Recap of virtual reality panels at San Diego Comic-Con 2017

Even though I’m not connected to the world of high tech consumer electronics I enjoy following news of them. I follow tech news sites with my RSS feed, I listen to tech podcasts, and I follow a bunch of tech journalists on Google+. I’m equally not connected to the world of virtual reality, but I’m an even larger consumer of its news and podcasts. Between getting into tech and getting into VR I got excited about 360° photography. I spent time chasing a basic knowledge of its dos and don’ts, with the lessons learned being completely applicable to virtual reality. This stew of a hobby steers me into events and talks about how virtual reality and immersive settings gets made. It gives me appreciation for the work that goes into the things I enjoy, plus I also like knowing a few things about a few things. When I was at San Diego Comic-Con in July I attended as many panels about virtual reality as I could and I learned a few more things. Continue reading “Recap of virtual reality panels at San Diego Comic-Con 2017”

Bring something to read if you’re lining up for VR at SDCC

Last weekend was San Diego Comic-Con. Like every year, the reviews are that it was a total blast and can’t wait to do it again. Also, the lines and line management were out of control. This year there’s a special addendum to those complaints: virtual reality lines take too long. I wasn’t an attendee before Hollywood took over the convention, but I was there to witness the before and after of the virtual reality invasion. I can honestly say that I can’t tell the difference; the lines for everything are lengthy. Further, virtual reality lines take a long time everywhere. I’ve tried VR arcades, VR expos, and VR in my living room and they all take awhile. The real question is were the waits in VR lines at San Diego Comic-Con worth it? It depends upon the attraction. Continue reading “Bring something to read if you’re lining up for VR at SDCC”

Wherein I gush about Farpoint

I was hesitant to buy Farpoint on its release last week. More precisely, I was hesitant to buy Farpoint and the Aim controller on their release last week. I’m okay to spend $50 on a game and I’m okay to spend $30 on a new controller, but when they come bundled together I feel like I’m spending $80 on a game. If the game sucked and I spent $80 on it then I’m going to have a hard time with that situation. Fortunately, upon buying the bundle, what I got was the exact opposite of suck; Farpoint is the best virtual reality experience I’ve had to date. Continue reading “Wherein I gush about Farpoint”

VRLA Summer Expo 2017 recap

Los Angeles has quickly become a hot scene for virtual reality. We have a new IMAX virtual reality theater, the Upload LA virtual reality training and networking space, and the VRLA Expo. The Expo took place this past weekend and I was fortunate enough to attend on Saturday, making it my second time at the event. By comparing the 2016 gathering to the 2017 gathering it’s clear that the Los Angeles VR scene is getting hotter still. According to co-founder of VRLA, Cosmo Sharf, there were “over 170 exhibitors this year, filling out the single largest hall of the L.A. Convention Center.” For reference, the first meeting in 2014 had 150 overall attendees. Continue reading “VRLA Summer Expo 2017 recap”

My visit to IMAX VR Experience Centre

A couple of weeks ago the first virtual reality arcade in Los Angeles opened: the IMAX VR Experience Centre. I had planned to wait a month or so before visiting but enthusiasm got the better of me and I impulse bought tickets for Monday, February 20, 2017. Even though I’m pretty well experienced with virtual reality I hadn’t yet tried an arcade. Plus IMAX VR was offering things that I don’t have access to at home. I went in jittery with excited fanboy adrenaline. Continue reading “My visit to IMAX VR Experience Centre”

Dodocase SMARTvr review

For a couple of years now I’ve been finding 360 videos on YouTube, adding them to a watch list, and neglecting to watch them. I keep telling myself that I’ll get to them during my lunch hours, while I eat in my truck. I never do. The primary reason is because I never bring along a headset. Both my Viewmaster and Gear VR are too cumbersome for the task and I really should just get something that can live in the truck. It’s with that in mind that I backed the Indiegogo campaign for Dodocase’s SMARTvr pocket-sized viewer back in March 2016. It arrived over the weekend. Now that I’ve used it for a few days here’s what I think about it. Continue reading “Dodocase SMARTvr review”

My favorite apps after one year with Gear VR

One of the reasons why I first bought a Samsung smartphone was because there were accessories for it. For years I was jealous of all the fabulous add-ons that iPhone users could buy. As soon as Samsung’s Galaxy line was a break out hit I got in on it. I bought all of the add-ons. Continue reading “My favorite apps after one year with Gear VR”

VRLA Summer Expo 2016 recap

Virtual reality is in its “Wild West” days. I’ve heard that phrase oft repeated but as a consumer of VR my exposure to the Wild West is limited to trying to make the right choice when I buy something. On August 6, 2016 I visited the VRLA Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center and there I got to understand the saying a little better. Continue reading “VRLA Summer Expo 2016 recap”

Review of The New Revolution VR coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain

When I was a kid visiting Magic Mountain in the 1970s the Great American Revolution roller coaster was a big deal. I remember waiting in line for it for hours. I remember almost chickening out except my friend dared me to ride it. I also remember doing the same thing to him. Two decades later, when that same friend and I were back in the park, the Revolution was only worth riding if there was no line. It was eclipsed by bigger, newer attractions. Two decades after that, nearly forty years after the Revolution was built, Six Flags had a tired coaster on its hands, one that is a centerpiece of the park and one that packed diminished thrills. Their solution was to fit the coaster with virtual reality goggles and allow riders the option of riding with or without wearing them.

Continue reading “Review of The New Revolution VR coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain”