Bernhard Drax is a machinima filmmaker who has been documenting the art, education, and creative expression in Second Life for that past seven years. He’s got a web series called World Makers that connects virtual world avatars with the people behind them. He’s better know in Second Life as Draxtor Despres, and has quite a rich and well-produced repository of documentary footage from Second Life that is well-worth looking into.

Bernhard-DraxThere’s a lot of misconceptions and general negative media bias aimed towards Second Life since there was a lot of media hype and grand expectations of what Second Life would be able to provide. Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg told me that Second Life reached a PR peak in 2006-2008, and Drax sees that there’s still a lot of screenshots and misconceptions about the world’s biggest virtual world environment since that time.

Drax has taken it upon himself to try to counter this negative media narrative by documenting the creativity that inspires him from Second Life, as well as running a weekly Metaverse podcast called “the drax files radio hour [with Jo Yardly]“

He provides a number of insights into for people express their identity in Second Life and has a lot of concerns for what a Facebook metaverse would look like in terms of data mining or limiting people’s expressions of identity. Facebook has a lot of strict rules about connecting your online identity with your actual identity and if these practices carry over into virtual worlds, then Drax is afraid of unnecessary limitations on people’s agency over their identity and how they creatively express themselves through their avatar.

Finally, he talks about how he sees Linden Lab as being perfectly positioned to be a leader within the VR space since they have so much experience in running a virtual world, dealing with people, and maintaining a stable economy. This interview was conducted at SVVRCon before it was revealed that Linden Lab announced that they are indeed rebuilding Second Life from the ground up.

Reddit discussion here.

TOPICS

  • 0:00 – Documents art and education in Second Life in his World Makers machinima documentary series. Lots of misconceptions about Second Life. Second Life resident POV is that people have been waiting for VR. When you have a connection to culture and community, then you don’t need a VR HMD to feel immersed. Who are you in VR? You have power of identity and your own life. If you’re good at business, then you can make a living at it.
  • 2:03 – What is drawing you into the Second Life community? Friend wanted to start a virtual band in Second Life, and happened to read Snow Crash at the same time. Did first story about group of retired public servants replicating their lives in a virtual world. World Makers is a newer series to connect the people behind the avatar with what they’re doing in Second Life. Second Life has the democratization of tools, and the VR metaverse of the future needs to have that component. Has concerns about a Facebook dominated metaverse like data mining and limited expression of your identity. Want to see an open and creative metaverse
  • 4:20 – What does Second Life have to teach the VR community about identity? Person plays a 10-year old version of herself. Doing child play and teasing adults as a form of role playing. She can freely create her own avatar, which is a composite of her former self. Others in virtual world may see more richness than how they categorize us in real life. Has trouble with communicating in real life due to possible autism. Can have more confidence expressing herself in Second Life. If Facebook mandates forces us to look like we really look like and bans us, then that’d be a very limited range of expression. You need agency over identity in an open metaverse.
  • 6:52 – Having an anonymous identity in Second Life. Others have alts to test an experience, their business, or a game quest. Don’t have a connection to alt avatars, it’s like talking through a puppet. Have alts for filming. Stage and re-enact a scene for his series. Haven’t explored different genders. Have a character called Fluffy, and sometimes go in as Fluffy. Has a certain amount of celebrity fame in Second Life because people see him come online. Sometimes wish that he could be anonymous in Second Life, and can empathize with celebrities. Feels obsessively connected to his audience, and likes to say good bye to everyone.
  • 10:11 – How do you see VR crossing over with Second Life. Feels that Linden Lab is perfectly positioned for a VR resurgence because they have knowledge of running a huge world running on 40k servers and millions of dollars in transactions per day. They are able to deal with a diverse population. Linden Lab has a lot of expertise in running a virtual world. It is built on old code, and has lag. Who know’s what they’re making (this was before it was announced that Second Life is building a second virtual world from scratch). Wants to help counter balance the media narrative. VR might be a media backlash similar to what happened to Second Life in 2007.

