Archive for March, 2017

Mixing Reality

The idea of virtual reality (VR) may have been around as far back as 1935, but it’s really in the past couple of years — with the growth of affordable headsets — that it’s come into its own. In 2017, a flurry of virtual reality experiences will be launched by artists, filmmakers, designers and even new VR focused creative studios.


Mathematicians Create Warped Worlds in Virtual Reality

“It feels like the entire universe is within a sphere that is maybe within a couple meters’ radius,” says topologist Henry Segerman at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. He is describing, not an LSD trip, but his experience of exploring a curved universe in which the ordinary rules of geometry do not apply.


Experts set to meet with fed government about need for VR ethics, more research

Virtual worlds are coming for humanity and a group of researchers and technologists wants to make sure we’re ready when they arrive. Next week, three top researchers in virtual reality, augmented reality and body computing are having an informal meeting with members of a government regulatory agency to kick off what they hope will be a conversation about the potential dangers of immersive technology and the need for more studies into the impact they might have on people.


VR in 2017: making it real

It will be the year when virtual reality (VR) finally makes it real, applications will start to monetise the technology and VR technologies will become more mainstream. In 2017, look out for the 360-degree selfie, Apple’s big leap into immersive technology and multi-sensory marketing.


Bob Iger says no to virtual reality headsets at Disney parks, aims for augmented reality instead

Walt Disney Co.’s chief executive has no interest in having theme park visitors strap on virtual reality headsets that block out their view and place them inside a digital world. Smaller rivals, including Knott’s Berry Farm, SeaWorld and Six Flags, have turned to such virtual reality experiences as an affordable way to spice up rides, but Disney CEO Bob Iger said reality-destroying headsets would be “ersatz” at his stable of parks. He’s ordered his team not to even think about it.


Methods of Analyzing Your VR Experience

I believe every creation has a potential for offering learning experiences. Which could be unfold primarily by its creators, subsequently their community and finally all the other homo sapiens. Especially when we talk about VR as the most phenomenal subset of technology. The intense load of cognition/emotion that is triggered in the user’s body and mind needs to be analyzed.


When will VR Become Indistinguishable from Reality?

I bet the thought of TRUE VR has creeped in your mind at least once or twice. I’m defining “TRUE VR” as a virtual world that is indistinguishable from reality. 
I get asked this question so often. At events, conferences, online on forums, websites etc.


Z CAM S1 REVIEW: FIRST IMPRESSIONS

The Z CAM S1 is a four-lens, 360° camera that creates interactive, spherical panoramic videos. It’s available from the camera’s Indiegogo page, but not yet from retail outlets. The camera is impressive, with very clean stitching and output up to 6K. It costs US $2499, not including a few essentials like batteries, SD cards, and stitching software. This is a basic introduction to the camera; I plan to post another article after I’ve had a chance to shoot with this.


VR Porn Experiences: What to expect ?

One of the great innovations of the last years is the Virtual Reality Porn, an advanced technology that allows the vision and creation of porn movies in 3D, the so-called 3D Virtual Reality Porn.


Volumetric capture is the swift kick in the butt VR so desperately needs

As has become standard at my job, I recently strapped on a virtual reality headset to go somewhere far, far away. On this day, it was a trip to outer space, with pit stops on a moon’s surface and a sci-fi-styled briefing room, to hear about future expeditions to Mars.


 

Don’t we all love nature? We have a couple of amazing panoramic photos, uploaded to 360Cities recently, that will brighten up your day, even if you’re stuck in your office!

 

The arch, or Pont d’Arc by Hapaks (click the picture to open the pano)

This week we start in France. There is a number amazing places along the Ardeche River, and the Pont d’Arc is certainly one of them. Where the water meets the earth. Who wouldn’t like to ride a boat under that huge piece of rock!

 

Freedom space Lago-Naki by Yuri Zvezdny (click the picture to open the pano)

It’s time for some amazing starry skies! Let’s start with this shot from Russia, this pano was take at the Lago-Naki plateau.

