‘Walkaway’ Author Cory Doctorow on Gift Economies & Privacy

Cory Doctorow’s new sci-fi book “Walkaway” is a optimistic disaster novel that imagines what society might look like if people walked away from competitive market-driven laws, norms, and technological infrastructure and into an open-source inspired, collaborative gift economy. He’s a co-founder of Boing Boing, and he uses the daily transom of tech culture and innovation…

An In-depth Look at Microsoft’s HoloLens & Mixed Reality Ecosystem

The HoloLens is the most impressive augmented reality headset on the market today, and their developer kit is already being deployed into industries ranging from architecture, engineering, design, sales, medicine, and education. Microsoft is taking a holistic approach with Windows Mixed Reality being baked into Windows 10, meaning that developers can create a single application…

Microsoft Technical Evangelist on Presence in VR Game Design

The Microsoft Build conference starts this week, and I expect that we’ll be learning more about the HoloLens as well as Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality operating system. Microsoft has been evangelizing about virtual reality the past couple of years now, and I had a chance to catch up with Microsoft Technical Evangelist Kat Harris at…

High Fidelity is Architecting for VR Privacy with Self-sovereign Identity

Philip Rosedale has been thinking deeply about how to architect large-scale, distributed virtual worlds after experiencing many bottlenecks as the founder of Second Life. His new metaverse venture, High Fidelity, is taking a much more distributed approach with how it’s being developed openly in open source using Worklist.net contractors, how it plans on distributing hosting and…

The Extremes of Mental Presence: Cognitive Enhancement, Biohacking, Psychedelics, & Transhumanism

Eric Metzner identifies as a Techno-Optimistic Futurist who sometimes works an entire second workday within VR exploring different ways to expand his mind. He’s pushing the limits of mental presence by using nootropic supplements for cognitive enhancement from his company Nootroo, experimenting with psychedelics and VR with the psychonauts from /r/RiftIntoTheMind, exploring sensory addition &…

Upload LA Opening Represents a Focus Shift From VR Tech to VR Content

UploadVR opened up their new 20,000 square foot Upload LA co-working space in April. I had a chance to catch up with co-founders Taylor Freeman and Will Mason as VRLA to get the inside scoop. Mason told me that opening up this huge co-working space in Los Angeles represents an energetic shift from the VR technology…

VR Storytelling Highlights from Tribeca Film Festival

The Tribeca Film Festival featured over 30 different VR experiences within their Storyscapes and Immersive Virtual Arcade, and I had a chance to catch up with curator Loren Hammonds about some of the highlights of the festival program with genres spanning from live-action narrative, animated narrative, documentary, interactive installations, guided tours, empathy pieces, and even…

Zoning AR Permissions with the Mixed Reality Service Spec

Mark Pesce is a VR pioneer who has been thinking about networked virtual and augmented reality for over 20 years now. He developed the Ono-Sendai Sega VR helmet prototype, co-created VRML, and presented his Cyberspace Protocol spec at the first Web conference in 1994. This CP spec evolved into the Mixed Reality Services spec, which…

‘#Archery’ Takes VR’s Bow & Arrow Mechanics to the Logical Extreme

Shooting a bow and arrow in VR is a satisfying game mechanic. It uses both hands in a 6-DoF interaction that couldn’t work with a traditional game controller. VR Unicorns’ new game #Archery takes this bow and arrow shooting mechanic to the logical extreme in a quirky fashion that’s similar to their game #SelfieTennis. Now available on…

​Viveport President on HTC’s New VR Subscription Service

April 4th was the one-year anniversary of the HTC Vive, and HTC released the subscription service for Viveport for $7/month to try out five new VR applications per month. I had a chance to catch up with Viveport president Rikard Steiber at GDC to talk about the genre differences between Viveport and Steam, future support…

SVVR Keynote: Historical Context of VR + Elemental Theory of Presence

I had the chance to give the keynote at the Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Conference where I provide some historical context for virtual reality tracing the evolution of communications mediums in order to contextualize my elemental theory of presence. It traces the history of the science and philosophy, and shows how VR is providing a…

Oculus’ VR Privacy Policy Serves the Needs of Facebook, Not Users

Nate Mitchell, Head of Rift at Oculus I had a chance to catch up with Oculus’ Nate Mitchell at GDC where I asked him about privacy in VR. Oculus has delegated the design and maintenance of their privacy policy to their parent company of Facebook so that Oculus can focus on providing the best VR…

Embodied Cognition Experiments with EleVR’s Math Museums & Hyperbolic Space

I believe that the principle of Embodied Cognition is probably one of the most significant and important concepts to understand about virtual reality. Cognitive science researchers have been connecting the dots the importance of our bodies when it comes to perception, the subjective construction of reality, and how we process and think about information. We…

Tobii Recommends Explicit Consent for Recording Eye Tracking Data

The eye tracking company Tobii had some VR demos that they were showing on the GDC Expo Hall floor as well as within Valve’s booth. They were primarily focusing on the new user interaction paradigms that are made available by using eye gazing to select specific objects, direct action, but also locomotion determined by eye…

Deepening Social Presence with SMI Eye Tracking

At GDC this year, SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) showed a couple of new eye tracking demos at Valve’s booth. They added eye tracking to avatars in the social VR experiences of Pluto VR and Rec Room, which provided an amazing boost to the social presence within these experience. There are so many subtle body language cues…

Using VR as a Tool to Cultivate Compassion with Condition One

Danfung Dennis of Condition One has an ambitious vision for the potential of virtual reality, and it’s one of the most radical ones that I’ve come across. He believes that VR can be used as a tool to cultivate compassion through having an embodied experience of witnessing suffering within VR. He says that the process…