VR News | Infinite Grenade Launcher Podcast | Level 308
It’s that special time again on IGL Podcast: Virtual Reality News! Today we’re discussing Google’s VR Film, Pearl and its nomination for an Academy Award, and the slate of new titles from Valve plus their new “knuckles” controller technology.
Press start below:
For those consumers who have not considered virtual reality yet, the Academy Awards just gave the emerging media some serious credibility: The Google produced VR film Pearl has been nominated for an Oscar for best animated short film.
The film was originally released in 2016 as a part of the Google Spotlight Story series, and tells the story of a father and his daughter through the years. You via the VR are centered in a car as the action moves through the highs and lows of the pairs’ lives. The VR is used to immerse you in the experience of both the passage of time and emotions from inside the car, with the characters.
The roughly five-minute film can be viewed for free on the HTC Vive or on YouTube as a 360-degree video (above), optimized for the Chrome browser.
Though the theatrical version submitted to the Academy did not include the VR component (other than the film footage), the fact that Oscar quality material is being innovated using this technology is still very exciting and signals the future of what’s to come for VR and entertainment as a medium.
In other news, Valve debuted some very compelling technology a while ago that’s coming to the marketplace. The Knuckles controller first appeared at Valve’s Steam Dev Days in October 2016 and looked like an innovation which would push the VR interactivity forward. The player attaches the two controllers to their hands and will have much greater freedom and control with the HTC Vive.
The new controllers are able to detect more nuanced movement like when you open and close your hands to simulate picking up items, etc. The current Vive controllers now are only outfitted with a simple trigger on the back, which is functionally fine but not as immersive. Oculus’ upcoming Touch controllers for the Rift headset look to simulate natural hand movement similarly. Alongside the knuckle controller, Valve is developing original games.