a Snapchat Lens to celebrate 60 years of Berkeley’s legendary book store.
“India has the Taj Mahal. Berkeley has Moe’s.”
– The San Francisco Chronicle
We’re commemorating Moe’s 60th anniversary with a special Snapchat Filter that lets you and a friend wear black top hats like the one Moe wore during one of his infamous opening night parties.
On October 12th, 1959 Moe and Barbara Moskowitz opened the doors to their first paperback bookstore and newsstand on Shattuck Avenue in Downtown Berkeley. Later drawn to Telegraph Avenue by the radicals and U.C. Berkeley students, Moe introduced Fair Trade into the book selling industry and the four-level bookstore has survived riots, teargas, recessions and the Internet. It even appears in the 1967 classic film The Graduate, as Dustin Hoffman stares out the window of the now shuttered Caffe Mediterraneum.
Today the iconic store is owned and operated by Moe and Barbara’s daughter, Doris Moskowitz, who published Radical Bookselling: A Life of Moe Moskowitz in 2016, and is at the center of Quirkeley’s 2015 short filmNew Mo’ Cut David Peoples Lost Film of Moe’s Books, along with Oscar-nominated screenwriter David Peoples and his 16mm workprint of the opening night party of Moe’s on Telegraph.
In late 2014 the little film can was recovered at the Berkeley dump and found its way into Doris’ hands thanks to Kevin Laird, a sharp-eyed, self-proclaimed “yeoman of past lives” who was salvaging for Urban Ore at the time. The film won Best Editing at the 2015 Filmstock Film Festival in Arizona, screened at the 2016 Mill Valley Film Festival and is archived at U.C. Berkeley’s Bancroft Library. It’s available for purchase on DVD at the store’s front counter.
Moe’s Books, located at 2476 Telegraph Avenue, is celebrating its anniversary this Saturday, October 12th from 12pm to 6pm with special edition fortune cookies, snacks, prizes and a raffle. Calle Ocho will be playing live Cuban son, danzon, bolero and jazz.
To activate THE SNAPCHAT filter, click here and install Snapchat if you don’t already have it on your mobile device.
The filter will be active in your filter menu for 48 hours and can be reactivated after the 48 hours is up.
On the right is Moe’s Books Snapchat Filter in action with Doris Moskowitz and Johnny Williams.
Get the filter today, take a snap with a friend and share it with #MoesBooks!
Hat’s off to Moe’s for 60 years of radical bookselling in Berkeley!
Inspired by the H.G. Wells sci-fi classic, War of the Worlds: Invasion is A Bose AR enabled podcast and action-adventure game in one, featuring hyper local music from DJ Eu4ic, ASMR, a Latte Goddess, classic memes and Shia LaBeouf!
Players are on a mission to free the human prisoners held captive by the next generation of Martian Tripod Forces, bio-hacked super predators that turn humans to dust with their catastrophic heat rays.
Protect the world with your Bose AR enabled Frames as your guide. Evade the Martian attack, put your meme savvy to the test and perk up to virtual lattes as a reward for accomplishing missions.
With the power of BoseAR interactive sound, ride among a fleet of hovercraft speeders that help you reach the prisoners and destroy the Tripod with the tap of your finger – if you don’t get vaporized first.
In Chapter 3, Transmission to Mars, you must select an audio track that will be sent to Mars Ground Control, it may have the virus that will destroy the enemy, earning you a promotion to Major Foam. And you just might save the world.
War of the Worlds: Invasion is a latte or death situation that takes you on an ear-raising mission to save humans from extinction. #JUSTDOIT
ARVR Women and Allies is a group for women in the immersive tech industry that supports community connection, education and professional growth.
Both an online network and real-world meetup, the volunteer group is focused on increasing representation and multicultural leadership in Virtual and Augmented Reality. ARVR Women believes in immersive tech for social good. Members to come together for inspiration, encouragement and a departure from the status quo.
Daniel Sabio a.k.a. The Glad Scientist inspired me to make Ice Breakerswhile standing in line at my first hackathon, the 3rd annual MIT Media Lab Reality, Virtually Hackathon, an epic 5-day adventure from January 17th – 21st, pushing the boundaries of immersive VR, AR, and spatial computing.