Theme music: “Fatality” by Tigoolio

Aaron Lemke of Unello Design talks about the relaxing VR experiences that he created in order to create a counterpoint to the flood of horror games that were released on Oculus Share. He talks about his first VR experiences that he created including Eden River, Waking Man, Fire Breather and Lunadroid 237.

aaron-lemkeHe talks about updating Eden River to a full-fledged game, and asking for feedback on Reddit and the Oculus development forums. He’ll be adding a endless mode, options to have more interaction and less interaction, and a more intuitive interaction of leaning to steer that will be possible with positional tracking with the DK2.

Aaron is a musician, and he talks about how music is at the core of all that he does in VR. He found VR to be a really great outlet for his ambient music.

Finally, he talks about some of the medical applications for VR including distraction therapy for pain modulation, and well as for other types of physical therapy for stroke victims. He also sees that one of the big open problems is implementing more sophisticated audio reflections and realistic binaural audio in 3D spaces.

Reddit discussion here.

TOPICS

  • 0:00 – Intro. Started as a musician. How he started into VR. Didn’t know how to program. Bought a Rift.
  • 1:05 – First VR experiences that he created. Firebreather. Use microphone to measure how much fire comes out of your mouth. Waking Man kind of like a meditation game that would echo the microphone. Started Luna Droid, and then made Eden River and went back to finish Luna Droid.
  • 2:26 – Relaxing intention. Played a lot of horror games, and they’re very terrifying. Wanted to make a counter point to horror games. Easier to stand out in the VR market
  • 3:40 – Transforming Eden River from a demo into a full-fledged conference. Went to Valve’s Dev Days conference to get onto Steam. Get feedback from Reddit community about what they want from Eden River. Wanted an endless mode. Some people wanted more interactivity, and others wanted no interactivity. Doing both. Fly with animals. Graphics update.
  • 6:00 – Motion sickness. Heard from a lot of people that it doesn’t make people sick. Acceleration and slowing down. Looking around without low persistence can cause sickness
  • 7:10 – New DK2 controls allow you to lean to steer, which is more intuitive.
  • 8:02 – What’s next? Eden River HD will be on Steam once he gets his DK2. Opera Nova will be like a Fantasia for VR
  • 9:02 – Everything he does is driven by music. Always made ambient music, and didn’t have an outlet for his music. Music is at the core at all of his games. Doing a musical for VR
  • 10:18 – Going to change all aspects of media and design. Will change architecture, and no longer use toothpicks for models to show clients. Get feedback from client and design it in realtime, and get internal design happening before building the building. Games and education will be huge, and education will be like recess. Getting more interested in medical applications of VR. Showed a doctor, and wanted to use VR for therapy. Physical therapy. Take movement from people who have had a stroke and amplify their movements in VR. Pain modulation with distraction therapy.
  • 13:58 – Audio is really important. Need to model reflections of audio. Virtual haircut and binaural audio can give you a lot of presence and depth, and accurate audio will be key in the future.

Theme music: “Fatality” by Tigoolio

olivierJTOlivierJT talks about his musical maze VR experience called Synthesis Universe. He’s been working on the game for over three years now, and the VR portion for over two years. He’s collaborating with a musician, and talks about the sound design considerations of integrating the music to give clues about navigating the maze.

OlivierJT is from France, and talks about his experience with the VR community there, and his involvement with various VR community events including Cymatic Bruce’s livestream chats & then gatherings afterwards in Minecrift or VR Chat. He also mentions a couple of the Riftmax Theater events including Karaoke night and Gunter’s Virtually Incorrect show.

OlivierJT-SUHe also talks about how 85% of his work and reading material is in English, but that he had started to loose a lot of his English-speaking skills because he wasn’t using them. But since participating in the VR chats, he’s noticed that his English-speaking skills have started to flow a lot easier and better.

Finally, OlivierJT talks about how he’s investing all that he has within VR development, and that it’s a one-way ticket for him. He’s looking forward to more games, educational experiences and virtual tourism, and intends on continuing his involvement within the various VR community events even though a lot of them are in the middle of the night for him.

