TiltBrush by Google allows you to paint in 3D using VR. Watch the video to see all it's glory.
I'm a little bit speechless by the cool level of this gadget. Though I'm sure adults will love it, I think this is great for kids for many reasons but the main thing is it will encourage them to MAKE things. We don't have enough people making things anymore.
Whether it be making buildings, or this lovely volcano in the video, it will get kids more excited about careers in architecture, infrastructure, science, and other spaces that are traditionally perceived as not that exciting or have no creative components to them. This is a great creative outlet for anyone, and will incite much needed curiosity that leads to people investing time in something and then (gasp) becoming good/great at it and then (gasp) they've found their passion.
I guess in the future we will all have empty rooms in our homes. Living room, kitchen, garage, bathroom, bedroom, VR room. It will be a luxury like a home theater, and if you don't have one, you'll have to go to the mall equivalent.
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Solitary confinement and blindness are obviously terrible things but then why was my gut reaction, "wow, I'd like to know what that's like?" when presented the option? Same can be said of horror movies, war video games, or other stressful situations we put ourselves through. Why do we bother?
Entirely different discussion, but the point is, now we can experience these situations in a more realistic way than ever. People will pay for that. People paid to watch Scream 1, 2 AND 3 to feel aggravated and stressed for a few hours.
Some very cool examples of this media that doesn't exist for pure entertainment purpose are:
1. 6x9 An Immersive Experience in Solitary Confinement as shown at the Tribeca Film Festival. You can experience what nearly 80,000 incarcerated people in the United States experience- a completely controlled environment with no human contact and no light of day.
2. In Notes on Blindness, you can follow writer and academic John Hull's journey into blindness. The work is based on years of his auto cassette recordings of the deterioration of his mind into darkness.
Even though this is on the darker side, immersive reality also has it's place in more lighthearted experiences for people, like second life-- the Kardashians should be on this if they aren't already!
What are your thoughts? Who do you want to be for a few minutes? Or hours, or days? Or just get straight to the point, who's life do you want?
I remember it being 1996, flipping to the back of Girl's Life Magazine, to a directory of websites I could visit; it was a short list. After I had exhausted Yahoo Kids and this, I really wasn't sure where else to go. There was still a lot unsafe things for kids at the time and so my access was quite limited.
Naturally, when a technology is new, content is a bit sparse. It was probably the same with books when the printing press was developed, and the same with TV when that got started. If you don't think so, look, this TechCrunch article said so, and they, at this moment are more credible than me.
This has been the most difficult post to write so far, because it required hours of scouring the internet, 403's, bad writing, outdated information, missing information, information written for experts and so on. Oh, and also, to be a real boss at coding for VR/AR requires an understanding of the underlying elements like geometry and objects and even more dense information like this. It's enough to deter the average person, but let's chug on.
Questions to ask before getting into it, or questions in general...
What kind of AR/VR do you want to make? Mobile or PC/System based?
Mobile: Unity (see below)
PC/System: Unity or Unreal
If you're wondering, what's an SDK? Software development kit; set of tools that allow you to build whatever it is you're trying to build. Here's a chart to compare the different ones.
Unreal Engine: C++
For Experienced Programmers:
ARToolKit (recommended open source)
Core Languages to Know:
Good answer to this question on Reddit
YouTube Tutorials on Basics of Making Games:
The Making of Google Cardboard Games Ep. 1 - Unity SDK Intro
Setting Up Google Cardboard Unity SDK and Unity Navigation Plug-in
Create a Virtual Reality Game in Seven Minutes (Google Cardboard)
Tutorial: How to Build a Mobile VR Game with Unity (Google Cardboard)
Official Resources from the Makers Themselves:
Today I suffered my (hopefully last, probably not), VR related injury. It happened at a retail store on 60th and Madison Ave, New York, which upon Googling, appears to be Tods, though in Youvisit is a high end retailer.
I may form a bruise on my arm because I bumped into a wall attempting to get closer to some watches. It was frustrating; I would physically move forward and nothing would happen, I instinctively would reach out and touch, with no gratification. Most importantly, I wanted to do these things because I wanted to buy.
I was skeptical of the application of VR for retail, thinking it should be used for more productive purposes, but after seeing the vivid scenes of the store, take that thought back completely. Though the experience was missing things- ability to touch, sounds of the store, a friendly person to assist you, and even that department store smell (maybe in the future there will be scent cartridges, like ink, that you can insert into the viewer!), I can see how this can be so powerful and possibly addicting. I'm not much for gaming, but for a woman, sure, I'll fall into the stereotype, I do like to shop and could get addicted to this!
My favorite department store is Nordstroms; I live in the Philippines right now. I miss it there. I used to frequent their stores in Downtown Seattle, Bellevue, and Union Square. What if I could just go there right now? Buy all these things? YES PLEASE! Not sure how they'll get their branded bottled water to me though. Maybe with the help of a 3D printer that's in my fridge, haha.
But I digress, let's review the app:
The navigation is like a spaceship dashboard. Looks pretty cool. You do all the choosing inside the headset already instead of before, like with Vrse.
There are so many different categories to choose from: Real Estate, Travel, Restaurant, Most Popular, Live Events, College, Hotel, Business, Venue, Other (porn? haha just kidding; wonder how they'll age verify that- hey your eyes are the size of a 12 year old, access denied!)
The first one I chose was travel. I went to the Lourve in Paris, which I'd like to say I picked because I've been there, which is true, but in reality I picked it because the cursor was moving too quickly and accidentally ended up there.
The first thing that came out of my mouth was *oly *uck. Really, looking around everything was just like it. Even the prototypical tourists. The sounds were there! But then the app kind of hung. I was having a hard time getting out, but eventually was able to.
I like this app a lot but I think it might be better if it were more focused; same can be said of Vrse. I don't see myself having a burning desire to open the app the way I felt about 2048 or Facebook. Is that what we should aim for with VR? Remains to be seen.
VR & AR are for everyone.