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

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

Introducing Idoru.js

idoru.js is an experiment I’m working on with artificial characters in virtual worlds. The idea is that to provide good “user experience” (UX) in a virtual world, a character must have good “stage presence” to stimulate engagement.

The idea is to create a framework for an artificial character that is charming and attentive to the user. This character can then be “dressed up” with any imaginable avatar. It can be given any “job” that anyone cares to script.

A screenshot of the very first prototype of idoru.js - with a rudimentary avatar and chatbot.
First idoru.js experiment.

A good suit and deep knowledge are not enough to make a person engaging in the real world. A person needs body language. A person needs to be attentive to the person they are engaging. They need to make eye contact. They need to interact with a person’s personal space in a thoughtful, polite way.

Continue reading “Introducing Idoru.js”

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

The Dawn of Virtual Reality

The dawn of virtual reality.
The Dawn of Virtual Reality

Over the last couple of days, the very first “Oculus Rift” headsets have been arriving on the heads of ordinary consumers. And those who write about such things are going wild. This, they say, is the dawn of virtual reality. As far as a lot of people are concerned, this is the beginning of a whole new medium. And given what I’ve seen about the sweeping psychological implications of “immersive media”, it could be true.

For example, Matthias Mccoy-Thompson of The Medium makes the bold statement:

Today marks the biggest revolution in gaming since Pong took games from the realm of boards into the digital.Continue reading “The Dawn of Virtual Reality”

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

Responsive VR – Virtual Reality that responds to any device.

Whether websites work in laptops but not phones – or whether VR works with goggles but not without – the solution then and the solution now, is to make web content that responds to whatever the heck hardware is being used to experience it.

Boris Smus is a man who understands the motivation behind “reponsive” web content, and responsive VR. From smus.com:

VR on the web threatens to cleave the web platform in twain, like mobile did before it. The solution then and the solution now is Responsive Web Design, which websites to scale well for all form factors. Similarly, for VR to succeed on the web, we need to figure out how to make VR experiences that work both in any VR headset, and also without a VR headset at all.Continue reading “Responsive VR – Virtual Reality that responds to any device.”

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