21 results for “Virtual Reality”

Three exhibitions that explore the relationship between humans and the environment

Freya Hutchings
September 20th 2019

As we go about our daily activities, we may lose sight of our connections with nonhuman life. Here are three exhibitions to encourage you to step outside of your everyday and recognize your interconnected existence within a more-than-human planet.

Discover the hidden natural forces that surround us

Meet the wonders of Marshmallow Laser Feast, an experimental genre bending arts collective. Their immersive works highlight the often overlooked natural forces that surround us in order to create landscapes that go beyond …

Three ways virtual reality is revolutionizing teaching

John Pickavance
May 14th 2019

You’ve probably heard how Virtual Reality (VR) is going to change everything: the way we work, the way we live, the way we play. Still, for every truly transformative technology, there are landfills of hoverboards, 3D televisions, Segways, and MiniDiscs – the technological scrap it turns out we didn’t need.

It’s reasonable to approach VR with a degree of scepticism, but allow me to explain three ways in which VR can transform the way we learn, and why we, as …

Interview: Jeremy Bailenson on his latest book “Experience on Demand”

Katherine Oktober Matthews
May 1st 2018

Virtual reality has come a long way. Like most technological leaps, it’s had a huge push from the entertainment industry, but current applications span a wide range of social and academic fields. Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, has just released his new book, Experience on Demand. We briefly spoke with him about some of the most game-changing applications of this fascinating medium - as well as the risks.…

Researchers are using VR to help teachers understand autism

Rachel Kaser
April 19th 2018

Researchers are using VR as an empathy tool to help neurotypical teachers understand their students with autism. There have already been attempts to use VR to help autistic children and adults find new ways of coping. Autism Speaks, for example, funds a virtual reality training program designed to help improve social skills. But a team of researchers at the University of Malta decided to work on the problem from the other direction — namely, using VR to help teachers understand …

AI & VR Impact on Architects and Engineers

Megan Ray Nichols
December 17th 2017
Future workspace, human interaction and unique experiences: here’s how artificial intelligence and VR impact on architects and engineers.

Make the World Your Office

Megan Ray Nichols
December 4th 2017
Imagine being able to enter your office through a digital representation of reality. It sounds crazy, but it’s possible with augmented and virtual reality.

Virtual Networking, the Future Social Media

Megan Ray Nichols
August 28th 2017
Virtual reality is already becoming a part of the conversation surrounding social media. Will it become the next popular social network?

Experience Death with VR

Julie Reindl
May 10th 2017
Virtual reality experiment tries to help people frightened of death with outer-body experience.

A Virtual Reality Retreat

Ruben Baart
May 4th 2017
Are we sleepwalking into our technological future?

Next Nature Habitat VR at SXSW17

NextNature.net
March 16th 2017
This week our virtual reality experience landed at the inaugural VR program of SXSW festival.
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As we go about our daily activities, we may lose sight of our connections with nonhuman life. Here are three exhibitions to encourage you to step outside of your everyday and recognize your interconnected existence within a more-than-human planet.

Discover the hidden natural forces that surround us

Meet the wonders of Marshmallow Laser Feast, an experimental genre bending arts collective. Their immersive works highlight the often overlooked natural forces that surround us in order to create landscapes that go beyond our daily experience. From an altered perspective, you are invited to explore your surroundings with a heightened sensory perception.

? Marshmallow Laser Feast at Odunpazari Modern Museum (TR), until 7 December 2019.

Explore the future of nature

NATURE is a trans-atlantic exhibition that includes over 60 projects where nature and design collide. The diverse range of projects in the expo is categorized within seven themes, all seeking to demonstrate how design may offer solutions for the environmental and social challenges that humanity faces today. From highly practical to highly speculative works, from physical to digital, all projects are united by a desire to show how —through design— we can become active agents in transforming the relationship we have with our world.

? NATURE at both Smithsonian (US) and Cube (NL), until 19 January 2020.

Hug & play with your surroundings

For Presence, the first largescale museal exhibition by Daan Roosegaarde, the artists has created an 800 m2 playful living lab in which multiple changes in perspective take place. You can roll around in luminous ‘stardust’, draw lines with light, and cast shadows that remain. In each room, human action leaves a lasting imprint, highlighting the traces we leave with the aim of empowering visitors to act differently, to connect with their surroundings in creative, playful and constructive ways. The immersive project is about questioning the world, who we are and what we want to leave behind.

