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.

Stefan Pernar of Virtual Reality Ventures talks about his Virtual Reality Fashion show. He’s integrated the Marvelous Designer CAD program with Unity 3D, and created a pipeline so that designers could design fashion pieces and see how the fall and flow on a virtual model.

StefanPernar-SVVRHe and his partner Joel De Ross have also been able to create a lot of buzz for the potential of VR within the Marvelous Designer community, and get artists such as Android Jones interested in providing pieces to be shown in their demos.

Fashion is largely a 2D design process, but the rendering the objects in 3D and see how they’ll look and feel on a model of a specific size is something that is VR is very well suited for. Stefan will be targeting a consumer experience of allowing people to preview fashion before buying it, and there’s even a feature that shows how well the clothing fits on your body through a heatmap of where it’d be too tight or too loose.

Stefan is also looking to see how clothing manufacturers could start to use VR to allow retailers to pre-visualize products before they’re actually produced to help in the decision as to whether or not they’re interested in pre-ordering it.

If VR is going to go mainstream, then Stefan believes that VR needs to be seen as a viable business tool and so he’s a co-founder of the Australian Virtual Reality Industry Association. He hopes to connect businesses and developers and consumers together to see the potential of VR to help businesses.

Real estate previews with Matterport scans could enable clients to see 10 locations within an half hour that would be physically impossible to do due to how much time it takes to travel around physical spaces. Remote real estate inspections is also another important potential application.

He also sees that data visualization will also be a really big enterprise application. Try-before-you-buy tourism like Experience Japan will also be a big application.

Finally, he sees that we’re still waiting for the big killer VR app, and that he expects that the impact of VR will be larger impact on society than most people are expecting.

Reddit discussion here. Also be sure to check out Road to VR’s coverage of this fashion demo.


  • 0:00 – Intro. Virtual Reality Ventures is a VR consultant, and is showing a VR fashion show.
  • 0:43 – Virtual Reality pipeline. Integrated Marvelous Designer CAD program with Unity 3d
  • 1:16 – Difference between 2D and fully immersive, 3D VR. Try on different sizes of virtual garnets and see where it’s a tight fit with
  • 2:35 – Getting a photoscan into VR. Entering in measurement points
  • 2:59 – Target market. Not penetrated consumer market, and so creating a point-of-sales experience. Collaborating Android Jones and other Marvelous Designer artists. More at
  • 4:02 – Getting fashion design artists to collaborate. Joel De Ross has been evan
  • 4:58 – Similar to 3D printing revolution. Connect design and artists directly to the customers without going through the manufacturing giants
  • 5:45 – Where to get these fashion products actually produced
  • 6:17 – Marvelous Designer is like blender where you define thickness of materials
  • 6:40 – What is Marvelous Designer? Design tool to design and pre-visualize fashion. Make patterns and define how they’re put together. Define materials and textures and produces a natural fall and flow. Developed pipeline to integrate with Unity3D.
  • 7:46 – Produce videos with virtual models.
  • 8:19 – Designing things within a 3D space? Fashion is a 2D process. Putting it together creates the 3D shape.
  • 9:17 – No real benefit to bring designing in 3D. It’s more about seeing what it looks like in 3D.
  • 9:51 – Physics models of how materials works comes from Marvelous Designer
  • 10:11 – Better than looking at 2D cloth, and likely not 100% accurate, but good enough. Could be used for visualizing products before they produced so that they can be pre-ordered
  • 11:23 – How’s the response to fashion at SVVR? Trying to make VR as a business tool. It’ll make it more mainstream.
  • 12:25 – Co-founder of the Australian Virtual Reality Industry Association. Tie businesses and developers and consumers together. Help start various meet-ups. Lots of potentials for real estate. Going to speak about VR to a CIO Summit. What would you show a CIO about business applications of VR? Matterport scan of the expo. Consulting people on VR strategy and for remote inspections for real estate.
  • 15:15 – Business applications of data visualization and enterprise software. Potentially network visualization tool for Oculus Rift. Humans are not designed to see data in spreadsheets.
  • 16:28 – Huge impact on society. Try-before-you-buy tourism like Experience Japan. No killer VR app yet, but most people are underestimating how huge VR will be.

