Bristol VRWC Expo 2016

I booked my ticket back in January 2016, not really sure what to expect.

Back in 2012 I was #963 backer on KickStarter for the Oculus Rift.  Why?  Well, back in the very early 1990s I really wanted to get into Virtual Reality.  "really wanted to".  I did some work at Marconi in Great Baddow and realised that unfortunately, the reality of Virtual Reality was very different.  At the time, I had made the assumption that Marconi, being a big player in technology would have something related to Virtual Reality.  Nope.  They had old fashion 1960s IT equipment.  Big vacuum tape machines, disc drives the size of washing machines, etc..etc... nothing as fancy and futuristic as Virtual Reality.  Disillusioned, I move onto other jobs in IT, flirted with SCEE (Sony Computer Entertainment Europe) for a bit back when the Playstation 1 was just coming out - (I still have a development PS1 in a cupboard).  I then wandered away from such fantasies and wandered into Business IT..... FWD>> many many years until 2012.  Then I read about Oculus on KickStarter (whilst I was working at a Bank in Dubai) and thought, "It's about time this became a reality", so I pledged my cash to get it going.  Little did I know that the weeks/months after I pledged it would grow into such a large deal.  I'm glad it did though as it seems to have woken quite a few people up and reminded everyone that Virtual Reality can now become a reality - thanks to the latest technological advancements.

Anyway, after getting my Oculus Development kit #1, getting an adapter to plug it into my Lenovo laptop, using it for 2-3hours and feeling very woozie from motion sickness, I decided sell my device.
FWD>> a couple more years.... mid 2015, my workplace gave me a Samsung S6 to do some work for a customer (based in San Francisco). I completed the work and asked if I should hand the S6 back, I was told to keep hold of it just incase it was needed later on.
Early 2016 arrived and so did the Samsung Gear VR.  A quick visit to amazon and my device arrived at home.  After a little bit of playing around with the S6, I had the S6 plugged into the GearVR and "wow! just wow!", how things had moved on.
As mentioned before, due to being an original Oculus Rift KickStarter, I have a commercial edition Oculus Rift being sent to me for "free".....I just have to spend £800-£1200 on a PC to be able to use it!  Errrr......I don't think so....
I installed Unity3D onto my Mac and had a bit of a play around making some very simple applications, deployed some of the sample apps to the Samsung S6 and had a bit of fun.  The boring geek in me is impressed with the "games" aspect of VR, but I've been in the Business IT world for too long and I cannot help but try to think of how I can use the VR in a non-game way.

Phew! That was a long explanation of how I ended up going to VRWC 2016.  I'll let the photo's do most of the talking.

Let's just say, it's a bit difficult to have a VR Expo....mainly because it will consist of people sitting down (or standing up) with a headset on and a monitor showing "us" what they are seeing.  Well, sort of showing "us", without all the 360degree effects or sound etc...   So, don't expect the most amazing photo's, but it was a promising event for the first Expo for VR in 2016.

(ok, this was from the Comic Con I went to at the weekend.  If you're old enough to know what it is, you'll understand my comments above)

There was a lot of "accidental" hitting of desks / signs etc...

Plenty of Samsung GearVRs on display

It is kind of odd/amusing talking to people with VR headsets on, especially when they start to look around them and say things like, "wow, that is awesome", but spookily they don't realise they are looking completely the other direction

A really cool looking game: Life Of Lon

It's a bit like bird-watching

Ouch!  Just to use the Oculus Rift.... hmmm...think I'll stick to the GearVR

Now, these look interesting people: Check them out if you don't want to buy a new PC

An alternative to Unity

Another game that might be interesting

..and talking of Unity...

Yay, I've got some history to put in the "museum"...

Let's see how things pan out over the rest of the year, with SONY bringing out their device later in the year.  I'm actually looking forward to VRWC 2017, as I'm sure it'll have more content and a lot more imagination design for VR will have evolved.

I mean, who really cares about getting home, sticking the VR headset on, just to check facebook status updates/videos?  We have phones / tablets for that.  Maybe, some clever heads need to start thinking about VR orientated design that is not based on the existing laptop/phone/tablet appoach.

...and, No, we don't want version 2 of Second Life on the VR, sorry Linden Labs :-)

EDIT: Darn it, Linden Labs didn't listen to me...oh well...

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