Reddit discussion here.

TOPICS

  • 0:00 – Intro. Come from France to meet the VR community.
  • 0:28 – What is the VR scene look like in France right now? A lot of academic VR people, but not as many VR game developers
  • 1:04 – Getting involved with VR Chats. Bruce’s stream and has an accessible community, and then go into VR Chat or Minecrift, which is how he met a lot of the VR community. Riftmax Karaoke night, and Gunter’s Virtually Incorrect show with other guests from around the world. Time schedules are in the middle of the night in France
  • 1:51 – How VR community has impacted your English-speaking skills. His flow is a lot better now thanks to VR Chat.
  • 3:33 – First heard about Oculus from a gamer sites. Create animation and games for a long time. Living in 3D.
  • 4:08 – Getting into virtual reality development. Know the entire pipeline from modeling to integrating into a game engine. Integrated with UDK.
  • 4:56 – What were you trying to create with Synthesis Universe? Inside a very musical project, and wanted to release it with CV1. Expanded it to adapt to the CV1 release schedule.
  • 6:02 – What do you want people to get out of it? Keep it simple. The game is about getting the work done. It’s a maze game, and you’ll get lost. It’s really about music. You have goals to achieve.
  • 6:48 – What type of considerations do you have with the sound design? It’s a musical sequence, and everything has musical tunes. When you’re in the maze, then the music will help you find your way to stay on your path.
  • 7:34 – Potential of VR? It’s a one-way ticket for him. Putting everything he has into VR. Interesting in the gaming part, but also education and tourism. VR community led him to be at SVVRCon.

Theme music: “Fatality” by Tigoolio

Simon Solotko is a marketer and product manager who has been involved in a number of various VR-related Kickstarters including the Virtuix Omni & Sixense STEM. He first got into immersive gaming through his work at AMD, and eventually connected with Sixense Entertainment through the Razer Hydra and eventually got onto their board of directors.

Simon-SolotkoHe sees that in the long-term, the applications that solve real problems for consumers are going to blend augmented reality and virtual reality. He started All Future Parties to incubate and accelerate VR/AR projects, but also create his augmented reality project that involves broadcasting social data on wearable screens.

Simon talks about the changing market and audience for Virtual Reality as it moves from the innovators and early adopters and starts to cross the chasm into the early majority. He observes that VR is so exciting for people, and they’re really curious to try it out. But everyone who tries it, isn’t going to immediately go buy a VR HMD. He predicts that it’ll be seeded through gaming and education, and slowly expand into solving other problems from there.

Finally, he talks about future integrations of social data with AR and it’s finer-grained control over the identity that you’re broadcasting to others, as well as the future of using augmented and virtual reality technology in public spaces and the social awkwardness barrier that is there.

Reddit discussion here.