 

Milky Way and Star Trails over Bar Harbor by Aaron Priest (click the pictures to open the panos)

This is something really special. Two shots, taken from the same spot from Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park near the Bar Harbor. The first one seems absolutely normal, even though it took a huge time to make it. The second one, though, looks lovely, as the timelapse effect makes it look unreal. Brilliant job!

 

Flores Island, Labuan Bajo, Sunrise by Fietter Chalim (click the picture to open the pano)

To finish our short list of wonderful panoramas from the nature, we have to travel all the way to Indonesia. This aerial shot of Flores Island looks just fantastic.

 

There’s more to admire! Keep scrolling!

 

The Brahmaputra Grand Canyon and Lucerne by jacky cheng (click the pictures to open the panos)

San Mauro Cilento – Sorrentini by Riccardo Ferro (click the picture to open the pano)

The altar and frescoes of the Orthodox Church of St. Vladimir by Alexander Shirobokov (click the picture to open the pano)

Prince-Bishops’ Palace room by thierry lechanteur (click the picture to open the pano)

Kam Tin River by wongchichuen (click the picture to open the pano)

Convento de Cristo Tomar by Santiago Ribas (click the picture to open the pano)

Temple of Bacchus and Temple of Jupiter by Melkan Bassil (click the picture to open the pano)

Why VR vs. AR is an obsolete argument

Over the past year, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology have become hot topics, particularly when it comes to how they stack up against each other. Enthusiastic publications are treating these two as fiercely competitive technologies, while in fact, it’s much more likely there will be a place for both in our future.


The best free games for Oculus Rift (with Vive ‘Hack’)

What now? You can’t just hang out in the Oculus Home all day. Well maybe you can, it is rather beautiful in there. But there’s no sense in missing all the awesome experiences. While the Oculus store has an excellent catalog nowadays you will also want to download and set up Steam VR. Steam has a bigger list of apps and games, but as usual there’s a lot of junk. There are even some titles on Steam that claim to support Oculus and/or Touch but are so buggy they hardly work at all. Make sure you check out reviews before buying anything. In case you missed it , our Setup the Oculus Rift Guide has instructions on setting up Steam VR.


Law, virtual reality, and augmented reality

Stanford law professor Mark A. Lemley and I have just finished a draft of a new article, “Law, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality.” It’s still early days in the development of commercial VR and AR, and even more so in the law of each. But we think that the shape of the technology is clear enough to speculate about the legal issues that are likely to arise. Plus, selfishly, we’d like to get in on the ground floor of something that’s going to be big — and we’re sure that VR and AR will indeed be big.


Surgeon Simulator Experience Reality: I just don’t have the heart for it..

Have you ever wanted to be knee deep in Eyeballs? Spit out somebody else their teeth? No? Well you are missing out buddy. Bossa Studios released the Virtual Reality version of there game Surgeon Simulator. “But wait, They did that Last year!” why yes they did! But back then the game was not really fun to play, not for me anyway. The controls were not really optimized and in the end it could get a little frustrating that you were not able to cut someones eye out with a bone saw that effectively. I was a bit busy this and last month so I was not able to test out the new patch they brought out.


That’s Powerful: GE Is Using Virtual Reality To Train Nuclear Engineers

Few places in the world are more secure than a nuclear power plant in France. Anyone who doesn’t work there full time, including maintenance engineers and field technicians, needs to get a security clearance and to complete rigorous safety training before they can step inside.


Virtual reality needs to solve problems, NOT be the problem

Virtual reality will sell beyond gaming and technology markets if it solves problems. It will not sell if it creates them. After a few spectacular failures in a professional distribution of VR, film and tech enthusiasts from Denmark and Poland got the point and now jointly launch a unique pop-up VR cinema at CPH:DOX film festival in Copenhagen.


