Monday, 28 March 2016

04 Virtual Reality head-mounted displays of 2016

The Oculus Rift was the first consumer-targeted VR head-mounted display (HMD) which started as a Kickstarter back in August of 2012. The Oculus has been through 5 iterations and finally the consumer version is ready to be shipped, first batch was being shipped on the 25th March this year.
Compared to it's original version where the wearer was limited to rotating their head and to remain seated while using either a console controller or keyboard, the newest version now has infrared (IR) sensors which allow the wearer to be able to move within the virtual world within the confines of the room they're using the HMD in. There are also optional Oculus Touch controllers allowing wearers to also interact with objects in the virtual world.

The HTC Vive is one of the competitors of the Oculus Rift which also integrates IR sensors and motion-tracked handheld controllers. Pre-orders for this HMD started on the 29th February and I'm currently subscribed to a Youtuber (Jacksepticeye) who has this device currently and has already played a variety of VR games. The HTC Vive was developed by HTC and Valve company.

The third competitor in VR HMDs this year is the PlayStation VR. Sony's interest in head-mounted technology dates back in the 1990's, in 1997 the Glasstron was in the US markets. It had 2 LCD screens and 2 earphones for video and audio was the first. So in a sense, this HMD is its successor. The PlayStation VR has 9 positional LEDs on its surface so the PlayStation camera can capture the 360 head movements. In some events, this HMD will require the PlayStation Move controllers.  Its official release will be October this year.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

03 Coca-Cola 12 pack VR viewer

Youtube video on how to make the viewers:
Coca-Cola have also decided to advertise themselves through their 12 pack cardboard packaging, though unlike the McDonalds' Happy Goggles, this process requires a cutting tool and some tape to keep it together.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

02 Happy Goggles

McDonald's participation within the Virtual Reality hype is in the form of a foldable viewer made from their limited edition Happy Meals boxes. Similar to the Google Cardboard, a virtual and augmented reality platform made by Google engineers David Coz and Damien Henry, Happy Goggles are made to hold a smartphone which is a much more affordable way to introduce VR to a large audience. The user can download the app game "Se upp i backen" ("Watch out on the slopes" in English) on their website and play using their newly forged cardboard VR viewer. These limited Happy Goggles were available in Sweden from March 5th 2016.

Whether this is McDonalds way to further popularize their company or to enhance their customers' experience with their meal, it's no surprise that a large fast food restaurant company is joining arms with the trending Virtual Reality phenomenon.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

01 Research Kickstarter: Images

Ivan Sutherland, computer scientist and
internet pioneer
Edwin Link, pioneer in aviation, underwater
archaeology, and submersibles

"Sword of Damocles" VR Headset devloped
by Ivan Sutherland
"Link Trainer" Edwin Link's flight simulation
for the US army

Peter von Hess's painting of "Battle of Borodino"
Morton Heilig's "Sensorama", a personal theater cabinet

Stereoscopic photography
1939, William Gruber's View-master
Richard Stallman, freedom activist and computer programmer

Nintendo's "Virtual Boy" virtual reality table-top video game console

HTC and Valve's HTC Vive VR Headset
Oculus VR's Oculus Rift VR headset

Sony Computer Entertainment's Morpheus VR headset

Nonny de la Pena's "Virtual Realty Journalism" using CGI to reconstruct stories she's covered

Chris Milk's "Virtual Reality Journalism" using 360 camera to document "Clouds over Sidra"

Delegates at Davos experiencing the 360 documentary "Clouds over Sidra"

"Clouds over Sidra"

01 Research Kickstarter

Eye magazine article:

I signed up to the Liverpool Central Library club and borrowed the following books:

Multimedia Histories - From the Magic Lantern to the Internet
edited by James Lyons and John Plunkett

MO/RE/RE/AL? - Art in the age of truthiness

Elizabeth Armstrong

Youtube video playlist:

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

00 Introduction: Virtual Reality

The area of research I have decided to look into is the Virtual Reality phenomena that is currently in development by various companies to become the next level in entertainment.

I first considered looking into the graphical design of video games and asked myself "Why design games to look hyper realistic?", but I then decided to not only look at the capabilities our current entertainment systems can provide visually, but also at where virtual reality began and why we're so eager to reach the pinnacle of this human-digital interaction.