TOPICS

  • 0:00 – Intro. Runs All Future Parties. Helps out with Kickstarter campaigns. On board for Sixense. Helped the Virtuix Omni Kickstarter. Works on parties with similar DNA. Worked on computer vision and AR that recognizes visual markers so that people can have wearable screens to broadcast social data. Announced a VR project of Presence at SVVRCon.
  • 1:49 – What is Presence? Connecting technology to motion to your mind. Help you feel more in the moment. Cut teeth on motion control, and working on peripheral problems
  • 2:33 – How did you get involved with Sixense and VR? Worked with AMD. Developed processors in AMD line. Got interested in immersive gaming experiences. Use AMD booth to create a holodeck presentation at E3. Got interested in immersion, and control interfaces. Sought out Sixense team when found the Razer Hydra
  • 4:05 – How did Oculus Rift change what you were doing? Working on MakeVR and STEM controllers for years. When the Rift came to Kickstarter, things got hot and fire started. People got a lot more interested in Sixense technology and Razer Hydra sold like mad. Got into crowdsourcing, and came to incubate VR companies.
  • 5:40 – What is the value proposition and marketing messaging that is resonating with VR audience? Moving from innovators & early adopters to everyone. Can make a product play if you’re contributing to VR. There will be more of a fusion of AR and the cloud in the future. Gaming matters. Immersive content and great visual experiences. Solving real problems with VR has a lot of potential. How does it get broader and how will larger audience respond.
  • 7:30 – Cross the chasm from innovators and early adopters and into the early majority? You can try out VR from people who own a VR HMD. People are excited about trying it. Trying an experience is different than owning an experience. See it, and then make a decision. Lots of people will try, but not everyone will buy it. Gaming has been a leader in new immersive experiences.
  • 9:14 – All Future Parties – VR gives you the most sense of presence. How will you blend in AR? It’s a set of ideas. Delivering useful stuff to consumers means crossing a lot of boundaries from AR, VR to mobile. Forcing the breakdown, mobile devices will be great VR screens, but also have a camera that can provide an AR experience. Everything will have a camera and VR will be mixed with AR.
  • 11:17 – Social networking tying in social data? Foundational ideas is that we’ll have wearable devices and screens that we can use for social signaling, which is more secure than facial recognition because it’s a personal mapping. With All Future Parties, people can choose to broadcast a certain amount of information allocated by the cloud. Do the recognition at up to 20ft
  • 13:12 – VR potential is limitless. Walk around all day in VR where you see a video stream that you can overlay with AR, but that’s socially awkward. Starts with games and educational experiences. Eventually are going to be able to augment at any moment.
  • 14:10 – Causal AR/VR use in public spaces. It’s a little freaky. A mobile phone provides distance, but worn displays encompass your entire field of view. Mobile phones and AR isn’t as invasive as VR. People constantly looking at their phones, and it’s going to get worse. There’s sensory distance, and it’s a big step to go from there to putting it on our face and it’s going to start with gaming.

Theme music: “Fatality” by Tigoolio

Nick Lebesis talks about his vision for bringing better networking experiences to virtual worlds with NetworkFlo. He says that there are two different types of professional networking groups of searchers and networkers, and that LinkedIn has optimized their site to serve the needs of job searchers rather than what networkers are looking for.

Nick-LebesisHis vision for NetworkFlo is combine elements of Meetup, Second Life and LinkedIn to have virtual world spaces that are more focused on professional networking. His project is still in the early phases of development, and they’re looking to add VR support.

To me it’s interesting to hear about how the 2D experience of LinkedIn doesn’t create a very good environment to meet new people to expand your professional network, and that it’s usually about adding people that you’ve already met from another context. There does appear to be a need for creating better networking opportunities, and that immersive virtual environments experienced through VR does seem to be a better medium for professional networking than the 2D world wide web.

TOPICS

  • 0:00 – Intro to Network Flo. Allow professionals to meet in virtual spaces. It’s a combination of Meetup + Second Life + LinkedIn in a virtual world.
  • 0:29 – Couldn’t network with tech professionals in Toronto, Canada.
  • 0:46 – Target demographics. The young professional from marketing to a startup. Co-founder of LinkedIn have groups of users: the networkers and the searchers. LinkedIn focuses on the searchers and job recruitment, but they’ve neglected the networkers.
  • 1:45 – What does a searcher want? What does networker want? Searcher sees LinkedIn as an office where others are being disturbed by the networking actions. Allow people to log in and create events
  • 2:30 – Does it require the Oculus Rift? Currently implementing it.
  • 2:48 – What is VR adding to Network Flo?
  • 3:07 – Other social VR experiences. VR Chat. Bringing social networking component to it as well to have your own network
  • 3:37 – VR social experiences with other software. Had a Virtual Worlds class in college in Second Life. Saw that there needed to be more of a social networking component.
  • 4:23 – How are you translating this into an immersive VR world. Create events and then have profit, conference halls and TED talks.
  • 4:52 – Potential of VR. Most exciting thing happening in tech right now. Asking the community for feedback.

