VR@NY V.2

One of the last few posts on this blog appeared way back in the cold, dark days of February, and it was about an enlightening visit to New York (VR@NY V.1). That visit turned out to be a turning point for understanding where cutting-edge VR technology was going. Another visit to NY was overdue, so when NYVR’s August Meetup featured a great lineup plus a visit to The Void, it was impossible to resist. Here’s a blow by blow.

Thursday, August 17, 6:00 – 9:00 PM
New York VR’s August Meetup
Microsoft Flagship Store
42nd St. @ 8th Avenue (11 Times Square)

NYVR

As usual, the NYVR schedule was jam packed full of interesting people showing off some awesome new ultra-cool technology. There was way too much to cover in detail, but here are just three of the better highlights.

  • Lewis Smithingham of 30 Ninjas shared some backstory and technical know-how from their work on the CONAN360° LIVE Pre-Show. It was fun to see how something like that was actually pulled-off successfully.
  • Ken Perlin of NYU’s Future Reality Lab gave a shout-out to Microsoft’s far-out prototype Holographic Display Glasses that he had seen at SIGGRAPH, and then he shared some implications of their likely commercial availability in about five years. Here’s a video and paper about the technology behind them.


    Holographic Near-Eye Displays for Virtual and Augmented Reality (SIGGRAPH 2017)
  • Robin Alter from Ultrahaptics gave an explained the demo he was showing that can give the feeling of touch using ultrasound waves sent to bare skin so that users can feel shapes, textures and other sensations sans gloves and controllers. Here’s a picture of the actual demo and a promotional video that he showed about Ultrahaptics collaboration with Dell, Nike and Meta.
    Ultrahaptics1

Thursday, August 17, 9:30 – 11:30 PM
NYVR’s After-Party@Madame Tussaud’s “The Void”
Madame Tussaud’s
234 W 42nd St, New York, NY (Times Square)

Let’s be honest. As great as all that was, the real draw for the evening was the chance to see The Void, and it turned out to be every bit as engaging as it was billed to be. That’s not to say there weren’t glitches — there were, but is was worth it to get to the end and take down that humongous Marshmallow Man. While I didn’t personally smell the burnt marshmallow, others said they did. I’ll have to trust them on that 🙂

Now, what does this have to do with Digital-Den and our future directions? Quite a bit, actually. Stay tuned for a post about that in the near future…

AR@MIT

AR in Action was at MIT this week, and it was fantastic! John Werner served as host to a vast who’s who of tech, and the the presentations ranged from informative and entertaining to mind blowing. There were too many highlights to cover here, but a few of my favorite were Alan Kay’s explication of some issue’s with current technology, Steve Mann’s stunning taped performance, Ken Perlin’s presentation of his vision for interaction in the future, and of course, Digital Den’s friend Rus Gant’s perspective on uses of AR in museums. This is just a sample of the multitude of great talks.

There were also many interesting demos set up, and the one from Samsung Research about WebVR and Sketchfab was one the most likely to have a serious impact on directions in R & D at Digital Den.

Finally, John Werner’s presentation of Barmak Heshmat’s slides Engineering concept designs for VR’s next 15 years 2015-2030 was particularly fascinating.

John Werner also posted this fantastic video capturing the event.

arinaction highlights v1.1 from john werner on Vimeo.

Here are still more videos and highlights…

AR in Action Jan 17 & 18, 2017, pictures by Dave Rezendes from john werner on Vimeo.

Overall, it was an unusually worthwhile event, and the best part is that it was all filmed “TED Talk Style,” so the videos will be available soon. Watch for them!

Hub Weeked!

Last week was HubWeek in Boston, and it turned great (despite some lousy weather)! Here are just some of the most relevant highlights…

hubweek

The festivities kicked off for Digital-Den on Sunday September 25 at the Harvard Art Museum with the insightful panel discussion Museum as Teaching Lab: Experiments in Inclusive Design.

hamham-intro

Then after a quiet Monday, things got into full swing on Tuesday morning with a visit to MIT to see the Mass Historical Society sponsored event History and Future of Mass Innovation. The title of this one promised to hit upon some key themes behind Digital-Den’s work, and the panel’s number of interesting and sometimes unexpected insights. The event was videotaped, so hopefully that will be posted sometime soon.

mit-mhs

Then on Wednesday Digital-Den spent the afternoon at Harvard’s Innovation Lab (iLab) sharing our AR & VR demos with the large, high-energy crowd attending their HubWeek event A Cross-disciplinary Exploration of the Emerging Worlds of Virtual and Augmented Reality. We were just one of over 30 ventures that shared the exhibition floor, and this was by far the biggest and most inclusive event representing Boston’s AR/VR eco-system to date. It was impressive and a ton of fun to see everyone in one place at the same time.

hilab2

Those were just some of the biggest highlights of a fantastic week. Then finally, the week ended for us on Saturday with us taking our demos to Gilded Fest which was billed as a “Festival of Music, Technology, and Innovation,” and it was held at Lawn on D beside the Boston Convention Center. While this event was not technically billed as a HubWeek event, and the weather wasn’t particularly cooperative, that didn’t stop us from sharing our demos nor getting a sneak peak of Harmonix’s Music VR for PlayStationVR that isn’t going to be officially released until October 13th.

playstation-2

Yep, that was certainly a high note to end on! 🙂

Busy week!

Next week is HUBweek in Boston, and it is going to be an exciting and busy time!.