With over 400 participants and 100 teams gathered at the edge of the future, overlooking the Charles River no less, the chance to work in the Media Lab with the people and tools at the heart of the industry including Oculus, HTC Vive, Microsoft, Google, PTC/Vuforia, and Magic Leap, was entirely radical for a tech-obsessed Berkeley girl like me.
Greetings from the future
Bean bag town
“Is it real or is it memorex?”
Hackers gonna hack
Ice Breakers is a multiplayer AR game that breaks down communication barriers and encourages positive social interactions.
The first player establishes a playroom that others can join on AR enabled phones where they are separated by a virtual wall of ice cubes. You launch charmed projectiles by tapping at the cubes which randomly release a prompt for a short ice breaker game.
When you breakdown the wall everyone wins, incentivizing players to dismantle the divide between isolation and shared moments of delight.
I met Sabio on the first day of the Hack through a mutual friend, VR artist Chelley Sherman. He sparked the idea for the social AR game by saying we should get level ups and coins for meeting our online friends in the real world. I agreed and had the proverbial lighting strike of inspiration, where I saw the whole game and a room full of hackers with charms floating over their heads. From then on I knew I wanted to make something that would be fun to play at the Hack’s Expo Day.
Day 1’s schedule of workshops and classes, especially the Vuforia Studio U/X courses gave me the confidence my idea was within the realm of possibilities given the submission deadline on Sunday at 1 pm.
Later that evening before the opening ceremony Sabio introduced me to Atlanta-based installation artist and developer Kris Pilcher. It turned out we were already friends on Facebook but had never met. Fortunately, Kris wanted to learn how to use Google’s cloud anchor integration in Unity, so after the project pitches and considering a handful of teams he agreed to support my project and build Ice Breakers using ARCore, Unity and Google’s cloud anchors integration that debuted at Unite Berlin last June. According to Unity, 90% of the top grossing apps on Google Play are connected games. We were also building with accessibility in mind, ARCore is enabled on upwards of 250 million mobile devices.
Day 2, Friday morning Team Ice Breakers quickly set up our work space in the lower atrium of E-15, The Wiesner building and original Media Lab, designed by I.M. Pei (’40). It’s the site of one of MIT’s infamous pranks, 1994’s “The Pei Toilet”.
The interior, with its “Here – There” tile installation by Kenneth Knowland is a portal to 1985, a 100% pure source of the Vaporwave aesthetic, that reminded me of my favorite MST3K film, “Overdrawn at the Memory Bank” starting Raul Julia.
We took to the 3rd floor of E14 to brainstorm and sketch out the game wire frame, listing our tasks for the mechanics and art, and left open questions about the how players would interact and collect rewards.
E14, 3rd floor
Wire framing on 3rd floor of E14
Vuforia and Unity workshops
Artist at work
Installation Artist and Developer Kris Pilcher
I was responsible for the team lead administrative tasks and making the projectiles, the logos, the theme song, the icebreaker prompts and later the ice wall. I made the 3D game assets on the Rift with Oculus Medium, and the 2D assets with Illustrator and Photoshop.
Anish Dhesikan, Hackaton Mentor and a Software Engineer at Google Daydream VR/AR, helped guide us through the technical challenges we had networking the phones. He won Grand Prize at the 2016 Reality Virtually Hackathon.
Charity Everett, also a Hackathon Mentor, Research Fellow at MIT Open Documentary Lab and ARVR Women Futurist in Residence, was instrumental in getting us to expand our thinking and purpose. She helped us improve the game by recognizing that the motivation for rewards would undermine authentic exchanges, and generate a false rapport based on short-term personal gains.
I was grateful for the feedback although a little discouraged, however, we still had plenty of work ahead of us before we had to make final decisions on the mechanics. There’s almost no time to consider anything beyond what’s immediately in front of you. I feared I’d turn into molasses if I spent too long worrying about decisions that weren’t at the top of my list yet.
By 8:35 pm Kris had established the multiplayer functionality.
At 9:07 pm we started testing the anchors. The building closed at midnight but we wrapped around 11:30 pm and a bunch of hackers went to The Automatic in Kendall Square for their addictive late night flat burgers.
