Inclusion of women in virtual reality is crucial. Women bring a unique perspective. And the inclusion of them has never been more important in a technology where people are creating these incredibly powerful, emotional experiences where you’re shaping worlds.
HoloLens isn't just a gaming device: Microsoft envisions it having applications in education, medicine, science and work.
Amy Cross's insight:
I'm looking forward to a marriage of the two. I don't know that the total immersion is going to take off as completely as we hope. Even the young'uns (enough of them) experience the nausea. Something that allows for immersion with making us feel so disconnected from ourselves and others....that's what I'm waiting to see!
Hardcore gamers will be virtual reality's first main market -- that's an underlying assumption shared by just about everyone in the VR industry. (Which would explain the countless VR talks and VR demos happening right now at the Gam
So in the meantime, skeptics, if you want to understand why VR is going to be so big, you’re going to have to use something we used to use a lot before television, and computers, and VR: your imagination.
The last two weeks brought a flurry of activity from long-established companies and startups alike trying to stake their claims in the vast, unsettled territory of virtual reality. Virtual reality is now the next big thing in health care, insurance, education, environmental protection, real estate, art, movies, music, sports and - of course - porn. [...] Samsung primed the pump by giving away for a limited time its $99 Gear VR to promote sales of its newest Galaxy mobile phones. With VR devices finally hitting the market, a long list of companies is trying to take advantage of the new medium - and not just for video games. Baseball's San Francisco Giants last week partnered with Jaunt to offer fans VR experiences that include standing in the batting cages and going for a ride with pitcher Sergio Romo. Tyler Andersen, CEO of a startup that's building a way to run services like Slack and Spotify in virtual environments, said entrepreneurs are excited about the nascent industry "that has so much potential, but doesn't really have a direction yet." "At Pornhub it is our duty to provide our global audience with the latest in cutting edge technology," Pornhub vice president Corey Price said in a press release. Other forms of entertainment, including video games and movies, also figure to lead the charge this year, said Todd Richmond, director of advanced prototype development for the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies.
Cathal agrees that the students enjoyed the project and were actually learning without realising it. “With Minecraft you can set up a server that can be accessed by any computer and they can join in to one world and work together as a team. They don’t realise they are learning, but they can gain a lot of skills like team building, communication, collaborative skills and creative skills,” he says.
“Pupils are usually very willing and eager to engage in tasks if they are interactive, challenging and fun; Minecraft ticks all of those boxes.”
I already mentioned the main problem with virtual reality for women on a basic, physical level. Women have felt especially compelled to get involved with the VR movement: because it’s still on the ground level of development, there’s more opportunity to get involved in a way that could have a significant impact on the way the industry is shaped. In fact, according to one woman in VR, Julie Heyde, a game developer at VR Unicorns, “It’s the wild west.” If the trend of relative gender equality continues in the VR world, in five years, articles such as this listicle pointing out “Five Women in Business” (Why are there so few female corporate leaders at the executive level?) will be limited to the traditional business world.
"It's more a question of how fast the acceleration will happen," he said, "and not a question of will we go back into a phase where people say, 'That was neat. What's the next thing?' This is the beginning of something that will not go backward."
Another tool at work in the study of embodiment is what Guger called “virtual avatars.” These virtual avatars allow researchers to experiment with embodiment and learn both how avatars need to behave, while also helping humans grow more comfortable with the concept of embodiment inside the avatar. Being at ease inside the avatar, he said, makes it easier for one to learn tasks and train, or re-train, for specific functions.
ICT researchers have developed the capability of creating a digital model of a person using commodity hardware (a Microsoft Kinect camera), placing this 3D avatar into a video game or simulation and infusing it with numerous behaviors and capabilities in just a few minutes. With over 20 million Microsoft Kinect cameras currently deployed around the world, this technology enables millions of people to create a personalized avatar for near zero cost in a short amount of time. By changing the economics of 3D avatar creation and simulation, new socially-based virtual interactions can be developed that rely on recognizable representations of individual people. Avatars can be captured and recaptured on a daily basis, reflecting what they wear, their hairstyle, and any other changes in their appearance.
So far, says Peter DeMarzo, faculty director for educational technology at Stanford, it has proved a useful addition to other forms of virtual communication. “We also use [online conferencing tools] Google Hangouts and Adobe Connect,” he says. “But we find there’s something unique about having a virtual three-dimensional space we can interact in.”
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