? Daan Roosegaarde - Presence at Groninger Museum (NL), until 12 January 2020.

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You’ve probably heard how Virtual Reality (VR) is going to change everything: the way we work, the way we live, the way we play. Still, for every truly transformative technology, there are landfills of hoverboards, 3D televisions, Segways, and MiniDiscs – the technological scrap it turns out we didn’t need.

It’s reasonable to approach VR with a degree of scepticism, but allow me to explain three ways in which VR can transform the way we learn, and why we, as psychologists, are so excited about it.

1. Exploring the unexplorable

VR has great potential as a classroom aid. We know learning is more effective when learners are actively engaged. Practical lessons that encourage interaction are more successful than those where content is passively absorbed. However, certain topics are difficult to ground in meaningful tasks that learners relate to.

From the enormity of the universe to the cellular complexity of living organisms, our egocentric senses haven’t evolved to comprehend anything beyond the scale of ourselves. Through stereoscopic trickery and motion tracking, VR grounds counter-factual worlds in the plausible. For the first time, learners can step inside these environments and explore for themselves.

Researchers are currently developing Virtual Plant Cell, the first interactive VR experience that’s designed for use in the classroom. Learners explore the alien landscape of – well – a plant cell. Wading through swampy cytosol, ducking and weaving around cytoskeletal fibres, and uncovering the secrets of the plant’s subcellular treasures: emerald green chloroplasts, where photosynthesis takes place, curious blobs of mitochondria, or a glimpse of DNA through a sychedelic nuclear pore.

The inner workings of the cell are grounded, allowing students to actively engage with the lesson’s content through meaningful tasks. They may work in pairs to give each other tours, or create a photosynthetic production line. Using intuitive gestures, students grab carbon dioxide and water molecules from around the cell, feeding them to chloroplasts to produce glucose and oxygen. With all the ingredients for active learning, the Virtual Plant Cell should be a particularly effective teaching aid. Indeed, preliminary data suggests it may improve learning over traditional methods by 30%.

2. VR for everyone and everything

It’s not just the learning of “what” something is that VR can assist with, but also the learning of “how” to do something. In psychology, we make the distinction between declarative (what) and procedural (how) knowledge precisely because the latter is formed by doing and can be applied directly to a given task. Put simply, the best way to learn a skill is by doing it.

Every learner’s goal is to cultivate a large enough range of experience that individual elements can be drawn upon to meet the demands of novel problems. To this end, a great deal has been invested into training simulators for high-risk skills such as flying and surgery. But there are many lower-risk skills which would benefit from simulation, there’s just been little reason to justify investment. That is, until now.

Advancements in mobile technology have led to high-definition VR sets for the price of a mid-range TV. Without the financial barrier, consumer-grade VR opens the door to improve skills training in settings where the real thing isn’t readily available.

One such example would be the Virtual Landscapes programme we’ve developed at the University of Leeds. A vital part of any geologist’s training is to learn how to conduct geological surveys. Armed with a compass, GPS and a map, geologists must navigate unfamiliar terrain to make observations, ensuring they make the most of their time. VR simulation can provide this in real time, with all the tools they’d expect to have out in the field.

The advantages are twofold. Student absences from field trips become less of a hindrance with access to an accurate simulation. The challenges of surveying a mountainous region differ from those in a tropical rainforest. It may be easier to see where you’re going, but your choice of path will be more constrained. VR can present these different biomes without students having to visit all corners of the Earth. The learner’s experience is expanded, and they’re better equipped to tackle novel problems in the field.

3. Wearing (a VR headset) is caring

VR may also hold the key to driving positive behavioural changes. One way we know we can achieve this is by eliciting empathy. VR uniquely allows people to experience alternative perspectives, even being dubbed the ultimate “empathy machine”. It’s a lofty claim, but early applications have shown promise.

A recent Stanford study showed that participants who experienced becoming homeless in VR displayed more positive behaviour towards homeless people – in this case, through signing a petition demanding solutions to the housing crisis – than those who engaged with the same materials on a traditional desktop computer. This effect persisted long after the study ended. Perhaps by experiencing firsthand the challenges faced by vulnerable groups, we can share a common understanding.

