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.


  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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

Eric Greenbaum of Jema VR talks about some of the on hygiene considerations that you should take into account if you’re giving public VR demos. Specifically, the open foam on the Oculus Rift DK1 should either replaced with closed-cell liner, or at a minimum be wiped down with an alcohol swap in between uses.

eric-greenbaum-About-FaceEric has been developing a number of hygiene and ergonomic solutions called About Face VR that include hygiene barriers & removable liners for your VR HMD. He talks about how to use these for public VR demos in order to prevent the spread of potentially contagious dermatological conditions.

Eric ran into these hygiene issues in the process of developing an exercise bike rig and series of exercise environments for VR called “Velo VR.” He talks about the hygiene issues that he ran into, and his approach to solving them. He also talks about some of the things that you can do to minimize simulator sickness in an exercise simulator including not having too steep of an incline or decline, and to avoid sharp turns.

Finally, he talks about how he’s applying his neuroscientist and patent lawyer background to solve new problems in VR, and productize them into a business. And he sees that most of the really big problems in VR are being addressed or coming soon including positional tracking, having multi-user networking, and being able to capture and display facial expressions for authentic social interactions in VR.

Reddit discussion here.


  • 0:00 – Jema VR creating an exercise system for VR, but ran up against hygiene and ergonomics issues with VR HMDs
  • 0:38 – Need a removable liner for your HMD, and should have a closed seal especially if you’re publicly displaying VR demos.
  • 1:05 – What’s the worst that can happen? There are a variety of contagious dermatological conditions like a staph infection, but they can be prevented with some simple hygiene steps.
  • 1:40 – What are some best practices that people can do with their existing VR HMDs? Consider replace open cell foam with closed cell foam. Have users wipe their faces, and then wipe down the rift between uses.
  • 2:15 – How do you wipe it down? Alcohol swap to disinfect it
  • 2:28 – Swappable foam mod kits. Have a personal HMD, but also want to demo. Have a variety of different interchangeable foams that you can swap out and use in different contexts. Uses magnets as a connector
  • 3:30 – Creating mod kits? Or working with VR HMD manufacturers? Both. Engaging HMD manufacturers to raise the issue of hygiene. Willing to consult and help out. Planning a Kickstarter with a mod kit. VR is a grassroots movement, and you have to see it to believe it. We want people to share VR, but we have a responsibility to do it safely and create a safe environment for VR evangelism.
  • 4:51 – Created a VR recumbent exercise rig, and you start to sweat after 5 minutes, and the foam liner gets pretty nasty quickly. Initial interest is VR exercise. Gamifying exercise into a video game. Make health benefits of exercise more transparent. VR is poised to fundamentally change exercise.
  • 6:04 – What do you see in your VR environment? It’s a mountain bike simulation in a forest and high mountain passes. Convinces user that you’re outside exercising somewhere pretty. Want to have more city and fictitious environments. VR exercise frees from the reality-based physical limitations of how we exercise
  • 6:50 – Dealing with motion sickness in VR with this exercise bike. More of an issue at the beginning. But going up or down should trigger the vestibular senses, and if you’re not going up or down, then that’ll cause motion sickness. Keep things flat and mostly straight with some gentle curves and gentle inclines and declines.
  • 7:41 – Possibly biked more miles in VR with a HMD than any one else. Building up tolerance as VR dev. Important to let others try it out.
  • 8:17 – Neuroscientist and patent lawyer. Scientists dissect and approach problems, and confidence to look at a new area and figure it out. Patent lawyer helps with being familiar with the IP landscape for starting a new business
  • 9:17 – Open problems in VR. A lot of them are being solved quickly. Absolute positioning for eliminating motion sickness. Networking multiple users into one place and time. Another big challenge is capturing facial expressions for having a meaningful social interaction in VR.

Theme music: “Fatality” by Tigoolio

Cris Miranda is the host of the EnterVR podcast, and he talks about how his first mind-blowing experiences with VR motivated him to start a podcast so that he could contribute to the VR movement. He sees that the technical details of VR will be lost in translation in the future, and prefers going down the VR rabbit hole in order to get to the deeper, universal aspects of our humanity including our hopes, fears, motivations and insecurities.

cris-mirandaCris recalls his first VR experiences at the first SVVR meet up, and how that contributed to him starting his podcast. Some of the VR experiences that have stick out for him include Titans of Space, Minecrift, Half Life VR and Time Rifters. He prefers experiences that are outside of the box, like Titans of Space.

