Monthly Archives: August 2016

Final Project: Movie Trailer

The trailer for "Virtual Reality," which will be a documentary on the every evolving technology and its applications on society. 

Audio Interview – Det Ansinn, CEO of Brick Simple

This is my interview with Det Ansinn, the CEO of Brick Simple, or BrickVR. Really cool guy; he answered a lot of my questions that I was going to ask with just one answer, most of the time. Thankfully, the main three questions I wanted to ask I was able to. He was very cooperative and helpful. I am glad I had this opportunity. 

 

 

Instead of asking about what Brick Simple did, and why they did it, I mainly wanted to know what he himself knew and thought about VR; mainly, its technology and what this could mean not just for gaming, but as a step forward in general. 

Voiceover Script

My project is about Virtual Reality. I plan on talking about, briefly, a history of VR and it’s future applications moving forward. The Core Concept of this topic is on the technology behind VR. This will involve learning about how VR is made, and how different companies utilize advances in technology to create all of these different uses I describe on my site. 

I will be visiting BrickVR this Saturday to get a tour and audio interview. During this time, I hope to learn about all the VR consoles on the market, and what it takes to develop a game in virtual reality. 

The technology behind VR is the main focus of my project. Learning about the technology, I will be learning about not just what it takes to make a game, but what it takes to apply this technology into other uses, such as architecture and medicine.

Storyboard

My Storyboard. What I want to convey with this is that I am talking about Virtual Reality, its history, technology, and usage now and in the future. 

I see VR as an innovation in the field of gaming; however, after my research, I learned that this technology can provide people with a lot more than just fun. It can shape the way society operates, on several levels. Of course, the pitch won't get into those details too much, in order to save that information for the short film, but it is mentioned as an intergral part of the project. 

scan1209

(I apologize for my handwriting) 

Interview Questions

These interview questions are currently a work in progress. I am thinking about what would be best to ask the representative of BrickVR, and in what order to ask it in. With these questions, I hope to learn about what BrickVR's goal is, how they utilize their own resources to create for all VR consoles on the market, the differences between each VR console, and what it takes to use the technology behind VR to make something in VR. I would also like to get a professional's opinion on not just how this technology works, but how it can be utilized in something other than gaming. For clarification, I will also be asking for the difference between VR and AR (Augmented Reality). 

The representative of BrickVR may be Ibrahim Kabil, or the CEO of BrickVR, Det Ansinn. I will be hearing back from them, soon. I may even get to speak to both of them, actually! 

(Although these are numbered, they are in no true order. I numbered them as sort of a guideline, to help keep them a little bit organized. These may or may not be the order of questions, if all of these questions even make it through) 

1) -What is BrickVR's goal? 

-What do you guys do here at BrickVR, exactly? 

-Tell us about yourself, about BrickVR

2) Why get into the field of VR?

-How would you describe VR, technologically? 

3) How does VR work exactly? What makes it tick? 

-How does one make a VR game? 

-What is the difference between VR and AR (Augmented Reality)? Does BrickVR have any plans to create AR games or apps? 

4) How does the technology differ for each VR console? 

-What are the different strengths and weaknesses between the VR consoles, if any? Are there any that make better VR experiences than others?

5) How would you say this technology is best used, aside from making games?

Music

To fit the theme of technology and even VR, I have considered using techno ambience; nearly rave dance music, honestly. To me, it feels futuristic and fun, two points I'd like to touch on in this project. Perhaps "club" music would be a little more appropriate… Regardless, this type of music is what I'm looking for. I found a couple of good examples on YouTube. 

This first video has a little bit more of that "club/dance part" thing about it, that I partially enjoy. Other than that, it's just an upbeat, futuristic-sounding bit of music to me, and I enjoy it. 

This next video is the one I enjoy the most, actually. It's calm, yet still exciting. It sounds futuristic, smooth, electro. Aptly named "Space Lounge," this is without a doubt the type of music I had in mind. However, I would prefer if it didn't have the synth'd lyrics, but other than that, this is perfect. 

The Occulus Rift and Moving Forward

The Oculus Rift

The Oculus Rift

In 2012, the Oculus Rift began its campaign on Kickstarter, a website where companies can basically ask fans to donate money to help fund a project, getting a reward for helping back them up (such as an accessory that others would have to get separately, for example). The Oculus Rift was developed by a company named OculusVR. OculusVR started in June 2012, and on August 1st 2012, they launched their Kickstarted campaign, hoping to develop the Oculus Rift VR device with the tagline "Step into the Game." They developed this device, at least initially as a gaming device, but, since being purchased by Facebook in 2014, they became the leading innovation for digital entertainment evolution. If VR was being talked about, most likely, the Oculus Rift was apart of the discussion. 