Day 3, Saturday, the collisions were working by noon, and the big decisions were now before us. How does Ice Breakers start? Are both players behind blocks of ice? In their own igloos? Who takes the first turn?
Charity’s feedback allowed us to re-think the mechanics. Around the corner from the Media Lab, the hedges in front of Lobby 10 became the prototype for our engagement solution: Simplify. The barrier between players is a single wall of ice – which also serves as the cloud anchor to connect the devices.
A virtual wall between players shifted the motivation from what you get by breaking through, to what you contribute, rewarding players for collaborating and creating shared moments of delight.
Tear down that hedge!
Charity Everett, Hackathon Mentor, Research Fellow at MIT Open Documentary Lab and ARVR Women Futurist in Residence
1st deadline down.
Heart and Soul musicians
Anish Dhesikan and Kris Pilcher
Kris started building in our new direction and I googled the world of funny, odd and awkward Ice Breaker games. I also had to make a scratch video for our first deadline which involved setting up our Devpost profile by 6pm to get an official number of some kind.
By 10 pm we were testing the main game components: players joining the virtual room, setting the space, placing the wall and launching projectiles that make a retro-laser “pew-pew” sound when they strike the cubes.
I was running out of time on the theme song. I’m not a gamer but one thing I know is that you have to have catchy tunes.
The day before, a few musicians hacking in the main building came over to E15 to play the piano that’s under the atrium’s staircase. As I was fabricating the projectiles in Medium (stamps of hearts, thunderbolts and music notes) I hear the quirky keys of “Heart and Soul”, the 1938 Hoagy Carmichael and Frank Loesser classic, known the world over as the song Tom Hanks plays in “Big.” It made the perfect theme song, but I couldn’t break my momentum and cause a delay in delivering the assets to see if they would record it. And then I couldn’t find a version online that I liked.
At 11:30 pm Saturday, I asked Chelley if she knew any musicians at the Hack that could play the piano. She recommended the team hacking next to her, who happened to be the same musicians from the day before, (whose name’s I’ve written some where!) and we recorded the music just as I remembered it.
Serendipity continued to light our path as we found ourselves in the presence of Joe Davis at his studio surrounded by his crystal radios, coils and clocks set ahead by an hour. The legendary Bio-artist, poet, and Artist Scientist at Harvard Medical School / George M. Church Laboratory, suggested we find a way to add a clip of President Reagan’s 1987 Tear Down This Wall speech. Of course – it should launch the game in a salute to Joe.
Day 4, Sunday, the Hack’s “Pencil’s Down” deadline is at 1 pm. In the morning I downloaded the Reagan clip, cleaned it up, added our Heart and Soul soundtrack and transferred it to Kris.
At 10 am I went to a prep meeting for submitting the project and the judging process.
Kris powered through the final build, and was almost kidnapped by another team, “Together”, who needed help with their cloud anchors. I followed them and demanded his return, but compromised and said they could bring their laptops over to get his help. We were in good shape but with just a few hours left, the thought of him leaving the table terrified me.
Demo booth sign
Helping the competition
Siciliana Trevino, Anish Dhesikan, Kris Pilcher
United Colors of Benetton
It all came together. Kris committed the project to GitHub at 12:30 pm. We completed a simple 10 minute demo for a team of judges at 2:35 pm. I was exhausted and dehydrated but still standing. Whether or not we made the finals, our game was a hit.
The team Kris helped? They won first place in our category of Games and Learning.
Day 5, Monday, We gave our first public demo to rave reviews. Players had this to say:
“I loved it.”
Expect the unexpected at the MIT Reality, Virtually Hackathon.
I never would have imagined I’d spend a week at the MIT Media Lab in an 80’s building literally frozen in time, (during a government shutdown over wall funding) researching ice cubes to make a wall in VR for a multiplayer AR game, or YouTubing a 1987 clip of President Reagan, to use for game instructions thanks to Joe Davis.
Ice Breakers is essentially a game for Daniel Sabio to play, inspired by his zany imagination. He’s the Glad Scientist experimenting with realities after all. He served as the ideal player and stars in the demo video which I filmed and edited in the final hours of the closing dance party in E15 on Sunday night.