I’ve observed that Cris is someone who likes to address the more philosophical aspects of VR, and he also isn’t afraid to challenge the status quo and question taboos. So it’s no surprise that he was the only one that I talked to at SVVRCon, who was questioning why we weren’t seeing more porn VR tech like teledildonics represented. He sees that adult entertainment is going to be a huge driving factor in adoption and innovation in VR, but yet no one was openly talking about it.

I agree that porn will be a huge application for VR and will revolutionize sex just as the WIRED cover story on Palmer Luckey alluded to by saying, “This kid is about to change, gaming, movies, TV, music, design, medicine, sex, sports, art, travel, social networking, education — and reality.”

The counterpoint that I would made to Cris and would elaborate on here is that there is a tremendous lack of diversity within the New VR space with only one female speaker and 42 male speakers at SVVRCon. There was a lack of diversity in attendees at SVVRCon, and this lack of diversity is reflected in my guests on this podcast.

I don’t foresee pornography applications and technological innovations being integrated within the mainstream VR gatherings due to the long history of sexist incidents within the tech and gaming industry. I’d also argue that it would not create “a friendly, safe and welcoming environment for all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, or religion.”

This passage is from GDC’s code of conduct statement, which is a part of the movement to include more diversity within tech conferences. Ashe Dryden wrote up two excellent blogs posts about So you want to put on a diverse, inclusive conference and a follow-up Increasing Diversity at Your Conference.

Two of the main recommendations that Ashe and the geek feminism community are recommending to tech conferences is to create a diversity statement and an anti-harassment policy. O’Reilly is a one of the leaders, and it’s worth reading through their Diversity Statement. The other statement is an anti-harrasment policy, which is also commonly referred to as a Code of Conduct statement.

This is one of the passages in the GDC’s code of conduct: “Harassment includes: offensive verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, disability; inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces (including presentation slides);”

I’d argue that including porn applications within a public VR conference would have the side effect of not creating a safe and welcoming environment for all genders and religions. That’s not to say that it’s morally bad, wrong, or not worth exploring. Porn is obviously going to bring a lot of innovation and adoption to VR.

But if we want to see VR move into the mainstream, then I think it’s worth calling out that this new, consumer VR community currently has a pretty big lack of diversity issue that is worth addressing first. If you’re interested in learning more, then I’d recommend reading through Ashe’s two posts on inclusivity and diversity for more details.

Have thoughts? Share them on Twitter or this Reddit discussion here.


  • 0:00 – Intro and trying the Rift for the first time in 2012
  • 0:28 – It was as the Computer Science History Museum at the first SVVR meet-up, and he tried Proton Pulse. It was a mind-blowing experience. Tried Half-Life 2.
  • 0:50 – Half-Life 2. Like being somewhere else and feels physical
  • 1:17 – Living in the bay area, and how that led to starting the EnterVR podcast.
  • 1:55 – Meet people at the meet-up, and the following up with people from online, r/oculus, and elsewhere online.
  • 2:18 – Why did you decide to do a podcast?
  • 2:45 – What interviews stick out for you? Matthew G from Relaxation in VR (aka /u/VMU_kiss). Enjoys the process of peaking down the rabbit hole with guests.
  • 3:34 – What were some of the VR experiences that stick out for you? Titans of Space, Minecrift, Half Life VR and Time Rifters. Experiences that are outside of the box
  • 4:21 – What is driving your questions and what you’re trying to figure out about VR? The details of the tech will be lost in translation in the future. Trying to get down to the universal aspect of our humanity in terms of motivations, fears, endurance, insecurities and hopes. Don’t focus too much on the details
  • 5:15 – Where do you see this going? Upset that there isn’t more porn at SVVRCon. Cris says that Porn will be the killer app and a driving factor of virtual reality, and wonders why there isn’t more teledildonics tech there. Grateful to be in the presence of VR giants.
  • 6:34 – Q: Counterpoints to porn. Cultural issues. Lack of diversity on the speaker panels. Issue of integrating porn into a mainstream conference, and is not welcoming of diversity – A: Cris says that we’re here to ultimately make money with VR. Porn is going to be make money in VR. We’re adults, and so why can’t we have a blank slate with what adult entertainment could be? We don’t have to bring the perils of porn piracy tube sites like Pornhub to the metaverse.
  • 8:25 – Q: Don’t foresee porn being integrated into mainstream culture or VR tech conferences. A: Porn is dying because of the Internet. Porn will always exist, but Internet piracy is eating at their bottom line. And so the porn industry will have to innovate with VR to survive.

