Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Justin Lassen & SOL Republic Create Surround Audio Experience with Control VR at Virtual Reality Event in Hollywood!

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From 6pm-1am, Control VR along with Justin Lassen and SOL Republic, presented their cutting edge full body motion capture suit at the TechCrunch Virtual Reality Event, just before the Oculus Connect Conference. While all the other demos were packing up at 9:30pm, Control VR had consistent lines of people wanting to try wearing the suits themselves, until 1am! It was the star of the party. Once you experience Control VR yourself, the possibilities are endless…

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A stereo approximation of the surround experience. This is a snippet of the musical part of the experience I have uploaded to Soundcloud. Enjoy.

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The code name for this particular demo I helped create audio design for is “Ambient Blue”. Oculus Rift is a pretty cool technology and is quite impressive, but it can also be dizzy and disorienting alone as you have read about in the press. Not because of the graphics, but because of the way Oculus designed the experience with traditional game pad controllers and joysticks. You want to reach out and touch things but you can’t. You are traditional confined by the concept of moving around with your thumbs on game pads + holding a controller with just a head-set alone. This is a totally unnatural way to experience “Virtual Reality”.

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Control VR technology changes the experience completely, because with the suit on, you can actually interact with your environment, walk around, move around, pick up objects, and all of your fingers move! It’s actually quite eerie, to look down, and see your chest, your body, your arms and legs as if you were really THAT character.

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This particular glove has 12 censors on it. With a combination of compasses, magnets and other tech, you are able to literally be IN the virtual experience! These are the same various kinds of suits that help people like James Cameron create Avatar captures, but run in real-time, for a surreal, yet virtually-real experience!

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This was me working with the lead developer, to position the audio, with the help of the head-set, plus the headphones. We had a pretty cool surround experience based on several layers of atmosphere, effects and even surround music that made you feel like you were in some neat future of hope.

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This is Saji, he’s another one of the lead developers of the Control VR technology, and he worked hard putting together all the demo experiences and layouts. He’s rocking a couple pairs of SOL Republic, which Control VR proudly uses in their demo kits now!

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Saji testing out the suit, making sure everything is just right before the demo.

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They were developing on Intel Core i7 Ultrabooks. This one was an Acer Aspire S7! Behind it is a maker bot, yep they 3D print all their body suit pieces in the lab.

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This guy is the Technical guy at Control VR. Extremely intelligent, and taught me a lot about suits, virtual technology, and showed me some pretty cool different gadgets. They were preparing a demo to give at USC the next day.

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Skybar shot. Doing my best impression of Mark Zuckerberg.

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This is Wolf, from Air Instruments, audio industry, fame. A 6’8” (VERY TALL) awesome German guy! I invited him down to the Control VR offices to check out one of the suits. he took the mask off when it was time and said “I just want to go back in!!!” with a big smile on his face! He’s now working on amazing uJam technology, which is amazing HTML5 portable cloud based audio technology. He gave me a demo of a few of the technologies. We brainstormed on this day and came up with some pretty amazing, and dare I say it, revolutionary ideas which we hope to start working on.

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Hanging out with Laura, from AnarchistVR, at the tech event. She was in the Control VR offices, they wanted to check out the suits. Her company has some cool leapmotion projects.

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me and Saji towards the end of the night, after having a very successful demo run at the event. Little did we know, we were going to go have some awesome hamburgers later. :)

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Some optics from the DK2.

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One of the people wearing the suit, grabbing at virtual objects in the demo. The happy guy sitting in the back is my good friend Zach Winterfeld, from Trans Audio Group whom sponsored our audio experience with some high end monitors for the rest of the people waiting in line to check out the more personal headphone surround demo.

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Reach for the sky!

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Touch those buttons!

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Answering questions, rocking out to cool music, letting people enjoy their 5 minutes of virtual bliss.

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A very special thanks to my sponsor SOL Republic for enabling this surround experience for everyone at the party. We got a lot of compliments on the sound quality, the surround quality and the music and sound design itself. I believe a virtual experience needs to have a solid audio experience too. Sound is 50% of any experience (or more). I had a lot of fun composing the tracks and designing the surround with the team.

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For their travel Virtual Reality kits. fits nicely. :)