friends: time for oculus rift demo roller-coasters and tiny little tuscany replicas to move aside coz…..
“they may have the goggles but WE got the world!”
[i am printing a shirt with that slogan RIGHT now while waiting for my loaner oculus to be shipped from maine!]
yes it is true: oculus integration into sl is in beta, testers are needed and we speak to widely linden today who is as excited as we are about this.
enjoy [and for those who can’t wait: widely interview starts around 25:00 into show]!
more reading material below:
– our winner of the leap motion is steve slosser but you can win another one by going to the profile feed and answering the question given on the show
– the trouble with tech tos: terms and conditions may apply…
– lee vermeulen on the vr room by valve
– philip rosedale demos his wife’s brain at swsx
– riftmax: the FIRST vr talk show EVER!
– sf peeps: go to the roadtovr mixer during gdc in sf 3/20 will you?
– live action vr demo at swsx!!!
– total cinema 360:
– tim berners-lee wanted to call the web “mesh” but changed the name before publishing his paper in 1989
– cbs 60 minutes on data brokers
– drax always watches bill moyers for news
– philip rosedale and ebbe altberg will speak at vwbpe in april
– linden lab seeks beta testers for oculus rift viewer and we are having fun reminiscing about virtual boy…
– jo is time traveling again
– drax is shopping arcade style for the first time [via SL GO no less]!
– relay for life in sl is in full swing
– millay Freschi’s 4 bridges project & she mentions virtually speaking [which is another great show!]
the drax files radio hour [with jo yardley] is a weekly production of basicdrax entertainment.
the show is supported by kahruvel design, joey aboma, ragmedia, vika creations, ziki questi, escapades, botanical, death row designs, ciaran laval and mona eberhardt.
music by bd.
special thanks to millay freschi providing the station ID this week.
contact the show via skype draxfiles, avatar draxfiles or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
44 Comments Add yours
Widely’s enthusiasm for the Riftlook Viewer leaves me excited to see how it works. Especially with regards to the different view modes. I was worried i would need to do a lot of re-scripting my airships for those wearing OculusVR, but it sounds like it might work fine anyways. I look forward to putting on me goggles and running around my island testing every aspect of the SL experience XD. Thats if they let me try the beta.
Same here, it seems like they’ve thought of everything, but as they say, proof is in the pudding.
The part about having VR room in houses are very similar to a feature available in a pre-future setting anime, Psycho Pass.
I’m linking the episode here and just jump to 02.43 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nj0Phf04WCE
Im rather looking forward to relaxing in VR like this http://th07.deviantart.net/fs9/PRE/i/2006/052/4/f/Reality_1920x1200_by_pyxelated.jpg
Sounds very exciting and a good step in the right direction I think.
Great episode again, but still can’t escape the nagging term “hype cycle” whenever I hear about all the household uses of VR which are supposedly just around the corner.
Similarly, I have doubts as to whether the Rift is going to be in any way as revolutionary (or even evolutionary) within Second Life as is being portrayed, particularly in the short (or even medium) term.
Which is also not to say I don’t think it’ll see use; I just think it will take much longer to gain real traction which genuinely exploits it than people are perhaps allowing.
True, the proof is in the pudding.
But I can’t help being excited about the potential, how it will work out in reality is a different matter and one we won’t know till it happens.
The real potential for the Rift is in the CAD/CAE/CAM realm.
Computer-Aided Design/Computer-Aided Engineering/Computer-Aided Manufacturing.
Things like the Rift and gesture controllers (mostly high-cost, ad hoc designs) have been in these fields (and in medical visualisation) ever since Virtuality was overhyped back in the ’90s, i.e. even before I was ten years old.
They allow engineers to actually get inside what they have designed and look for faults, design problems, etc. But the future, even for these applications, is Augmented Reality systems. Not the Rift. The people in the aerospace, ship-building and automotive industry are having a laugh at anyone who touts the Rift as “revolutionary”, because the Rift, the Hydra etc. are their hand-me-downs.