Privacy in VR Is Complicated and It’ll Take the Entire VR Community to Figure It Out

When I was at the GDC VR Mixer, Jim Preston struck up a conversation about his concerns about privacy in VR. He works at FOVE which is making a VR headset with eye-tracking, but wanted to speak to me on his own behalf about some of the deeper philosophical questions and conceptual frameworks around the types of intimate data that will become available to VR headsets. As more and more biometric data streams are integrated into VR there a lot of complicated and complex ethical questions that he thinks will take the entire VR community needs to figure out.


The struggle to adapt storytelling for virtual reality

Storytelling in virtual reality has yet to take shape. While the simulated world of gaming has proved the visual capabilities of the medium, few have taken a crack at the art of building a compelling narrative.


Are You Talking to Me? – My Problem With AR Headsets

I work on the third floor of an office with three other developers. It is a fun group of guys, and it is not uncommon for us to kick out some great tunes, or spark up awesome conversations about whatever tech news is hot that day. We aren’t a rowdy bunch, but occasionally the folks on the first and second floors have to come up and tell us to keep it down.


How YouTube Is Making Virtual Reality Look Better

YouTube has developed what it hopes can become a new industry standard that makes 360-degree videos look better and perform more efficiently. The technological update, which YouTube and Google’s internal Daydream virtual reality team have already implemented for displaying 360-degree videos on Android devices, was created to address a problem that would be familiar to anyone who’s ever tried to lay out a spherical object on a rectangle. Think: showing the Earth on a rectangular map, which vastly distorts the size of various continents.


 

How YouTube Is Making Virtual Reality Look Better

YouTube has developed what it hopes can become a new industry standard that makes 360-degree videos look better and perform more efficiently. The technological update, which YouTube and Google’s internal Daydream virtual reality team have already implemented for displaying 360-degree videos on Android devices, was created to address a problem that would be familiar to anyone who’s ever tried to lay out a spherical object on a rectangle. Think: showing the Earth on a rectangular map, which vastly distorts the size of various continents.


Leap Motion’s New 180-degree Hand-tracking Comes to Qualcomm’s Latest VRDK Headset

Qualcomm has debuted an updated version of their VR Headset Reference Design now with Leap Motion’s new 180-degree hand-tracking to bring gesture control to mobile VR headsets. The new headset and Leap Motion tracking module was shown off during last week’s GDC 2017.


Are You Talking to Me? – My Problem With AR Headsets

I work on the third floor of an office with three other developers. It is a fun group of guys, and it is not uncommon for us to kick out some great tunes, or spark up awesome conversations about whatever tech news is hot that day. We aren’t a rowdy bunch, but occasionally the folks on the first and second floors have to come up and tell us to keep it down.


5 BIG COMPANIES LAUNCHED VR PLATFORMS THIS WEEK: VR LIVESTREAM, FACEBOOK’S FIRST VR APP, AND MORE.

The competition of VR platform is getting heat this week. Facebook released its first VR app. CNN launched its VR platform. Vimeo comes to the party of 360 content. And…


How Filmmakers Are Solving VR’s Biggest Problem: Adoption

Last week, I outlined ways that VR can avoid failing in 2017 but with SXSW happening this week, I was inspired to delve deeper into the driving force for Virtual Reality’s current adoption.


How Brands Use Facebook 360 Video (And Why You Should Too)

As managing director of video marketing strategy agency, Hurricane, I have over 20 years’ experience creating engaging content, first for the BBC, and now for leading brands maximizing the opportunities of social media. In my opinion, now is the time to get ahead of the competition and add 360 degree content to your video strategy.


Psychologists Use VR to Test Whether You’ll Save Someone’s Life

Imagine you’re in your school or office when the fire alarm goes off. You snake your way through the corridors, avoiding explosions and walking through clouds of black smoke. All the while, the alarm bells continue to blare in your ears. Your vision narrows as your body gets weak from the smoke and the physical exertion. Just when you feel like you’re about to collapse, you see someone trapped under a fallen piece of debris. He desperately begs for you to help him. What do you do?


