New Omnidirectional Treadmill for Walking Around Within Virtual Reality

This is a very interesting video showing off a new omnidirectional treadmill which allows you actually take steps and walk around in virtual reality experiences! Apparently, this treadmill actually appears in the movie Ready Player One. According to the description in the YouTube video from Adam Savage’s Tested channel:

We step onto the Infinadeck, the omnidirectional treadmill seen in the movie Ready Player One. This treadmill lets you walk freely in virtual reality, in any direction. We learn about how it works and give our impressions on the state of the technology today

They actually talk about using this 500-lb. rig for fitness applications and firefighter training. Very cool—and probably also very expensive! (No price for this product has been announced yet.)

It would be so cool to be able to walk around inside Sansar experiences or High Fidelity domains, though!

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30 Days in VR, 5+ Hours a Day: Could You Do It?

One of the problems in virtual reality is that the current level of hardware is still somewhat bulky and uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. I get tangled up in the cable, on warm days sometimes it gets sweaty inside the headset, etc. My personal limit when I wear my Oculus Rift VR headset is about two hours, then I definitely need to take it off and rejoin the real world! Most people probably wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) use a VR headset for more than an hour a day.

So, how would you feel if you spent all day, every day in VR for a whole month? Someone in Italy is doing just that. His name is Enea Le Fons and he is a VR developer.

Enea in VR 12 Apr 2018
Enea Le Fons (from the blog The Ghost Howls)

Skarredghost of the blog The Ghost Howls has blogged about the HTC Vive-sponsored marathon:

And he loves VR, he loves experimenting and he also loves opensource and free software. He has this idea of making the world better, of letting people live freely and exchanging their expertise. He has this idea of a VR ecosystem that is completely free of chains. So he proposed to HTC to live 30 days in VR in a way that in these 30 days he could develop very cool things like AI bots and VR locomotion systems while being inside virtual reality with other people helping him remotely… and then share everything developed there to the community as open source software. Isn’t it cool? Yes, it is. That’s why HTC couldn’t do anything but accepting his proposal. This way has born the #30DaysInVR project.

Of course he won’t stay 24h a day in VR for 30 days, this would be potentially too extreme for his health at this point of the technology (even if he actually told me that he would really love to stay for a month completely in VR). He has started with five hours of immersion each day and has incremented the duration of his immersions until he has arrived to many hours a day. That’s impressive.

It looks like he is going to document his 30-day journey on YouTube. Here is the video from Day 1:

And you can follow him on various social media:

Worlds Adrift is a Promising-Looking MMORPG/Virtual World

Worlds Adrift 11 Apr 2018.jpg

Wagner James Au of the long-running blog New World Notes has been following the development of an MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) called Worlds Adrift, which he calls “the single-shard, open world sandbox MMO with physics, a working ecosystem, and user-generated content — i.e., a virtual world worthy of the term — running on the well-funded backbone of Improbable“.

He recently posted that Worlds Adrift is launching in early-access on May 17th. Now, I’m not a really big fan of MMORPGs (or MMOs, as some people prefer to call them), and I don’t really cover MMORPGs on this blog, but I did play a little bit of World of Warcraft and Lord of the Rings Online back in the day, so I’m familiar with the concept.

Here’s a year-old introduction to the game:

And here’s their most recent teaser:

They refer to themselves as “the world’s first community-crafted MMO”, so they may tempt a few virtual worlds creators to join their early-access program. (Wagner reports that some Second Life users have become Worlds Adrift fans.) It certainly looks interesting! Here’s another video showcasing some of the worlds that people have already created:

New Sansar Update: Sits and Zippers!

Among the new features in the most recent update to the Sansar client (which happened yesterday) are two that I would like to highlight.

First, WE CAN FINALLY SIT DOWN! It’s not much—a cross-legged sit on the ground—but at least it’s a start. Here’s what it looks like:

Cross-Legged Sit in Sanar 11 Apr 2018.gif

Immediately, Sansarians began posting pictures of their newfound capability!

first_sit_in.png
Picture by Beverly Zauberflote
Sitting at the Park.jpg
Picture by Sergio Delacruz
retro_meditation.png
Picture by RetroMetallic

And second, we can now have working zippers in clothing created using the Marvelous Designer software! Here’s a picture of what that looks like:

zipper demo.gif

Ravioli has released a very funny superhero outfit for both men and women, in red or in blue, on the Sansar Store:

Zippr Superhero Outfits 11 Apr 2018.png

The Zipperman costume has supersized working zippers! (Click on each image for a larger size.)

You can pick up your Zipperman or Zipperwoman superhero outfit on the Sansar Store for FREE (thanks, Ravioli!).

Blogger Isabelle Cheren has posted a cute YouTube video in which she demonstrates all the animations currently available in Sansar, and even shows you how to combine them!

New Social VR Space: NeosVR

The Road to VR website just published an article about the upcoming beta of a new social VR space I had not heard of before, called NeosVR, titled ‘NeosVR’ to Head Into Beta Soon – A “Metaverse Engine” to Create Multi-user VR Worlds.

NeosVR bills itself on its website as a “Virtual and Mixed Reality Multiverse Engine”. According to the Road to VR article:

In its latest update, named the ‘User Friendly Update’, the alpha version saw a new mechanic that allows you to interlink individual worlds, represented as tiny orbs. The “world orb” also has a 360 thumbnail and number beside it to indicate how many users are within it. This essentially allows you to build several interlinked, multiuser spaces filled with objects of all types, so you could make your own art gallery, photogrammetry-based tour through a physical place; almost anything you can imagine using NeosVR’s toolset.

There’s not a lot of pictures or video of NeosVR content yet, aside from a 10-second video clip of an experience within NeosVR:

There’s also an 8-minute time-lapse video showing the building of several experiences:

They do have a mailing list that you can sign up for on their website, to become a beta tester for the software. NeosVR is currently in alpha, and they warn that “forward content compatibility isn’t guaranteed in an Alpha build and there are various features missing.” (That’s a quote from the confirmation email I got back when I registered.)

As I have said before, the social VR marketplace is getting crowded!

More Livestreamers Are Starting to Visit Sansar

A key factor in the sudden popularity of VRChat was its coverage by livestreamers on Twitch and YouTube. Vassay told me about the following recent YouTube livestream by Nathie, a YouTube user who covers a variety of VR experiences:

Nathie is a Dutch VR enthusiast who has over 353,000 subscribers and over 99 million views on his YouTube channel, so he would probably be the first livestreamer with a sizeable following to cover Sansar. He says about himself:

You are an admirer of Virtual Reality? Same here! I want to show everyone the magic of VR by preaching it on YouTube. On my channel you can find Playstation VR, Oculus Rift, Touch and HTC Vive reviews and gameplay. So if you are interested and wanna see kick-ass VR stuff I would definitely take a look at my channel.

Nathie actually posted his first video about Sansar a month ago (this video has gotten 35,000 views so far):

 

Another YouTube livestreamer who is visiting Sansar is wanderlvst, who has posted a couple of videos:

 

And here’s one more by a guy named SleevedBiker:

 

Back in January, I posted about another well-done YouTube video by Rogue Shadow, who visited and reviewed Sansar. It’s good to see Sansar getting some more attention now!