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VR Digest:  Everything is an illusion;
Spielberg to direct Ready Player One

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VR Digest: A VR newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent

Spielberg to direct Ready Player One adaptation

Of all the people who could direct a movie based on ‘80s-inspired 2011 novel Ready Player One, you would have a hard time arguing there is a better choice than the man who helped define the childhoods of that decade with movies like E.T. and the Indiana Jones films. Ernest Cline’s novel is a must-read for members of the VR community and now Steven Spielberg is signed on to direct the big screen adaptation.

If the movie follows the book closely, it might require a herculean effort to license all of the artifacts of 20th century culture sprinkled throughout the story. Spielberg’s track record creating some of that culture himself, and his stature as living legend in Hollywood, might make him the perfect man for the job.

One thing's for sure: the film will give VR a massive jolt of consumer awareness upon its release, but who is going to make the virtual reality experience for the movie based on a book based on classic video games?


Facebook’s developer event blows minds

Oculus chief scientist and former Valver Michael Abrash took the stage at Facebook’s F8 developer conference and expanded on some of the mind-bending demonstrations he talked about at the Oculus Connect conference last year. There are a number of illusion roundups from his presentation, in which he made the point "all reality is virtual."

Media outlets may have jumped to conclusions after a misleading statement from Facebook’s CTO Mike Schroepfer during the same keynote, but we're still no closer to knowing the launch window for the consumer Rift as Schroepfer swiftly backpedaled on Twitter.


Bits

A writer for Vice (who suffers from anxiety) tried out The Deep, a therapeutic experience. “I had tears at the bottom of the Oculus headset because it calmed me down more than anything ever has in my entire life.” The experience uses a “custom-built self-calibrating belt that matches the player's breathing patterns with on-screen movements” to become a “a digital version of a diaphragmatic exercise.”

A new draft specification for WebVR edited by engineers at Google and Mozilla was released, aiming to “allow developers to build compelling, comfortable VR experiences.”

Valve is taking questions about Lighthouse as Alan Yates prepares to explain how the positional tracking technology in its SteamVR platform works.

Oculus released the 0.5.0.1 version of its PC software development kit with enhancements that allow “us to fix bugs and update implementation for new headset features after applications have been compiled and shipped.”

Hand tracking company Leap Motion released a best practices guide (PDF) that offers some helpful insights into VR development.

Eye-tracking headset FOVE got the hands-on treatment from Tested, with Norm speaking to the company’s chief technology officer about how the technology can help with VR.

Reddit user nairol collected all the publicly available GDC talks related to VR. Particularly worth your while are Designing for Mobile VR in Dead Secret, Advanced VR Rendering, and VR for Indies.

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