You will be able to find Digital-Den doing demos here…
A Cross-disciplinary Exploration of Emerging Worlds of VR & AR
Hosted by Harvard Innovation Lab (i-Lab) as part of the HUBWeek Festival
Wednesday, September 28th. 1:00 – 5:00 pm

We will also be doing some demos here too…
Gilded Fest: Festival of Music, Technology, and Innovation
Held at the Lawn on D
Saturday, October 1st, 10 am – 10:00 pm

Stop by and check out our latest fun toys and content!

Demos & Drinks

Digital-Den had the pleasure of participating in a particularly cool event last Thursday evening when we joined a number of other companies at Tech-in-Motion’s Immersive Tech: Demos and Drinks hosted by Fragomen in downtown Boston. The event featured a particularly nice range of home-grown immersive technology beyond our own low to mid-range VR demos.

Some highlights included Sam Fisher of Audio Fusion showing his Virtual Analog Studio on a Vive, Mike Quan and Robert “Bob” Hughes of Boston360video explaining their 360 degree cameras while Seth Mantye and Calvin J. Moisan of Eagre Games (founded by Myst co-creator Chuck Carter) gave a preview of ZED, an adventure puzzle game set inside the dreams of a dying man. Of course, one of the most popular demos turned out to be Robert Moore of VR Motion Labs giving attendees the chance to try out their 2DOF motion control platform running a sophisticated race simulation. Fun time!

Find out more about the event on Tech-in-Motion’s Facebook and Meetup pages…

Immersive Tech: Demos and Drinks

Thursday, Jul 28, 2016, 6:00 PM

Fragomen
100 High Street Boston, MA

458 Technologists Went

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are poised for rapid growth and Tech in Motion Boston is excited to showcase companies that are revolutionizing this sector of the tech industry! Join us Thursday, July 28th at Fragomen’s Headquarters for our classic Demos & Drinks event – Immersive Tech edition! There is no formal agenda for this eve…

Check out this Meetup →

VR Blitz

We are now into what is being dubbed “The Summer of VR,” and it is off to a busy start.

It kicked-off with that visit to the Technology Show & Tell of the North Shore T.E.C.H. Meetup back on May 25th.

NorthShoreTECH

Then on June 8th there was a day trip to New York to attend the NYC VR University Unity Developer Group Meetup’s VRmicro Summit at the NYU Game Center.

It was was pouring down rain most of the day, but that didn’t prevent a quick jaunt up to catch a Hololens demo at Microsoft’s Flagship store.

That visit didn’t actually turn out “quite” as expected, but it did lead to what might be another excellent adventure in the not-too-distant future.

The VRmicroSummit itself turned out to an informative event.

VRmicroSummit

Wednesday, Jun 8, 2016, 6:15 PM

Location details are available to members only.

70 Badasses Went

VRmicroSummit – June 8th – NYU Game CenterNo need for plane tickets, hotels, or even the sacrifice of a weekend. Get yourself caught up in the latest VR/AR production techniques with these exciting educational workshops for all ages led by nyc’s top Certified Unity® Developers.VR, AR, 360, Fame, Fortune, Knowledge, Community, Cookies, and Unity®…

Check out this Meetup →

 
Lex Dreitser and his crew gave a series of very enthusiastic presentations.

Of course, being the computer history buff that I am, it didn’t hurt that the event was hosted at NYU Game Center’s library full of vintage computer games.

Once all the rain cleared out, the view’s weren’t bad either.

TheEnd3

The next stop on the VR blitz was exhibiting at an Edtech Product Showcase at the Deshpande Symposium for Higher Ed that was hosted at the Innovation Hub of the University of Massachusetts – Lowell on June 13th. It was a fun time where we got to introduce the power and importance of VR to a wide range of Higher-Ed. decision makers and thought leaders from around the country.

IMG_20160613_175840.vr

360-degree picture taken by Neil Carlson using Cardboard

Finally, last but not least, there was a stop to catch the “Google I/O Recap – Lightning Talks” sponsored by Google Developer’s Group Boston Meetup and hosted at Kayak that is located right down the street at Cambridge’s own Galleria Mall.

GoogleIO

Google I/O Recap – Lightning Talks!

Tuesday, Jun 14, 2016, 6:30 PM

Kayak
10 canal park Cambridge, MA

173 Members Went

Hi folks!I’m delighted to announce that we have 9 great talks about what our developer community is most passionate about planned for Tuesday 6/14. Our roster includes three developer authors.Here’s a short summary of what is in store:Adam Stroud: He will give a talk about Espresso testing. He was the Android lead at RunKeeper and authored the b…

Check out this Meetup →

 
The highlight of the evening was Jonathan Linowes’ talk about Google VR Strategy.

The good news is that he even, very kindly, posted his slides.

Whew! Busy, busy! But, it is the best kind of busy to be, and there’s a lot more coming up. Below are two public events where you can catch us in July, and stay tuned for more…

Monday, July 18th, 9-11 am Teacher and Edtech Product Summit Discovery Day
Building Learning Communities Education Conference 2016
Terrace Room, Park Plaza Hotel, 50 Park Plaza at Arlington Street, Boston

Thursday, July 28, 6-8 pm, Immersive Tech: Demos and Drinks
Tech in Motion Meetup, Fragomen, 100 High Street, Boston

Immersive Tech: Demos and Drinks

Thursday, Jul 28, 2016, 6:00 PM

Fragomen
100 High Street Boston, MA

45 Technologists Attending

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are poised for rapid growth and Tech in Motion Boston is excited to showcase companies that are revolutionizing this sector of the tech industry! Join us Thursday, July 28th at Fragomen’s Headquarters for our classic Demos & Drinks event – Immersive Tech edition! There is no formal agenda for this eve…

Check out this Meetup →