Elele is an Venice Immersive experience that was selected as a part of the Biennale College Cinema selection, and it’s a quite compelling embodied experience exploring that transforms your hands via hand tracking into a spatialized living sculptures that dynamically transform as you move your hands. It’s really quite a hypnotic and compelling experience, and I actually experienced phantom touch during one of the surprise twists at the end. I had a chance to talk with the director Sjoerd van Acker, who may be one of the first XR native creatives that I’ve spoken with (i.e. that they’re not coming from film, video games, or some other domain). He talks about his inspiration for creating this as a non-material gift for his cousin, and stumbled upon something that people didn’t want to put down. He then got into the Biennale College Cinema program, and won one of the grants. He highly recommends applying as he was able to get a lot of great feedback on the piece. It’s a short and simple piece, but extraordinarily powerful and compelling, especially as I was able to have such a sense of embodied presence as to invoke my first experience of phantom touch. To that end, hand tracking has the potential to help people get deeply immersed within VR.
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