The power of VR to elicit empathy might be used to tackle an even wider range of social issues. We’ve been running VR outreach projects in schools to improve awareness around climate change. Through VR, young people have witnessed the melting of the icecaps, swam in the Great Barrier Reef to see the effects of receding coral on the ecosystem and rubbed shoulders with great primates whose habitats are being cleared by deforestation. Using VR, we hope to cultivate environmentally responsible behaviour before attitudes and habits become more fixed.

So there you have it. By bringing previously inaccessible experiences into the classroom, VR may accelerate the learning of abstract concepts, augment the acquisition of skills, and perhaps even be a force for social change. For now, the technological scrap heap can wait.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

[post_title] => Three ways virtual reality is revolutionizing teaching [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => three-ways-virtual-reality-is-revolutionizing-teaching [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-10-07 14:44:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-10-07 13:44:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=111024 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 81327 [post_author] => 1604 [post_date] => 2018-05-01 10:00:38 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-01 09:00:38 [post_content] => Virtual reality has come a long way. Like most technological leaps, it’s had a huge push from the entertainment industry, but current applications span a wide range of social and academic fields. Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, has just released his new book, Experience on Demand. We briefly spoke with him about some of the most game-changing applications of this fascinating medium - as well as the risks.
"For twenty years I’ve been running experiments on people to see how the mind responds"
The subtitle of your book Experience on Demand is about what virtual reality can do – do to us or for us?The subtitle says it all: “What Virtual Reality Is, How It Works, and What It Can Do”. My PhD is in psychology, and what I study is how technology affects the mind. For twenty years I’ve been running experiments on people to see how the mind responds and, more recently, building applications that leverage that which makes virtual reality such a special medium.What is it that makes it so special?It’s hard to talk about virtual reality; you have to do it. When it’s done well, it’s complete mental transportation. You’ve gone somewhere else, and it’s consuming and it’s spectacular and it’s a different type of experience. The second I tried it, and really thought about if this is what I could do for a living twenty years ago, I went all in.Think about virtual reality as an experience. You’re not doing a media activity; the brain tends to treat it in a similar way as an actual experience. You’ve got this magic machine that creates these experiences as if you were to go outside and actually do something, so it’s pretty spectacular to think we can artificially reproduce any experience imaginable.You remain an optimist about the technology?The book has now been reviewed by The New York Times, Nature, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. The critics feel I need to be more doom-and-gloom and should hate Silicon Valley a bit more. And I do hear that critique, but it’s my true hope that I can, in some small way, shape what people do and how they think about the medium to ensure a more positive outcome.My job is to ensure that the good use cases emerge and not the gratuitous ones. When Stanford students come into my office with an idea—they’ve all got start-up ideas, because we’re in Silicon Valley—probably nineteen out of twenty times, we decide it’s better to use another medium than virtual reality. So, I’m an extremely cautious advocate.
"My job is to ensure that the good use cases of VR emerge and not the gratuitous ones"
What are some of those good use cases?We do a lot of work on climate change. Can you imagine, not in your head, but to viscerally experience what your city is going to look like when flooding and droughts and more extreme storms happen? We do work on reducing prejudice, so imagine walking a mile in someone else’s shoes – literally. You look down and you become a different skin color or become a different gender, and you experience prejudice first hand.We do lots of work where you can do the impossible, where you can create experiences that the brain treats as real but are very difficult to achieve in the real world. We then ask: how can you use that to change the way people behave, or the way they conserve resources, or the way they treat other people?And what about the risks?Despite the critiques of the media, Chapter 2 is all about the downsides. Things like becoming addicted to these experiences that are always perfect, or becoming a little simulator-sick or nauseous because you’ve been in there for too long, or most poignantly, walking into walls or stepping on cats. We had a first death unfortunately in virtual reality: a man in Moscow was so distracted he fell through a plate-glass table and he bled to death. So there are real risks.How can we circumvent those risks?That is the critical question, and I’ll talk about when I come and deliver this address.You’ve been studying VR since the late ‘90s. How has it evolved and where are we now?When I first started doing research, we thought of virtual reality as being similar to an MRI machine: very expensive, takes up a whole room and you need to have a dedicated engineer to run it. A bit later, if you look at my lab webpage and if you look at our scientific journal articles, probably three-quarters of them were using a pair of goggles that cost more than an automobile. Currently, the goggles cost as much as a fancy dinner at a restaurant. So, we’ve gone through an epic change of price.Also, because of the big tech companies, we’ve got a lot of availability. Conservatively, in the United States, there are over ten million VR systems floating around. From a citizen’s standpoint, I want to understand the good and bad use cases, but as a scientist, it’s great. I can now run experiments where we’ve got larger sample sizes and field studies where people are now using them in their homes. This has transformed the way we think about studying the medium.
