Cum On Feel The (High Fidelity) Noize

Mini Golf High Fidelity

High Fidelity are really ramping up the noise in the publicity market with a series of extremely impressive looking developments.

One particularly striking development comes via High Fidelity’s link up with 3D body scanning company DOOB-3D.

High Fidelity’s Janet J. Lee blogged about DOOB-3D back in May and gave a brief overview of what DOOB-3D can do :

Doob 3D is a full service 3D tech company founded in Dusseldorf, Germany, with regional HQs in NYC and Tokyo, as well as stores in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. The company defines a “ doob™” as “a photo-realistic 3D printed replica of you.”

The blog post also delves into the steps required to get that avatar into High Fidelity, there are quite a few steps but the results are impressive.

A short version of the process is exemplified extremely well in a YouTube Video from High Fidelity : Ashlen Rose’s Cosplay + Doob 3D = High Fidelity VR Avatar.

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Release The Kraken!

Red Door

Virtual reality experiences are coming slowly and seem to be getting a tad more affordable. Oculus are running a Summer of Rift promotion, where you can get an Oculus Rift + touch controller for around £399.00 in the UK, or around $399.00 in North America. That’s quite a significant drop on previous pricing.

High Fidelity is progressing in a way that demonstrates some very impressive potential for VR experiences, for example by partnering with Limitless to help users create NPC’s in High Fidelity.

Linden Lab’s Sansar is still in creator preview mode but we are hearing more about what is being developed, a recent article by Charlie Fink over at Forbes looked at art in VR –  Artists Show Potential Of VR :

Virtual Reality galleries within the gallery were the subject of several exhibits. Notably, The Apollo Museum and the Harold Lloyd Stereoscopic Museum, were both built using Linden Labs new VR platform, Sansar. which is still in closed beta. Linden created and operates the insanely profitable 3D social world Second Life. Bjorn Laurin, VP of Linden Labs, told me Sansar will be the WordPress of VR, a simple world construction tool and platform that anyone can use to create their own VR world.

Ikinema recently announced – Linden Lab Integrates IKinema Tech for Natural Avatar Movements in Sansar :

IKINEMA, the leader in real-time inverse kinematics, today announces that Linden Lab has harnessed IKinema technology to bring full-body IK to SansarTM, the new platform for user-created social VR experiences.

Positive developments on different platforms and on top of that, a content creator who is pretty well known in Second Life circles has also been talking about Sansar.

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Sansar Will Be Free To Access But Will Have Subscription Options

Sansar Screenshot 1

Cecilia D’Anastasio’s recent article for Kotaku regarding Linden Lab’s Sansar has certainly started some heated discussions and one point of major discussion has been regarding subscription pricing. Cecilia wrote :

Right now, only 2,000 select virtual artists, builders and designers have access to Sansar, but later this summer, Sansar will open its doors to everybody with its open beta. Users may pay a small subscription for access.

Hamlet Au over at New World Notes covered Cecilia’s post : Sansar May Launch With “Small Subscription” Fee, Kotaku Reports. with Hamlet pondering whether this would be a subscription model similar to that used by World of Warcraft.

The comments on the New World Notes article are lively, but into the fray stepped Gray of The Lab from San Francisco, AKA Peter Gray, senior director of global communications for Linden Lab.

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Ebbe Altberg Talks to The Irish Times About Second Life and Sansar

Outside Blarney Stone

Marie Boran of The Irish Times has been talking to Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg about Sansar and, inevitably, that also means talking of Second Life too.

The article is entitled Virtual reality is giving Second Life a second lease of life and although it starts off with some negative commentary around Second Life, the article actually goes on to make some positive points about Second Life.

The article also points out that Linden Lab do not consider Sansar to be a replacement for Second Life :

The idea is not to replace Second Life or even phase it out, says Altberg, who describes it as “a very healthy virtual world that will be very healthy for a long time to come”. It is celebrating its 14th birthday this summer and continues to have a dedicated team continually improving content and interaction experiences.

An interesting point is made regarding Second Life in terms of it not being easy to find what to do unless you’re inside Second Life and have familiarised yourself with the platform. Sansar will take a different approach, but let’s not forget that Second Life has also started to take a different approach, when Linden Lab announced that places pages are available to all land owners, the blog post also mentioned :

Many of these pages will also soon be discoverable via popular search engines, such as Google. This means that more people than ever have the potential to learn about your Second Life place!

Sansar sounds as if it will start with the aim of being more easily discoverable for people.

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High Fidelity Partner With Limitless To Bring Interactive NPCs To VR

Draxtor Everywhere

High Fidelity have announced that they have partnered with Limitless to bring Interactive NPCs to the High Fidelity Virtual Reality platform.

First things first, you may be wondering who or what Limitless are. Limitless have been making headlines for being a content creation platform for creating animated characters in VR.

Now they are making headlines for creating a toolset that allows people to create their own interactive VR creators, as Charles Singletary reports over at UploadVR in a chat with Limitless CEO and Founder Tom Sanocki.

I particularly like the view that Tom Sanocki takes regarding putting the perspective of the creator at the heart of creating an interactive experience :

“This means we always have something that is usable, simple, and shippable,” he says.”Our path to improving it always focuses on the needs of the storyteller, not the engineer,” he says.

I’m a huge fan of storytelling and Limitless aim to bring creation of artificial intelligence in VR to storytellers and creators, rather than those storytellers and creators also having to be experts in AI.

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