Monthly Archives: April 2019

Lucid VR Review: A moving tale of human connection

Lucid is a cinematic virtual reality story, currently available via VeeR on multiple platforms. It’s a short but effective tale about a young woman’s attempt to connect with her mother, who recently suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Told via computer generated imagery (CGI), it’s essentially a 360-degree animated experience told from the point of view of Astra, a young woman whose mother is in a coma from a recent car accident. Astra is working with a medical technician in a near future hospital, where she is engaged with a brain-computer interface, trying to make contact with her mother via an electronic link-up.

There are short scenes in which Astra enters various fictional worlds created by her mother (a children’s book author) and eventually establishes contact in a touching and effective way. The VR experience is mostly passive, allowing the viewer to look around in any direction, but not interact with any characters or objects in the scene. The camera is always placed within arm’s reach of the main characters, as if you are another person in the room observing the story.

Lucid was an official Selection of the 75th Venice International Film Festival. According to director Pete Short:

Lucid was an opportunity to explore the fading imagination of a beautiful mind. This is a topic very close to my heart because of personal experience with dementia. I wanted Lucid to be an appreciation of the happiness, joy, and love of a person’s life rather than a somber farewell. The story is set inside the mind of a children’s book writer, which lends much of the piece an innocence and cheeriness, even though it’s dealing with an extremely difficult topic. I have been waiting a long time to tell this story. VR finally allows me to tell it in a way that does it justice. The audience is granted access to Eleanor’s mind to share the final, intimate moments between a mother and daughter. As the audience find themselves immersed in the magical worlds of children’s books, I hope they will let themselves be swept away by the story.

Despite the limited interactivity, Lucid is an excellent example of VR storytelling. Well worth the price of $1.99, Lucid is representative of the high quality immersive content that continues to be available at VeeR.

VeeR

VeeR is a global VR content platform and community where users can create and share the next generation of media. It’s available on all major VR devices, providing a large library of free and paid content.

 

Roy Kachur is a Media Technologist, IT Architect, and VR Evangelist. He has worked in the information technology field since the 1990’s, and in the media industry since 2014. He believes that VR will play a significant role in the future of media.

Sansar and High Fidelity Back Away From VR

Two of the major social virtual reality platforms, Sansar and High Fidelity, have decided to pull back from VR as a primary technology for their respective applications.

Previously reported at RoadToVR, each of the social platforms has cited “slow growth” as the reason for their decisions.

High Fidelity:

Philip Rosedale, CEO of High Fidelity and founder of Second Life, announced at a High Fidelity community meeting recently that the company will be scaling back their VR efforts, focusing more on improving their PC and Mac performance. The company has also shut down all first-party user spaces and associated servers except for a single orientation room, which will be used for new users only.

Sansar:

Speaking to New World Notes at GDC 2019 in March, Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg says the company’s latest platform has always been a majority desktop experience ever since it went live back in 2017, and it seems he doesn’t expect that to change in the near term. “Statistically, it’s always been a majority PC, desktop. I don’t know what the exact numbers are: 75/25, 80/20, of […] desktop versus VR. And so you’ll probably be seeing us less pitching it as a VR thing,” Altberg told New World Notes.

This is disheartening for fans of social VR, but several other social platforms remain committed to their VR plans:  AltSpace, RecRoom, and VRChat. All three of these applications are likely to be available on the upcoming Oculus Quest standalone headset, available later this spring.

Sansar and High Fidelity, perhaps due to higher graphical requirements requiring a desktop computer, have not made plans for availability on the Oculus Quest.

See below for more details at RoadToVR:

‘High Fidelity’ shifts focus towards non-VR due to slow growth

Linden Lab CEO: ‘We’re pitching ‘Sansar’ less as a VR platform now’ 

 

Roy Kachur is a Media Technologist, IT Architect, and VR Evangelist. He has worked in the information technology field since the 1990’s, and in the media industry since 2014. He believes that VR will play a significant role in the future of media.

 

Brie Larson rocks “Beat Saber” with Jimmy Fallon

Earlier this week, Brie Larson (star of Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame) was a guest on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” where she and the host took on the popular virtual reality game “Beat Saber.”

Brie was the clear winner of the VR rhythm game contest, as she adeptly performed the required moves to slash objects using virtual light sabers.

“Beat Saber” is one of the most popular VR games around today, available for the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Windows Mixed Reality headsets, as well as PlayStation VR. It will also be available on the upcoming Oculus Quest standalone headset, available later this spring.

Watch Jimmy and Brie in action on YouTube:

 

Roy Kachur is a Media Technologist, IT Architect, and VR Evangelist. He has worked in the information technology field since the 1990’s, and in the media industry since 2014. He believes that VR will play a significant role in the future of media.