Tag Archives: Virtual Reality

Creating Memories in Virtual Reality.

I love  Metaworld ‘s introduction about creating memories despite the fact they are using the social presence as their main attraction, which I completely disregard in my research, … for now. Anyway, you are wondering why would we want to create memories in a virtual environment at the first place? Isn’t it better to go out in the physical world and meet real people?

metaworld-chess
Playing chess inside Metaworld

Well, it doesn’t compare. The whole idea of using VR to create memories is based on a couple of principles that are much more powerful to set up in VR : associations and embodiment.

Firstly, memories love associations. It is by associating one new information in a network of previously formed memories, that we are going to make sense of it and remember it. We will be able to retrieve the memory more efficiently later on by accessing the same network.

Secondly, memories are embodied. We don’t work like computers. We don’t have a hard drive or a cloud to engrave information one by one in a linear manner. We are storing information on a multi modal level within a mind-body system . So the more senses we are using when accessing a new information, which call upon the previous principle of association, the better we will be able to form new memories.

By proposing a persistent online world where we’re entering by immersing ourself with a HMD (Head Mounted Display), a head phone and a couple of controllers in our hands, we are already covering most of our senses. However, in VR we don’t have the same constraints as in the physical world. Anything is possible that can serve the purpose the participant is after. We can fly, we can travel into space, swim in the ocean or go inside a volcano.

Now, one of the debate about embodiment is the question of the avatar. When we enter into VR as ourself, we can see our hands, we don’t want to see a cartoonist body of ours. Although, if we want to interact with other people, we need to see them, somehow. Metaworld solves this issue by using a quite cartoonist avatars with non attached detailed hands. That way, you can see your own hands and other people hands with their avatar.  Let’s try it.

Giant VR : a new kind of storytelling

In the same spirit of the Saydnaya project mentioned in an earlier post, although with a much bigger budget, Giant seems to be a really promising VR experience. It is using VR to immerse the participant in a story based on real events. I didn’t had the chance to experience it yet. I just went through this in depth article from the Unrealengine website, it definitely worth the read. If reading is not your thing, Winslow Porter, Giant’s producer and co-creator, is presenting her work in this video.

This is the kind of VR experience we would like to hear more about.

VR for the mass market with Google Daydream?

The next move in the VR world is the Google Daydream initiative. It sounds more like a big marketing push to take advantage of Google Cardboard success though. Nothing is really new in that product. The neat fabric covered headset comes with a remote that nicely fits inside. Take the remote out, place your phone instead and there you  go in VR. As we can all do already with any cheaper cardboard like version. So what is the big deal?
Daydream Home
Daydream Home
Well, it is about the experience, the user experience (UX). A comfortable headset, a powerful phone and a VR app interface will allow you to navigate between your different apps without the need to take the headset off. They want to keep you inside for longer. Sounds good to me.
However, the first question that comes in mind is what phones are Daydream-compatible? Obviously, the recently released Google Pixel phone is. How clever, right? But what qualifies a phone to be Daydream-ready or compatible? This is not so clear yet and it gets too technical anyway. (check this article if you want to know a bit more). My LG G5 with his LCD screen will probably not make it because of the too high persistence. Only the low-persistence of a Full HD OLED display allows to reduce motion blur enough to make the VR experience long lasting (explanation on low-persistence here).
Anyway, it is good to propose a better VR UX at that affordable scale. Clearly the “future proche” of VR is within the mobile market. Now, do we have the content to keep people inside for longer? And do we have the platform to develop more content? Perhaps we do with the WebVR. I will dig that up in a future post.

The VR Vlog

Check Nathie’s vlog. His enthusiasm for VR is contagious. If you want to know where we stand in the VR sphere, just watch a couple of his last video and you will be up to date of what are the latest trends.

His take on VR headset in a nutshell are that the Rift without controls is not so fun; the HTC Vive has played a big role for the last couple of month;  now, let’s what the Playstation VR has to offer.`

Now from the a Vlog point of view, this kid is definitely working hard on his vlog. He is making things happening all by himself, investing in materials, props and time to make a quality vlog.

Check him out.

Have you heard of StarVR?

In the world of high quality immersive VR experiences, so much is about the big names! With Oculus Rift starting the trend a few month ago, HTC Vive bringing the level up an inch (or two) with  touch controllers and room scale option and finally Sony just releasing his Playstation VR, the market is now open. For that matter, there are a few other smaller companies finding their niche working on some pretty exciting projects. Let’s have a look at one of them in today’s post.

Project StarVR, for instance, making their first go at VR in June 2011, game company Starbreeze is in a strong position to deliver high quality VR experience on the Steam platform, but not only that.

Image result for star VR tech

Their specificity is to offer a wider field of view called Natural Panoramic. “At 210 degree the immersion is total” is their selling point. Coming end of the year with a 5K resolution, I am so  curious to try that one on! However, it seems that we will only try those headsets by going to the cinema or to special events. Not really a home based experience.

In the meantime, I will keep exploring!