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I’ve always believed that virtual reality has huge potential as an entertainment platform, and clearly some directors are still with me. Oculus supported five “experiences” that premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, one of which landed a seven-figure deal.
The experiences are innovative and interesting — but they’re suffering from an identity crisis.
SEE ALSO: Someone had a seizure in VR and nobody knew what to do
A few months ago I sampled “Coco VR,” a “VR Experience” based on the movie Coco, which was forthcoming at the time. I ran around an animated Land of the Dead in the form of a skeleton, touring an art museum, seeing a mariachi performance, and trying on skeleton costumes. Read more…
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When someone suffers a seizure in real life, it can be an intense, scary experience. When someone suffers a seizure during a VR chat, it can be even more terrifying.
This is the exact scenario that Sam Raiffeisen, otherwise known as YouTuber Rogue Shadow, found himself in recently. While playing VRChat, a multiplayer app where people can hang out with bizarre avatars and take part in simple games, one of the users suffered a seizure.
“We’re so used to technology enabling us to do more, but in this case it was the opposite,” Raiffeisen said over email. “The main feature of VR is immersion, and the way this person seemed to be right in front of us in this agonizing state gave the impression that there must be something we could do, that’s what my instinct kept telling me, but the logical answer was we couldn’t do anything.” Read more…
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In October, Facebook announced the Oculus Go, a standalone VR headset that doesn’t require a smartphone. Today, it announced the manufacturer.
SEE ALSO: Elon Musk accidentally tweets phone number while trying to reach Oculus executive
Oculus stated Tuesday at CES that Chinese company Xiaomi will be its hardware partner for the Oculus Go.
The two companies also jointly announced Mi VR Standalone, a standalone VR headset based on the Oculus Go that will be sold exclusively in China. (China has had a rocky relationship with Facebook, Oculus’ parent company, in recent years.)
More about Facebook, Vr, Xiaomi, Oculus, and Vr Headset
Now you can travel back to ancient Cyprus, thanks to a VR app developed by researchers.
The Paphos Theatre in VR app, available on Google Play and iTunes, is the result of 20 years of excavation by University of Sydney archaeologists, and lets you explore the ancient Nea Paphos’ Theatre during its heyday in 150 AD.
SEE ALSO: Busting myths about virtual reality in cinema
Nea Paphos was the capital of Cyprus, located off the coast of Turkey, during the Roman and Hellenistic periods (c. 300 BC-400 AD) until an earthquake destroyed everything in 365 AD.
University archaeologists, led by Dr. Craig Barker, and Melbourne digital technology firm Lithodomos created a 360-degree experience which lets you check out Nea Paphos’ epic theatre. Able to host 8,500 people and 100 metres in diameter, the theatre boasted imported Mediterranean architecture, including a grand Roman façade, imperial statues and marble columns. Read more…
It’s rather late in the game, but PlayStation just dropped its Stranger Things VR experience — and it’s free.
While the insane amount of hype surrounding Season 2 of the series has subsided, the experience is now available on PlayStation VR, announced by Sony on Tuesday.
SEE ALSO: We might not get another season of ‘Stranger Things’ until 2019 because next year’s gonna suck too
Weirdly, the game is based around the events of Season 1, in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, in the 1980s. Your ol’ pal Will Byers finds himself sucked into the Upside Down and we haven’t even met Eleven yet.
But seeing as though we’re unlikely to get another season of Stranger Things until 2019, we’ll take what we can get. Read more…
More about Vr, Playstation, Playstation Vr, Vr Experience, and Stranger Things
From The Matrix to Black Mirror even all the way back to Lawnmower Man, virtual reality in movies has been pure science fiction. But how close are we to making it a reality? Reelistic welcomes the founder of within, Aaron Koblin (@AaronKoblin), to tell us how much The Matrix actually got right.
Subscribe to CineFix for more movie-related content. Read more…
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Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.
If you haven’t yet joined the VR gaming revolution, then this best-selling headset for your smartphone could be your proper introduction and it’s 71% off today.
SEE ALSO: On Black Friday, these are the products to buy directly from Samsung
The 3D VR Headset from VRidium is padded, lightweight, and comes with adjustable straps. It’s compatible with most smartphones and supports iOS and Android. The adjustable focus technology also allows you to adjust the clarity of your VR vision and the distance control allows you to adjust your focal distance as well. Read more…
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Of all the places where climate change affects, it’s the small island nations of the Pacific Ocean that are being hit the hardest.
It’s a story that’s being presented by Fijians in a VR documentary called Our Home, Our People, which has been put together by the World Bank.
SEE ALSO: Earth to overshoot global warming targets, U.N. warns in blunt report
The film reflects on rebuilding efforts following the devastating aftermath of Cyclone Winston last year, and the ongoing threat of rising sea levels.
It ties in with Fiji presiding over COP23, the United Nations’ climate change conference, which takes place in Bonn, Germany over the next two weeks. It’s the first small island nation to preside over the talks, and an appropriate choice given how crucial climate change action is to its survival. Read more…
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Virtual reality training is being developed as a method to equip troops with resilience training before deployment — something a Black Mirror episode toyed with in season three.
Australia’s Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher Pyne, has announced $2.2 million for a University of Newcastle project that aims to develop enhanced resilience training for military personnel using VR and biometrics.
The program, which will work in conjunction with the ADF’s existing Battle SMART stress resilience training program, will see neuroscientists designing simulated environments to replicate real-world combat scenarios in VR. Read more…
More about Australia, Military, Vr, Research, and Army