Theme music: “Fatality” by Tigoolio

David Holz is the CTO of Leap Motion and he talks about how they’re able to track two hands and ten fingers to sub-millimeter precision.

david-holzThe new Leap Motion beta SDK version has a full skeletal model that now treats fingers & hands are one entity. He says that it’s hard to do and still have it run fast, but they’ve managed to implement it. This should open up a lot of physical and intuitive approaches to VR input.

He talks a bit about some of the challenges of occlusion as well as the journey and evolution towards getting 100% accuracy.

David says that if VR is going to be like reality, then we’re going to need to be able to work with our hands. If we’re using tools, then the VR input needs to mimic that tool. And while there are companies like MotionSavvy who are working using the Leap to interpret sign language, he sees that the future of using the Leap as a VR input device will be more physical and intuitive, and that a new grammar will evolve over time.

He speculates on some of the new 3DUI interactions and grammar that may start to develop where you’re just using your fingers and hands. But overall, it’s an open sandbox to experiment with what works and what doesn’t.

He talks about how most of the current demonstrations show the Leap on the desktop and tracking body, but that they’re also moving towards having the Leap mounted on a virtual reality, head-mounted display. They’re going to start doing more augmented reality integrations with the other cameras that are also included in the Leap, but not used as much. There’s an option in the new Beta control panel where the Leap can be optimized for these type of front-facing interactions.

Finally, David says that we’re going to start to hit a plateau and diminishing returns for how much technology improvements are able to provide, and that at some point humans will have to get better through new ways of interacting with technology. Leap Motion is ultimately aiming to enable these new types of  interactions.

Reddit discussion here.


  • 0:00 – Intro. Leap Motion two-hand, ten-finger tracking to sub-millimeter precision
  • 0:29 – New Leap Motion beta SDK version has a full skeletal model. Fingers & hands are one entity. Hard to do, and hard to run fast. Opens a lot of physical and intuitive problems.
  • 1:06 – How to deal with occlusion issues? If can’t see it, then keep it still.
  • 1:40 – User interactions where gestures would be better than a button. Things will be more physical and we’re going to use our hands. If using tools, the controller should be like a tool. Can use hands as a part of feedback. New types of user interactions with the hands and fingers only. Goal of this beta is to experiment and see what’s possible.
  • 2:44 – Sign language – MotionSavvy is doing sign language interpretation with the Leap. But the new UI will be less like a language, and more about physical and intuitive interaction. Some grammar that will evolve gradually.
  • 3:20 – Camera-based motion tracking accuracy isn’t 100% and can be frustrating. It will get there eventually, and it’s a journey and it’s evolving.
  • 4:04 – Gesture-based control in VR. Leap Motion in VR. Leap on a desk is what they show off. Transitioning to Leap on a VR HMD. What you see is being tracking. Interesting AR possibilities. Beta control panel can be optimized for front-facing. Going to release more stuff like imagery.
  • 5:05 – Where Leap Motion is going? No longer limited by speed and cost of computing, but how we interact with it. Use technology for more is what he values. There’s only so much that can be replaced by technology, at some point we have to get better with technology. That’s what Leap Motion is about.

Theme music: “Fatality” by Tigoolio

Ebbe Altberg CEO of Linden Lab, talks about how Second Life is the currently the biggest and most successful virtual world. He shares all types of insights that he’s gained over the years when it comes to identity, in-world economies, governance and culture.

He also talks a bit about Second Life’s support for the Oculus Rift, with their Second Life Project Oculus Rift Viewer
ebbe-altbergThe consumer virtual reality movement has added a lot of renewed interest and vitality in the idea of virtual worlds and the Metaverse. Ebbe is more cautious in the concept of interconnected, but independent virtual worlds because he sees that there are a lot of challenges with making the overall experience a lot easier and better first.

He sees some of the biggest open problems with virtual worlds are:

  • having a stable economy
  • easy communication tools
  • social tools to stay connected
  • having great building tools
  • being able to easily enhance or modify your world
  • having discovery mechanisms to find the experiences and communities that will resonate with you.

He sees that everything has to become easier before thinking about what data and information needs to be available to be exchanged with other systems.

He also talks about how the mouse and keyboard are not necessarily the best input devices, and that Linden Lab was investigating other input devices. This interview was at SVVRCon and since that time, Ebbe Altberg has revealed that Linden Lab is looking to rewrite Second Life from scratch to address to make it better suited for virtual reality.

Ebbe told The Next Web that “With technology, market interest, hardware and software available, now is the time to give it another big shot. We have the experience to do it more than anyone else… We’re not going to constrain ourselves with backwards compatibility.”

Linden Lab certainly has a lot of lessons learned over the years for running a virtual world, and it’ll be interesting to watch to see if they’re able to innovate and adapt to all of the latest virtual reality technology and new input devices.