Since then, the HTC Vive and PlayStation VR have surfaced, and have become leading brands of VR entertainment. They are pushing the boundaries of what to expect when using VR, whether it be playing video games or even creating simulations for educational or training purposes. Virtual Reality has come a long way since its inception, and it doesn't seem to have an end in sight. This could be the turn of the tide in technology, society, history, and entertainment. It's only a matter of time. 

VR History as a Gaming Device

1991 – Arcade Machines. More specifically, they were group arcade machines. A range of virtual arcade games and machines were released during this time, as household products were pretty far out of reach at the time. Players would get these VR goggles and big round chairs to sit in. Players were fully immersed in a stereoscopic 3D environment, with some game units even being connected with neighboring units, encouraging multiplayer. 

VR Arcade Game Unit

VR Arcade Game Unit

1993 – SEGA annoucnes VR Glasses… and never releases them. The device was an LCD headset goggle device that even had stereo sound. For whatever reason, however, SEGA never released the product; it never left prototype stage so they dropped it altogether. The implication that technology had advanced far enough to even consider and partially develop a household VR gaming accessory for a home console is astounding, especially by 1993's standards. Technology was evolving, and it was doing so quickly. Though this was a huge flop for SEGA, it was a big step forward for VR. 

SEGA's VR head monitor. Looks pretty sleek for a 1993 product

SEGA's VR head monitor. Looks pretty sleek for a 1993 product

1995 – Nintendo's Virtual Boy. Again, this was a huge flop. The Virtual Boy did not sell well, for a great number of reasons. It was hyped up to be the first portable gaming device that rendered fully 3D games; so you can travel and VR anytime you want. However, there were a few problems. Given how big the headset was, it wasn't too practical to carry around. It was also uncomfortable; not just for the head, but for the eyes. The device only had two colors: red and black. A very scary and annoying thing to look at while playing games, especially if they're flashing or exploding and whatnot. Because of this commercial failure, games were not made for it, so it even had a low number of software to be used. The following year, production was stopped, and Nintendo moved on.

Virtual Boy's headset. I'm personally not even really sure how to put this on correctly

Virtual Boy's headset. I'm personally not even really sure how to put this on correctly

The controller for the Virtual Boy

The controller for the Virtual Boy

And thus, the reign of Virutal Reality ended, for a long time. The technology just wasn't cooperating. Companies were not able to create what they had envisioned… not yet. So, for a time, virtual reality became (unofficially) immersing oneself into a world. It wasn't until 2012, when a company called Occulus VR started a "Kickstarter" campaign to get their technology up and running. For the first time in a long time, a legitimate VR device was being developed for home usage. And this time, it works. 

VR – 1987

This was the year when "Virtual Reality" was officially named. Before this time, the term "Virtual Reality" did not really exist. There was no term for the field of research. Jaron Lainer, founder of the VPL (visual programming lab) had sort of officially coined the term himself. It was from this point that the field had a name, and he himself, with his company VPL, was actually the first company to sell VR gear; a HMD, a device called the "Dataglove," among others. 

Dataglove. A device used in conjunction with VR devices (at least in the past; nowadays, there are hand-wands with buttons) that allowed the user to manipulate things within the virtual environment

Dataglove. A device used in conjunction with VR devices (at least in the past; nowadays, there are hand-wands with buttons) that allowed the user to manipulate things within the virtual environment

VR History – Ivan Sutherland and the Sword of Damocles

Ivan Sutherland was a computer scientist and internet enthusiast, to say the least. He is renowned as the "father of computer graphics," his works and teachings as a professor at the University of Utah, was pioneering the field. 

In 1968, Sutherland developed the "Sword of Damocles," with the help of his student Bob Sproull. The Sword of Damocles was the world's first VR head mounted display that was connected to a computer. Before the SoD, HMDs were connected to cameras. Ivan called it the "Sword of Damocles" because the contraption was huge, and kind of scary, being suspended in the air by ceiling arm-things. The device was extremely uncomfortable to wear and was very impractical. But, it got its job done. Albeit, they were very primitive, being wireframe rooms and objects, but at the time, it was revolutionary.

The Sword of Damocles VR device. Very uncomfortable, and very impractical in terms of size and use. However, I do not believe this was being developed with the intention of commercializing it, merely to experiment.

The Sword of Damocles VR device. Very uncomfortable, and very impractical in terms of size and use. However, I do not believe this was being developed with the intention of commercializing it, merely to experiment.