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The ghost howls

A blog of virtual reality, startup and stuff

Ashes To Ashes (VR short movie) review

Today I’ve seen a short VR movie: Ashes To Ashes. It is a movie made for VR by Dutch studio Submarine Channel, which has already won a gold prize at Dutch VR Awards. The video is accessible for free inside Jaunt App on lots of VR platforms (Oculus, Vive, etc..) .

The creators define it “a surreal tragicomedy in virtual reality about a dysfunctional family burdened with the bizarre final wish of their deceased grandfather”. Said shortly: a complete WTF in virtual reality 😀

The experience begins with the user immersed into water, like at the bottom of the sea (you’ll understand the sense of it at the end of the movie), with a girl looking at him from above the surface. I liked a lot this first scene because it grabs immediately the attention. It is super-original and makes you curious about the plot of the movie.

ashes to ashes vr movie review
The movie begins this way, with a little girl looking at you from above the surface… and the water waves distorting the visual of her face

Continue reading “Ashes To Ashes (VR short movie) review”

A talk about advertisement in virtual reality with Get Virtual

Some times ago I got in touch with Get Virtual founder Michael Rapoport and we had the opportunity to talk a bit about virtual reality advertisement.

get virtual logo virtual reality advertisement
Get Virtual logo

Advertisement. Yes, that thing on which some of the most powerful IT companies make all their business: think about Google, or Facebook for instance. They all make bazillions of dollars thanks to smart advertisement. Internet has been one of the key revolutions in the computer science history, something that has revolutioned completely our life. The following revolution, lead by smartphones, has made possible the connectivity in every moment and in every place, making possible the social revolution. All these revolutions have been completely interconnected with sales and so with advertisement: now, wherever you are, you can see a targeted ad and buy something that you just discovered you love from a shop that is on the other side of the world. Virtual reality and augmented reality will lead the next computing revolution and we’re asking ourselves: how advertisement will be on those platform?

I’ve tried talking with it making some questions to Michael, which has founded Get Virtual, a company in Florida focused on virtual reality advertisement. Here you are the questions I’ve made him, with his answers and some comments by me in the end. Continue reading “A talk about advertisement in virtual reality with Get Virtual”

Just Relax (relaxation GearVR app) inter-review

I’ve been contacted by Paul, of Mostly Human Studios, to try his virtual reality relaxation tool: Just Relax. I was happy, because I’m super-stressed due to my startup life, so I just wanted to relax a bit. With DK2 I was a huge fan of Guided Meditation, so I was eager to try its app. But life is a b**ch and his app is not compatible with my phone (I’ve a Note 4 and the first GearVR… I feel so old) so I’ve not been able to try it.

So goodbye to my idea of a review and welcome to the idea of an interview. So I made Paul some questions about the Just Relax relaxation app and his experience in developing it. I found his answers very interesting… in a sense I’m more happy with this article than with a review 🙂 Continue reading “Just Relax (relaxation GearVR app) inter-review”

Sketchup Viewer for HoloLens review

Today I felt super-rich. It has been like the moment when I had the opportunity to take a lap inside a wonderful red Ferrari car thanks to EIA accelerator. I felt rich for some minutes and I looked at the other super-poor people envying me, like Paris Hilton looks at us standard people… and then after 3 minutes I was again Tony, the average poor guy :(. Today’s richness was due to the fact that I’ve been able to try Sketchup Viewer for HoloLens. Marketplace cost $1499,99.

I spent $0, of course. Thanks to epic university teacher Andrea Bottino (of Politechnic of Turin) and his right-wing Francesco Strada, I had a chance to try it and feel like Uncle Scrooge for some minutes. In ten minutes I’ve tried a $1500 app on a $3000 device: I’m like a gold-digger.

Anyway, I’m here to write my impressions about it. Continue reading “Sketchup Viewer for HoloLens review”

WebVR will be huge, but nowadays has some compatibility issues

Today I decided to try a website supporting WebVR with my PC and Oculus Rift. I was happy because I was to experiment the future: finally I could experience the ability to try some virtual reality content without passing through any hub (like Oculus Home), just going with my browser on a website. I was excited.