Theme music: “Fatality” by Tigoolio

John Murray talks about the iPhone-powered, mixed reality VR/AR HMD made by his company Seebright. He started Seebright in 2012 as a way to explore augmented and virtual reality experiences in an affordable way, and start to have interactions that went beyond what you could do with a tablet or smartphone alone.

john-murraySeebright uses a reflective surface that allows you to see both what’s in the real world, but also an augmented reality, stereoscopic image that comes by dropping in your iPhone into their head-mounted display. They’re able to have a mixed-reality AR experience because the optics are reflecting the iPhone’s display into your field of view.

Finally, John talks a bit about the latency on an iPhone and Seebright’s future plans including a developer program, a possible crowd-funding campaign, as well as a motion controller to serve as an input device

TOPICS

  • 0:00 – Founder of Seebright in 2012. Started b/c computers are becoming more personal. Envision Seebright as something that was affordable to explore 3D AR/VR environments beyond tablet or smartphone alone
  • 0:56 – VR and AR are on a continuum where you’re either more or less engaged. Occupy less part of your field of view, but allow to you to see more of what’s the real world. Optics reflects it into your field of view, where you can combine virtual imagery onto the real world.
  • 2:24 – Latencies vary widely in their implementation of 9-axis motion sensors. Latency is more important with your field of view. Target device is an iPhone.
  • 3:10 – Magical number is 20ms, how good is it on an iPhone. 20-30ms on an iPhone 5. Larger to 20ms. Not close to dedicated hardware.
  • 3:53 – Announcing a developer program later this year. Will continue to explore low-cost AR/VR display that will also include a motion controller.

Theme music: “Fatality” by Tigoolio

Josh Farkas of Cubicle Ninjas talks about the Guided Meditation VR experience as a relaxing break for people.

Josh-FarkasHe also talks about the process of pitching VR to businesses, and what they’re doing to counter the negative, stereotypical views of virtual reality that are based upon the failures to live up to the 1990s hype. Josh says that once people experience VR, then that helps them to start to see the potential of what’s possible and how they could use it for their business.

Cubicle Ninjas works with Fortune 1000 companies and has a couple of demos that they’re showing to businesses including an architecture demo as well as a panoramic video that shows a number of different locations. He says that the location-based VR experiences are definitely the ones that are the easiest ones to pitch because the application is powerful and immediately clear. They’ve been able to get creative in making that connection between place and telling brand stories by showing a number of exotic locations with the message that a financial services credit card could be used at all of these different places.

Finally, he provides some more details about their meditation experience and intention behind that as well as their experiments with binaural audio, top feature requests and future plans. Overall, Josh is interesting in exploring VR beyond just gaming, and continue to explore how VR could be used by B2B and B2C companies to create experiences that he would enjoy having in VR.

Reddit discussion here.

TOPICS

  • 0:00 – Intro. Cubicle Ninjas wanted to build their own apps. Releasing a guided meditation app to give people a break over lunch. Want to build apps for businesses.
  • 0:58 – Cubicle Ninjas is a design agency, and have done a lot of mobile dev, but VR is the next generation tech that combines audio, video and 3d to tell interesting stories
  • 1:33 – Feedback and interest from customers on VR. Amazing response so far. Perception that VR is stuck in 1990, until they see a demo in the Rift. Demoing the Rift help break those perceptions and show the potential of VR.
  • 2:17 – They have two demos that they’re showing. Architecture demo to show a specific location. Panoramic video of different locations for a financial services company to show that credit cards are accepted at different places.
  • 3:22 – Press release announcing VR for business. VR doesn’t have to just for games. Highly valuable applications for B2B and B2C companies. Brands can tell their story in a new way.
  • 4:00 – Target demographic for Cubicle Ninjas. Fortune 1000 companies. Use VR to push innovation.
  • 4:38 – Location-based VR experiences are strong, but how do you apply that to a business context? Find a way to ground it in a real scenario can be difficult. Build stuff that they would want to use
  • 5:23 – VR experiences that you enjoy. Technolust. Unello Design’s Eden River. Pong with your Face in VR. Back to the Future.
  • 6:16 – Meditation application: 8-10 minute application. No set goals. Virtual beach and walked through some breathing exercises. Expand to different meditations and different environments.
  • 7:00 – Binaural audio or binaural beats? Not yet. But requests for audio books in VR
  • 7:22 – Integrating biometric feedback into the meditation application. Interview with Rollin McCraty on Institute of HeartMath.
  • 8:44 – Neurogaming and biometric feedback within VR. Creating a better and more relaxing VR experience.
  • 9:26 – What’s next for Cubicle Ninjas. Expand the guided meditation experiences. Show the reality of VR to counter the negative perceptions.

