Kilograph Studio attends VRLA Winter Expo 2016
VRLA is the first virtual reality and immersive technology exposition of its kind. Our team joined the ranks of the many who attended this event to explore the latest products for Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, Samsung GearVR, along with others. The place was crowded with techies, game developers, film directors and other VR enthusiasts, all very excited to see the latest developments in virtual reality.
At the entrance, the first demonstration was The Walking Dead bus, where people could be immersed into the Walking Dead TV show universe, while of course killing zombies. Just in front of that, a girl wearing an Oculus headset was fearfully walking through the rooms of the film Paranormal Activity. Horror simulation is indeed big in VR and was very present at VRLA.
There were several other entertainment VR demos. You could watch movies in VR. One demonstration allowed people to discover different environments around the world through 360 pictures. And with some gaming demos, you could also test the new tech in motion tracking and controller movement. In a simulation by Crytek, the player was climbing mountains using controllers to grab to the rock and get higher. Another company, VIR zoom, encourages working out through VR immersion, using a very unique controller — an exercise bike. In the demonstration we saw, the player was pedaling the bike to move through the VR environment… on a horse!
Among the other exhibitors, we came across Drop In VR, which was particularly interesting to us as their product allows for the conversion of any 3D model into a VR environment. In their black demo room, we tested walking in a built environment, moving from one room to another inside a 3D modeled house. In order to walk in the VR model, we used a controller that let us point with a laser to wherever we wanted to go.
What also stood out at the expo is how some products are being created for wired VR and some for mobile. VR today can be divided between these two technologies. One aspect of mobile VR is the ability to show videos anywhere with a technology that is already accessible (your cellphone). Wired VR devices have more capability in regards to positional tracking, with the full power of a desktop. This makes wired devices higher quality and more fine-tuned, with less risk of overheating or running out of battery. On the downside, wired devices are more expensive and much less accessible.
We had a lot of fun and were able to get a good overview of how far the industry has come in the development of VR technology. These possibilities offered by VR are particularly relevant to our business and we look forward to exploring them.