Virtual Reality: First Steps

- Posted in vr

I got an HTC Vive a couple of weeks ago and so far I’ve been exploring how to use it, trying different pieces of software and games.

From a professional perspective I am taking in all the different design patterns. I started work on a blog post about UI design patterns in VR, something I am very interested in.

VR is often seen as a “gaming” technology but the most interesting things that I’ve experienced are not games at all. Discovering places in Google Earth VR or building things in Sunshine3D are among my favorite experiences so far, and I wouldn’t exactly call them games.

A few days ago I purchased Tilt Brush by Google and it is probably the coolest thing that I experienced this week – and it’s not like there weren’t any other cool things going on.

There’s one thing that I like to demo, which is called “Solar system”, contained in Valve’s The Lab. You are placed inside the solar system and you can fly around. What you’ll see is that the sun is freaking huge compared to every other planet. I know we once learned this in biology class… but a dry fact that “the sun is 109 times the diameter of earth” doesn’t stay with you the way it stays with you if you actually see it for real. Well, virtual real I guess.

I was on the fence to buy this piece of tech as it is quite expensive and I wasn’t really sure if I was going to use it often. It’s also not just a question of getting the Vive – you also need the necessary space and gaming PC.

I am lucky enough to have a spare room in my current living space where I could set up the Vive but many of the previous places I’ve lived would just be too small.

After bouncing between the initial “Holy ****! Wow!” and the week-later “did I really spent all of that money?” I can now confidently say that it is very interesting and I definitely don’t regret the purchase.

I posted a message to the Antwerp UI Design Meetup message board to check if there is any interest in a meetup. If you’re interested please let me know there. Also, feel free to comment with your VR experiences or just get in touch about VR.

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