Ok, have a good laugh – that’s what the team here at Alive Studios did when I first donned this headset. But after the initial giggles wear off, consider what it is we’re doing here…
My team and I have been exploring the possibility of creating fully-immersive home movies. That is, your old home movies, transferred to a digital format that works with the latest line of VR equipment like the Rift, Playstation VR and the Vive (as modelled by me!).
Virtual Reality is a common theme in Sci-fi movies, where it is used to turn the fantastical into reality. Think of movies like Tron, Matrix and Vanilla Sky. We’re going slightly sideways in that we are taking a reality that has already happened in the past, and making it seem like it’s happening now. A kind of virtual time-travel if you like. We don’t want to create anything that is virtual. We want to make actual reality from the past, real in present day.
With capital investment in VR amounting to some $700m in 2015, and Digi-Capital’s claims that VR will be a 150 billion dollar industry by 2020, the technology will just keep getting better and better.
After the disastrous attempt at VR in the 1990s, I was unsure what to expect this time around. I am however, completely taken and a little bit obsessed with this new platform. The feeling of actually being in the virtual environment is incredibly real, and where you enter situations with an element of fear or risk, I’ve never felt anything so real.
It’s early days yet, but our R&D team are coming up with ideas all the time, and working hard to achieve the dream of being able to immerse yourself in the past as though you were truly there… Sci-fi may soon become Sci-fact.