The future is for both devices.
I can see that some people like augmented reality, especially when it comes to mobile devices and such.
But what I care about more is VR immersion, full immersion.
And I don’t want that with part of RL seeping trough.
I may like using augmented reality for some things, but not for my gaming or VR.
I remember trying a VR set sometime in the 1980s I think, at an arcade, and being very impressed with the then extremely basic graphics.
Simply because it made me feel height.
The Rift is not revolutionary because of what it does, you’re right, the industry, army, training facilities, etc, have been doing this for years.
The revolutionary part is the costs and wearability.
Its the difference between the first car and the first T-ford.
The Rift marketed as “revolutionary” – to mechanical engineers, this sort of marketing is just like the “Riftmax is the first VR talk show ever. The cynic in me tends to agree with Will Burns in the thought that they’re overhyping it because the “angel” investors will very soon demand their cut. Remember how much it raised in venture capital…
Correction: The Rift is marketed. (typo)
Context about the WWW – interview from ’99 with Tim Berners Lee on Science Friday = http://sciencefriday.com/segment/03/14/2014/as-the-web-turns-25-where-is-it-going-next.html fascinating! Will we ever see the WWMetaverse? Next week on this very station: Maria Korolov on the HyperGrid!
I think a lot of people would not want to spend 300 USD for the Oculus Rift. So it might be an idea to bundle it with the premium membership. People that commit to 2 years of premium membership pay 20 USD per month and get the Oculus Rift or SL Go for free.
Ah don’t forget that USD$300 is for the developers kit, there is no consumer kit available yet.
Dev kit, check, viewer, check, now if I can find a big chunk of time to try this, I’ll let you know how it goes!
VR talk shows in Second Life look better than Riftmax Live? Give me a break…
Riftmax Live uses the Razer Hydra to transmit “body language” at least to some degree. The avatar’s hands gesturing and pointing at things in the room make it look much more alive. In Second Life all we have is prerecorded animations. Watch a few episodes of Paisley Beebe’s show and see how zombie-like SL avatars look in comparison. They are boring to look at because they don’t communicate. That is one of the reasons why High Fidelity exists.
SL may get Oculus support sooner or later, but it will still look like a game, only in 3D this time. VR takes more than that, sorry.
Oh, and SL isn’t the largest interconnected virtual world either. The hypergrid is. I think we talked about that before…
Talkshows in SL LOOK a lot better, absolutely, but yes, you’re right, we don’t use the hydra (yet) to add a few hand gestures.
But visually the sets and avatars look better, or can look better.
SL already has Oculus Support and people have already been experimenting with using the Kinect and other gadgets like those to translate their rl movements into SL, Live.
SL is not the largest, if you count land, but it is the biggest if you count users.
Where can I download the official SL viewer with Oculus support? Link please!
No, they haven’t, because it is currently impossible to do such a thing. SLKinect is a system entirely separate from SL, using SL only as a graphical backdrop. It does not stream motion capture data into SL.
Please look up the meaning of the word “interconnected”.
Jo, sometimes your fanboyism exceeds the absurdity threshold. If you care about the number of users, then you have to acknowledge that the number of Oculus users and Kinect users in Second Life is zero because these devices are not officially supported. Second Life was state of the art in 2003. You are peddling it as a bleeding edge VR platform because of all the potential features that it could have, in theory, if only someone invested serious time and money in them. It could be easy to use, it could have a native mobile client, it could support 3D headsets and motion capture devices, it could be interconnected with other virtual worlds — but it isn’t, and it won’t be. The great comeback of Second Life is not going to happen.
“Where can I download the official SL viewer with Oculus support? Link please!”
I didn’t say official.
An unofficial one has been downloadable for ages and works pretty well.
The official one is being Beta tested as we speak, we did mention that in the show.
