timoni-west-2016Timoni West is principal designer at Unity Labs, and she’s been working on creating tools within Unity to be able to create VR from within VR. I first talked with Timoni in October about these content creation tools which were revealed to the VR community for the first time at Unity’s VR/AR Vision Summit in February. I had a chance to catch up with her to talk about creating VR in VR for both developers and non-developers.

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One of the really interesting aspects of this discussion was Timoni’s discovery that there are a number of different perceptual illusions that were made really evident when trying to work while immersed within a 3D medium. She says that bats process information in 3D, but that humans really process information in 2D and that a lot of the cognitive mapping of 3D spaces is extrapolated from contextual cues from within the environment.

unreal vr editor
See Also: Watch Epic Games’ Nick Donaldson Build a Scene in Unreal’s VR Editor

Timoni ended up doing a deep dive into cognitive science research to learn more about some of these perceptual illusions that were revealed to her in the process of creating VR in VR, which she presented in her Vision Summit talk about the “Cognitive Implications of Widespread VR.” She’s trying to understand our perceptual limitations in order to design around them, but also to see if we might be able to perhaps evolve and perhaps overcome some of them. Her research hasn’t yielded any clear answers yet, but she’s at least starting a dialogue and getting feedback from the wider VR and research communities.

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You can watch Timoni’s presentation of Unity’s VR scene editing tools at the VR/AR Vision Summit here:

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