Debuting in 2015, The VR Village is a virtual screening room for cutting-edge Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and immersive media programming. Participants will experience content in a variety of ways, including stand-up/sit-down VR and tabletop AR, Nomadic VR (untethered Head Mounted Displays or AR), Fulldome Cinema, and live demos in a 360-degree Immersion Dome. The world’s best content is curated for a 5-day long opportunity that explores the power of these new formats through telling stories, engaging audiences, and in providing real–world applications for health, education, design, and gaming.
1. What type of content will be at SIGGRAPH 2015 for VR Village?
- A variety of sit-down, stand-up, roaming (VRoaming) virtual reality, and augmented realities that delegates can try out for themselves!
- A Fulldome displaying the world’s best curated content in the areas of scientific visualization, art, themed entertainment, and festival reels.
- VR Village will present “best-of-the-best” programming that demonstrates the power of the immersive media medium to tell stories, engage, and provide useful real–world applications.
- We are utilizing a number of curation partners such as VRLA, SVVR, RTP VR, IMERSA, and UploadVR to help select experiences from around the world.
2. Can you provide a hint for one “must-see” experience?
Before this year, it was extremely difficult to create virtual reality where multiple participants could physically walk around and interact in a space realistically, with very low latency over a wireless network. This has all changed this year and there are going to be a few really interesting experiences where SIGGRAPH delegates will have an opportunity to walk around untethered in a variety of environments (and as a variety of creatures!). This is something very few people have had the opportunity to try, and this will be an excellent place to find out what the world’s leading researchers and content creators are making, such as The Applied Hyperreality group at New York University’s “Prototyping the Future.”
3. How does this medium lend itself to storytelling?
VR and immersive media formats can create a powerful “sense of presence” in another environment, allowing us to actually experience the world through another set of eyes. Well-crafted stories can use this effect for an increase in user engagement, and for fostering a deeper sense of empathy. During the past 18 months, we are seeing truly cinematic VR movies like Kite & Lightning’s Senza Peso, where you can be an active participant in the story. The quality of these films is increasing with every production, and there are some incredibly compelling themes in art, medical, entertainment, advocacy, and education in both Fulldome and VR head-mounted display formats.
4. What are the hot new types of applications for immersive technology?
A deeper sense of empathy is powerful for journalism where the user is transported to a simulated crime scene, or a 360-degree live-action war zone. Nonny de la Peña’s work opened our eyes to the possibilities for VR in immersive journalism. With traditional media it can be very difficult to provide a call to action where observers feel compelled to become involved in a cause, and this is changing very quickly with the advent of immersive journalism. Similarly, medical VR and AR has been around for several years and with hardware/software improvements we are seeing real-world applications in operating rooms, training facilities for nurses, rehabilitation, post-traumatic stress disorder prevention, and more.
5. How does VR Village play into the Xroads of Discovery theme?
Although most people are familiar with VR through gaming, Fulldome material for planetariums, and AR through Microsoft HoloLens and Google Glass, they may be surprised to hear that immersive media constantly intersect between entertainment, medical, education, simulation, and journalism! So much so that it is becoming more difficult to differentiate between them all. The immersive mediums and technologies are for everyone, with the cost of using and making VR/AR/dome/360-degree content dropping down to very accessible prices. We are seeing completely different generations working together, with immersive imaging pioneers working closely with young students to create experiences we never thought possible. For a participant, experiencing one type of immersive content leads to a curiosity to discover a completely different type of immersive content, and there will be no shortage of variety or quality at SIGGRAPH 2015’s VR Village.
Secure your spot within SIGGRAPH 2015’s VR Village and Fulldome experience. Visit the conference website to register now.