Crafting VR at the USC MXR Lab

Last year while traveling through Belgium to give a talk at WebDox, I had the pleasure of meeting fellow media pioneer Nonny De La Peña, who is defining the field of immersive journalism as a PhD student at the IMAP program at USC.
She later invited me down to campus to try out her semi famous project Hunger in LA, which has been shown at many venues around the world including Sundance Film Festival.  I had tried things like the Oculus Rift before, but the difference with Hunger is that it was built within the MXR lab at USC (which coincidentally gave rise to the Oculus Rift) and the headset has a mast on it that can be tracked by cameras, allowing you to walk around a virtual space.
oculus
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Hands on with the Leap Motion

Ok, I know I’m a little late to the party with this one.  I’ve had my leap for a few months now, and nothing I have to say about it at the moment will be all that different from the many reviews that have already gone out when it first hit the hands of consumers.
In short, its very cool, very buggy, and isn’t quite ready for primetime.  While that doesn’t mean you should avoid getting one now to play with (only 80 bucks afterall), it certainly didn’t amount to the OMG you have to see this thing right now, it will change the way we use the computarz! experience I think we were all expecting from the videos like this one:
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Ryse + the Xbox One

So by now, everyone should at least have heard of Microsofts new console due out this xMas, the Xbox One.  Basically, multitasking comes to the hearth space, trying to integrate multi attention span not just on your main screen (like the workbench) but also across connected devices, like a tablet, using the smartglass application.
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Disney Infinity

Just released, Skylanders meets Garys Mod… for Kids! Looks promising  I especially love the tweaked vinyl toy aesthetic to unify the different Disney properties.  When I saw other games try to do this, like Smash Brothers, or Sony’s equivalent, the clashing art styles of the different IPs was jarring for me.  Of course, Disney and Pixar have solved this problem with grace and style. Very curious to see how this game evolves in the future, perhaps adapting to play across future platforms and interfaces.

Ajax Tech Tour

I threw this quick demo together to showcase the potential power a realtime 3D environment can add to a comic book. Eventually I’ll add VO, but needed something quick for my impending trip / presentation to Belgium :)