Art Plunge: Step Inside Famous Works of Art in Virtual Reality

I just love VR apps about fine art and artists! Art Plunge is a short but satisfying program for the Oculus Go, Gear VR, and Google Daydream, which is now also available for the Oculus Rift VR headset.

Art Plunge allows you to actually step into three-dimensional versions of five famous paintings in the history of Western art:

You can’t move around while you are inside the painting, but you can tilt your head from side to side, look around you, etc. In the Mona Lisa, Mona’s gaze follows you are you move your head from side to side, a subtle but realistic touch! It almost feels as if Mona is patiently waiting for you to speak to her. Very effective.

The app is only CAD$2.29, so what have you got to lose? Give it a try! I loved it, and I only wish I could step into more paintings. Perhaps the developers will issue an expansion pack sometime in the future. I would definitely pay more to be able to step into some more famous paintings!

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Sansar Store Spotlight: Livello Alto

Livello Alto (which means “High Level”) is a real-life Italian fashion brand (website) which is holding a concert to celebrate the opening of a virtual store in Sansar today, with Katia Portugal and Mimi Carpenter (both of whom are already well known from Second Life) performing on stage before an appreciative audience. Thank you to Alfy for organizing this concert! He always brings such talented musical artists to Sansar.

Here’s a couple of pictures of Mimi Carpenter playing her guitar and singing:

The new virtual store looks great, too! It’s still early days so there isn’t anything for sale just yet. Here’s a link to their world, so you can check it out for yourself.

For a limited time only, Livello Alto is giving away two different men’s T-shirts and a men’s necklace for free:

You can also buy the white skull T-shirt and the necklace for free at in-world kiosks near the stage. Here’s a link to the Livello Alto brand on the Sansar Store. Be sure to pick up the freebies before they’re gone!

XRSpace to Launch a Social VR Product—But It’s a Secret

XRScape Logo (from their website)

There’s a very interesting article over on the CNET website by Shara Tibken about a company called XRSpace, titled My peek inside a secret VR headset shows a more social virtual reality. The writer got a chance to experience a new VR headset at a trade show, but unfortunately, she can’t tell you anything about it:

I pick up a virtual reality headset and place it over my eyes. Before I can even blink, it transports me to a world far away from the bustling IFA electronics show. I know that I’m in the bowels of the dismal Berlin Messe convention center, but my brain thinks I’ve managed to escape. I wish I could tell you more about it. I wish I could describe the experience, what the hardware felt like, what the software showed me, what I felt. But I can’t. 

That’s because XRSpace, the new mixed reality company from Peter Chou, co-founder and former CEO of HTC, won’t let me tell you. Chou, in partnership with German wireless giant Deutsche Telekom, plans to launch something in 2020, but the companies don’t want me to detail it until then. At IFA, I became one of the first people on the planet to use the technology, not that I can say much about it. 

All I can tell you is that I wasn’t alone in that virtual world. 

It sounds as if XRSpace wants to get in on both the hardware and software aspects of social VR, working with partners like Deutsche Telekom (no small partner!) and seeking to enable social VR experience developers:

The primary aim for XRSpace is creating a place for people to virtually interact and communicate with each other. The company isn’t making its virtual social environment on its own but instead is working with developers to get them to build experiences for users.

“We want to make social very good,” Chou said. “We want to develop really good digital avatars that can be everywhere, not just one little social app [where] you can only go chat.”  

Shara goes on to talk about various social VR projets to date, including Facebook Spaces, Rec Room, and High Fidelity. It’s a good article and I would encourage you to go over and read it in full.

Sansar Scene of the Day: The Vomit Comet

I haven’t posted a Sansar Scene of the Day for a long time on my blog, so I thought I would correct that oversight today. This picture was taken in an experience I had not visited before, called The Vomit Comet by Scorpion, who describes it as follows:

This place was made to provide “enhanced” VR immersion by exploiting human motion vulnerabilities. It does this well. You might wanna bring a bag. If VR motion sickness is a serious problem for you, do not go in.