Theme music: “Fatality” by Tigoolio

Nathan Burba of Survios talks about some of the custom VR hardware, software and games that they’re developing after recently receiving a $4 million dollar investment.

nathan_headshot_200He talks about the Zombies on the Holodeck experience, and what they’re creating in order to have a more untethered VR experience where the user doesn’t feel constrained or limited by being in VR. They’re goal is to create a more natural user interaction within VR in order to create a deeper sense of immersion and presence.

Nathan also talks about his response to the Ben Kuchera’s article about “Let’s put down the guns in virtual reality, and learn to pick up anything else.” He sees VR as an opportunity to live out our action-filled fantasies of having light-saber battles or shooting zombies in the face.

He also makes the observation that you have to innovate one step at a time with the VR medium. For example, recreating the experience of going to the beach requires all sorts of haptic feedback to make it feel real, that it becomes one of the most challenging problems to solve. Shooting things in video games is a well-establish game mechanic that is fairly easy to implement, and that’s why they started there. Plus zombies aren’t real, and it’s one of his action-filled fantasies that VR allows him to live out with their Zombies on the Holodeck experience.

He talks about his ideas of the mobile, PC and IMAX-location based type of tiers within VR, and how Survios is going down a path of creating optimized hardware and software so that VR isn’t limited by computer systems that exist today. And finally, he shares his vision of the potential for VR as being able to allow us to return to our fundamental humanity of running around and playing games, exploring exciting virtual worlds, and allowing us to express our full creative potential.

Reddit discussion here.


  • 0:00 – Intro to Survios, Hardware, Software and Game development
  • 0:33 – Recent $4 million round, new tech and new product to push VR forward
  • 1:07 – Zombies on the Holodeck. Feel like you’re in an 8x8ft space. Visceral experience where there’s natural interactions to have a tremendous amount of presence.
  • 1:54 – Tracking technology, wearable, server, optical camera, VR HMD, Hydras to give sense of presence and be free within a world
  • 2:30 – Going for an untethered experience where you don’t feel any limits or constraints
  • 2:53 – Safety issues with untethered VR. Pieces of tech to help out with that
  • 3:15 – Project Holodeck at USC doing Kinect Research, and learned everything he knows about VR HMDs from Palmer Luckey. Take VR and make games with it rather than just art-based and academic research. Wanted to
  • 4:39 – Ben Kuchera article talking about tired of shooting Zombies in the face. Don’t innovate on too many aspects at once, and so taking an easy to implement idea and starting there.
  • 5:59 – Response to violence in VR. Hard to simulate going to the beach because it’s a felt experience. Killing Zombies is an effective experience. VR is about living out our action-filled fantasies.
  • 7:37 – Nonny de la Pena’s immersive journalism and untethered VR experiences. Using VR for emotional appeal. Push the VR medium forward to make it easier to make this type of content
  • 8:49 – VR tiers: mobile, PC-based, and IMAX location based approach. Based upon computing systems that we have in society today, consumer PC and then super powerful, location-based computers. The best virtual reality experiences will be on nextgen computer systems that are tailor-made for VR — something that Survios is focusing on.
  • 10:10 – Don’t want to be limited by computer systems that exist today
  • 10:41 – VR will let you run around and let you feel human again, and run around, jump, play sports and play games. Games are fundamental, and VR will get us back to our fundamental humanity of running around playing games with each other, exploring worlds, and manifesting our creative potential.

Theme music: “Fatality” by Tigoolio

Jesse Joudrey of Jespionage Entertainment talks about the weekly VR Chat gatherings that have been happening, and how meeting people in virtual spaces compares to meeting them in real life. He talks about the what type of body language cues translate, and how they’ll be expanding that with hand gestures.

Jesse JoudreyJesse also talks about the process of stress testing gatherings in VR Chat, and the current bottleneck is when too many people speak at the same time. They’re currently limited by what the uSpeak Unity plug-in provides, but they can also host additional servers to help out with the load. He also talks about how the VR Chat SDK provides the ability to customize your own avatar look with animations as well as customized spaces. Gunter has also gathered an archive of past VR Chat meet ups.