Top 10 Most Viewed 360 Videos of February 2017

March is here, you know what that means! It’s time for us to bring you yet another list of this month’s most viewed 360 degree videos. From horrifying experiences that will put you into a paranormal state of fright to gorgeous Venezuelan waterfalls, you’re in for a treat this time around so we hope you’ve come prepared with some kind of VR gear. So strap in your HTC Vive, boot up that Oculus Rift, and power on your GearVR – it’s time for the 10 most viewed 360 videos of February 2017!


Introduction to Virtual Reality

Welcome to the future, Virtual Reality is here and it works. Hooray! Unfortunately, you need a computer from the future just to be able to use it.


Microsoft HoloLens Takes Michael Abrash Too Literally?

When Michael Abrash moved from Intel to Valve, according to his post on the latter company’s blog, he suggested that he should help optimize Portal 2. The response from Jay Stelly was interesting: “Yeah, you could do that, but we’ll get it shipped anyway.” That’s… not something you’d expect from a company that is getting ready to ship a huge, AAA title.


 

Like every week, we are here to bring you the most wonderful panoramic photos that our community photographers uploaded last week. And there some amazing pieces!

 

Before the perfect ride by Melina Mehr Klee (click the picture to open the pano)

If you like skiing or snowboarding, you know what this panoramic photo is about. After a tough climb, it is now the time to put on your skis and go down. Breathe in, breathe out and… go!

 

Breakdown Highway Blues by Salma ElDardiry (click the picture to open the pano)

This pano is really a piece of art, with the lovely night sky and the lights of the car going past the one that’s apparently broken. Even though the whole situation does not seem happy for the guys trying to repair it, the pano is wonderful!

 

Porcos Bay Aerial by Marcio Cabral (click the picture to open the pano)

What an amazing piece of nature the Fernando de Noronha islands are. Porcos bay is just one of many untouched places there, so if you ever get to explore the east coast of Brazil, this spot is certainly a must-see!

 

Laguna Torre at Magic Hour by Marcio Cabral (click the picture to open the pano)

Marcio is our PRO, EXPERT and MAESTRO photographers and this panoramic photo is another proof. It’s quite difficult to capture the beauties of the nature, but he’s making it look easy, Laguna Torre looks stunning on this pano.

 

Chaplin World Museum by luis davilla (click the picture to open the pano)

This wax figure of Albert Einstein can be found in Chaplin’s world in Switzerland, which is an extraordinary place. Whole site dedicated to the famous artist offers an amazing tour full of art, naure and simply amazing experience. It’s located in Corsier-sur-Vevey!

 

Here’s more!

Johannisberg Vineyards Areal View by Carsten Arenz (click the picture to open the pano)

Pilu hole – relics repair site by jacky cheng (click the picture to open the pano)

Ramesses the Sixth Burial Chamber by Salma ElDardiry (click the picture to open the pano)

Palazzo Querini Stampalia by Heiner Straesser (click the picture to open the pano)

Chiesa di San Domenico by Heiner Straesser (click the picture to open the pano)

A Virtual Reality Documentary Sheds Light on Mental Illness

When Francis, a teacher from the African nation of Ghana, suffered a mental health crisis, his family and friends didn’t know how to help. In his small village, they only knew of one solution: to lock him away until his madness subsided.


How virtual reality is changing engineering

Far from being a technology of the future, virtual reality is now well established in multiple industries and sectors, ranging from entertainment, communications and education to design, scientific research and defence. Professor Anthony Steed, from the Virtual Environments and Computer Graphics group at UCL, explores how three companies are using immersive technologies to transform their engineering processes.


Patagonia and Google look to defend public lands with stunning VR film series

The Bears Ears region in southeastern Utah has many claims to fame. It’s the sacred home to five Native American tribes, a popular spot for rock climbers and outdoor enthusiasts from around the U.S., and the location of tens of thousands of archaeological sites.