I remember reading about someone experimenting with the Kinect, but can’t find much about it.
And if I am any kind of fan, I am a fanwoman, not a boy, thanks.
There are quite a few Oculus Rift users in SL already, I’ve met them and have spoken to them, their experience videos are on youtube.
Officially supported or not.
I don’t care about the number of users, I am not talking about being interconnected and I know what it means, thank you very much…
I am just saying that claiming one virtual world is larger just because it has more land to me makes less sense than saying that the other is bigger because it has more users.
A big restaurant is less successful than a full restaurant.
But you are right, my enthusiasm is mostly geared towards the possibilities.
We are only at the dawn of this VR Renaissance.
I think I make that clear quite a few times.
But I do not predict the future, like you do in your last sentence.
If, true, that is a BIG if, LL keeps up and plays their cards right, SL could grow, a lot.
VR IS going to be big, I predict that most households will have some sort of VR system within a couple of years and this will automatically mean that some of these people will try SL (again).
IF LL plays their cards right.
And that too, I’ve been saying quite a few times.
Second Life is one virtual world, and it is not interconnected with anything other than itself. The Hypergrid is a set of interconnected OpenSim-based virtual world grids. However… Only if you add all the OS grids do you get a size comparable to that of SL’s user base. Let’s face it; As far as user numbers are concerned, Second Life by itself is pretty much equal to the sum of all OS grids – oh, and please don’t use land mass as the measure for platform growth, because it’s not. Even His SL Punditness The SL Pundits of SL Pundits has finally understood this.
The problem with users is that they can’t be counted with reasonable accuracy. A region is either online, or it isn’t. Its presence is verifiable (or falsifiable) at any time. A user can be a bot, or the 4th alt of another user. We won’t know.
The reason why land mass is a better indicator for platform growth is because all land has to be paid for by someone, while user accounts are free. For example, I created my SL account in 2007, but I never spent any money in SL, and I haven’t logged in for months. The irony of this is that LL counts me as a SL user while HGB does not count me as an OpenSim user, because my grid (which I spend real money to run) doesn’t report data to HGB.
The thing you have to keep in mind is that any grid with an in-world economy has an incentive to over-represent its size, and fudging user numbers is easier than fudging land size. This applies to both SL and OpenSim.
User accounts don’t have to be free – there are grids where you have to pay for being online. As for alts, any grid has the option to implement something like Argent Stonecutter’s idea about the master account, and even combine it with “paid only” accounts.
While a region is either online or offline, it still doesn’t represent much. It can be an openspace region, a homestead, a full sim (in Second Life), it can be a megaregion, a gigaregion, or an enormoregion in OpenSim etc. It can be a private island owned by a single person; it can be a private island owned by a group of persons who possibly chip in to cover its costs; it can be a region subdivided into smaller parcels that are rented from time to time by various people.
You can have – an extreme scenario – as many regions as you have users. Or, another scenario: few regions, but many users.
As for the in-world economy, this is potentially the best way to measure a grid’s growth or lack thereof, because what it all boils down to is how many true, active users you have (keeping bots and throwaway griefer/troll/stalker accounts out of the equation, althouth this is a matter of governance, ToS enforcement policy and definition of “active user”) and how much they participate in the in-world economy’s turnover. That said, there’s no irony in the HGB not counting you as an OpenSim user, because it needs stats and for stats it needs data and you don’t provide it with any data. So…
Furthermore, why would anyone care about the Razer Hydra? Thalmic’s Myo is a lot better, and also leaves your hands free to operate the keyboard at a snap. Oh, but I forgot: the Rift doesn’t let you see the keyboard, so you’d best be a touch-typist (which I am, but anyway). Then, maybe the Rift isn’t the be-all-end-all solution and we should look at alternatives like CastAR and Epson’s Moverio range (although both should get full HD resolution), which are far more versatile anyway? I can easily picture myself using a CastAR or a Moverio connected to a tablet, projecting sat-nav information and directions before my eyes while I drive to a new, unknown destination.
