Interesting Articles about VR this Week


Effectively a virtual time machine, Timelooper helps users travel back in time by watching animated historical scenes using a smartphone app and headset, currently being tested in London and New York. What makes Timelooper unusual is the way it is tied to the physical location and how it can generate revenue for itself and its business partners.

“Timelooper is an open virtual reality platform for cultural and historic locations,” says founder Yigit Yigiter. “We create content in-house and host third-party content, and when we monetise content via the app we share revenue with the content owner.”

Like most app start ups, Timelooper considers multiple revenue sources. “The app is free but we will have in-app purchases like premium content, advertising and a few other revenue streams,” he says.


The Nauseating Disappointment of Oculus Rift

But reliable consumer VR is still in its infancy. The games, films, and other virtual experiences that people are making for these gadgets are very much experimental; it’s hard to know just what will and won’t work until a lot of headset-wearing folks like me have spent time trying this stuff out.

And when things don’t work just right, VR can literally make you ill, or at least uncomfortable. Some issues can pop up with the hardware itself, like visual jittering. Others relate to the ways content is made—things like rapid acceleration and deceleration can make you feel sick because what you see isn’t matching up with what your body feels.


Watch the first sample footage from GoPro’s six-camera Omni VR rig

The Omni, when it ships later this year, will help filmmakers eliminate that hassle of needing to build their own rig. (If they want to go all-out, they can buy a 16-camera rig that GoPro built with Google for $15,000.) GoPro started taking preorders for the Omni last month; the company is charging $5,000 for six Hero 4 Black cameras plus all the necessary hardware and software, or $1,500 for just the frame.


Riding ‘TheWave’: How A Few Young Men Are Using VR To Change Music Forever

“Currently—EDM music is a perfect place to start, given VR’s current state. Our goal is to expand to all of the genres.TheWave is going to be the number one place where you go in VR to experience music. But right now, it would be incredibly hard to do an interactive, immersive rock concert because I just don’t know how you could do that with actual people and guitars. You need to use the Kinect or some sort of janky video capture to get them. So it’s really a matter of focus and execution of where the tech is.”


Netflix CEO Reed Hastings explains why he’s not ready to invest in virtual reality

First, despite growing interest and adoption of VR following the release of the Oculus Rift this year, the size of the market remains tiny. Now that Netflix has expanded to 190 countries and has 80 million users watching on 1,000 different platforms (smartphones, gaming consoles, TV apps), the number of potential viewers on VR seems like a speck.

“The problem with VR is that there’s not enough people on the platform to support the investment in that kind of content,” Sarandos said.

The second issue relates to the type of experience VR offers. The immersive, intense nature of VR can be exciting in the context of a game, but it can be too much when it comes to simply watching a movie.

“You’re exhausted after 20 minutes,” Hastings said. “We are more focused on a lean-back, relaxing experience.”

Sarandos added: “I can’t imagine putting on a VR headset while sitting on the couch with my wife for two hours and just disappearing.”


Oculus exec Mary Lou Jepsen resigns to cure diseases


(Un)folding a virtual journey with Google Cardboard

1. 5 million Cardboard fans have joined the fold.

2. In just the past two months (October-December), you launched into 10 million more immersive app experiences:

3. Out of 1,000+ Cardboard apps on Google Play, one of your favorites got you screaming “aaaaaaahwsome,” while another “gave you goosebumps.”

4. You teleported to places far and wide, right from the comfort of YouTube.

5. Since we launched Cardboard Camera in December, you’ve captured more than 750,000 VR photos, letting you relive your favorite moments anytime, from anywhere.

6. Students around the world have taken VR field trips to the White House, the Republic of Congo, and 150 other places around the globe with Expeditions.


Unilever CMO Keith Weed: ‘We are shooting VR content for all our brands’

Oculus Rift, a VR headset sold by Facebook, carries an initial price of $599.

“We’re now in a phase potentially of marketing for people and that journey I think will make marketing mobile again,” said Weed. “Marketing started off by serving people [and] in the 80s it got a little bit lost with selling more stuff.”

“If you go on somewhere like Vice – which is obviously very much targeted at millennials – you see Unilever brands very much present there. Why? Because we really understand the power of millennials. Our brands have stories to tell to millennials and the reason they have that is because we have brands with purpose, brands with meaning.”


The most promising virtual reality experience I’ve ever had

The Void isn’t like other VR systems you might have heard of. It is a full-body simulation, and it is completely wireless.


The Void’s Rapture system features a haptic vest with a built-in, fully customized, ultralight computer.

So what does that mean?

What that means is you’re not seated in The Void, like you are in most Oculus Rift experiences. You’re not standing and walking around inside a tiny virtual cube, like you are with the HTC Vive. With The Void, you are completely free to go wherever you want within the bounds of the simulation.






“The eating out market is growing but this passion for food is masking a lack of understanding around how food is produced and the vital role our farming and food industries play in growing, sourcing and producing quality ingredients.”

He added: “By bringing together tech developers with farmers and food experts, we have created an immersive virtual reality experience that will allow people to follow in the footsteps of farmers, suppliers and our crew, bringing the best of UK food production from the countryside to communities across the UK.

“Our hope is that it will help build pride in British and Irish farming, challenge outdated stereotypes and celebrate the best of food and farming in the UK today.”


Virtual Reality’s trillion dollar endorphin industry

Adding 360 video to the marketing wheelhouse is a tall order, but innovation is quickly making it easy and affordable to adopt.  The medium depends on whether or not future investment carries its development.  Teleportation of the conscious to another location is still compelling, and exclusive to virtual reality, and hardware companies such as LeapMotion continue the development adding hand control features. I presented the game Weightless to my colleagues at a retreat yesterday, and they could almost feel the space debris in front of them.



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