Theme music: “Fatality” by Tigoolio

Tony Parisi has a vision of the Metaverse that’s built on top of the open web with technologies like WebGL and three.js. Currently there are a lot of limitations and issues with latency that he believes will eventually be solved with browsers adding USB API support to be able to communicate directly to Virtual Reality HMDs like the Oculus Rift as well as all of the new different types of input devices for VR.

tony_parisiHe talks about the Oculus Bridge by Instrument as a way to connect the Rift up to 3D content from a web browser.

Since the recording of this podcast at SVVRCon, Mozilla has also released a native app that serves as a VR API to that can communicate directly with a VR HMD. Here’s a good tutorial for getting started Mozilla’s VR API. Google’s Brandon Jones has a nice Quake 3 demo made with WebGL that you can use to test it out.

Tony recognizes that doing work for the open web is not an easy process, and there are a lot of challenges to it. He sees that there will be a lot of innovation and figuring out of the VR medium with proprietary tools like Unity. But he thinks that Unity’s popularity will be a short-term phenomena, and that even though there is a lot of warts on the open web’s approach at the moment that in the long-run it’ll be more popular and the chosen path for creating a vibrant and open Metaverse based upon the lessons of the Internet and open web.

Reddit discussion here.

TOPICS

  • 0:00 – Intro. Founded Visi. Building VR apps. Part of VRML group to connect VR in an interconnected way.
  • 0:40 – How do you see VR spreading on the web? WebGL and graphics cards enable making immersive environments with JavaScript. There will be new input devices, and sees that it will all eventually be supported by the open web.
  • 1:36 – Existing plug-ins (at the time of SVVRCon). Oculus Bridge WebGL does stereo rendering for the browser. Desktop app that talks to the VR HMD. A bit of additional latency. Instant reality browser extension, but requires extension installation. Prefers downloading an app
  • 3:45 – Uses open source toolkit three.js, so he didn’t have to write his own engine on top of WebGL. Most support behind it. Built a layer on top of three.js Visi Toolkit
  • 4:57 – Used three.js plug-in with the Rift? Had to use the Oculus Bridge to connect it.
  • 5:52 – Fragmentation into native apps with mobile and the future of the open web with all of these native apps? Believe in open technology, but it comes with a certain price. It gets harder with committees and group design. People go with tools like Unity to get the job done, but currently requires a plug-in and will eventually get compatibility with the open web. More people doing cross-platform HTML5 development now. Open web is the longer path, but perhaps be more successful in the long-run. Proprietary solutions will be popular at first, but has faith in the open web
  • 9:33 – Unity vs. the Open Web. Unity’s popularity will only last a couple of years until the open web comes along
  • 10:45 – Deal with latency issues with VR HMD. At some point browsers will adopt USB APIs to talk to VR HMDs
  • 11:50 – Like VR because virtual worlds give people a more creative medium to build beautiful experiences

Theme music: “Fatality” by Tigoolio

Matt Carrell has been working on Stompz for the last five years and tells the story of how it came about. Back in 2009, he was a runner in military training where he couldn’t leave the fence line. He started to use the Trimersion Virtual Reality HMD, and hacked together a system to be able to run in place in real life and have that provide input so that he could run around in Call of Duty.

Matt CarrellThis system has evolved into Stompz, which uses accelerometers attached to your feed to detect when you’re walking in place and then provides that as an input control to VR. Matt explains some of the other motions that are possible with Stompz, and how that could be mapped to other input controls — as well as how it could move beyond the feet to your arms or other objects.

