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…

Hellooo….?

In case you’re wondering, yes, we’re still here. It has just appeared to be quiet, “too quiet,” because an avalanche of new hardware and software has been rolling in over the last few months (HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Playstation VR etc, etc, etc.). That means that, appropriately enough, the holiday season has been taken up with some serious playtime, and no one’s complaining about it, mind you 😉 Stay tuned for news about our new toys, chances to play with them at public events, and best of all, new in-house demos exploring our new capabilities. Whew, whew!
In the meantime, Happy New Year!

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 →

Perfect event!

Over the last few years Digital Den has participated in many technology oriented “Meetups”, and most of them have involved giving demos with a variety of levels of formality and “billing.” Alas, participating in them has fallen off because real ROI was just not there “most” of the time. That is why it was such a pleasure to attend the Boston Unity Group (B.U.G.) Meetup held at Akamai Thursday evening (May 5th). It turned out to be an exceptional event that struck the perfect balance of opportunities for socializing, demos and feedback. It was the best Meetup that I’ve been to recently (yes, including my own I must admit with chagrin)! It was a wonderful experience and a valuable model of how to run a fun, worthwhile event. Thanks to Elliott Mitchell for organizing it. Bravo, well done!

Demo Night!

Thursday, May 5, 2016, 6:30 PM

Akamai
150 Broadway Cambridge, MA

73 Members Went

May Demo Night!Hi BUG,  This month we’ll be hosting a demo night!  Got a game you want to put in front of people?  Want feedback on a tough problem you’ve been working on?  Want to see what other local developers are cooking up?  Still wiped out from PAX and just want to hang out and eat pizza?  Stop on by at Akamai!We’ve also solidified our sch…

Check out this Meetup →

Workshops!

Digital Den developed and maintains Cosma 3D, an extensive catalog of the best 3D and VR content available, and we also have a collection of the latest VR headsets to view it. Now we will bring that collection and our expertise to one of your events!

You’re going to be hearing a lot about 3D and VR over the next few months. We can help you learn what it is all about, navigate the sometimes confusing and competing options, and then get you set up to hit the ground running with all of the new 3D and VR content!   Here’s just a sample of what we can bring to you.

We can also tell you how to get set up so that you, or your students, can author your own 3D and VR media. Check out our own Cosma 3D Experience Gallery to get a better sense of all of the content, hardware and expertise that we can share with you.

Please contact us if you would like Digital Den to bring our demonstrations of our applications and exhibits to one of your upcoming events! info@digital-den.org

Cool Toys

Digital Den showed off their brand new Samsung GearVR along with the rest of their VR  collection to a group of Emerson students for a Meetup at Champions in Cambridge on Sunday, April 19th. Of course, the VR concerts and movie demos where big hits!

Forward!

Dear Digital Den/NEW Computer Museum Supporters,

Here is the latest news about “the journey”…

“The Party”
Digital Den hosted a party on October 20th, and it was a great success!

For those of you who could not be there…
Mark Micheli made a fantastic video that captured the spirit of the event: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PToiS-AAs9E
Rus Gant took some beautiful photos available on Digital Den’s site: https://digital-den.org/first-exhibit-photos/
Ken Gagne also posted an excellent review and photos on his Apple II Bits Blog: http://www.apl2bits.net/2013/10/28/digital-den-launch-party/

Thank you so much to everyone who came out to support the cause!

Special thanks to everyone who provided and supported the exhibits…
Dan Berman, Michael Thompson and Harlan Hersey ,
Rhode Island Computer Museum
Adam Rosen, Mac Museum
Bryan Harwell, Replay’D, Nintendo
Ian King, Living Computer Museum, Posters
Rus Gant, Oculus Rift
William Tremblay, Vintage VR System
William German, Core Memory
Neil Carlson, Digital Den, General, XBox and Games
Mark Micheli, Digital Den, Photography
Sminu Mary Paul, Digital Den, Welcome Table
Andrew Flanagan, Digital Den, Interfaces Exhibit

NEW Computer Museum
The big news that was announced at the event was that, in addition to
continuing to create fun exhibits and events, Digital Den will support an
initiative to found an organization named the NEW Computer Museum.

Here is a very proto-web site that will be used to support that initiative: http://www.newcomputermuseum.org

NEW Computer Museum Meetup, Group & Event
There is now a brand new “Meetup” group complete with an event scheduled.
Please join and RSVP ASAP: http://www.meetup.com/NEW-Computer-Museum/

Digital-Den/NEW Computer Museum
Brunch Meetup/Update, Saturday, November 16th, 11 am – 1 pm
Asgard Irish Pub, 11 am – noon’ish
350 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge
Digital Den@ Met Storage, noon’ish – 1pm
134 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

Great Story
There has been quite a bit of media attention over the last few months.
You can find links to the best coverage on the Digital Den web site, but I would like to draw special attention to a great article written by Dave Brooks of the Nashua Telegraph. He really got it right, and I am grateful!

DEC-heads and ‘Wang gang’ members, take note: A computer museum’s in the works (David Brooks, Nashua Telegraph) http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/news/1019239-469/dec-heads-and-wang-gang-members-take-note.html

Onward…
Ok, so that’s about it for now. As always, please feel free to contact me with ideas, concerns or just general questions. One more time, thank you to everyone for your help and support!

Cheers!
Mary