All of these gadgets are still at the early phase of VR evolution, they can already do a lot but I am sure that in a few years we look back at them like we do today at the old hand cranked gramophone.
Personally I think that we will wear something tiny or there simply is a scanner in every room like the Kinect that scans your body movements.
Not just for games or virtual interactions but for everything.
Turn off the lights with a gesture, turn on your cd player with a gesture, etc.
The only thing we will need is something in front of our eyes (till we find ways to plug straight into your brain) and something to simulate movement, like a omni directional treadmill so you won’t bump into walls.
The Oculus does one thing very well and that is offer full immersion, being able to still see your keyboard ruins that.
I don’t want to see anything but my virtual world.
I am sure that the keyboard will eventually also be replaced by new technology, but what kind or how it will work… I have no idea.
Keyboards aren’t going anywhere. Inara and I have explained why both on my blog and on hers. Forget voice chat – many people, myself included, won’t do it, for reasons that should be obvious to everyone. To claim that some vague idontknowwhatitcouldbebutitwillexist kind of thing will replace computer keyboards (especially now that real, mechanical keyboards have made a very strong comeback) is like claiming that the Theremin will replace the keyboard as a controller for a synthesizer.
Immersion has nothing to do with occlusion – immersion is mostly mental, so it depends largely on how well-designed the content viewed is.
As for gesture controllers… Thalmic Myo. Wearable. Unobtrusive. You don’t have to hold anything in your hands. And it works.
I also gladly use voice chat, not just for SL but also for online gaming, just like millions of other people.
But I think voice recognition software is the way forwards.
This could also replace direct voice chat communication.
Just like nobody, except me, still using the inkwell and pen to write letters.
I also disagree with the occlusion, when I am in SL I don’t want to see RL poking trough, I’ve tried a few VR devices and the ones that completely cut your vision off from RL offer the best experience.
It is not just about mental ability, but also about the senses.
The Myo, at the moment, looks a bit bulky, but yes the way it works is very impressive.
Yet I would still prefer not to have to wear anything at all, or something you just clip on like a badge.
I’ve just seen a video of someone who stuck a leap motion to their Oculus, that looked silly and was far from perfect, but it worked.
We’ll have to see, it is still early days.
Most people don’t have the luxury of having the 100% distraction-free experience that Oculus demands. BTW, the Moverio does offer occlusion, albeit (mostly to avoid nausea) it’s not 100%.
As for voice chat – Read Inara’s comments about how it can actually be detrimental to a VR experience. Unless you add real-time voice processing etc… Which is heavy on system resources, so it’ll be a no-go for many people who simply can’t justify (or afford) the cost of a high-end machine.
Although you are of course right that many people don’t want or can’t afford to have the distraction free experience, I think that there are also lots who do.
Many of them being gamers who already spend many hours locked in their room with curtains closed, headset on and staring at their screen.
I am one of them and at least a few hours a week I spend distraction free.
I agree that voice chat still has a way to go, like many of the technologies described here.
But when I see what we can do with mobile phones and pad and such, I think it is not that far away.
You may get the chance for a few distraction-free hours; most people out there don’t. Also, note that voice chat is problematic in virtual worlds. Whenever I really want to experience immersion, especially when I’m in a place with other avatars in it, I simply turn voice off (actually, due to security concerns I’ve experienced, I keep voice off practically all the time nowadays). Do you know why? Because having others yapping away on local voice chat while I’m trying to take in an art exhibit or what have you ruins the experience. And then, there are all the other concerns I and Inara have raised, which neither you nor any other voice chat proponent has addressed – and, most likely, never will.
I wouldn’t want to put a percentage on who has time for it, but I am sure that there are a lot who have distraction free time.
But yes, voice is pretty horrible in SL at the moment, not because of the technology but because of other people.
