This week, Palmer Luckey, the man behind the Oculus Rift, made some VR predictions.
- VR will transform education, for example allowing virtual trips to Paris. “Classrooms are broken. Kids don’t learn the best by reading books”
- VR will work better for mobile first. The Oculus Rift will take longer because most people don’t have computers with high-end graphics cards, and the currently cables required are also an obstacle.
- Oculus VR is working on serving more senses than just sight and hearing, including technologies around “scent and touch”
More details on Palmer’s Predictions
360 Video - New content
- VRSE have produced a ‘cyber-punk’ VR music video - see it here for Muse (download the VRSE app to watch it on Google Cardboard). And The Displaced, their new documentary, also launches this weekend with the New York Times Google Cardboard give away.
- Here’s a NYT piece on VR storytelling
- See this on The Drum - How VR could change sport and sports advertising?
360 Cameras Update
We finally tried the Ricoh Theta S – a small consumer 360 video camera that’s just become available. The film quality isn’t great, but it was quick and easy to upload the footage to YouTube - you can see the 360 on YouTube here
Tom Poole in Birmingham has also been testing one and I’ll get him to share notes soon.
And for the future, here’s a video for Lytro - a light field camera.
The rise and rise of VR:
- Sundance have launched a talent programme for VR/360 film makers with Jaunt VR.
- And last week in Amsterdam, Ken Bretschneider revealed details of ‘The Void’ – a virtual reality theme park under development. Here’s an interview with Ken from July which reveals more about this extraordinary project and the hardware they have developed.
- The conference in which he spoke, Dutch VR Days drew enormous crowds to their demo day on 30 October – more evidence for the public appetite to try virtual reality.
- I saw some incredibly creative and memorable demos – often combining VR with physical environments. Highlights include swinging on a giant swing in a medieval church
- A Breathtaking Journey – a VR experience in which you become a refugee on an orange truck. You can smell oranges and see your breath.
- And flying through a magical fantasy land on a griffin.
- The conference brought together people working in VR from a range of industries – medicine, real estate, museums, airlines, advertising and entertainment. I asked Jaunt’s founder Arthur van Hoff and Avinash Changa, founder of the smaller WeMakeVR, whether they were competitors and collaborators. They both agreed that everyone needs to collaborate now to make virtual reality a reality in the future.
- Some interesting issues around VR headset hygiene came up for exhibition demos. Peder Sandqvist, from Digitas LBi, who created a high end VR experience for Volvo, talked about the careful attention they paid to ensure that the VR created a perfect ‘brand enhancing’ experience – end to end. And that included cleaning HMDs between users.
More from Zillah and BBC News Labs VR & 360
Newlabs aggregate these 360/VR updates here http://bbcnewslabs.co.uk/tags/360-shooting/
You can find Zillah Watson here
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Zillah Watson, Editor, BBC R&D