Initially I went to the Hackathon interested in making a memorial for the 54 journalists who were killed in 2018 – the most in decades. I was covering some dark and heavy places and the idea for Ice Breakers allowed me to do something completely opposite and novel, while organically evolving into a game that touched on timeless themes and the common struggle of overcoming barriers to establish new and authentic relationships.
Restaurant Week is one of our favorite local traditions and the best time of year to explore the city’s celebrated food scene. Special value lunch and dinner menus will be at available at over forty five restaurants, from January 17th through the 21st. The variety of offerings is as impressive as it is appetizing so make your reservations today.
Breakfast Fight Club is ARVR Women’s unplugged cafe meetup for industry water cooler conversations without the water cooler. It’s a morning event for non-morning people, inspired by the meetups in David Fincher’s 1997 cult classic starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton.
Pitt plays Tyler Durden, Norton’s devilish alter-ego, a soap salesman who moonlights as a domestic terrorist and leads a viral underground network of bloody boxing fights. Our club doesn’t actually fight. We drink coffee, talk about immersive design and hardware. Bring your business card if you want a chance to win a bar of soap in our raffle.
The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club. All we ask at BreakfastFight Club is that you do not chew with your mouth open.
Since our first BFC at Au Coquelet in Berkeley, we’ve had about a dozen breakfasts in the U.S and Europe (2 in the UK, 1 in Germany). One of my favorites was our most attended breakfast at OC5, Oculus’s developer conference in San Jose.
What I love about them is that we’re usually anywhere from 5 to 12 attendees, which gives everyone a chance to talk about their work.
But, if you’re like me and you work from home, have looming deadlines and don’t need to be in a car, bus or train before 10 am, it’s an almost heroic effort to be there.
There’s no offense if you RSVP’d and don’t show up. Don’t apologize. We start at 8:30 am – I’d probably miss it too if I wasn’t hosting them. It’s okay to be late. You win the battle by simply showing up.
Breakfast Fight Club is a jolt of real-world camaraderie with other early adopters who are defining a space for themselves in an uncharted, rapidly expanding universe. The price of admission? Buying a cup of coffee or tea, maybe a doughnut.
Fifer (left) hooks up Nicole (right) with a Hololens connection, while Nicole arranges a time for Fifer to test her Daydream headset
You talk to neighbors, visiting scholars from Harvard, angel investors, game designers, entrepreneurs from Los Angeles, New York City, Canada, China or Singapore.
You suddenly find access to the latest headset you needed or get leads on funding and incubators. Portfolios and demos are shared. Websites and numbers are exchanged. When it’s over at 10 am, the conversation keeps going.
On a recent Thursday morning a total of six attendees, myself included, met at our main location, 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco, for our last breakfast of the year.
During our final round of 2018, the group talked about what brought us into immersive tech, developer pain points, user interface design, and news we’re anticipating in 2019.
We had a soap exchange and raffled off a Special Edition Fight Club DVD – congrats to the winner, 3D artist, Corinne Murchinson.
2018’s Champion of Breakfast Fight Club, is Tara Packard, with the highest attendance.
Keep reading for the roll call and links to resources we shared and found.
is a 3D Artist, Explorer, Life Interpreter, and Artist by Nature. “VR is the stepping stone to the future.” Everything’s leading to holograms. In 2019, “Looking forward to new creative opportunities to use my modeling skills in immersive and special effects work.” A persistent developer pain point for indies (and consumers) are hardware costs. Events like the recent Microsoft Mixed Reality Hackathon, where organizers gave participants Lenovo headsets, are crucial to welcoming more developers into immersive design.
is MozillaXR Fellow, and recently received honorable mention for her and engineer Jasmine Roberts’s submission to Mircrosoft’s Mixed Reality Hackathon. She is a Co-Chair of ARVR Women’s Futurist in Residence program which is increasing multi-cultural leadership in immersive tech by putting AR headsets Magic Leap One and HoloLens 2 in the hands of influential and emerging artists.
creates emotive interactive animated experiences in games, apps, AR, VR & immersive real-time virtual worlds. In 2019 “Niantic will come out with something big. When we talk about diversity in tech we need to also address ageism. No one retires at 60 anymore.” We need a truly inclusive framework that considers inter-generational, accessible input design principals for haptic, gesture, voice control and beyond.
