Another semester is in the book here at the University of Richmond. I’m looking forward to big developments next semester for the Immersive Technologies community. The Gottwald Reading room will open with new VR and AR capabilities, probably students, faculty and staff access to on-demand VR technologies for research, study, and scholarship.
Prior to the creation of Photoshop in 1988, creating digital graphics and images were extremely challenging. Only a few engineers had the skills to create even the most rudimentary images. I believe 2017 will be the turning point for VR/AR content creation. The learning curve and development environment have started to look more and more manageable with developments from Unity, Google, and Apple in particular.
Google is putting together an impressive suite of development tools for aspiring VR artists and developers. Google Blocks is a great way to create shape files within VR, Google Tilt Brush is a great way to create environments within VR. and Google Poly is proving to be a compelling site to store and share one’s creations. I have some reservations about Google controlling these tools but the developments are certainly exciting.
The Future of Memory
If you’ve met me, you probably know how obsessed I am with the impact technology, particularly imagery, has on memory and recognition. In a general sense, medicine has gotten remarkably better in diagnosing and treating cardiovascular disease and cancer, so much so, life expectancy in the US is now above 80. So while doctors have gotten more capable of extending our lives, doctors have not made large impacts on reducing the impacts of dementia and the toil time takes on our brain function.
Can technology prolong our ability to transport ourselves into the past to relive our lives? Research and time will tell but the developments out of 8i are exciting and point towards a VR/AR use case that might cause massive consumer adoption. Holographic memories of our loved ones.
“Everybody wants holograms of their kids,” Nicole St. Jean, 8i’s vice president of content and a former Twitter executive, told me. St. Jean held up her iPhone and showed me an Instagram video of her son Lowell as an example. Only, it wasn’t just one Lowell in the clip: there was a one-year-old Lowell, juxtaposed with an almost two-year-old Lowell. One of these toddlers was a hologram.
Where do I sign up?
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