EEVR VI marked the first successful year of Estonian VR meetups! The idea started around october 2014 and has steadily grown ever since, connecting people every second month. And to celebrate, people from all over the country gathered in Tartu at the newly opened Garage48 HUB to hear some great talks and experience many new home-grown VR demos, as usual.
First we had Mario and Madis on stage, sharing their year of EEVR as the organizers. Some statistics were spilled, memories refreshed and future plans discussed. Even though the community has exploded from 2 members to 212 over just a year, there has emerged a core group of about 30 people who actively develop VR software or hardware. We can only hope that EEVR has had some influence in increacing that number. Link to video.
Next we heard from Kälver Kilvits and his work at Street-U, a company dealing with mapping city streets. He showed us the ropes of getting a VR app running with three.js and Oculus libraries. It’s a surprisingly simple undertaking, if you know the basics. The result was a live web-based experience to navigate through the virtual streets of Tartu. The potential for mapping cities with lazers to create massive point clouds was also discussed in lenght. Link to video and slides.
Lastly we got to be a part of Karel Airapetjan’s trip to Oculus Connect 2. His talk was mostly centered on different demo experiences that he had the chance to try out. Now we know that the fur textures in Henry are really nice and the Bullet Train metal surfaces look gorgeus 🙂 We also heard many “first hand” experiences with Oculus Touch and a comparison between Touch and Vive controllers. In summary – both are good, depending on what you want to achieve. Link to video.
The demo round was especially rich this time around. Those interested could for example pop their head inside the long anticipated OSVR HDK 1.2 and we also took a look under the hood, as the HDK is easily hackable to pieces. Another cool hardware gadget was a rally seat by Keijo, who let people try out Dirt Rally and Assetto Corsa with maximum immersion. Turning to the game scene, our local prodigy Ats Kurvet was showing off his Mythos of the world axis, and also a new demo for the Epic Megajam, Teleported. Madis demonstrated the glory of Oculus 0.7 runtime with Showdown, Henry trailer and some of his own random experiments. One of those was an asymmetric Leap Motion demo, where one player was controlling the “hand of god”, while the other player inside the rift was climbing up said hand. Great for a bunch of mini-games, stay tuned for more 🙂 Hendrik Proosa showed his quick demo about rendered lightfields in Unity, which left many scraching their head in hopes of understanding the tech behind the cool experience.
Also, check out the pics! (Thanks Karl)