One of the key insights that Matt has is that walking in place provides just enough haptic feedback for your brain to believe that it’s actually running or walking — even if you’re sitting down. He questions how popular or effective systems like the Virtuix Omni or the Cyberith Virtualizer will be when you have to have a harness attached to your crotch, and he’s got some alternative omnidirectional treadmill ideas based upon a modified swivel chair.

Finally, he talks about his PodVR podcast that he started with Brian Bullard, and how Ready Player One has provided an inspiration for how VR will spread into society.

Reddit discussion here.

TOPICS

  • 0:00 – Intro – Matt Carrell has been working on Stompz for 5 years. First iteration of Stompz in 2009. Loves VR community and VR chats. Co-founder of Sacramento VR. Finding any way to get involved in VR. Building train stations everywhere without trains yet. No consumer version, and enthusiasts may seem crazy. Waiting for the wave to come
  • 2:31 – How Stompz works. Accelerometer on your feet to detect your foot motion, which then activates the forward key. Primary use is walking in place. Has a lot of interesting sensors in it. Developers would like to use these into their games. Alternative to Omni. Let you hack into the sensors so that you use it for whatever you want. Low-cost way for you to get access to data.
  • 4:09 – Arm integration and other places on the body as well. Control a flight simulator with it.
  • 4:50 – First starting Stompz in 2009. He was a runner and was in military training and couldn’t go anywhere, and wanted to be able to run around. Put a Trimersion VR display on his head so that he could run in place in Call of Duty and be somewhere else.
  • 6:06 – Stereographic HMD with Trimersion with a gun that was connected to your headset
  • 6:33 – Where did you get a Trimersion? From eBay. It failed.
  • 6:55 – Wanted to get an existing VR HMD. Could pay $36k for a VR HMD, and it had a lot of wires and was really heavy. Couldn’t find a good VR HMD on the market in 2009.
  • 7:35 – First heard of Oculus late. Missed opportunity to make an omni-directional treadmill. Wants to see omni-directional solution done right.
  • 8:50 – Build a prototype of your omnidirectional treadmill. Sat in a modified swivel chair. All your weight is seated in your chair. Balance is a big issue on low-friction services. Against crotch straps.
  • 10:02 – Running in VR. Where do you go? Anywhere. Don’t like seated VR experiences. Wants VR to be 360 experience. Feel like the real power of VR is fully immersed in 360-degrees. Gamers have to get used to turning with their head. Moving head in VR is impressive. Need a 360-version and to be able to go anywhere. Running through Unity Bootcamp. Would love to geotag runs where you could run down Pebble beach or Hawaii Beach. Mountains are difficult because going uphill breaks immersion.
  • 12:14 – Does it feel like you’re actually running? People are really big on haptics, and Stompz provides haptic feedback. People are pumping their arms like they’re going somewhere. Don’t need the full intense, forward-leaning feedback
  • 13:40 – Motion sickness and simulator sickness from walking in place. People do get motion sickness. Thinks that people get it less since they’re getting a lot of physical feedback of running. Brain feedback where something that’s off. Worse simulator sickness when people stop and turn rather than moving and turning.
  • 14:44 – Using Stompz to step in a specific direction to determine where you’re going. Can tilt forward or backwards with the foot to move back. Found that a backwards tilt could provide a crouch motion. Other configurations to do other actions like crawling
  • 15:58 – PodVR podcast to talk about cool things happening in the Silicon Valley. Have timely information to share with people. Want to get this information out.
  • 16:48 – Potential of VR. Ready Player One novel. Good vision of the future for that. It’ll be in every household. People will have other roles in VR. Economy in VR. Will spread to every field. It’s going to blow up big.

Theme music: “Fatality” by Tigoolio

Peter Sassaman talks about Team Gauntl33t’s Project Lance VR Haptic feedback glove that he brought to SVVRCon. This is an open source and open hardware approach for creating a haptic feedback glove that includes 3D printed materials, an Arduino board, Hitec HS-322HD Servos and leather and elastic materials for the glove.