We sometimes have voice chat hours at the bar in Berlin and it is lots of fun, we just chat a bit.
But whenever I go somewhere else, I hate voice too.
It seems that nobody in the world can afford a decent headset or is in an even slightly quiet surroundings!
Children screaming, babys crying, dogs barking.
Nevertheless, WHEN it works properly, it is fantastic.
I love being able to communicate without having to type.
And then there are of course the other issues you mentioned.
But I also play games online and very often use voice for that and it adds a lot to the experience.
In some games I only use voice, never ever type chat.
And there are millions who do the same, including in some of the best selling games of all time.
So although I agree that a lot still has to be fixed when it comes to voice in SL, I do see it as something I am already using with some pleasure and I think it will increase in the future and hope it will improve as well.
Voice is terrible in every public chat environment. Ever tried Yahoo! chat rooms? As to voice chat conditions (headset, noisy environment, etc), it is entirely out of any single company’s control. No company in the world – Linden Lab, Kitely, OculusVR, Technical Illusions, Yamaha, Sennheiser, AKG, Grado, Dynaudio, what have you – can control the voice chat conditions of anyone. And you can’t even tell the people a thing about it. I’ve had to skype (in RL) with colleagues who were at home and their children were sick and thus causing interruptions. There’s nothing, really nothing that can be done about it.
But in online pastimes, voice chat is horrible for other reasons that might have escaped your attention:
1. Idiots screaming in voice in SL welcome areas.
2. People talking on local chat in voice in meditative, contemplative sims that would normally inspire some sort of serenity – and yet, all that babbling on voice really ruins the experience.
3. Rude morons screaming in local voice chat.
These are some of the factors that have hampered voice chat acceptance in SL and will hamper OR acceptance as well. There are also others as well:
1. People can be self-conscious about the sound of their voice; they may very well not like the way it sounds through a headset at all. What can you do about it? Nothing.
2. Following up from that, one’s voice may be entirely at odds with the way they’ve reimagined themselves in the virtual domain. Let’s take, as a very obvious example, someone who has an avatar of a different gender than their RL one; how would voice affect their self-expression through their avatar? How about someone who has reimagined themselves as a robot or as a furry or as a person of a different age? Is real-time vocal processing the answer? No, because it’ll demand more processing horsepower, i.e. it’ll cost the user more.
3. What about accent? Yes, accent. Do you think SL is devoid of discrimination against people whose first language is not English? There are people who ridicule “ESLers” (people who have English as a Second Language) on the feeds and forums and, what’s worse, they are praised by their posse for their quasi-racist remarks. Can you solve this with technology? No, you can’t.
4. Also – and this is especially true with people whose first language is not English – many people are not particularly comfortable speaking in English (which is a foreign language to them), but can type in it with great ease. Can you solve things technically for them? No, you can’t. No automatic translation system is reliable at the moment, and they won’t become reliable in the foreseeable future, plus no virtual world provider will ever bother bloating its viewer even more.
As for the “millions” of people who only use voice, what I’ve seen at internet cafes where I’ve worked in the past is kids yelling at each other while smashing away on the keyboards and mice.
So, in a nutshell: You can’t solve everything with technical means. You can’t compensate for the way someone’s life dictates a certain usage model with technical adjustments to the viewer. Period. You can’t solve user retention with technical means – or, at least, solely with technical means. You can’t make people want to use voice chat with technical means. You can’t make people want to stay in SL with technical means – or, at least, solely with technical means. You’re dealing with people, and people (and their lives) are notoriously fickle.
Take me and my fiancé. He pointed me to Second Life way back in 2006. We both tried it. He, a seasoned engineer, who had received formal training in CAD and even the math behind 3D graphics, didn’t bother to stay for more than an hour, and even laughed at the build tools. I stayed, spent nearly two years, left for a few months and came back in 2008 with a new (then) account.
You know something? Back in 2007 and 2008, I used to think everything could be solved with technical means. Now, I’ve grown out of that way of thinking.
