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Tag Archives: Oculus

Teledildonics, VR movies, holograms… what a roundup!

I’m trying to be more active on Twitter lately because I find fascinating articles daily but don’t have time — or enough insightful thoughts — to write a lot of commentary. You can follow me @AvatarAnthro if you want to keep up with that.  In the meantime, here are some very recent favorites:

  • Finding the future of sex tech at the Adult Entertainment Expo from The Daily Dot.  NSFW, obviously. Teledildonic (yep, it means what you think it means) products have existed for some time, but the latest entrants in the market claim short latency and use sexual stimulation devices on both ends of the connection: a vibrating dildo or egg for a female user and an enhanced silicon-cushioned tube for a male. The article also talks about VR porn, tools for cam models, and one manufacturer who insists that the mainstream doesn’t want their toys to connect to the Internet. I think there’s a larger market than he believes, and it’s growing.
  • At Sundance, a Virtual-Reality Movement Soars from the Wall Street Journal Digits blog. This article is about filmmakers beginning to explore what storytelling can be in an immersive VR experience. They’re learning some things that SL creators could have told them a long ago, like how to allow the viewer to get his bearings first and that aggressively driving a single story line is a waste of the environment. One filmmaker mentions that tech is changing so quickly now that by the time he finishes a project, it looks outdated and hard to watch on new equipment. It’s a risk of rapid change but oh how exciting.
  • What is holographic, and what isn’t? from the blog Doc-Ok.org. This is a technical analysis that looks at the hype of various products and “holograms” appearing in the media and defines what is actually holographic based on six depth cues that tell our eyes an object is 3D. I learned some things and it also gave me a better understanding of the different display products currently in development. Especially relevant when the Microsoft HoloLens is the latest focus.
  • Some personal news: Jakob will be out of the hospital in a couple days! He’s been in since November for tests, surgeries, and radiation treatments, but they’re letting him go home. He’s excited to be able to “come home” to our place in Second Life as well, and I can’t wait to have the first full conversation with him in months.
 
 

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Virtual reality to simulate witness POV

Two quick things before I dash off to my yoga class:

– I’m trying to read more long works this year. Essays on the Internet are terrific, but books provide more depth and I enjoy literary fiction, non-fiction, and a book here and there from other genres. In the interest of accountability, I created a page on this blog, 2015 Reading, where I’m jotting a couple notes about each book as I finish. Comments are enabled there if you’d like to make a recommendation or argue that Faulkner adored and respected women.

– I was going to post this last night before it began to spread widely, but I got distracted helping someone with a WordPress problem.  Hmmph.  So, perhaps you’ve already seen it. Since one of the recent filmed beatings of a handcuffed suspect took place in my area, I thought this video that uses virtual reality to simulate a witness point-of-view on a law enforcement beating was particularly fitting.

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2015 in In the News, Offline impact, Side Topics, Video

 

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Living with lag

I don’t usually post so quickly, but this was just shared with me and I couldn’t resist.  Internet provider ume.net filmed an experiment where they used an Oculus Rift headset and webcam to simulate lag in real life. Their victims subjects tried to do daily activities like dancing or cooking while experiencing awful delays. Sure, it’s a promotional viral video, but it’s interesting.

The cooking scene especially makes me think of chat lag, when you’re trying to have a conversation, but responses seem to appear in random order and with no indication if they’re immediate or long delayed.

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2014 in In the News

 

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Philip Rosedale at Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education 2014

When I can this week, I’m attending the VWBPE conference in Second Life and on the OSGrid. The keynote talk today was given by Philip Rosedale, CEO of High Fidelity and founder/previous CEO of Linden Labs.

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Philip Rosedale speaking at the conference

He began by talking about the book Ready Player One, which I haven’t read yet. Guess I should, eh?

Much of his talk was about the restrictions of our current ways to move and communicate in virtual worlds and how we are so constrained by the mouse and keyboard. With today’s limitations, it is challenging and there is a steep learning curve to have rich communication.

Here are a few key points that he explored that resonated with me: Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2014 in Embodied Experience, In the News

 

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View-Master as VR headset

Ha!  Apparently Chris Hardwick and/or his writing team on Comedy Central’s @midnight had a similar reaction to the current Oculus Rift design as I did in yesterday’s post.  Hardwick opened last night’s show with a bit about Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus and then proceeded to show “what the new Facebook will look like”:

Chris Hardwick on @midnight

Chris Hardwick on @midnight

Here’s the full episode, if you want to check it out.

As a postscript, the View-Master is made by Fisher-Price.  I grew up near their headquarters and have a lifelong affection for Fisher-Price toys.  When I went to the website to see if they’re still making the View-Master, I was surprised to see some the cute new viewer designs. That Darth Vader mask is pretty cool for a wannabe Jedi youngling!

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Virtual Reality wearables

I had drafted the post below and saved it for a final edit before I saw the news that Facebook bought Oculus. Hmm.  I treasure the interactions and possibilities of virtual worlds and I’ve watched Facebook devolve into a jumble of ads, requests for Candy Crush lives, and out of sequence zombie posts. This is not exciting news to me.

I’ve coveted an Oculus Rift headset for a while (and even more now that Second Life put out a call for OR/SL beta testers). Last week, Sony entered the arena with an upcoming VR headset for the PS4, codenamed Morpheus.  However, as much as I really want a first generation VR headset, I hope they are only a brief flicker in the evolution of this technology. The current headset designs make me think of strapping on one of these:

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Don’t get me wrong; I loved my View-Master as a kid and hope it’s still tucked away in my parents’ attic somewhere. But as a 3D viewing technology, it’s bulky and limited.  I dream of something more like the holobands that were used to access V-World on the science fiction TV series Caprica:

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Holobands are closer in size to a binocular Google Glass and I understand that they are fictional, but I see them as having several advantages over the current Gen One headsets.  As someone with long, fine hair, I look at the Sony proposed design and the OR and know that I’d need a strategy to avoid getting snagged all the time. If you have a loved one who already complains about your absorption in gaming or a virtual world, completely blocking him/her off with a dark headset isn’t going to improve the situation.  And, I can’t help wondering if the experience would be bearable for my claustrophobic friends.

A Glass-like headset works fine for reality augmentation but may never be able to create the sensation of virtual presence and immersion.  I still suspect that VR headsets will have limited adoption until they’re closer to that size and weight.  So Mr. Zuckerberg, if you’re listening: I’d happily test a Rift to prove myself wrong and do field QA for future releases. Ping me for my info. Oh wait; I’m pretty sure you have it.

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2014 in In the News, Virtual Life in Pop Culture

 

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Oculus VR co-founder killed

Andrew Reisse’s car was struck by a fleeing vehicle during a high speed pursuit in Santa Ana and the 33 year old engineer was killed. It’s a tragedy for Oculus VR, whose Oculus Rift headset is getting amazing reviews and is planned to be supported inside Second Life. Arch Virtual had a great post in April about why SL could be the killer app for Oculus VR and I’m excited for anything that adds the the verisimilitude of the in-world experience.

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2013 in In the News

 

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