The Reality of Virtual Reality at VRLA

In 1895, one of the very first cinematic shorts was being shown to a small audience. Train Pulling into a Station was the name of the short movie (at least the translated version), and the nature of the technology at the time struck fear into the audience. It's fabled that some individuals had run to the back of the theater to avoid the "oncoming" train. Such is an example in history where technology surpassed what people accepted as the truth; it was given that people cannot view an oncoming train inside of a theater house, and yet with the developing nature of cinematic theory the world was proven wrong. Henceforth, a new form of entertainment was introduced to the world and we were infants to understanding its reach.

This summer's Virtual Reality Los Angeles (VRLA for short) was a foray into a similar technological experience. The con was small, but the implications were far from what the show floor could virtually hold. Every booth was showing off some different form of entertainment, whether it was a 360-degree video, an Oculus-driven video game, an interactive hand-gesture demonstration, or even a full solipsistic immersion into self-propelled flight. Music videos, 3D-animation flourishes, interesting narrative panels, and other similar expos were about the floor. One such booth that had a lot of attraction was Reload Studios featuring their game World War Toons.

Film Friday: E3 Trailer Special

For this week's Film Friday we have an E3 trailer special! Check out seven of the latest trailers which highlight some games and hardware hitting the E3 Expo show floor next week.

ZAM at PAX East 2015: Video Coverage Recap

PAX East 2015: Video Recap

Mike B and Lindsay Geektron hit the floor of PAX East last weekend to grab some interviews and footage of the show. They took a look at Alienware's Steam Machine, chatted about XSplit's latest version update, and snagged interviews for Gigantic, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Elite: Dangerous. Finally, they took a stroll through the Indie Megabooth to bring us an amazing megamix of 30 indie games in under 30 minutes.

Oculus VR Unveils New 'Milestone' Prototype at CES

Oculus VR has showcased its latest prototype, Crystal Cove, at CES 2014. It has two new key features that are promised to not only be in the consumer version but claim to greatly enhance the virtual reality experience. These two features are positional tracking and low persistence.

With the original Oculus Rift devkit, the equipment only tracked orientation, such as when you move your head. This was tracked very precisely, but if you leaned forward or tried to peek around a corner in a game, that particular data wasn't tracked.

With the Crystal Cove being used in addition to an external camera tracking OLEDs on the prototype, the wearer is able to move more naturally with three extra degrees of freedom. You can lean forward or back, crouch down and look underneath things, making for a more natural and comfortable experience. Right now, Oculus is going for the optimal seated VR experience with the Crystal Cove and, as of yet, it is unknown how well it will work standing up, or indeed with something like the Virtuix Omni, a VR treadmill.