VR Goggles and Corrective Eyewear (Glasses)

I was a little concerned about the optics in my first VR goggles, given that I wear glasses.

I’d heard that you can’t fit your glasses into the headset – and it’s true – you gotta take your glasses off, to put the headset on.

Samsung Gear VR goggles don't fit over glasses - but that's okay.
My first VR rig is the Samsung Gear VR Headset – and I wear glasses…

Now, my glasses are pretty pedestrian – not too powerful, and only correct for near-sightedness. I certainly have to wear them to drive. But I do take them off for photography – so I can press the viewfinder right against myself.

Continue reading “VR Goggles and Corrective Eyewear (Glasses)”

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on FacebookEmail this to someone

Mobile VR and the Web (which is already mobile)

If 87% of VR headsets in consumers’ hands (or on their heads) are mobile VR – then the experiences we create will have to give good UX on mobile VR.

I’m a web guy, and I’m fascinated by the onset of VR. And as a web guy, I’m convinced that mobile VR will be essential to the 3D web.

I was considering picking up some of the high-end VR goggles and experimenting with technologies like WebVR. Trouble is, the high-end ones need a heavy-duty computer to even function.

Mobile VR - Google Cardboard
Mobile VR – Google Cardboard

The “easy way” to get into VR these days is with mobile VR. Mobile VR is really just a piece of plastic (or cardboard) with some lenses that you attach to your smartphone, to experience “low end” VR.

Based on a number of factors, I’ve decided to take the plunge into mobile VR, and leave that high-end stuff alone for now.

First up – the web is already mobile. Much of the last decade has been spent coming to grips with the fact that people use the web everywhere on all manner of hardware. The way websites are built has evolved considerably to take this into account.

But here’s the kicker:

Continue reading “Mobile VR and the Web (which is already mobile)”

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on FacebookEmail this to someone

The ELIZA Effect, VR, and CUIs

“The ELIZA effect, in computer science, is the tendency to unconsciously assume computer behaviors are analogous to human behaviors.” – Wikipedia

An experiment designed to evoke the ELIZA effect with a combination of 3D animation and a conversational user interface (CUI)
A chatterbot with manners and body language – idoru.js at http://idoru.ca

The ELIZA effect is named after a “chatterbot” called ELIZA that was developed between 1964 and 1966 at MIT. A “chatterbot” is a computer program that conducts a conversation.

ELIZA’s creator, Joseph Weizenbaum, said it was a a “parody” of “the responses of a nondirectional psychotherapist in an initial psychiatric interview.” (Weizenbaum 1976, p. 188)

Continue reading “The ELIZA Effect, VR, and CUIs”

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on FacebookEmail this to someone

VR for Web Developers

So you’re a web developer, and you’ve been hearing things about VR. I’m also a web developer, and I’ve also been hearing things about VR! And I’ve been blogging about it. Not just VR – but how VR is very likely to soon become both a crisis and an opportunity for web developers. So what are the prospects for VR for web developers?

The dawn of virtual reality.Today is April 8, 2016. The Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive both tried to start shipping in the last couple of weeks – and it’s been a bit of a mess. But even so, eager early adopters have raved up and down that this revolutionary technology finally actually works.

Continue reading “VR for Web Developers”

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on FacebookEmail this to someone

UX and UI Design in VR

I write a lot about UI (user interfaces) and UX (user experience) in 3D environments and VR in this blog. Today, I saw a wonderful video on the subject. So I’m gonna kick back, embed the video, and let Mike Alger do all the talking.

VR Interface Design Manifesto from Mike Alger on Vimeo.

Sweet!



UX 4 VR!

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on FacebookEmail this to someone

3D Cameras vs. 360-degree Cameras

All the rage in the news this week has been the introduction of some high-end “360-degree” cameras for virtual reality. Are these 3D cameras?

A simple 3D camera.
A simple 3D camera.

The elephant in the room is that these “360-degree” cameras do not produce stereoscopic output. Stereoscopy is the bedrock of creating the illusion of three dimensions.

What is “stereoscopy”? From Wikipedia: “Stereoscopy is the production of the illusion of depth in a photograph, movie, or other two-dimensional image by the presentation of a slightly different image to each eye, which adds the first of these cues (stereopsis). The two images are then combined in the brain to give the perception of depth.

Continue reading “3D Cameras vs. 360-degree Cameras”

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on FacebookEmail this to someone

A Virtual Reality Web – Elegant Descriptions and Pessimistic Outlook

Given that VR goggles have been available to consumers for DAYS, not even weeks, and given that the only people who have even heard of the Oculus Rift are gamers and sports fans, I think all the pessimism about a “virtual reality web” may be a little bit premature. Or so I’d like to think, anyway.

I saw this article today about a “virtual reality web” – and was amazed at both how forward-thinking, and pessimistic it was.

http://www.fastcodesign.com/3058591/why-a-virtual-reality-web-may-never-happen

The opening paragraph paints a pretty elaborate picture of something that’s, well, science fiction:

What if you could browse the web in virtual reality? Just imagine the potential. Hyperlinks could take you not to Wikipedia pages about history, but right to the landscapes of ancient cultures, immersing you in plagues and art and war. Recipe sites could give you smell-o-vision cooking simulations. Message boards could become face-to-face chats. The web as we know it could become tangible, interactive, and more immersive than ever.

Continue reading “A Virtual Reality Web – Elegant Descriptions and Pessimistic Outlook”

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on FacebookEmail this to someone

Blend4web vs. Three.js

As a sequel to my Feb 23 post X3DOM vs. Three.js, I’d like to quickly compare Blend4web vs. Three.js, using that same old arbitrary VRML file as a neutral sample. Blend4web is an add-on for Blender, the open-source 3D authoring tool I use.

Here’s how the Blender workspace containing my old VRML file looks when I export it using Blend4web:

And here’s the same Blender workspace exported as a COLLADA file and then imported into Three.js:

You can drag your mouse on either of those to move them around. Each button gives you a different motion when you drag. Each example uses each button in a different way.

Continue reading “Blend4web vs. Three.js”

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on FacebookEmail this to someone