Strawberry and Drax Take a Tour of High Fidelity with Philip Rosedale

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Today, Philip Rosedale, the visionary founder of Linden Lab and creator of Second Life, conducted a tour of his new VR-capable virtual world, High Fidelity, for Strawberry Singh and Draxtor Despres.

This is another of Strawberry’s continuing series of visits to virtual worlds other than Second Life. She had visited High Fidelity for the first time a month ago. Back in February, she had also paid a visit to Sinespace, on a tour led by Sine Wave Entertainment’s Adam Frisby.

Philip said that currently, the High Fidelity company consists of 55 people, and about 20,000 people have created user accounts so far in High Fidelity. He said, in response to a comment from Drax that most High Fidelity users are probably American, that British/European users actually make up the largest block of HiFi users.

Philip talked about a piece of code you can add to your HiFi client, called Mirror Mode, which allows you to see a copy of your avatar in-world, to see what you are wearing, etc.

The group started at the Zaru domain, and from there they went on to visit the following domains:

Each HiFi domain runs on its own server; High Fidelity is a distributed open-source virtual world. Philip said that they built the architecture so that anybody who wants to can put up their own server, which means that it can scale upwards much more easily than a centralized system. He also hinted that you might be able to access High Fidelity on your phone someday soon!

Here’s Strawberry’s livestream of the tour (she was experiencing some technical issues with lag, and she did crash at one point):

Drax also did a livestream of Philip’s tour (one of the cool HiFi features he demonstrated was the ability to befriend another avatar simply by shaking their hand in-world):

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Watch an Actor Control a Highly Realistic Human Avatar

Business Insider recently published an article about Siren, a hyper-realistic human avatar created by a computer-vision company called Cubic Motion. This is NOT a video of a real human being; it is a computer-generated digital avatar, driven by an actor!

Titled “This company makes hyper-realistic ‘digital humans’ — and it could be the key to merging real life with virtual reality“, the video shows you what I think is the most realistic-looking human avatar we’ve seen yet.

Here’s another video showing you some of the behind-the-scenes work required to make Siren seem like a real person:

This is another short video showing an actor driving the Siren avatar, taken at the recent Game Developer’s Conference held in San Francisco:

Mind-blowing technology! According to the Business Insider article:

Wood estimates that “sooner than two years” from now, each person could have access to the technology required to create and puppet their own digital body double in virtual reality, from their own home.

“It could be done today,” Wood said in an interview with Business Insider. The hold up, he explained, is with the VR headset manufacturers that have yet to incorporate wearer-facing cameras into their products, a feature which real-time image capture relies on.

Can you imagine being able to drive your own avatar in one of the newer virtual worlds, using this technology? Astounding.