"The really great use cases of VR aren’t just games, it’s for creating life experiences that improve us"
To conclude, what do you wish that everyone knew about VR that they may not know?I’m always stunned that people don’t know that the epic wins are really not about games or entertainment. They’re about making yourself better, whether that’s training or evaluating yourself and others. The really great use cases aren’t just games, it’s for creating life experiences that improve us.[caption id="attachment_81334" align="alignnone" width="421"] Bailenson's book "Experience on Demand: What Virtual Reality Is, How It Works, and What It Can Do" is out now.[/caption]Jeremy Bailenson will be speaking at the John Adams Institute on April 24, 2018, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm, at Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam. Cover photo: L.A. Cicero via Stanford News [post_title] => Interview: Jeremy Bailenson on his latest book "Experience on Demand" [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => interview-jeremy-bailenson [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-04-25 12:47:03 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-04-25 11:47:03 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=81327 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 81389 [post_author] => 1609 [post_date] => 2018-04-19 11:45:05 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-04-19 10:45:05 [post_content] => Researchers are using VR as an empathy tool to help neurotypical teachers understand their students with autism. There have already been attempts to use VR to help autistic children and adults find new ways of coping. Autism Speaks, for example, funds a virtual reality training program designed to help improve social skills. But a team of researchers at the University of Malta decided to work on the problem from the other direction — namely, using VR to help teachers understand the lived experience of autistic children.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsH6CmZK2A4[/youtube]The researchers created a VR application that would help replicate the experience of an autistic child in their classroom, by the use of audio and visual tricks. The person from whose perspective the film is shot sometimes doesn’t fully process stimuli, and a sense of distress is conveyed by a blurring of peripheral vision.Dr. Vanessa Camilleri, a lecturer at the University’s Department of Artificial Intelligence who worked on the app, spoke with us about the project and its goals:"Let’s help the teacher walk in these children’s shoes, in the same classroom environment that she’s teaching in, and try to see what comes out of it. Can virtual reality be an empathy machine? How can we learn more from it to design something that can help improve the quality of life of others? Because ultimately that’s what we wanted to do: improve the quality of life of children by helping teachers tweak their behavior."The idea of using virtual reality as a vehicle for empathy has been around a while. For example, filmmaker Chris Milk created Clouds Over Sidra, a VR film showing life in a Syrian refugee camp, in collaboration with the United Nations.The researchers’ app isn’t yet available for use, but the team wants to make it available to teachers via the Samsung Gear headset.Dr. Camilleri stressed that the project can’t replicate every aspect of an autistic child’s experience — there are olfactory and tactile sensitivities that VR can’t (yet) replicate. She also specified that the app would be more for helping teachers understand their students, rather than training them on how to help autistic children:"We didn’t want to teach about the different characteristics or show the whole spectrum of autism. We didn’t want to give teachers step-by-step guidelines of what they should or shouldn’t do. We just want to help teachers start creating these new experiences in their minds, as if they were children on the autism spectrum."Dr. Camilleri said that the team hopes to eventually make different versions of the app for parents or family members.This story is published in partnership with The Next Web. Read the original piece here. [post_title] => Researchers are using VR to help teachers understand autism [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => using-vr-to-understand-autism [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-04-24 07:53:25 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-04-24 06:53:25 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=81389 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 79179 [post_author] => 872 [post_date] => 2017-12-17 10:00:08 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-12-17 09:00:08 [post_content] => The modern world is only just now starting to come to terms with the idea of fully immersive digital experiences. We're not talking about the kind you get sitting in front of a screen, playing games or watching media. We’re talking about entering a digital space via virtual reality or augmented reality tech.It’s clear the technology is about to disrupt many industries as it advances in capability. Imagine a VR system to give military personnel real-world, hands-on experiences without ever leaving an in-country facility. Or, envision AR tools that help construction and project managers visualize a property or structure before it’s complete.These examples are not pipe dreams, either. Major brands such as Facebook, Amazon, Google and even Microsoft are heavily investing in the necessary technologies and their experiences. You see, that’s the next hurdle. It’s not just about having the technology - or devices - to allow this sort of thing. It’s also about crafting and developing the experiences to make it happen - in other words, the software to go along with the hardware.Here’s where the driving idea behind AI or VR in architecture and engineering comes into play.

