It was a gathering of the XR community and showed a short in XR no longer being just a cool fringe technology, but now a maturing communication and story telling technology platform as XR us being used in many businesses from marketing, gaming, journalists, architects, story tellers, local community organizations, and artists all using XR in their core activities.
Open Signal PDX is a former public television studio now a community media center. I learned about all the goodness this non profit provides the community with affordable classes from tv studio production to multimedia. They have a goal of 1000 new members by the end of the month so please consider being a member for a very small donation. They make sure everyone is involved and able to participate in what is the future of story telling and media as all voices should be represented and a part of XR.
There was a good panel discussion on XR including a portion moderated by Nathan Bowser of Torch. Torch is a local Portland AR startup doing amazing things with their open platform.
- XR Developer — Sonya Neunzert
- 3D Creative Director — Spencer Lindsay
- Open Signal New Media Fellow — Tabitha Nikolai
- Open Signal Board President — Karim Hassanein
- 360º Documentary Director — Rachel Bracker
You can watch the panel recording that was live-streamed on the Open Signal Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/OpenSignalPDX/posts/
Can I just say, I love placing big googley eyes on VR headsets?
Baby Yoda made an appearance in an AR demo by Torch. AR allows you to bring objects and view them in context with the real world environment like attendee Brittany here.
Thank you everyone at Open Signal, sponsors like Columbia Bank and Torch, panel speakers and the XR community for a great event. I look forward to following up with all the great people I met and continuing the interesting discussions.
Speaking of XR and VR, did you see the news that the Oculus Quest just got controller free tracking using hands and much more?
I have a personal Oculus Quest and have been impressed how well the experience was compared to past VR headsets and the lack or wires and a low price were key. I'm not normally a gamer type of person, but I have gotten a bit hooked on some of the experiences and games including Beat Saber and VR Fishing. I also love the Quest being used for real world work to like what The Wild is doing with it for AEC collaboration.
The Oculus Quest makes VR feel more mainstream technology rather than a cobbled together bunch of hardware, software, updates, and having to be almost a hacker to keep things going and updated. Having said that, competition is key and I hope Oculus doesn't end up just sucking all the VR oxygen from the market as competition is good for technology to advance. I am also concerned about a reality of a potential dystopian future of everyone in headsets in a single controlled platform that movie Ready Player One presents with The Oasis. I don't want a future where we all plug into the Matrix.
Lets all work towards and support a positive and inclusive XR future.