Augmented reality: The Future of Virtual Technology

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are the hot trending talk in the tech ecosystem. TechGiants are promising advancement and investors are gushing capital into the place. Facebook acquired Oculus for $2 billion in 2014. Internet Giant, Google has been showcasing its G-Glass since 2012 and continues to invest in Glass, contrary to widespread belief. Microsoft, Samsung, Toshiba and Sony have proclaimed their own smart glasses. Nearly every major TechGiants in Silicon Valley invested in Magic Leap, and the emerging players such as Atheer, Recon, Vuzix, Epson, Meta, Optinvent, ODG, and others are also developing smart glasses. The Space is on fire.


100 demos, 50 pitches, and a year with AR and VR: What we’ve learned

We received our first market-ready VR headset at Madrona almost one year ago now, and since then, we have done VR (Vive and Rift) and AR (HoloLens) demos for over 100 people who have stopped by our office to check out the next big computing platform. We have done demos for kids, parents, grandparents, pro football players, elected officials, company executives, gaming enthusiasts, people who never game, and people all over the spectrum from skeptical to extremely excited about VR. We have also participated in over 50 unique VR/AR demos from companies pitching Madrona.


Valve, SMI and Tobii Preview VR’s Eye Tracking Future In HTC Vive

Over the last week we learned that by spending essentially $300 to purchase three Vive Trackers, you will be able to bring your legs, feet and torso into VR — so you can kick a dinosaur in the face without even looking at it. Dinosaur kicking for $300 is certainly funny, but it’s also a great example of a broad effort by developers and hardware manufacturers to make virtual worlds more responsive to human behavior. Another is more robust hand and finger tracking, so the incredible variety of quick and precise movements in your hands are accurately represented in a virtual world. Still another example is eye tracking, and we’ve seen demonstrations from both Tobii and SMI in the HTC Vive offering a glimpse of how much better future VR systems will be at understanding our behavior.


Zero Latency 2.0: New Levels In Virtual Reality

When I tried it in mid-2015, I was blown away by Zero Latency’s immersive virtual reality — completely wireless, free roaming, warehouse-sized VR, built in Melbourne. Almost two years on, the fundamentals are the same, but the Zero Latency experience is more refined than it has ever been. And that means new things are possible.


Deus Ex director Warren Spector has harsh words for virtual reality and more

Today at the Game Developers Conference, industry heavyweight Warren Spector hosted a post mortem on the making of Deus Ex, arguably his most beloved game. While Spector’s talk featured a lot of insights into the lengthy development process for Deus Ex and what he did right and wrong, he also offered some thoughts on current game development trends, often in response to audience questions.


5 Steve Jobs Methods to Avoid VR’s Failure in 2017

Last week, I was inspired to find ways to make VR mainstream after reading Cody Brown’s article on Oculus’ failure to sell VR. The Best Buy poster made me reflect on which Oculus advertisements I remember best. There’s two:
The fake-looking butterfly photo
The woman in a headset staring at an Intel logo


The Mill’s incredible Blackbird at GDC : The future of Virtual Production

Filming cars was never going to be same again, after The Mill introduced the Blackbird. Their car invention was truly an incredible cutting edge production tool. It addressed a fundamental problem: automotive car availability on location. But when filming with the Blackbird, the problem was trying to make decisions creatively without the actual target car visible on set…


 

Here are the most wonderful panoramic photos uploaded to 360Cities recently, and our community photographers did a tremendous job this time!

 

Leaning Tower of Pisa by jacky cheng (click the picture to open the pano)

This week we start in Italy, with a notoriously known monument – the Leaning Tower of Pisa. This pano is interesting mostly for two reasons. First – the morning light, highlighting the tower, making the photo look magical. Second – notice there is not as many people as usual! Special, really!

 

Facade by Ariadna Lahoz (click the picture to open the pano)

Barcelona is – apart from other reasons – popular for its architecture and design. This one’s a proof. It was captured in Walden 7, an apartment building designed by Ricardo Bofill, which looks simply stunning. Have a look around!

 

Snow Covered Saddle Rock by Jason Wiegand (click the picture to open the pano)

After admiring architectural beauty, let’s now move to the nature. If you prefer snowy peaks of mountain ranges, this pano is for you. Snow covered Saddle rock near Wenatchee is a popular hiking location, and is looks wonderful in the winter.

