Designers are Creating New Worlds! by Calina Franz Hernandez
About this video
The advent and continued progress of virtual and augmented spaces have again captured the imagination of the creative design-minded.
Oh, wow. This is good morning everyone. So, full disclosure, this is my first time being at a conference and speaking, or not being at a conference. Speaking at a conference. So bear with me. Um, I thought I was prepared, but there's a lot of you here, so thank you. Um, but yeah, good morning. As I said, I'm really happy to be here this morning. Uh, to take you on a very quick journey. I realize I need this, uh, into extended reality or xr, and that includes virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality spaces and applications. Um, as I've already been introduced, my name's Kalina, uh, and I'm the head of Digital design and the vr ar programs at the Vancouver Film School. Uh, so together let's take a look into three captivating projects that I find inspiring and feel that they're shaping the future of xr. Um, and at the end of this presentation, um, I only hope that you're inspired to look further into this fast moving field and continue to uncover the remarkable human side, um, of these technological wonders. So, when I first started exploring this field in 2016, um, this was really the breakthrough time for augmented and virtual reality. At that time, there were a few things going on. Uh, first being that you're seeing various VR headsets, uh, hitting the market at various price points, which were just making it that much more accessible to be able to bring these, uh, this technology into your home, um, and just, uh, access a larger group of users. There was also, of course, Pokemon Go that was gripping and spreading across the world and really bringing ag the topic of ag augmented reality. I forgot to move this along, I apologize. We're here. Me, uh, my apologies. I forgot. So, headsets as I was talking about, um, and Pokemon Go, although I doubt any of you needed this example. Um, and, uh, yeah, so that was bringing augmented reality in terms of discussion spaces and really giving people their first, uh, successful or maybe not successful, um, but ar experience that they could really, uh, engage with. Um, there was also retailers starting to embrace the technology for their sales, marketing and product development. So this is a great example with ikea, um, creating an app where you could place their, um, furniture in your space. You can kind of get a feel for it before purchasing. Um, and lastly, you started to see virtual reality content really expanding beyond gaming, which is typically what it ends up being associated with, um, into areas like sports, movies, architecture. Um, and just to give you a bit of context at that time, is the global virtual reality market was valued at just over 5 million, um, and was expected to expand by 42% from 2017 to 2025. Versus fast forwarding a little bit to 2022, that market is now valued at just over 28 billion and is expected to grow by 13.8% between 2023 and 2030. Um, so I only mentioned this, uh, to give you just some context into the strength and projected, projected future of this field, and that it has so much more space to grow and evolve in still. My goal today, as I've mentioned, is to focus on, uh, the remarkable ability XR has to transport us into wholly new and immersive experiences going beyond merely captivating our senses. Um, the following projects are great examples of experiences that are meant to stir your emotions, challenge your creativity and transport, uh, you into uncharted spaces that are fluid and ever changing. The first project I wanna talk about is, uh, trip. It's called Trip. So this is a VR platform that combines guided medi meditation with psychedelic visuals, um, and soothing binaural, uh, soundscapes to create immersive experiences that help users relax and find moments of mindfulness. So what's unique about this is that users are entering a virtual, very hypnotic world, filled with brightly colored and moving environments with abstract kaleidoscopic and visualizations that are meant to simulate being on psychedelic drugs without actually being on them. Um, so users can really engage with a variety of guided meditation sessions with its own theme and purpose, such as stress reduction, anxiety relief, creative enhancement and emotional wellbeing. Why I, I included this is that I found this project very inspiring because this isn't just simply a meditation experience. This is a trip, uh, works very closely with neuroscience and psychiatric advisors to design and evaluate their experiences, and they're continuously studying into potential uses as well as with the goal of creating a platform that can really help people beyond just a cool, trippy experience that is calming. Um, there was a recent trial found, uh, or TR trial that they did, that they found that trip actually might help influence the wellbeing and mood of cancer patients, um, as well as ongoing projects, assessing whether or not they can use this to help with, uh, recovery from substance, uh, use disorders and anxiety and pain control. Ultimately, the creators feel that this is just the beginning of what is possible with vr, and I personally think it's a great use case to show just the potential to revolutionize healthcare and, uh, medical education and patient care, um, moving forward. So next we have Figman xr. This is a creation tool for mixed reality experiences by a company called Overlay. Uh, so it's a multipurpose platform for easily creating and discovering, uh, and playing in augmented and mixed reality. You can create your own games and scenes, uh, you can share them in a community that's also within the, the application, and also explore other people's games and environments that they've created. So there's not only the ability to be creative, but there's also the ability to kind of share, and I'm sure there's plans for them to eventually, you know, be able to incorporate collaboration as well. Uh, what I've heard it simply described as, just so you can understand it as a creative toolkit for mixed reality experiments to happen within your own living room. The way that's possible is through the help of pass through ar. If you've ever been in vr, you, uh, specifically anything like the Quest, you're able to see your, uh, living room within the experience. And typically that's from a safety set standpoint, but in this case, they're using it, uh, in order to help you kind of create a different world within your own spaces. Um, so, uh, to explain it simply, it's a video feed sent to displays inside your VR headset. Uh, with this feature, you can actually see the digital space and analog space merged together, providing you those new creative possibilities. A great example of this within figman XR is, uh, you're able to sculpt 3D models, kind of like what you see on the example above, uh, in your scene, your living room, wherever you might be. And with the help of a physics editor, again, within this application, these 3D objects can actually be programmed, um, with physical properties so they can actually bounce off your walls in furniture so you can have a really cool experience. So there's many uses for mixed reality experiences, uh, like this, and particularly in education. Uh, this technology can engage students in a way that traditional methodologies cannot, uh, fostering that curiosity, um, critical thinking and creativity. It really has that potential to revolutionize education by creating dynamic and personalized learning environments. So, oh, I'm really bad at this thing. Um, so lastly, I wanna talk about modules. So this one's a little different than the other two. This is actually a VR gallery, um, that was created by an artist called Maximov in collaboration with a company called Var Ho that is described as an experience where different forms of art, um, architecture, sculpture, film, uh, and music blend together to create an intense, interactive virtual experience. I'm hoping this will play. So that's a great example. So as you can see, it's, uh, the module takes the viewers through, uh, an 11 room network of space, age, staircases, ledges, lifts, and corridors to view these like spherical artworks, um, that move within the space. Uh, they're very hyper real digital simulations that mirror the real world, world physics halfway between a gaming universe and a real world museum. Um, this unique way of showcasing this platform really enables the artists to be able to express their own creativity, push boundaries of their artistic exploration, and redefine the future of artistic experiences, while also navigating a digital space where they can abandon the logic of reality and become liberated from constraints. Uh, in this is just, uh, modules in this case, it's just the first installment of this artist's work. Um, he actually plans to develop this space throughout his lifetime. Um, his current goal is that he's gonna ha be, uh, releasing new iterations every six months. And I believe he said if there's no more updates, he's died. Um, so he's really taking this seriously. Um, and his goal is to encapsulate his entire body of work in this space, which is just so interesting to be able to have that and share that with the world and edit it to your own specifications and how you are evolving as an artist because XR can engage, um, multiple senses and simultaneously this multisensory approach can evoke stronger emotional responses and create a more memorable encounter with art. So with that, uh, what lies beyond the horizon? Uh, will you be an active participant in shaping the trajectory of this transformative technology? I really sincerely hope so, and, uh, I really thank you for taking the time to listen to me today and bear with my horrible thanks. Thank you guys so much.