Reddit discussion here.


  • 0:00 – Key pioneer of virtual world
  • 0:41 – Immersive VR in Second Life. There’s a plug-in. Pushing for a real sense of presence. Want other device access with phone, tablet and PC.
  • 2:04 – Insights from SVVR. Not a lot of new discoveries because they’re doing it everyday. PR peak in 2006-2008. Renewed energy in the space. Lots of technological innovation since then. Hoping for more acceleration in this space
  • 3:27 – Experiences within Second Life as Ebbe Linden.
  • 4:27 – Experiences with VR within Second Life. Lots of work to change the user interface beyond the keyboard and mouse. New input methods needed.
  • 5:27 – Identity insights in identity. Should be up to the user depending on the context. Has an anonymous alt to be treated less as a Linden employee. Big part is being able to be someone else.
  • 6:26 – Closed aspects and walled garden? It belongs to the user and can be imported elsewhere. Haven’t figured out how to make it mass market. Lots of problems to solve. Compatibility and getting to work for lots of people first before thinking about data portability. Make it more approachable and easier to use for more people first.
  • 8:18 – Economy within Second Life. Hundreds of millions of dollars in GDP. Mostly of people selling goods to each other. Non-trivial effort to have a stable economy and have exchanges around the world. People depend upon Second Life as their livelihood.
  • 9:46 – Rules, laws and governance within Second Life. Have rules & laws just like the real world. Try to be as open as possible and not limit people from expressing themselves. Proud of how open and free Second Life is.
  • 11:02 – Code as law and then how to enforce violations beyond that. Can watch what’s happening, but with freedom comes responsibility. Harassment, causing harm, being mean spirited. How do you enable all the good, but prevent the bad. With openness comes the risk that people will abuse their freedoms, but have gotten good at managing that balance. Give people control of the environment within their in.
  • 12:42 – Create artifacts and the range of different cultures from different communities, experiences. Arts, games, role playing fantasies as vampires, be in a different time and place, experience world through different set of eyes. It’s part of the freedom and diversity of experiences within Second Life.
  • 13:45 – The metaverse and Second Life’s connection to that. Interconnected, but independent worlds should come later. First make it easy before make it interconnected. Then talk about what data and information should be interchangeable.
  • 15:56 – Potential of VR is unbounded. Go anywhere, be anywhere with anyone. Second Life is on the leading edge, and they’re way early. Networking, devices and software is getting there, and it’ll be an interesting journey.
  • 16:48 – Biggest open problems in virtual worlds: economy, communication tools, social tools, great building tools, enhance and modify world, discovery mechanisms. Everything has to become easier. Needs to get easier to get in, navigate, communicate, find relevant experiences. Still earlier and geeky, and hasn’t crossed the chasm to reach early majority. Ease of use is the biggest issue to solve.

Theme music: “Fatality” by Tigoolio

UPDATE: A Linden Lab press rep reached out and shared this statement about their future plans

Linden Lab is working on a next generation virtual world that will be in the spirit of Second Life, an open world where users have incredible power to create anything they can imagine and content creators are king. This is a significant focus for Linden Lab, and we are actively hiring to help with this ambitious effort. We believe that there is a massive opportunity ahead to carry on the spirit of Second Life while leveraging the significant technological advancements that have occurred since its creation, as well as our unparalleled experience as the provider of the most successful user-created virtual world ever.

The next generation virtual world will go far beyond what is possible with Second Life, and we don’t want to constrain our development by setting backward compatibility with Second Life as an absolute requirement from the start. That doesn’t mean you necessarily won’t be able to bring parts of your Second Life over, just that our priority in building the next generation platform is to create an incredible experience and enable stunningly high-quality creativity, rather than ensuring that everything could work seamlessly with everything created over Second Life’s 11 year history.

Does this mean we’re giving up on Second Life? Absolutely not. It is thanks to the Second Life community that our virtual world today is without question the best there is, and after 11 years we certainly have no intention of abandoning our users nor the virtual world they continually fill with their astounding creativity. Second Life has many years ahead of it, and in addition to improvements and new developments specifically for Second Life, we think that much of the work we do for the next generation project will also be beneficial for Second Life.

It’s still very early days for this new project, and as we forge ahead in creating the next generation virtual world, we’ll share as much as we can.

If we had one message to share with Second Life users about this new project at this point, it would be: don’t panic, get excited! Again, Second Life isn’t going away, nor are we ceasing our work to improve it. But, we’re also working on something that we think will truly fulfill the promise of virtual worlds that few people understand as well as Second Life users.