 

Starry morning of El’ton lake by Yuri Zvezdny (click the picture to open the pano)

Would the Editors’ picks list be complete without a Milky way pano? No, it would not – and this one really deserved its spot here. We love the way the stars are reflected on the surface of the lake, with only minutes remaining until the Sun sets in the distance.

 

Matala beach by Nick Spar (click the picture to open the pano)

If you ever get to travel to Crete, Greece, make sure you have the time to explore every inch of the island, so you can discover some wonderful spots, such as this one. Artificial caves of Matala beach will certainly become one of the highlights of your trip!

 

More panoramic beauty coming your way!

Black Angus sculpture by Tauno Kangro by Andrew Bodrov (click the picture to open the pano)

Na Sinneula by Rami Saarikorpi (click the picture to open the pano)

The Almoravid Koubba – Marrakech by Sergej Esnault (click the picture to open the pano)

Swords in rock 3 by Alex Mayer (click the picture to open the pano)

Buddha Temple – Main Hall by jacky cheng (click the picture to open the pano)

The old furnaces of Caldè, Castelveccana by Assaf Spiegler (click the picture to open the pano)

Canoes in Winter by John Wood (click the picture to open the pano)

Inntel hotels, Zaandam by LittlePlanet.be (click the picture to open the pano)

Hello everybody! 360Cities community photographers daily upload dozens of panos and we are here to select the best ones – even though that’s sometimes a really tough job to do. Anyway – here we go!

 

Remedello, The Ideal Town by Frank Ellmerich (click the picture to open the pano)

This one’s great – a miniature historical town, built in a little town of Remedello in northern Italy. It’s not finished yet, but it already covers more than 250 square metres and includes more than 100 buildings, roads, lake, rivers and nature. Amazing place!

 

Moon rising by Martin Broomfield (click the picture to open the pano)

We love to present you some lovely sunrise panoramic photos, this time it’s the Moon rising. Martin took this pano on a beach on the Mafia Island in Zanzibar, which seems like just the right spot for this kind of pano, right?

 

Gereme open air museum by Alexander Kalashnikoff (click the picture to open the pano)

Recently, we brought you a special Cappadocia-edition of the Editors’ picks. Now we’re coming back, because we have a special pano to show you – Turkey may not be regarded as a popular winter sports destination, but they do get snow over there for sure. And as you can see on this pano, it certainly has a special magic!

 

Level 43 Sky Lounge by Little Planet (click the picture to open the pano)

Looking for a cool spot for your party? Well – this could be it! There’s a brilliant view from the Level 43 Sky Lounge in Dubai, no matter if it’s day or night. Dubai is living its busy life underneath, while you can relax and enjoy the breath-taking view over the city’s rooftops. That sounds just right.

 

Monarch butterfly Mexico by Luis Erantzcani (click the picture to open the pano)

A moment that you will remember for the rest of your life. This one could be it. Thousands of beautiful butterflies flying all around your camera – a photographer knows what to do. Just have a look and enjoy the view!

 

More amazing panoramic photos coming your way!

Tomorrowland 2016 – Main Stage by Little Planet (click the picture to open the pano)

Tek Nefli Cave Church and Acık Saray by Heiner Straesser (click the pictures to open the panos)

Telescope in Taurus Hill Observatory by Janne (click the picture to open the pano)

Garda, Punta san Vigilio and Spazzi, Madonna della Corona by Frank Ellmerich (click the pictures to open the panos)

Philharmonic hall of Liège and Pieta – Robermont cemetery by thierry lechanteur (click the pictures to open the panos)

Inside INS Gal, retired Gal-class submarine by Zoran Strajin (click the picture to open the pano)

The largest continuous hop-planting area in the world by B. Quitterer (click the picture to open the pano)

View from the Buenos Aires Obelisk by Willy Kaemena (click the picture to open the pano)