XR Software Engineer, is originally from a physics (optics) and computer engineering background, she is an “anti-disciplinary” design researcher with interests converging at immersive computing, mixed-reality and interaction. For the past 5 years, she has been researching computational spatial design and considering how digitally generated realities can enhance sensory ability and proprioception– ultimately to enhance human connectivity. In 2019 Jasmine is looking forward to better user interfaces for experiences. “It’s not out there yet. We’re still building the fire.”
InfoQ – Design ArticlesInfoQ provides software engineers with the opportunity to share experiences gained using innovator and early adopter stage techniques and technologies with the wider industry.
Book: The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman / Nielsen Norman Group “We are user advocates. We help companies move toward human-centered products and internet interaction, the better to play a major role in the new world of customer-centered goods and services.”
“Affordances” – The Glossary of Human Computer InteractionThe concept of an affordance was coined by the perceptual psychologist James J. Gibson in his seminal book The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception. The concept was introduced to the HCI community by Donald Norman in his book The Psychology of Everyday Things from 1988. There has however been ambiguity in Norman’s use of the concept, and the concept thus requires a more elaborate explanation.
Virtual Artist: Chelley Sherman – Her work is governed by patterns and texture which harness the neural systems that underlie enthrallment in darkness, ritual, reverie. Her practice consists of experiments with different mediums and displays such as virtual reality, projection mapping, and interactive audio visual installations.
Advanced Identity Representation (AIR) Projectat MIT – We utilize a custom-made digital platform called MazeStar that allows students to explore their ideas while learning about human-computer interaction, web design, privacy, coding, debugging, and more. A component of MazeStar is a game-like programming environment called Mazzy in which students learn the building blocks of coding.
Microsoft Mixed Reality Capture Studios we record holographic video – holograms of dynamic people and performances. Your audiences can interact with your holograms in augmented reality, virtual reality, and on 2D screens.
Visual Artist and Developer, started in VR through incubators in the east and west coasts, but has been following virtual worlds ever since Second Life. She also works with photogrammetry. In 2019 she is personally “Looking forward to launching my business, Imaginary Objects.” Industry-wide, “Audio takes off. Looking forward to working with new ambisonic mics and AR toys.”
BFC Host, Filmmaker, AR/VR Producer was recently a judge at the AT&T Mixed Reality Hackathon, Magic Leap’s first official hackathon. In 2019 she’s, “excited about working with ARVR Women’s Futurists in Residence, exploring how Magic Leap One and HoloLens 2 will impact art, design and the future. I’m curious if the Oculus Quest will become the Game Boy of VR. If it supports Facebook Spaces it could also be the Game Girl of VR. I wouldn’t call it theHonda Civic of VR.”
Capitol Region Accelerator is calling for AR VR entrepreneurs. Selected companies will receive $50,000. The deadline to submit applications is December 21, 2018. The upcoming cohort is slated to occur from January 28 to April 13, 2019.
Zip into the future with Quirkeley, VR @ Berkeley and more at NextSpace in Downtown Berkeley for the 2nd Annual Global Virtual Reality Day, Saturday November 17th, from 12pm to 4pm.
Virtual Reality Day is a grassroots, global effort to bring greater awareness of immersive tech to the general public, and get people to experience first-hand how virtual reality is changing the digital landscape and the future of computing.
Over 55 cities around the globe are participating in free events, including across the Bay in San Francisco and Marin. If you can’t find one in your area, you can attend virtually with Microsoft’s AltSpace, where avatars will be live-streaming from VR for 24hrs.
In Berkeley, we’re going beyond industry hype and pie-in-the-sky predictions into new worlds made by local developers, artists and entrepreneurs, who are delivering one-of-a-kind immersive experiences and 3D solutions for creative, practical and enterprise applications. They’re working on the future, literally just around the corner.
NextSpace is bike, BART and wheelchair accessible.