Custom and unique experiences abound

It’s no secret companies will need to develop, maintain and perfect virtual experiences for various industries. Some have a greater advantage than others - for example, the military can take several bits of inspiration from the gaming world. You could argue architecture, engineering and design could do the same, borrowing from the sweeping builds you see in modern video games, such as Assassin’s Creed Unity in Paris, or Tom Clancy’s The Division in a post-apocalyptic New York.We can expect to see many new opportunities in terms of immersive experiences and environments. One of the obvious examples of AR in architecture is using the tech to visualize projects and designs. BIM, or building information models, can benefit greatly from a more digital investment, such as one you get from a VR experience. Interested parties could enter the digital space, manipulate objects and scenery and even view concepts as full-scale recreations.AR and VR augment and improve the tasks of existing professionals in the workforce, but they also make things a whole lot more modern and interesting for younger generations. Millennials, for example, may be more attracted to various trades and professions that have implemented modern technologies.There’s another aspect we’d be remiss not to mention. These technologies will also alter the way - and environments - in which we work.

The office of the future

Tired of working in a cramped cubicle, or middle office? Pretty soon, you might be able to don a pair of AR or VR glasses and enter a completely different world. Imagine working on the shores of a sunny beach, for instance. What about chilling in a boat, out on a calm lake, with a fishing pole at your side?Companies like Mure VR are already crafting these kinds of unique and alien experiences that let you enter a whole new environment. Want to work in the isolated, quiet confines of outer space? No problem! Want to sit inside a deep-positioned submarine? It’s possible. The opportunities are endless.More importantly, the options are coming. Pretty soon, these examples will be more than just theoretical; we will have the technology in our hands, to do anything we can imagine.

The way we work and interact is evolving

Alongside those unique experiences will come a new form of work or organization. Employees and personnel will need to build the experience and skills to work in these new environments. The varying formats such technologies can offer call for a need to familiarize oneself with a digital landscape, as opposed to a physical one. For example, we’ll need to learn the difference between working with a virtual desktop and a physical one.It’s not only possible, however. It’s probable. In fact, AR is expected to claim $83 billion in market share by 2021, with VR taking $25 billion, for a total somewhere between $94 and $122 billion. It’s growing, and fast, which means these kinds of experiences and tools will be here before you know it.Image: Arch Daily [post_title] => AI & VR Impact on Architects and Engineers [post_excerpt] => Future workspace, human interaction and unique experiences: here’s how artificial intelligence and VR impact on architects and engineers. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => ai-vr-impact-architects-engineers [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-04-18 11:14:33 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-04-18 10:14:33 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=79179/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 78954 [post_author] => 872 [post_date] => 2017-12-04 10:00:36 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-12-04 09:00:36 [post_content] => Working from home is accepted more openly these days, and with modern technology, why not? You can have a conference or video meetings with everyone from your office, while you sit at home in your PJs. However, imagine being able to attend work and meetings, as well as operate in a professional environment from anywhere - and not just by taking your work laptop to a coffee shop or remote location. We are talking about actually entering the work environment you are used to, thanks to a digital representation of reality. It sounds crazy, but it’s entirely possible with technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality.

Why is this technology beneficial?

Even if you work from an office, you can use these technologies to visit and interact with remote locations and remote personnel or partners. For instance, you could have a virtual reality meeting with a potential client who lives halfway around the world - but you’re communicating as though you were together in person in an actual office.Between 60% to 70% of consumers believe there are clear benefits for using AR and IoT devices in their daily lives, including at work. At work, 69% believe the devices will be beneficial for training programs, while 65% think they can be used to increase safety. A further 64% believe AR can improve interactions through remote engagements and environments.These ideas offer an alarming yet welcome look at how the physical office will change in the future, maybe even sooner than we expect. Like the mobile has done, these technologies will connect people worldwide and change the ways we all communicate.