Voice is not terrible in every public chat environment.
As I said, it worked absolutely several times in SL and it works fine in many of the online games I play.
I spend last night chatting to 4 people from across the world, while running around shooting zombies.
But yes, it does depend a lot on the user.
When you’re playing games with proper gamers, most of them will use a decent headset.
But even then it of course depends on the people using it.
Same goes for telephone use.
And when I type chat, I can’t do it properly either when the cat is bothering me.
The technology is fine, or can be fine but the users are often the issue.
Don’t blame the tech for the users inabilities.
I can turn chat on in our club and mute anyone who’s microphone isn’t up to scratch.
It is turned off anywhere else in the sim and I would not turn it on in a museum.
Where people typing in chat can also be interruptive.
SL could perhaps try a few things that help this, for instance automatic tempering of too loud microphones and making a SL voice carry only a couple of meters.
But even then it of course depends on the users.
Yet in game situations many of not most voice users have actually learned and adapted.
Especially now that headsets have become very affordable.
I spend plenty of hours every week playing games where the majority of people I meet use their voice in a pretty acceptable manner.
And this is in a zombie survival shoot em up game, not some sort of high brow occasion.
And of course, if people don’t WANT to use voice chat, so be it.
Chat to voice converters, voice changers, etc may be a solution there in the future, also solving some of your other issues.
I don’t think anything can be solved with technical means, I never have.
Modern technology doesn’t play a big part in my RL at all.
But I simply think that VR is about to go big again and a lot of things are pointing in this direction and I know that if I bought a VR set, I would like to try it in some sort of sandbox and I would probably go back to SL even if I had left it in 2007.
I even went back to SL just to test the abilities of my new computer.
VR headsets CAN be big for SL and COULD bring a lot of new and old people back to SL.
And I am convinced that VR will eventually be in every home.
As for communication, interaction, etc, I am also sure that new technologies will solve a lot of issues and give us lots of alternatives, although of course there will always be people who won’t like it.
Just like I still don’t own a mobile phone.
Excellent show, as usual. As for the Rift… I share Inara’s feelings; I don’t see how it’ll revolutionise VR, and I don’t see it as being an incentive for others to try SL or OpenSim. Could the reverse happen? Maybe, but still, the usage model dictated by the Rift is far too limiting and, at best, I see it being used in CAD/CAE/CAM applications in very large companies (like Airbus, Boeing or Dassault). And don’t get me started on the pipedreams about “dedicated VR rooms” in people’s homes. This won’t become a thing.
Good for those who are into this kind of stuff, but I don’t see it as having wide appeal. Yeah, price will come down, but then… will it? Instead of price coming down, they’ll keep loading it with better resolution and features and eye-tracking sensors and…
Kinda like when I thought price would come down for the Spacenav/3D control, which I still think is a more appealing peripheral/control, and that pretty much doubled.
@Mona – People who are self-conscious about their voices can use the modulators/changers, yes?
Voice command or speech-to-text with a simple trigger might work… are the Rift-viewer developers considering foot pedals as viable action buttons/activators? Musicians use them all the time for looper pedals.
Anyone displayed SL on to one of those 4k televisions/displays yet?
I think soon every home will have a VR set, but I wrote a blog about it and won’t repeat all of it here, again 😉
I haven’t tried the voice modulator option in SL yet, but sound like fun.
Btw, Loki Eliot has just been using the voice to text software that comes with the Mac, it seemed to work very well.
But I hope he will blog about that himself soon.
I am still waiting for the glove to make a come back.
It will give you so many options and you could easily ad a few buttons on the bridge of your hand, or back, whatever you call it.
Or maybe leap motions and Kinect like devices will soon be so good that they will be able to catch up on such gestures as well.
Pedals would be interesting, especially as they could also be an alternative to the omnidirectional treadmills, just tap them to walk 🙂
SLGo works on big tv 🙂