The ghost howls

A blog of virtual reality, startup and stuff


October 2016

Is Kinect dead?

At Immotionar, we try to give full body avatar to the user using external sensors. At the moment we use Microsoft Kinect v2 for our prototype and the question that all people ask us is:

Why do you use Kinect, if Kinect is dead?

Well, I’m actually getting bored of answering this question… and that’s why I’m writing this post to provide a complete answer to it. And being Halloween, talking about dead things is the right topic for today 😉

So, is Kinect dead?

Microsoft Kinect ghost
During the nights of full moon, you can see the ghost of a 3-legs Kinect in the forest

Well, the answer is not so easy. Continue reading “Is Kinect dead?”

Microsoft announces cheap headsets, now what?

Yesterday at a Microsoft event, lots of AR/VR announcements have been made: for example, the development of the new version of Paint that will be 3D and holographic, or the integration of 3D objects inside web pages, so that they can be dragged inside your HoloLens room. Lots of cool stuff.

One announcement has surprised and puzzled all of us VR enthusiasts: Microsoft has announced $299 high-quality VR headsets from its partners. Microsoft claims that it has partnered with HP, Lenovo and others to produce a new revolutionary kind of headset, that has inside-out positional tracking out of the box and that is very cheap. Even more, they mocked all the competitors, like Vive and Oculus, definining them “other less immersive accessories that today cost over $500”.

Windows 10 Microsoft Virtual Reality 299
The concept of the new Windows 10 headsets. Do you like them?

Continue reading “Microsoft announces cheap headsets, now what?”

My little bad experience with SteamVR and Oculus

Today I wanted to try some VR demos on Steam. I own only an Oculus Rift, but we all know the fantastic work that Valve has made to make their environment compatible with every kind of headset, Oculus included, so I decided to give a try to something anyway.

Oculus SteamVR virtual reality
My Oculus is ready within SteamVR… will it be enough?

Well, I have to say that I’m quite disappointed. Lots of games support Vive only, so you can’t try them. I wanted to try the IKEA VR experience, for instance, but I wasn’t even able to have a first look at it: a distorted first screen said that only Vive was supported and so, owning Oculus Rift, I couldn’t cook Swedish meat ball. Damn! Continue reading “My little bad experience with SteamVR and Oculus”

Allumette Review

After having tried the wonderful Senza Peso and the too-short Lost, I decided to try another short animation movie called Allumette, by Penrose Studios.

This is a little movie that you can look with your Oculus Rift and that talks about a story clearly inspired by The Little Match Girl of Hans Christian Andersen. If you know something about this Danish novel, well, you know that it’s very very sad: also this VR experience is sad and you’ll have ninja cutting onions near you and making you cry: you’ve been warned. Continue reading “Allumette Review”

Lost (by Oculus Studio) review

I tried Lost, a little movie by Oculus studio. And this is its little review. Oculus Studio is the content branch of Oculus and it is capable of making awesome things like Henry, the animation short movie telling the story of a cute hedgehog.

Henry, maybe the best animation movie for Oculus (Image by Wired)
Henry, maybe the best animation movie for Oculus (Image by Wired)

So today I was very happy to try Lost, hoping that it was as awesome as Henry (or as Senza Peso). Continue reading “Lost (by Oculus Studio) review”

Senza Peso review

After having read its name so many times, today I decided to try Senza Peso for Oculus Rift. Senza Peso is an artistic experience for Oculus Rift made by Kite & Lightning studio. Kite & Lightning is a VR studio that is out since a while and every title that they’ve made has proven to be very cool (for example I tried Insurgent some times ago and it was really well made), so I was quite sure that Senza Peso was something really magnificent, too. And in fact, it was.

Senza Peso for Oculus Rift CV1 virtual reality
Senza Peso, a mini Opera… even the logo and the intro are very well made

Continue reading “Senza Peso review”

Oculus Rift vs GearVR

After having talked you about the headset you should buy and having made a detailed comparison of GearVR vs Cardboard, today I want to highlight the difference between Oculus Rift and Samsung GearVR.

Both headsets are high-end ones and both are produced with Oculus technologies. The key difference is that the first one is a high-end tethered headset, while the second one is a high-end mobile headset. That is, the first one has to be connected to a VR-ready PC (through HDMI and USB port), while the second one is a piece of plastic that works when you put your Samsung phone inside it.

samsung gearvr cv1 vr
Samsung GearVR and its companion phones… if you use Note7, game explosions have never been so real!(Image by Oculus)

Continue reading “Oculus Rift vs GearVR”

Some tips on public speaking (part 2)

Today I’ll give you some more tips about public speaking, continuing that bullet list that I started yesterday. Hope to help people among you that are going to go on a stage for the first time. So, new tips for today:

  • Find your style: everyone of us is very different from the others. And everyone of us has its own style he fits in, that makes him feel confident. You have to find the style of public speaking that fits you the best, that you feel truly yours. For example, I’ve discovered that I’ve to talk as I do in this blog: saying serious things, but in an informal way and with a smile on my face, showing enthusiasm. I’ve tried to be more serious in the past, but this did not fit me… and I ended up being un-natural and awkward. When I started using this style, I felt like being truly me and now I’m ok with public speaking. So, try different styles and find the one ideal for you;
man suit
Speaking is like dressing: someone like suits, someone else like t-shirts…

Continue reading “Some tips on public speaking (part 2)”

Some tips on public speaking

Public speaking is not easy. I discovered it the first day they made me say something in front of lot people. 2 years ago we as Immotionar made our first talk at the InternetOfThings event and Gianni at a certain point took the mic and put it in my hands… and I almost choked out. Not as Eminem in 8 mile… but I did say something like “eeeeh I’m…eeeh Antony… and we’ll talk about virtual reality…” and then immediately gave the mic back to Gianni, that was (and still is) more calm and experienced!

In this years lots of thing have changed and now I’m decent in having public speeches, so I can give some hints to you, hoping to be helpful to people that have to make one of their first speeches. So… bullet list of advices! Continue reading “Some tips on public speaking”

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