The 3rd London Developer VR Meetup, which took place recently in Shoreditch, London was host to another fascinating collection of VR related technologies. Guest writer Kevin Williams reports.
InfinitEye, Atomic Motion Create a VR Splash in London
Split in to two days to ideally support demand, INITION once again invited guests to their Demo basement facility – decked out appropriately for Christmas and all things immersive for the latest London Oculus Rift / VR Developer Meetup.
Over forty guests attended the Meetup on Friday – and were welcomed by INITION’s Jonathan Tustain (Co-organizer of the event and recent Road to VR recruit) and INITION creative director and event organizer Andy Millns. The event gathered a major selection of home development and third party VR technology. One unusual addition to the mix was the presentation of a Ricoh Theta360 camera, capturing 360’ images perfect for virtual viewing. A system was donated and was to be awarded to the best hash-tag picture of the event.
The Fri night VR group giving their best for the Theta360 camera! #thumbsup #inition #ricohuk – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA
Continuing the London events formula, the assembled guests received an informative presentation entitled “VR – The Ultimate Reality” by Sebastien ‘Cb’ Kuntz. Offering an interesting presentation looking at the birth and establishment of much of what we have come to see from the latest explosion in VR technology.
After this the meeting moved into the demonstration stage – supported by drinks and pizza from INITION (thank you). The big draw to this months’ event was the chance for many to get their hands (and eyes) on the InfinitEye. This 210 degree virtual reality display was presented into a hand-crafted prototype stage, utilizing Fresnel lenses and a highly immersive wide field of view.
I was able to talk to the French team (Stephane, Lionel and Robin) behind the InfinitEye – they confirmed that they are in a stage of evaluation of the best business approach for their concept. Proposals are to form a new company, possibly located into the United Kingdom, and then to look towards investment towards the building of production version of the system – the use of a Kickstarter campaign was not ruled out.
My reaction to the InfinitEye was positive – I had been concerned beforehand regarding the ‘de-focusing’ of the images through a Fresnel lens but was satisfied that this highly rudimentary hand crafted prototype still showed the potential, with the right support and product manufacturing to create a worthwhile contribution to the explosion of VR HMS’s to be produced.
The INITION demo room proved a ‘Santa’s Grotto’ of the latest immersive and 3D technology – the company specializing in marketing and promotional contractual work spends a considerable amount of their time utilizing the latest applications and so has a excellent vantage point to select from – VR applications of previously reported projects by the company, the Nissan Built to Thrill Wingsuit Experience with Oculus display and wind-machine, along with the simulator illustration impaired conditions on driving (now reverting from a Sony HMD to a Oculus).
One of the new technologies on display in the immersive approach was the conjoining of the popular ‘ImmersaVu’ curved screen booth from Immersive Display Group and the new Atomic Motion Systems ‘A2’ motion seat simulator. A highly responsive system, offering a powerful 2-DoF motion envelope; the platform able to be plug straight into conventional power outage, using software to represent the physical effects of the rally car in the Codemasters game ‘Colin McRae’s Dirt 2’.
Again, speaking with the team behind the motion system, the two year old company has worked hard to create the best and most cost-effective motion driving system for the ready market in home simulation and also venue based and commercial simulation application. Its incredibly small foot-print and powerful performance readily defined the attributes of the product seen in the company’s name (Atomic).
The gathering also attracted some other demonstrations of VR applications with a demonstration by Sebastien Kuntz with an Oculus Rift DK1 and Razer Hydra used as a positional tracker. Also on display was NFTS and their ‘Bandman’; and ‘Private Eye’ demonstrations on Oculus Rift development kits.
All in all another highly informative and entertaining social event by INITION that allowed for more people to get to grips with the reality of the VR craze, see the latest development and also to socialize with their peers in some interesting and informative discussions that carried long into the night after the lights had been turned off and the action moved to the adjoining pub.
You can find more on the London Virtual Reality Meetups here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Kevin Williams has an extensive background in in the development and sales of the latest amusement and attraction applications. The UK born specialist in the pay-to-play scene; is well-known through his consultancy, KWP and as a prolific writer and commentator (The Stinger Report) on the emergence of the new entertainment market. Kevin is also the founder of the association and Conference (DNA Association/DNA Conference) that focuses on the digital Out-of Home interactive entertainment sector. Kevin can be reached at – firstname.lastname@example.org – http://www.thestingerreport.com (both free to subscribe services)