Peter-Sassaman-gauntl33tThey’re integrating the Arduino board into VR through the Uniduino plug-in for Unity, which works with the free version of Unity. They’re currently doing positional tracking with a Razer Hydra and a modified version of the Sixense SDK, but they’re planning on expanding support to PrioVR, STEM and potentially with Leap Motion and perhaps even with DK2 camera if that’s possible.

They’ve started to make some of the source files available on their GitHub page for all of the 3D printed materials, and plan on sharing more of their source code there over time.

gauntl33t-sidePeter talks about being inspired by sci-fi novels like Ready Player One and Snow Crash. Because he was interested in getting involved with VR on the hardware side, he decided to start trying to tackle the problem of haptic feedback since the omni-directional treadmills were already being worked on with the Virtuix Omni.

He talks about his design process and various decisions along the way, and a lot of their future plans moving forward. Tactical Haptics founder William Provancher told me that at the IEEE VR conference, that it was discussed that haptics is one of the biggest open problems in VR at the moment.

So if you’d like to get more involved in developing haptic feedback devices, then be sure to reach out to them via their website and check out what they’ve posted in their GitHub repo for Team Gauntl33t’s Project Lance project.

Reddit discussion here.

TOPICS

  • 0:00 – Intro to Gauntl33t Project Lance VR Haptic feedback glove
  • 0:26 – Components that were used? Arduino board along with and Hitec HS-322HD Servos
  • 1:15 – Positional tracking with Razer Hydra. Expand to PrioVR or STEM motion tracking in the future.
  • 1:36 – Haptic feedback on the front of the fingers by pulling back with the servos
  • 2:22 – VR demo of a coffee shop where you can pick up a squishy bag or a hard cup. Want this to integrated into VR adventure games
  • 2:58 – How to distinguish between hard and soft objects. Servos turn on completely for hard. It pulses on and off for the soft object
  • 3:25 – What kind of code are you running on the Arduino. A modified version of Firmata. Using the Uniduino plug-in for Unity, but it runs with the free version of Unity.
  • 4:27 – What are your future plans for it? Will be uploading all of the STL files to GitHub, along with the code that they actually wrote. They modified the Sixense SDK, but they’re planning on making as much of it available as an open project. They may have an Indiegogo campaign that provides some of the 3D printed components and servos, but they’ll need a couple of more iterations before doing a crowdfunding campaign for a full product.
  • 5:44 – Why use leather as the material? Using elastic and using leather and rivets to hold two pieces together.
  • 6:33 – Why elastic? Fit many different sizes of hands.
  • 7:03 – What material do you use to connect to fingertips to deal with different surfaces? Only simulating size and hardness of the object. Potentially use buzzers in the future. Aiming to keep the cost down, but people can modify and expand. Aimed for hacker and makers to collaborate and innovate on haptics.
  • 8:20 – Using camera-based tracking of hands with a Leap Motion? Want as many different trackers as possible. Potentially even with DK2.
  • 9:04 – What inspired to get you into VR development? Ready Player One, Snow Crash, and other VR content. It’s now possible, and wanted to work on the hardware side. Treadmills were already being worked on.
  • 10:01 – Tactical Haptics Reactive Grip™ and whether you’ll have to chose a haptic glove or objects. Turn off gloves when you’re holding a prop item. Potentially all integrated into a single glove in the future.
  • 10:55 – It looks fairly fragile. How durable is it? Don’t be afraid of breaking it
  • 11:23 – What’s in the huge box on your arm? Servos are in there, and they’re pretty big. Need metal gear servos
  • 11:50 – How a servo works? Takes two power inputs, but also a pulsed width input. There’s a potentiometer to determine how much it’s turned. Motor to control position of servo. Gears to determine how much to turn
  • 12:55 – What is the servo controller? Pulls strings to pull back onto fingers
  • 13:16 – Translating input from Unity? There’s a lot of control for how hard an object can be to get different levels of hardness. There’s 400 points across 180 degrees, which can provide a lot of fidelity.
  • 14:16 – What kind of reactions have you gotten? Lots of great feedback, and some suggested changes to make it better.

Theme music: “Fatality” by Tigoolio