FIVARS: The Festival of International Virtual and Augmented Reality Stories Runs February 21st to 28th, 2022

Established in 2015, FIVARS (short for the Festival of International Virtual and Augmented Reality Stories) is a Canadian festival focused on curating the best immersive story-driven VR/AR/MR/XR content from around the world, with the aim of exploring and nurturing this platform for new narrative forms. Their website states:

As with the modern cinema experience, through Virtual Reality, we can explore truth, happiness, sadness, and the science fiction that will be tomorrow’s science fact. 

The difference is that, unlike modern cinema where you explore these worlds through a window, with Virtual Reality you can now transport into the center of the action, standing inside of the world you wish to explore. Just like real life, if you try to look away from what is in front of you, you will now see what is behind, below, above, to the right or left of you. 

The real-time response of your head’s movement creates a powerful sense of physical immersion that allows you or your intended audience to connect to the content on a deeper, more visceral level.

FIVARS (Festival of International Virtual and Augmented Reality Stories) openly encourages viewers to enjoy and connect to stories in this newly emergent narrative form, while challenging content creators to showcase ideas that defy and transcend the status quo.

At the festival, there is also an opportunity to share conversations both with our team and other industry members in attendance to discuss how to take part in this snowballing revolution in tech, entertainment, research and information sharing.

The 9th FIVARS festival is a browser-based immersive virtual festival featuring 360 video projects from around the globe online, rwhich runs from February 21st to 28th, 2022, with additional private in-person showcases for interactive content.

  • Immersive festival featuring Virtual Reality, 360 Film and Dome Experiences in browser-based immersive theater–available on desktop, mobile, tablet or in VR headset
  • In-person interactive content (by appointment only in select cities, stay tuned for more information)
  • Talks & Panels with content creators and industry experts from around the world

And it’s not too late for creators to submit entries to the festival! The Late Deadline is January 25th, 2022, and the Extended Deadline is February 15th, 2022. More details are available via the FIVARS website.

Tickets are available to purchase via EventBrite. It promises to be an exciting event!

UPDATED! The Lynx R-1 Kickstarter Campaign Starts Today

Not too long ago, I first wrote about Lynx, a brand new, open ecosystem, standalone mixed reality headset (i.e. both virtual reality and augmented reality), by a French startup company founded a couple of years ago by Stan Larroque.

Today, I learned that the Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for this device is launching today, at 7:00 p.m. CEST (which works out to noon here in Winnipeg). According to the email I received:

After months and months of work on the Lynx R-1, we are so proud to tell you that our product development (both R and D) is finished.

The Lynx R-1 is the finest hardware platform for Mixed Reality. It’s a great product for playing AR and VR games and browse the Metaverse, but also for applications in education, training and simulation that will change forever the way we interact with virtuality.

Lynx is a powerful alternative to headsets on the market that are products coming from ad companies like Facebook. Our business model is just not built on your data.

Remember this video? It was in February. Imagine what the experience feels like today after our tuning iterations and optimizations. We invited some content creators to come in our office in Paris during October to test and review with the community the Lynx R-1 headset. In the mean time, Stan, our CEO, will share with you the latest about the company tomorrow right before the launch of the Kickstarter campaign.

You can view the pre-launch Kickstarter page here (there’s not much to see yet!).

There will also be a Kickstarter launch livestream on YouTube, starting at 11:00 a.m. Winnipeg time (Central Standard Time), which you can watch here:

I’m eager to see this new headset!

For further information about this potentially game-changing product, please visit their website, or follow the project and its founder, Stan Larroque, on social media: RedditTwitterLinkedIn, or YouTube.

UPDATE 11:45 a.m.: In answering questions in the second half of the livestream video above, I learned that people wearing glasses can indeed use the Lynx R-1, and in virtual reality mode, there is a detachable foam faceplate which also accommodates glasses, and blocks out the light from the sides (something that I was wondering about myself).

Also, the company announced that virtual reality vloggers Cas and Chary and Sebastian Ang of MRTC will be among the first to review the Lynx R-1 headset. This is good news, as both channels are known to offer good, in-depth, unbiased reviews of VR/AR/MR/XR hardware and software.

The livestream has now concluded, and the Kickstarter page is due to launch within the hour! I’m so excited!

UPDATE 12:00 p.m.: And the Kickstarter page is now live! Here’s the video from the Kickstarter page:

UPDATE Oct. 6th, 2021: As of this morning, the Lynx R-1 Kickstarter has exceeded its target crowdfunding goal of €300,000, with 525 backers so far, and the campaign still has 34 days left to run! I am proud to say that I put my money where my mouth is, and I am one of those initial backers:

I expect there’s going to be some twists and turns in the Lynx saga before I get my product, but I am so firmly opposed by how Facebook/Oculus is doing business that supporting this project was an easy decision for me. And it would appear that at least 524 other people agree with me! Félicitations à Stan et à son équipe!