Unprecedented office experiences are coming

No one enjoys sitting in a cramped cubicle, but sometimes it is necessary, especially when a business is limited on space. However, less-than-ideal workspaces can often affect performance - and not necessarily in a good way.Stuck inside dealing with fluorescent, ugly lighting all day? You could jump into a VR office, set outside in the sun, with the wind blowing in your hair. This kind of thing would do wonders not just for productivity, but also for employee satisfaction.Taking its use one step further, companies and businesses could operate remotely, with employees separated by hundreds or thousands of miles. All workers could check in via a VR or digital platform, interacting with one another as if they were all in the same building or room. This allows for more opportunities in human resources, too. Imagine hiring a professional at the top of their field who had no interest in relocating to your local area.High Fidelity is one company that’s already at the forefront of the virtual workplace, trying to bridge the gap between a digital fantasy-like working environment and the physical world. Mure VR’s Breakroom is another example of the modern office going digital.

Development and support is crucial

The major concern is development support. A developer or engineer has to craft these experiences first. That means custom or proprietary experiences deployed by modern business will need to have a fully supportive development team.It’s going to take time to make these virtual experiences and environments possible. The good news, at least, is that many of us are ready - 66% of workers revealed they are open to the concept of using VR or AR tech in their workplace.Image: vSpatial_______________________Do you want to stay up to date about the latest next nature news? Make sure to join Next Nature Network and never miss a thing! [mc4wp_form id="72385"] [post_title] => Make the World Your Office [post_excerpt] => Imagine being able to enter your office through a digital representation of reality. It sounds crazy, but it’s possible with augmented and virtual reality. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => make-world-office [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-04-18 11:14:29 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-04-18 10:14:29 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=78954/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 76777 [post_author] => 872 [post_date] => 2017-08-28 09:43:41 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-28 07:43:41 [post_content] => In a way, social media is a form of virtual reality. You portray a version of yourself, but that representation isn’t exactly you. You have to leave some aspects of yourself out, and people often add in pieces that don’t exist in the real world. People tend to show only the best parts of their lives, while leaving out the negative and unexciting parts. Some day soon, that virtual version of yourself will become much more realistic, but still it won’t necessarily represent what you really are. Virtual reality technology, which is already becoming a part of the conversation surrounding social media, will enable this shift.FB and VRIn 2014, Facebook purchased Oculus Rift, one of the world’s leading virtual reality companies. FB recently launched the beta version of a social virtual reality app that allows you to communicate with people through the use of avatars in a virtual but 3D environment.This leap into VR wasn’t a sudden development for social media. Social media has slowly been becoming more realistic and engaging. Social media has transformed from using just text, images and video to today’s iterations where users can stream live videos and upload “360 videos,” which allow viewers to pan and tilt their view to see the video from any angle. Virtual reality will take these interactive and real-time trends to the next level.Facebook has signaled that it’s just beginning its expansion into VR. It wants to make the technology into a new form of communication where people can virtually meet up with friends and communicate with them in realistic ways from the comfort of their VR systems.A Tale of Two WorldsWhat would this virtual social world look like? In its perfect form, a lot like reality. Except that in a virtual world, you can do things you couldn’t do in the real world and be anyone you want as well.You could create an avatar that looks like you do in reality. At some point, technology may allow you to generate a digital version of you that’s indiscernible from the human version. This would enable you to share your world with your friends in a much more comprehensive way and hang out with them in virtual worlds.Many users, though, would likely create avatars that are nothing like their real-life selves. Why stick to what you’re like in your daily life when you can be anyone one you want in a multitude of realistic virtual worlds?Redefining RealVR may one day become even more engaging and seemingly more meaningful than real life. Designers develop VR experiences that play to our senses. We might experience things in a virtual world, but these experiences can cause real emotional reactions.Combining human-like avatars with the precision of a computer program could yield powerful results. Did you know that if someone mimics your movements, you’re more likely to agree with them? Humans can do this subconsciously, but it’s difficult to purposely mirror someone’s head tilting and hand movements in a natural-looking way while maintaining the flow of conversation. A computer-powered avatar, however, would have no trouble with this.As virtual reality becomes more and more realistic, how will we be able to tell the difference between the digital world and the physical world? How much of a difference will there even be? If we can have sensory and emotional experiences in the virtual world, does that make it, in a way, real?What this would mean for society is a fascinating discussion. Some people might end up spending more time in the virtual world than out of it.As social media becomes increasingly integrated into our lives, the question of what comes next looms large. According to social media and tech industry leaders, the answer seems to be the merging of social media and virtual reality, and the thinning of the line between the physical and digital worlds. [post_title] => Virtual Networking, the Future Social Media [post_excerpt] => Virtual reality is already becoming a part of the conversation surrounding social media. Will it become the next popular social network? [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => virtual-reality-social-media-future [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-29 09:55:20 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-29 07:55:20 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=76777/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 74340 [post_author] => 1317 [post_date] => 2017-05-10 08:25:27 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-10 06:25:27 [post_content] => What it's like to be dead? That's a question we humans cannot answer until we are there, at the end of our lives. The big unknown. But this virtual reality experience developed at the University of Barcelona might get you a glimpse into how it could feel like to be dead, and with that eventually reduce the angst of leaving this earth.The experience was tested on 32 volunteers, the idea is to make users think that the virtual body perceived through the VR headset is their own. While wearing the headset, the illusion of living in the virtual body was built step by step, by training the computer generated body to match all the movements the physical body performed. A hit against the simulated head would be synched by a real hit on the person's actual head. The real time synchronisation is comparable to the so called rubber hand illusion, a trick often practiced by scientist, using fake body parts in order to explore how the mind, associates information gained from the senses to