VR @ Berkeley is a student group dedicated to bringing virtual reality to the campus community. Our club provides students with access to virtual reality equipment and training and charters project teams to explore the applications and implications of virtual reality in diverse fields through research and development.
By providing access to hardware and expertise, we aim to lower the barriers to experiencing and developing virtual reality technology. We are partnering with established labs on campus to investigate virtual and augmented reality as tools for robotics control systems, visualization of complex data, and as an interface for the future. We engage with the campus community through public demo days and infosessions.
2018 Project Teams Immersive Realities (360 Animation), Immersive Cinema (360 Live-Action),Biofeedback, and College Esports are giving demos and sharing the latest from their group.
Snow Angel VR “We Love” 360 music experience. Filmed on location at the Berkeley Marina during the Kite Festival, Snow Angel’s first immersive 360 music video is a flower-powered trip, ideal for kids and kids at heart who are trying VR for the first time!
XEODesign No VR event is complete without a dose of Augmented Reality. XEODesign CEO Nicole Lazzaro will take you through “Aladdin Dash”, her mesmerizing AR game demo she developed on the Magic Leap AR lightwear.
Grizzly Peak Model Trains Climb aboard our virtual train simulator and help test our electric cabs including the Key System 087 that ran in Emeryville.
We’ll have a real-world layout of our N-Scale, 3D printed Key Route and Interurban Electric railway cars on display.
Debias VR “Teachers Lens” Funded by Oculus VR, Teacher’s Lens is an anti-implicit bias training for teachers. Using evidence-based training simulations in VR, we aim to promote healthy K-12 classroom environments by reducing bias in a more accessible, comfortable, and positive way.
ARVR Women and Allies is a group for women in the immersive tech industry that supports community connection, education and professional growth. We believe in ARVR for good and work to uplift women of all varieties and skill sets.
Kunze Productions is an award-winning 360° virtual reality video production company based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Kevin Kuze is a prolific 360 video cinematographer and will be showcasing 360 production gear and drone photography.
Geopogo Unleash your creativity. Design and present in virtual and augmented reality and create building visualizations in minutes. Quickly create and modify engaging 3D office, home and apartment unit models and present them instantly in 3D walk-throughs for clients and customers.
NewPathVR develops virtual reality applications for mental health, provides training for clinicians and patients on the user of VR for healing, and holds virtual reality art therapy workshops. They are also the creators of RenewVR.com, the only destination dedicated to health and wellness VR applications to relax, inspire, and improve you. CEO of NewPathVR and virtual reality artist Lisa Padilla will be showing wellness apps and VR art.
Last month, ARVR Women held its largest Breakfast Fight Club yet, at OC5, Facebook’s annual Oculus developer conference in San Jose.
Named after David Fincher’s 1999 cult-classic, the early morning meet up, is for water cooler conversations without the water cooler. It’s a quirky, and casual celebration of the VR community’s unconventional work and entrepreneurial spirit.
And if you bring your business card, you’re entered into our raffle for a bar of soap.
Even better, at OC5, BFC attendees got a jump start on industry networking with a global mix of developers, artists, designers and business professionals who are driving virtual reality into the mainstream.
Throughout the morning, the Hilton restaurant staff had to add more tables as our group quickly took over the entire dining room.
The hot topic of course, was Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement the previous day, of the spring 2019 debut of the Oculus Quest, (formerly project Santa Cruz) the company’s first, all-in-one stand alone headset priced at $399.
Five years after Facebook bought Oculus for over two billion dollars, we’ve surpassed VR’s hype-cycle. The optimism in the room, especially about the Quest becoming the gateway headset to mass adoption that the industry has been waiting for, was a great start to the last day of the conference.
Thanks to everyone who braved the 8am start time. Congratulations to our raffle winners, and the first attendee to arrive, Catie Lee, who also won a Snow Angel cardboard headset. And special thanks to Lily Chen for the group photo!
For those who couldn’t attend – or missed getting contact info, I’ve included a directory of attendees who submitted business cards for the raffle. They’re arranged in alphabetical order, by industry segment.
Developer conferences aren’t known for their strong shoe game.
If all I knew about Silicon Valley came from HBO and Palmer Luckey’s 2014 Time magazine cover, I might’ve considered wearing a pair of flip-flops to last week’sOC5.
