Sixense’s MakeVR 3D Modeling Software Kickstarter Goes Live

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Sixense, the company that created the Razer Hydra, has launched a new Kickstarter campaign for MakeVR.  It’s a 3D modeling program that uses Sixense’s 3D motion control STEM System, which was sucessfully funded by a previous Kickstarter campaign.  MakeVR will have support for 3D monitors, and Virtual Reality Head Mounted Displays such as the Oculus Rift, and will also allow for collaborative development.

The target audience for MakeVR is anyone who wants rapid prototyping for 3D printing, and hobbyists who want a 3D motion interface for creating 3D models.   The goal is $250,000 and the funding period ends March 7, 2014.

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Virtual Reality in the Movies: Strange Days

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[ Spoiler Free ]

James Cameron created the 2009 movie Avatar in which ex-marine Jake Sully used technology to experience reality through an artificially created Avatar body, but many people might not know that this was not Cameron’s first movie about virtual reality. He produced, edited and co-wrote the screenplay for the 1995 movie Strange Days. It’s a science fiction thriller set in a grim near future where an underground market has flourished for illegal technology that allows someone to replay the recorded experiences of other people as if they were living them.

It stars Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, and Juliette Lewis, who all bring life and weight to their roles. The movie touches on issues such as addiction and using this technology to deal with loss, which are incredibly relevant today as virtual reality technology starts to become a reality. I enjoyed the movie a great deal, and recommend it to anyone who has an interest in science fiction, and doesn’t mind it’s R rating for sex and violence.   I’ve rewatched it recently, and it still holds up very well.  At the time of this post, it can be found on Netflix to watch instantly. If you’ve watched the movie, please post your thoughts in the comment section, and just add “Spoilers” at the top of your comment if necessary.

Rod Humble Leaves His Position as CEO of Linden Lab

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After three years, Rod Humble has left Linden Lab, the company that created the online virtual world Second Life. No replacement has yet been announced.

My opinion is that virtual reality has the potential to revolutionize not only gaming, but also virtual worlds such as Second Life. The next CEO will have the ability to set the direction for Linden Lab, and my hope is that they will make virtual reality a priority.

Half-Life 2 With The Oculus Rift and Razer Hydra

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The Game

What would it be like if you had to deal with a tear in the fabric of reality that unleashed strange alien creatures and chaos? It’s actually pretty fun! If you’re playing as Gordon Freeman in Half-Life 2, that is.  If you own the Oculus Rift, the Razer Hydra, and have played enough on the Rift to build up a tolerance for motion sickness, then you must play the Half Life VR Mod.  The website for the mod is here.  You  can also see videos of the mod in action, and there is a download link and intructional link at the top of that page.
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Using the Oculus Rift In Second Life

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A programmer named David Rowe has created an alpha viewer that lets people use the Oculus Rift in Second Life.  I was really happy to try it, because it let me experience something I liked in a totally different way. It felt like I was actually in that world for the first time, instead of looking through a monitor. For people who aren’t familiar with viewers, Linden Lab allows people to use different viewers to log into Second Life.  It’s like using different browsers to access the internet.  They can all take you to the same place but they have different graphical layouts, and some differences in features.  The name of this viewer is Ctrl Alt Studio Viewer and can be downloaded here, and he has some information on what settings to use if you’re going to use the rift here. Continue reading