create a feeling of body ownership. An example would be a person with a missing limb, thinking the part is still attached even if it's physically impossible.After believing the illusion, the test people watched their own body switch into a different perspective. They had the feeling of floating out of the virtually body and looking down, from a higher perspective. The researchers would then drop balls on the virtual representations of the volunteers while they were looking down from above, activating the vibrators on only half of them. Those who received vibrations still felt connected to their bodies, while those who didn't felt disconnected and said the experience reduced their fear of dying.Even though this VR experience might not completely remove our fear of death, it tells something about the connection between a person's consciousness and his/her physical body. "It gives a sense that it’s possible to survive beyond death" Mel Slater, team leader of the project, said. The so-called outer-body-experience is nothing new and has been often reported by patients surviving a heart attack or a coma. Slater hopes this project could help terminally ill patients or people suffering from a life impairing death phobia.This experiment shows again how we can use technology to simulate our notion of reality, luckily in this case there is the exit button to go back to real life.Source: Endgaged. Image: VR Scout [post_title] => Experience Death with VR [post_excerpt] => Virtual reality experiment tries to help people frightened of death with outer-body experience. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => experience-death-virtual-reality [to_ping] => [pinged] => https://vrscout.com/projects/an-out-of-body-vr-experience/ [post_modified] => 2017-05-12 12:37:42 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-05-12 10:37:42 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=74340/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 73567 [post_author] => 873 [post_date] => 2017-05-04 11:01:40 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-04 09:01:40 [post_content] => After virtual reality meditation, here comes the VR full retreat. Infinity House opened its doors as the world’s first virtual retreat for the sake of self-enrichment. Instead of spending the average price of $250 a day, this immersive wellbeing experience simply needs a pair of goggles.The self acclaimed "gateway to a new and harmonious life" presents an alternative dimension in which the guests are said to achieve "all that [they] desire". Throughout several categories and with the help of experienced personal trainers, the visitors are promised to reach their goals towards a higher state of consciousness, which in turn will have positive effects on their health and wellbeing. "Scientifically, scans show that mediation increases the cortical folding which means that the brain can process information faster as well as increasing whole brain function" the promotional video explains.A dreamy narration takes the viewer on a guided tour to a world that appears similar to the corporate feel of Life Extension, a fictional company the movie Vanilla Sky, which specializes in cryonic suspension. With slogans as "All that you can imagine" and "Design your new adventure" the comparison is uncanny. In the movie, the protagonist decides to take life in his own hands after he experiences an unfortunate turn of events, and signs up for the company's lucid dream experience, which results in a bad trip and can only end with a horrid scenario he chose for himself.Yes, virtual reality is a temporal simulation that we can escape by taking off our goggles. But if there is one thing the VR production house sets out to prove is that simulations are now more meaningful than the reality they represent. In their book Boundaries of Self and Reality Online, psychologists Jayne Gackenbach & Johnathan Bown put virtual experiences to the test. Using the notion of 'game transfer phenomenom', the researchers describe the moment where the physical reality and its virtual counterpart start to blend (an effect commonly found among gamers). Similarly, Gackenbach found that gamers who often spend time in virtual worlds are more in control of their dream worlds than non-gamers (what she calls 'lucidity'), suggesting that spending time in virtual worlds might teach them to experience a dream as such. In her latest research, Gackenbach poses the same questions towards virtual reality.With the long-awaited mainstream takeover of immersive devices (2015? 2016? 2017?), Gackenbach opens an important debate in anticipation to intensified brain results. "All this points to one thing" she said during the CGSA Annual Conference of the University of Calgary."When you alter people’s waking realities, their memory changes. The more you think you’re in one reality, it alters your memory of other realities".Virtual chambers have a surreal quality that can be similarly read as dreams. A number of psychologists are researching the effects of virtual reality and consciousness inference in dreaming, but also in waking state (remember Pokemon Go?). While augmented reality apps might seem less physically immersive than virtual reality, chances are big they lead to similar neurological confusion, and this might be a problem. Before we start plunging ourselves into virtual bathhouses and augmented meditations, it is important to reflect on our technologies. A wise man once said: "We are sleepwalking into our technological future" and this might be the proof. One thing is for sure, the worlds are definitely merging. But wasn't that the dream all along?Sources: Infinite 360VR ProductionsLiveScienceThe Atlantic, Psychology Today [post_title] => A Virtual Reality Retreat [post_excerpt] => Are we sleepwalking into our technological future? [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => virtual-reality-retreat [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-05-07 11:49:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-05-07 09:49:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=73567/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 72273 [post_author] => 367 [post_date] => 2017-03-16 09:02:38 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-03-16 08:02:38 [post_content] => This week the Next Nature Habitat VR landed in Austin, Texas, as part of the 31st edition of South by Southwest Film Festival. At the SXSW Virtual Cinema, our immersive experience takes the audience through four future environments (Garden of Eden, Techno Favela, Hypernatural Resort, Modernist Dream) where we might live in someday. Have a sneak peek at the first photos and get a taste of the installation.This week our virtual reality experience landed at the inaugural VR program of SXSW festival.This week our virtual reality experience landed at the inaugural VR program of SXSW festival.[caption id="attachment_72276" align="aligncenter" width="640"]This week our virtual reality experience landed at the inaugural VR program of SXSW festival. The white dots indicate the audience preference.[/caption]Want to see more? That's the way to go! Keep an eye out for our newsletter to see the full report, or visit the experience today. It is also possible to book the Next Nature Habitat VR at your event. Have a look at our contactsheet for more information.Images: Monika Kozub [post_title] => Next Nature Habitat VR at SXSW17 [post_excerpt] => This week our virtual reality experience landed at the inaugural VR program of SXSW festival. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => habitat-vr-sxsw17 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-12-07 11:28:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-12-07 10:28:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=72273/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 ))[post_count] => 10 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 120435 [post_author] => 2194 [post_date] => 2019-09-20 10:26:36 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-09-20 09:26:36 [post_content] =>

