Oculus Rift: The Software Is Hard Core

Oculus Rift: The Software Is Hard Core
SHARE
THIS



The team at Brisbane-based agency BCM have had their heads down and their Oculus ‘up’, working through a growing number of demos that are available for the DK2 virtual reality headset. From the experiments, BCM says it’s easy to see why Facebook and other brands are cashing in on this piece of tech.

Now that we’ve got our Oculus Rift up and running, we took it for a serious test drive. With our headset operational, we just needed some software to make our virtual reality experience come to life.

There are lots of free software demos that are available and they offer some great insight into what the Oculus and virtual reality has in store for the future. Whether it’s jumping off a giant space platform, calmly strolling around a Tuscan villa, or sitting terrified in a basement immersed in a horror movie, the DK2 has hit on what early virtual reality technology of the past missed – an experience that both gamers and non-gamers can genuinely get excited about.

There are two categories that the demos fall into, gaming and experiential. The team at BCM have been trialling both to gain as much insight as possible into the technology.

To ease the user into the experience, many of the available programs, such as one demo we’ve been experimenting with called ‘Sightline: The Chair’, begins with you sitting down.

It kicks off with you sitting at a simulated desk complete with a keyboard, mouse and monitor. A short video from the developer (playing on the virtual computer on your virtual desk) introduces you to the simple concept behind this experience. To ‘play’, you must break your line of sight with objects; doing so causes them to change. You’re encouraged to turn your head to look at the lamp to your left, for example, and when you look back at your computer … it’s changed slightly. Then turn back to the lamp, and it’s floating about the desk. Things get progressively weirder as you go along.

Sightline can also take you on a seated journey to mysterious medieval lands, scary shrinking rooms, deep space, to the top of skyscrapers and beyond. The illusion, however, is never wholly convincing even when it’s mirroring realistic environments – but that doesn’t mean to say it’s not a fun experience.

This video from ‘vlogger’ Jacksepticeye is a hilarious example of Sightline in use:

sightline image

Another program called ‘11:57’ is a good example of just how far the Oculus can take interactive experiences. As the first of its kind, 11:57 sets out to offer a 360-degree ‘nightmare’ by making the Oculus wearer the main character of a horror film. This means that rather than just watching, you become part of the actual set as the action revolves around you. Again, a chair is used as a grounding point for the demo.

For fans of the horror genre, this experience is what you’d expect. The atmosphere is perfect, and with headphones plugged in you are completely separated from the real world. The ‘jump’ scares feel real. You become so immersed in the environment, that once the demo is over, your eyes take a while to adjust to the light.

Check out this demo of the 11:57 game for a laugh:

11-57 image

Other software we tested also provided a very good virtual reality experience.

Whilst this VR technology has some way to go, it’s really starting to deliver what virtual reality has promised for so long.

So, it’s becoming a lot clearer why an organisation like Facebook purchased Oculus. There can be little doubt that VR has the potential to revolutionise the way we play, work, learn and communicate. But it’s going to take time and an awful lot of money to make it work.

Some say that Facebook as a platform has peaked; and unlike companies such as Google, Facebook hasn’t diversified to quite same level. Perhaps the people at Facebook see Oculus as a folly; a fun technology that will get them some press. It would certainly be an expensive folly at US$2 billion. Maybe they believe that Oculus will make them a lot of money in its own right. Or, perhaps they have plans that will see Oculus as the basis of a new generation of social media.

Who knows what Facebook is up to with Oculus? But it’s worth noting that all the major consumer electronics companies (Sony, Microsoft, Apple and Samsung) are also dabbling with VR technology.

Our conclusion … watch this (virtual) space.

