VRLA Summer Expo 2018 recap

Once I was in an audience where one of the panelists asked the crowd how often we’re in virtual reality. By a show of hands some had never tried it, others had only sampled it, while some were monthly or weekly users. The panelist was a daily user of VR and the point he was making was that it had become somewhat unremarkable to him, it being a normal part of his job, and giving him a different perspective compared to the audience. It took effort on his part to understand that to the majority of users the tech was still new, exciting, and magical. I don’t mean to sound like a tool when I say this, but that’s sort of how I felt about VRLA 2018. Continue reading “VRLA Summer Expo 2018 recap”

The VOID has solid competition

When I was first getting excited about virtual reality a couple of years ago there was one experience above all else that I wanted to try: The VOID. At that time they hadn’t yet built their home base in Utah and they hadn’t opened installations in other cities. You basically needed to know a guy or you needed to visit one of their installations on the rare occasion one was open. For those that aren’t aware of The VOID they offer a premium mixed reality experience. You wear trackers, a backpack, goggles, and carry a prop as you navigate their VR space. It requires physically walking around and interacting with items while your eyes are covered over with virtual reality goggles. What you get is tactile and environmental effects that match what you see, although what you see is virtual. My desire to try their set-up was so strong that I had planned a road trip to Linden to visit their facility, but before I would go they opened a location near-ish to me. I jumped at the chance. Shortly after I tried The VOID I had the opportunity to try other, similar experiences and I see now that while I put The VOID on a high pedestal there are others that deserve the same high regard. Continue reading “The VOID has solid competition”

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”