As we go about our daily activities, we may lose sight of our connections with nonhuman life. Here are three exhibitions to encourage you to step outside of your everyday and recognize your interconnected existence within a more-than-human planet.

Discover the hidden natural forces that surround us

Meet the wonders of Marshmallow Laser Feast, an experimental genre bending arts collective. Their immersive works highlight the often overlooked natural forces that surround us in order to create landscapes that go beyond our daily experience. From an altered perspective, you are invited to explore your surroundings with a heightened sensory perception.

? Marshmallow Laser Feast at Odunpazari Modern Museum (TR), until 7 December 2019.

Explore the future of nature

NATURE is a trans-atlantic exhibition that includes over 60 projects where nature and design collide. The diverse range of projects in the expo is categorized within seven themes, all seeking to demonstrate how design may offer solutions for the environmental and social challenges that humanity faces today. From highly practical to highly speculative works, from physical to digital, all projects are united by a desire to show how —through design— we can become active agents in transforming the relationship we have with our world.

? NATURE at both Smithsonian (US) and Cube (NL), until 19 January 2020.

Hug & play with your surroundings

For Presence, the first largescale museal exhibition by Daan Roosegaarde, the artists has created an 800 m2 playful living lab in which multiple changes in perspective take place. You can roll around in luminous ‘stardust’, draw lines with light, and cast shadows that remain. In each room, human action leaves a lasting imprint, highlighting the traces we leave with the aim of empowering visitors to act differently, to connect with their surroundings in creative, playful and constructive ways. The immersive project is about questioning the world, who we are and what we want to leave behind.

? Daan Roosegaarde - Presence at Groninger Museum (NL), until 12 January 2020.

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