Five day VRaycation

I spent five full days over New Year’s playing with an HTC Vive. Which is interesting in NYC apartment, since half the furniture had to be moved to make room for the motion tracking units mounted on two spindly tripods! As an artist as well as a tech enthusiast, it was an interesting experience. So much to try out.

I have a book’s worth of impressions and opinions coming out of the experience, but quickly – my favorite: hands down, Blortasia by Kevin Mack, a neuroscientist and artist. It’s a psychedelic drift through an ever changing, pulsing, organic color blitz. Absolutely, mind bogglingly, surreally, beautiful. I love that he’s not adapting something to fit into VR, he’s actually designing something for the medium; one of the few, I think, who “gets” it.

His work is inspired by transcendent visions, nature, and technology, and is informed by research in a wide range of fields from neuroscience to artificial life. Not to mention, I’m guessing it’s a lot like taking mushrooms! Blortasia is being used in therapy and it’s effects are the subject of a medical research study. Now *that’s* a use for VR I can get behind.

The other favorite was (of course – as an artist): Tiltbrush. But I wasn’t as in love with it as I should have been….it’s purely a paint stroke program (I called it “the MS Paint of VR”) and I really missed being able to create actual solid objects. Perhaps a hangover from my CAD roots – nevertheless, I persisted, and determined to grok the program as best possible, after a while realized how to get the most out of it (hint: don’t try to be precise).

Tiltbrush: “Garden of Eden”

Here’s a glimpse of one of the worlds I created – a flock of beautiful glowing birds. I made another with huge pulsating jellyfish hanging from the sky, so you could stand in between the tentacles; that one’s for another day.

That book-length blog post is coming, about everything from the experience to the content, user interface to opportunities – just wanted to jot down some initial thoughts to start.

This looks like fun

Looks like a great Game! It’s called Mindshow – it’s a VR game that’s multiplayer and recordable, so you can share the experience.

Those are both things that are currently not really the case in VR – most are only you in the world, and not shareable. So this is a leap forward. Definitely more fun as a game if you can play against someone in the same world!

Now it’s just waiting for 1) a way to “feel” interaction (pressure suits anyone?) and 2) move without 3) throwing up. Don’t worry, there are lots of companies working on solving all three of these things. Pretty soon we’ll never have to actually be in reality again.

 

Vanishing tattoos

Temporary tattoo ink that gives you real tattoos for a year. How does that sound?

I don’t have any tattoos! Not a huge fan, largely because of the permanence issue; how can you design something that’ll be part of you forever? – too much angst for this artist. But this might change my mind: tattoos that fade after a year. The R&D is around ink that has particles small enough for your body to slowly absorb the…now THAT would be fun to play with. Coming to market in 2017.