Latest News

Pooled Energy Appoints Magnum & Co And The Wired Agency
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Pooled Energy Appoints Magnum & Co And The Wired Agency

Swimming pool electricity retailer Pooled Energy has appointed Magnum & Co and sister agency The Wired Agency to its roster, following a competitive pitch. Magnum & Co will handle Pooled Energy’s social media and PR, while The Wired Agency has been appointed to manage the company’s search and display advertising. Both agencies will collaborate with […]

Masculinity Roasted In Clever New Ad
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Masculinity Roasted In Clever New Ad

Think masculinity means drinking a case without chundering? Well, rediscover it (& possibly yourself) with this top ad.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
WPP AUNZ Partners With Career Trackers Indigenous Internship Program
  • Advertising

WPP AUNZ Partners With Career Trackers Indigenous Internship Program

Advertising and marketing network WPP AUNZ has joined the Career Trackers Indigenous Internship Program as part of its commitment to a diverse workforce, and the creation of opportunities that inspire excellence. As part of the program, WPP AUNZ has welcomed its first three interns: Abi-Leigh Dillon (WPP AUNZ), Amy Mccutcheon (MediaCom) and Jacinta Evans (Ogilvy), […]

Taboo Goes On A Hiring Spree
  • Advertising

Taboo Goes On A Hiring Spree

Taboo has gone a hiring spree. And when it comes to sprees, that's far better than a shooting one or a farting one.

M&C Saatchi Group’s 1440 Shuts Up Shop
  • Marketing

M&C Saatchi Group’s 1440 Shuts Up Shop

Sadly, M&C Saatchi's 1440 is no more. And chances of it being reborn as 1550 not looking much chop either.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Luke Kelly Becomes A Partner At HBT
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Luke Kelly Becomes A Partner At HBT

B&T's not sure what's with that twirly thing in the press photo, suffice to say a vortex to an alternate dimension?

Women In Media Profile: Alison Michalk
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Alison Michalk

If B&T's Women in Media profiles were an animal they would be a gazelle or lioness, or even a lioness eating a gazelle.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Grant Broadcasters Makes Several Changes To Senior Executive Team
  • Media

Grant Broadcasters Makes Several Changes To Senior Executive Team

Independent media company Grant Broadcasters has announced a number of changes to its executive ranks. Grant Cameron will move up to become non-executive chairman for the company, and Alison Cameron (pictured above) – currently the chief operating officer – will assume the CEO role. Dugald Cameron remains responsible for the family’s investment portfolio and is […]

Shopper Media Group Partners With Mist To Offer New Tech & AI-Driven Capabilities
  • Advertising
  • Media

Shopper Media Group Partners With Mist To Offer New Tech & AI-Driven Capabilities

Australian retail out-of-home (OOH) business Shopper Media Group (SMG) has announced a partnership with AI-powered wireless networks provider Mist. The partnership will see SMG offer new WiFi, analytics and location-based services across the company’s portfolio of Australian shopping centres. Mist currently provides WiFi and location services using virtual Bluetooth LE technology to businesses across all […]

Indy Agency This Is Flow Wins Cruiseco’s $5 Million Media Account
  • Advertising
  • Media

Indy Agency This Is Flow Wins Cruiseco’s $5 Million Media Account

Travel organisation Cruiseco has announced the appointment of Sydney independent agency This is Flow (TIF) to handle its $5 million media account. This is the first time Cruiseco has appointed an agency, having managed its communications internally. Cruiseco is the largest and broadest distributor of cruise products in the Southern Hemisphere. With a membership base […]

Women In Media Profile: Naomi Shepherd
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Naomi Shepherd

Need a Monday morning pick-me-up? You could stand naked next to the office fridge or read these inspiring words.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
APN Outdoor Takes Off With Queenstown Airport Contract
  • Advertising
  • Media

APN Outdoor Takes Off With Queenstown Airport Contract

Out-of-home media business APN Outdoor has won the tender for New Zealand’s Queenstown Airport. As part of the new agreement, APN Outdoor has flagged extensive development plans for Queenstown Airport’s advertising assets. The new contract adds Queenstown Airport to APN Outdoor’s existing portfolio of Auckland and Christchurch Airports. The media company will hire a South […]