The Yang and the Yin of Immersive Storytelling with Oculus’ Yelena Rachitsky

The future of VR storytelling will be immersive and interactive. Yelena Rachitsky is an executive producer of experiences at Oculus, and she’s been inspired by how interactive narratives have allowed her to feel like a participant who is more engaged, more present, and more alive. The fundamental challenge of interactive narratives is how to balance…

Candid Assessment of the Industry From a Leading Indie VR Developer

What is happening with the VR industry? Is adoption and growth still on target to support a vibrant and diverse ecosystem of independent VR developers? Leading headset manufacturers have not been transparent in sharing any specific information, and analyst datum that’s been released hasn’t been a reliable or comprehensive source of information. So it’s been…

Decentralizing Identity in VR with Holonet & Self-Sovereign Identity

Holonet is an open source project that implements the Decentralized Identity Specifications for open web VR platforms like WebXR. A self-sovereign identity system could enable the seamless portability of your avatar identity across multiple sites without having to use centralized authentication methods that would require you to login to every site with a unique username…

Exploring Near-Future Moral Quandaries with INVAR Studios

Rose Colored by INVAR Studios & Adam Cosco won the award for best live-acton VR experience at the Advanced Imaging Society’s Lumiere Awards on February 12th. I previously interviewed Cosco at VRLA last year, and I had a chance to talk with INVAR’s co-founder & chief creative officer Vincent Edwards & creative director Austin Conroy…

Training AI & Robots in VR with NVIDIA’s Project Holodeck

At SIGGRAPH 2017, NVIDIA was showing off their Isaac Robot that had been trained to play dominos within a virtual world environment of NVIDIA’s Project Holodeck. They’re using Unreal Engine to simulate interactions with people in VR to train a robot how to play dominos. They can use a unified code base of AI algorithms…

Projection-mapped Immersive Theater Shows the Future of Live AR Performances

There was an amazing projection-mapped, immersive theater piece at Sundance this year by Heartcorps called Riders of the Storyboard. Trained street performers interacted with virtual projection-mapped 2D objects, and through the sleight of hand magic broke these flat objects into the third as glowing 3D props. LISTEN TO THE VOICES OF VR PODCAST https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/d1icj85yqthyoq.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Voices-of-VR-551-dandypunk.mp3 There…

Using VR to Diagnose and Treat Concussions with SyncThink

The process of diagnosing a concussion is largely a subjective process of variations of attention, focus, and balance, which means that the existing self-reporting methods are unreliable and easily gamed. Using foundational research from military research, SyncThink has created a portable concussion diagnostic tool that uses a tablet and either a Gear VR or Oculus…

AxonVR is Building a Generalized Haptic Display

AxonVR was awarded US Patent No. 9,652,037 of a “whole-body human-computer interface” on May 16th, which includes an external exoskeleton as well as a generalized haptic display made out of microfluidic technology. I had a chance to demo AxonVR’s HaptX™ haptic display that uses a “fluidic distribution laminate” with channels and actuators to form a…

Visualizing An Invisible Cyber War with ‘Zero Days VR’

There’s an invisible cyber war that’s happening between major nation states, and Zero Days VR takes you inside of it in a completely new way using virtual reality. You go on a journey into a hyper-stylized cyberspace world where you embody the Stuxnet computer virus as it navigates programmable logic controllers, changes code, and destroys…

Investing in Exponential Technologies with Andreessen Horowitz: VR, AI, & Drones

Kyle Russell is on the deal & research team for venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (aka A16z) where he’s focusing on investing in technologies ranging from virtual & augmented reality, artificial intelligence, drones, and other exponential technologies like quantum computing. A16z has invested in a number of prominent VR companies including Oculus, Magic Leap, Within, BigScreen as…

For Google, the Future of VR Is on the Open Web with WebVR & WebAR

Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information, and so they’ve been long-time advocates for the open web. At Google I/O last week, the company announced that they’ll soon be shipping Google Chrome for Android with WebVR, and that they’re going to start experimental builds for WebAR. During the WebVR talk at I/O, Google showed how…

‘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…