is one of those exciting futurist terms that have been bandied about for more than 20 years, but that intervening period has yet to deliver a single truly immersive experience, let alone a Star Trek-like holodeck. In some cases, bold claims weren’t supported by technological breakthroughs; in others, the equipment needed proved too expensive to gain traction with consumers. But in an age where smartphones boast bright and crisp screens, 3D has returned with a vengeance to cinemas and cameras are getting ever more sophisticated and accessible, it looks like virtual reality displays will finally become, well, a reality. ….[READ]

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Caring for the cancer patient

B.C. virtual reality game helps young cancer patients with pain

Simon Fraser University student was inspired by own experience in hospital to create tool to help others deal with pain and boredom from treatment. When Henry Lo was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2009, the Surrey teen spent long stretches of time in hospital undergoing chemotherapy treatment. It was a painful time for Lo, then a Grade 11 student at Surrey’s Fraser Heights Secondary School, who said he longed for an escape from the discomfort and boredom that came with being stuck in a hospital bed. ….[READ]

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The meaning of VR

How will virtual reality change our lives?

Virtual Reality (VR) has been with us for many decades – at least as an idea – but the technology has now come of age. And it’s not just gamers who are benefiting from the immersive possibilities it offers. Four experts, including Mark Bolas – former tutor of Palmer Luckey, who recently hand-delivered the first VR handset made by his company Oculus Rift – talked to the BBC World Service Inquiry programme about the future of VR. ….[READ]