Oculus Connect is Facebook’s annual VR developer conference, where attendees are transported from the San Jose Convention Center to the future of reality, through the company’s awe-inspiring virtual reality headsets.
Casual shoes in the Valley follow their own trends. Five years after Facebook paid $2.3 billion dollars for Oculus, Palmer Luckey’s Kickstarted company – VR isn’t dead. But Luckey and flip-flops are out.
Facebook’s highly anticipated tetherless, room-scale VR headset, the Oculus Quest, athleisure power sneakers and metallics, are in.
Like Paris strutting its superiority during Fashion Week, OC5’s 2-day spring preview of the Quest, formerly known asProject Santa Cruz, is Menlo Park’s answer to anyone who doubts Facebook’s reign as the nexus of the VR industry or VR’s viability as a platform.
This is the headset we’ve been waiting for: an all-in-one device that doesn’t require a PC, a new phone or cables.
The Quest has “Oculus Insight” four, wide-angle sensors and computer vision algorithms to track the users position and hand controllers in real-time so there’s no fussing with external sensors.
Oculus Insight provides a more functional and immersive experience – the six degrees of freedom everyone wants in a headset, including the capability for “arena-scale” activities.
Walking the convention hall, surrounded by attendees taking selfies and re-connecting with friends they usually meet in the metaverse, through social VR platforms like Facebook Spaces, AltSpace, VRChat and High Fidelity, I began contemplating how VR intersects all walks of life. How can we remain grounded as we begin adding and managing new digital realities to our existence?
While everyone was looking up, I kept my phone camera aimed at the floor. I wanted to catch “the soles”, if you will, paving the way to the future.
“The journey of a thousand miles…”
Laugh today. Buy tomorrow. However ridiculous virtual reality may seem now, immersive, mixed-reality experiences including augmented reality are going to define how we design, work, play, fight, and collaborate in the near future.
While OC5 attendees are currently among the 1% of the billion people Mark Zuckerberg aims to put in VR eventually, soon real-world interactions and physical office spaces could become the exception, not the rule.
Trying Oculus Quest at OC5 changed my ideas about life, as advertised, in the future.
It’s not about flying cars, or even a ticket to Mars. Right now VR can take you anywhere you can imagine – including Mars, in your pajamas without ever having to leave the house. No passport required.
In spring 2019, Oculus Quest will cut VR’s cords and hefty PC requirements for a retail price of $399, the current price of their tethered Rift.
Flower-power your way to another dimension in Snow Angel VR, Thursday August 16th, 6pm at NextSpace in Downtown Berkeley.
Renowned electric sitar player Gabby La La and Quirkeley Director Siciliana Trevino, funded the 360 music video collaboration for La La’s band Snow Angel, by raising $10,000 on Kickstarter back in 2016.
The pair, who who met at CalArts in Santa Clarita, where La La studied music and Trevino studied film, are hosting Thursday’s event to thank their fans and campaign backers who made it possible for La La to complete Snow Angel’s debut album, and for Trevino to purchase some of the tech needed to develop their immersive music video, “We Love”.
The app has gone through various iterations and demos at Snow Angel shows throughout the Bay Area and LA, before it premiered at ComicCon Palm Springs’s May-hem event earlier this summer.
On Thursday project backers will receive their KS rewards that include Snow Angel’s debut album on cassette, as well as custom cardboard viewers with a QR code that links to the “We Love” video now on YouTube.
The free reception is also a chance to experience Snow Angel VR on the Oculus Rift, Facebook’s premium VR headset, and escape into more Snow Angel 360 videos, including “Big Group Hug”
You can also check out Gabby and Siciliana’s latest collaboration, an augmented reality app with artist Bud Snow, the Oakland-based painter and muralist who produced Snow Angel’s album cover art.
Doors open at 6pm for Venus Hour, sponsored by ARVR Women and Allies, an industry support group with over 4,500 members on Facebook and where Siciliana is leading initiatives on diversity, restorative justice and…breakfast.
At 7pm Trevino will dive into lessons from Kickstarter funding, 360 video production, and app development for virtual and augmented reality, followed by a Q and A with Gabby.