Finally, he talks about his VR Game jam game of Snow Drift, which is an extreme sports game. He was surprised that it made a lot of people motion sick because he doesn’t suffer from any symptoms of simulator sickness, which he talks about as well.

Reddit discussion here.


  • 0:00 – Intro to VR Chat
  • 0:30 – The VR Chat experience. Almost like being in reality in that you’re meeting other real people from around the world.
  • 1:13 – Body language that translates. Where people are looking. Hand tracking is coming. Fidgety people also move around a lot in VR
  • 2:00 – VR Chat stress tests. How to measure bottlenecks. Simultaneous in-voice communication
  • 3:12 – Different challenges with audio. They use the uSpeak Unity plug-in. Can add servers to help with the load. Lots of data is being pushed when people speak simultaneously
  • 4:15 – VR Chat SDK – Import avatar into the chat. Create own animations, and their own meet-up spaces. Build environments to express themselves.
  • 5:30 – Can people host chats on their own server? Chats pare
  • 5:56 – What it’s like meeting people face-to-face after communicating with them in VR Chat.
  • 6:38 – What’s next in VR Chat? More personalization.
  • 7:16 – Snow Drift, extreme sports VR Jam game.
  • 7:53 – Doesn’t get motion sickness.
  • 8:39 – Get more info at Snow Drift and VR Chat and Jespionage Entertainment

Theme music: “Fatality” by Tigoolio

I’m joined by the Kite and Lightning team including co-founders Cory Strassburger & Ikrima Elhassan as well as developer/VFX artist John Dewar.

kite-and-lightning-allThey talk about the creative process behind converting the mini-opera song of Senza Peso into a 2D motion graphics film and then into an immersive virtual reality experience, which created some impressive buzz within the VR community.

They also discuss a number of the reasons why they went with using Unreal Engine 4 over Unity 3D, and how it enables them to more rapidly prototype on the look and feel of their VR experiences. They also have more control by being able to change the source code. They also talked about the decision to record stereoscopic video of the characters rather than using motion captured avatars.

Cory also talks about his background in the sci-fi film Minority Report, and his interest in helping develop 3D user interfaces in VR as demonstrated in The Cave & The K&L Station experience..

Finally, everyone talks talks about some of the major take-aways and lessons learned from working on all of their VR experiences over the past year, where they see VR going as well as how many exciting, open questions there are right now.

To keep up with all of the latest developments with Kite and Lightning, then be sure to sign up on their newsletter listed at the bottom of their website here.

Reddit discussion here.


  • 0:00 – Intros
  • 0:51 – Backstory behind Senza Peso. Getting a DK1 changed everything. Switching to Unreal Engine
  • 2:56 – Comparing Unreal Engine to Unity, and what UE4 provides
  • 5:25 – Translating the story to a 2D motion graphics film, and then translating it into a cinematic VR experience
  • 9:35 – How they did the character capture with stereoscopic video
  • 11:06 – Programming challenges for creating this cinematic VR experience
  • 12:47 – Visual design considerations & working with the Unreal Engine 4 in contrast to what the workflow would’ve been with Unity.
  • 15:29 – Ikrima’s take-aways from working on this project, and Kite and Lightning’s
  • 17:14 – 3D user interface prototypes in the Cave & insights from working on sci-fi films like Minority Report
  • 21:51 – Other 3DUI interface insights from the VR community including Oliver Kreylos’ Virtual Reality User Interface (Vrui)
  • 25:56 – Tradeoffs between file sizes in using different motion capture techniques
  • 31:38 – Experimenting with experiences that are either on-rails, some triggers, completely open world
  • 35:17 – What type of innovations they’re working on in terms of motion capture and graphics. Optimizing their production pipeline processes.
  • 37:14 – Lessons learned for what works and doesn’t work within VR
  • 44:51 – The ultimate potential for what VR can provide
  • 52:35 – What’s next for Kite and Lightning

Theme music: “Fatality” by Tigoolio

Other related and recommended interviews: