Zillah's 360/VR update. Fly like Superman in Stanford

This Week: Elizabeth Day visited the Stanford VR lab and flew like superman (that demo is amazing…) and describes her experiences in “Virtual reality? Not for me. Then I turn into Wonder Woman and fly over New York”

Wired featured an interesting piece on immersive cinema using recorded actors.

And from PC World, a round-up of where VR is right now:

And some infographics on the business of VR (like the one below) from Fast Company

Vr infographic

Here’s a reminder that a virtual reality version doesn’t necessarily beat tv for now – it’s a review of the Democratic Debates in VR.

And this week on nausea… Might VR have comfort settings for those of us it makes sick in the future?

You can now explore Google Street View in VR

The basics – getting started in VR:

If you haven’t read them the guidelines from Oculus and Google Cardboard are worth reading.

VR Storytelling

The Power to the Pixel conference this week featured a couple of good talks on VR, with much discussion about storytelling.

Chris Milk of VRSE stressed that VR is in its infantile form right now. “It’s a whole new language for storytelling. We don’t know the grammar yet – we’re just finding out how to sound out the words.”

Sashka Unseld from the Oculus Story Studio talked about the challenge of “ presence versus story” in VR. He said that when they first started testing their content people became very distracted, so they turned to the rituals of cinema to ease people in to VR. They focused on the following 1. The “In” – what’s the first thing you see? In Lost you see a firefly that flitters about and very gently gets you used to looking around. This then fades up to a forest at night scene. 2. The “Letting go” initially they thought you needed audio cues to show people where to look. But that failed because trying to control the viewer doesn’t work. So they now allow people time to settle in and look around for about 40 seconds. 3. The “Call to Story” – music, titles and credits provide a nudge that something is going to start. Then a bird flies by so you know something is about to happen. They hope they’ve got you hooked at that point. There’s a good blog on 5 lessons learnt from Lost

And here’s a short video on “Who are you in a virtual story?” from Epic Games.

Events and talks

If you are in London this weekend, check out the Virtual Stories at the BFI. It’s open all day and runs to the 18th October. Also, the Foundary have a session on the making of Strictly on Thursday, 29th October 19.00 that you can sign up to watch online.