This is the feature that makes WebVR so awesome. WebVR means two things:

  • No need to install any particular app on the device;
  • No need to worry about the platform: the same WebVR app can run on PC (e.g. Oculus Rift) and on Android (e.g. Cardboard), without further modifications.

Continue reading “WebVR will be huge, but nowadays has some compatibility issues”

My personal opinion about VR in China

VR in China will be huge. Everyone is saying this. Once in a while all major VR blogs and magazines come out with an article saying that VR in China is huge, will be huge and that China will conquer the VR world. They talk about Chinese investments funds, startups, enormous VR centers, lots of VR arcades and with numbers they’ll prove you that US is just a little country compared to China. An example link for such Chinese-friendly articles is this one.

These articles are very interesting because they remember us that we are very Western-world-centered: we all look at US and the Silicon Valley as the tech paradise and we usually forgot the big red giant. China is huge and it’ll grow even more in the next times: it is predicted that in some years it will become the first economical power of the world. So, surely VR will be huge there. But I don’t share the same exact opinion of these articles… I’m not a business expert, but I know something about Chinese people and I know something about VR, so I can have some sensible thoughts on this topic. Continue reading “My personal opinion about VR in China”

Virtual reality locomotion choice in games is not an option

Locomotion is one of the biggest issues in virtual reality: lots of alternatives with pros and cons for each choice have been provided, like:

  • no locomotion (like in GearVR): just stay in a fixed place and don’t move, like when you look 360° videos;
  • standard locomotion: you use keyboard or gamepad to move forward… very easy to understand but leads to motion sickness;
  • teleportation (introduced by Vive): you just move immediately from one place to another. There’s no sickness, but it’s absolutely not natural;
  • walk-in-place (like the one used in our full body VR solution ImmotionRoom): you move forward looking at the direction you want to move to and then walking in place in the real world to walk in the virtual world. This is smart since reduces a lot motion sickness, while being natural;
  • Freedom locomotion system: like walk-in-place, but you define where to go using your thumb on the VR controller.
  • Lots of others: really there are a bazillion locomotion options out there! Every day some new mechanics get invented
virtual reality teleportation
Moving with teleportation with Vive inside The Lab

Continue reading “Virtual reality locomotion choice in games is not an option”

Happy 8th of March, #WomenInVR

It’s the 8th of March and all over the world this is the International Women’s day. Here we’re used to gift some yellow flowers called mimosa and remember our beloved women why they’re important for us.

There’s lot of debate about women and technology and women and virtual reality. As always we men are much more, but in the field that I know best, VR, I know some really valuable women, like Eva Hoerth or Helen Situ, that are very important influencers. They usually use the tag #WomenInVR to help the spread of this wonderful technology among women, in a tech world populated by men. Continue reading “Happy 8th of March, #WomenInVR”

Magic Xperience and the magic of AR chocolate

On Saturday I went to a confectionery next my house to buy some sweet stuff… it’s a classical Italian pastry shop: little, owned by a family, traditional and with super-tasty stuff all over the place. Sometimes it’s just relaxing to stay in such old-school places, smell the scent of food and forget all the *R devices I use everyday (eating donuts in Job Simulator is great, but it doesn’t fill my stomach… :D).

Suddenly I noticed a little cardbox with tiny chocolate tables with cute pictures on them… I looked at the price… and it was €13! Something like 4x the expected value… what the heck? Well, I talked with the girl serving me and I discovered that this was not simple chocolate, it was augmented reality chocolate! What the… mixed reality technologies follow me everywhere!

I got curious about this and had a little talk with her, but of course talking about feature recognition with her was not a choice. Anyway, I tried to explain her what augmented reality is in a very simple way and she told me that she started selling this magical chocolate one or two months ago and that, despite the price, it was selling really well. Continue reading “Magic Xperience and the magic of AR chocolate”

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