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Festivals Conferences MeetUps

VR Evangelism from the floor of a Russian Tech Conference

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At this moment of uncertainty, with tensions rising and accusations flying and an evil orange stooge puppet running for president, the people of Russia rather nobly invited VR Playhouse to come visit their country. They invited us to come talk about virtual reality at a tech conference but we like to think maybe also to broker a new kind of understanding between our country and theirs. So we sent Dylan. He’s harmless and, if you squint, he could maybe look a little Russian. And Dylan, as he is want to do, spent a day chronicling his adventures: 9am: It’s morning in Moscow and I’m rolling out of the Marriott Novy Arbat with my fellow non-Russian invitees, on our way to the Open Innovations Forum. We’re an eclectic mix of “entrepreneurs” and “experts,” ferried to Russia to speak on the various stages and panels that the forum offers over the course…

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VR Playhouse is going to SXSW!

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  Here’s a piece of news that we’re very excited to share: “The Surrogate,” a narrative, virtual reality experience VR Playhouse co-produced with Peter Flaherty and Logan Brown, is a finalist in the VR/AR category at SXSW’s Interactive Innovation Awards. Melding 360-video with a computer-generated explorable environment, The Surrogate immerses viewers in the consciousness of a female protagonist whose point of view they control as they explore the photorealistic passageways snaking behind the walls of a modern house. The viewer can see into the rooms of the house through a series of portals in which live action, hemispherical videos offer an immersive vantage point. The viewer is able to choose how they experience the narrative by moving through the passageways autonomously, deciding how they follow the action, and which rooms they look into at any given time. As the story begins, we learn that our protagonist suffers from an anxiety…

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VR Playhouse is at Sundance – Days 6 & 7: New Frontiers

By | Festivals Conferences MeetUps, Technology | 2 Comments

Our last two days at Sundance were probably my favorite, and not just because we were all kinda exhausted and spent more time than usual lounging around in sweatpants in front of our condo’s fireplace, which is, let’s face it, why anyone is drawn to a wintery vacation environ like the one Park City offers in the first place. Also though, I went through my two favorite VR/AR experiences of the festival on Wednesday. The first was from ILMxLAB and used 3D projections and motion tracking to create an immersive Star Wars Holo Cinema scene for its audience to enter into. The second was called Real Virtuality. You play this with a friend, each of you wearing a whole litany of sensors to track your actual movement as you work together to complete tasks and advance through a virtual world composed of familiar, genre settings like a deserted spaceship or…

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VR Playhouse is at Sundance – Days 4 & 5: Party On!

By | Festivals Conferences MeetUps | 3 Comments

Monday and Tuesday were sorta open-ended days for us. We knew there was going to be a lot to do but we didn’t quite know when we would do them or how we would do them or even if we could fit it all in before we dropped dead from exhaustion and malnutrition (an outcome still very much in play). So, in the interest of my own sanity and longterm health, we’ll fire off some quick highlights from days 4 & 5: In The Eyes of the Animal: This is a VR experience from the fantastically named Marshmallow Laser Feast offering a kind of impressionistic take on life from the perspective of an animal. It’s a great example of the kind of reality that the VR industry is increasingly trafficking in, one that doesn’t adhere to any kind of naturalism but rather tries to capture the inner life of its subject….

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VR Playhouse is at Sundance – Days 2 & 3: Demo Derby!

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Days 2 and 3 were all about the demo. We planned to go big at the VR Fest event on Sunday, bringing with us an HTC Vive, complete with some new sample content we banged out in a week; an Oculus showing “The Surrogate,” a narrative piece we helped develop that combines CG with 360 video; and, of course, a Gear stocked with a bunch of our work from the last year and a half. Now that means two computers, two monitors, 3 headsets, a tracking system, cables galore, our big flashy sign and so on and so forth. And we took all this on a plane, which automatically means something or somethings is bound to be screwed up when you arrive at your final destination. So Saturday became a day of troubleshooting. We went to the friendly neighborhood Best Buy twice. Various members of the VR Playhouse team banged…

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VR Playhouse is at Sundance – Day 1: We saw a moose!

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We’re here! At Sundance! We’ve got content to show and content to see, and merriment will ensure. So we’ll be posting here everyday with some initial impressions on what we’re seeing (some VR but, mainly, celebrities!!) and on what we’re doing (demoing! schmoozing!! skiing!!!) So far, we landed last night at 9:30pm, were at our condo by 11:30 and arrived at the New Frontiers Premiere Party at midnight which, if nothing else, shows our steadfast commitment to a gathering. And then when we were being dropped off afterwards, we saw two moose, a baby and a mama, like 50 feet away from us. This was absolutely the thrill of the evening, might even be the thrill of the week. Those animals are huge! I would not, for any amount of money, get in between that mother and that baby. Super majestic, a good omen and a good reminder now that…

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VRLA #3 | A Breakdown of VR’s Biggest Meet-Up To Date

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The following is a live blog from VRLA#3, the third virtual reality meetup in LA. It was by far the most ambitious meetup to date (basically, a mini conference).  The original postings are on the Oculus subreddit. I’ve cleaned the posts up a bit. Initial impressions from VRLA. Tons of people from what appears to be all walks of life, converging in the deep valley of Los Angeles. Many booths set up with people showing off their games, their inventions, and companies. We have an extensive roster of presentations going from 2:30 to 8 PM. Should be very interesting, and hopefully I’ll get a seat. This thing is mobbed. They have been providing free water though, which I think is pretty decent of them, and they seem to have plenty in stock. Like I said, more to come as the day goes on. 1st presentation: Jaunt talks “The Mission”, their…

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