The work that had to be done was not trivial and they only got their DK2 headsets roughly two weeks ago and who knows, the public Oculus Viewer release could be around the corner, although insiders seem to think it won’t be till 2015.
But even though we don’t know when the Second Life official DK2 viewer arrives, we do have some confirmation from mr Ebbe Altberg himself via Twitter;
Leap motion, the very nifty hand gesture tracker for computers has just announced its future VR plans.
I tried the Leap Motion some time ago and although it is a really great tool, I ended up not using it very often.
I use my laptop in the most unusual places, on the floor, on the daybed, on the balcony, but almost never at a desk and I either spend time typing or in Second Life, so for me it was not something I was going to use a lot.
However I did immediately spot the potential and have always felt that this is where the future for VR is.
Having to wave controllers or other plastic toys around while being attached to a bunch of wires just isn’t the way forward.
I imagined 3D scanning devices that would simply scan your movements, hand, body, everything and translate that into VR.
You can have your hands, all 5 fingers, work inside VR, why would you need anything else?
Today Leap Motion’s co-founder David Holz posted a blog on their website talking about a series of development especially for Virtual Reality.
They brilliantly stuck their sensor to an Oculus Rift and continued working on the options and possibilities this offers.
They are also using infrared images the sensor picks up and combine these with what you see in VR.
I won’t bore you with just copying everything that was written on the blog, I just invite you to read it yourself here.
But a very interesting video accompanied the blog and I couldn’t resist sharing it;
Tracking is moving along rapidly, I think that eventually we will end up with a tiny device such as the Leap Motion that will translate all our hand but also body movements into VR, but will also register the movements of our mouths and even eyes, so it can translate facial expressions.
Something like what what the people at High Fidelity are experimenting with.
We won’t need to carry, hold or wear anything but the headset and a small sensor, no suits, no gloves, no controllers, nothing.
Although perhaps a small omnidirectional treadmill might be desired.
I wonder if perhaps with the new technology, the Leap Motion can eventually also track your leg movements and posture, that would create a lot of new possibilities. You could pretend to walk and actually walk in VR, regardless of how dangerous this could be if you don’t make sure you don’t bump into stuff, it could make walking in VR a lot easier.
Can you imagine the potential this has in a massive virtual world such as Second Life?
No more having to click to use items, just push that door, turn that handle, flick that switch, slap that rude man in the face!
Linden Lab has uploaded about 30 new Second Life screenshots into their Flickr account that will, I assume, be used for PR purposes.
I’ve written before about how important I think it is for outsiders to actually see how good Second Life can look if your computer is up to scratch.
And it frustrates me that so many journalists use screenshots from 2007 to illustrate their article about our virtual world, regardless if the article is positive or negative.
But journalists today sometimes need a little help, they don’t always have the time to go inworld, figure out ultra graphics settings and look for nice locations or scour the internet for pictures, contact the makers for permission to use them, etc. Of course in some cases its not the journalist but the editor who decides on which images to use.
So it is Linden Lab’s and our job to make sure our virtual world is represented properly.
When Paste Magazine recently published an article on the 10 Best MMO’s written by Janine Hawkins, with a less than flattering illustration, people on twitter spoke up. The writer was contacted and the picture replaced.
I’ve started the ‘Second Life is looking good’ flickr group to show outsiders whats possible in SL these days, but these pictures in many cases come with copyright restrictions. Still, journalists could at least contact thebut I’ve also added a few screenshots to Wikipedia Commons without any use restrictions.
Journalists have already found and used these, with added bonus for me that my 1920s Berlin sim gets some free publicity at the same time.
Linden Lab does send some information and pictures if they are aware an article is being written or when a journalist contacts them, but I don’t know if they always speak up and protest when a journalist uses very old bad screenshots.
They do have a Press section on the Linden Lab website, but for some reason there are reporters out there who overlook the pictures they can find there or don’t even bother checking if the subject of their article has a press page.
To be honest though, there are only 12 not that impressive pictures to be found in Linden Lab’s Flickr album that the press page links to.
But now it seems that Linden Lab has decided to update the images they offer by adding about 30 new pretty good pictures. Not only are they of good quality, they are diverse and not too tacky.
They haven’t been added to the press folder yet and unfortunately they have not added a small description of the location or slurls so people can check them out inworld.
And to my shock and horror they’ve forgotten to include pictures of 1920s Berlin! However, they do offer journalists much better illustrations than before.
It remains our job to be vigilant and keep an eye out for articles that misrepresent Second Life, it is also in our best interest to let everyone know our world is not ugly, well not everywhere anyway. If you see a bad SL image being used, leave a comment, tweet the author, let Linden Lab know.
For a while fitted mesh in SLGo didn’t quite work the way it should, it glitched and looked odd.
But Dennis Harper, senior product manager at Onlive.com, announced in the comment section of my blog that this problem has now been solved;
From Dennis @ OnLive;
I’d like to announce that SL Go has just released an update that solves the fitted mesh bug! Yay! You are the very first to hear of this. I’m using Jo’s blog because all of you have been so helping us focus on what is important.
It’s was a more extensive project than originally thought, taking longer than I hoped. But the entire code based was merged to the most recent versions, so all of the latest features are available.
Again, thanks for your feedback and support. We have more exciting things planned for SL Go in the near future. Stay tuned!
I tried to get Dennis to spill the beans on these exciting things, but alas, he wouldn’t tell me anything more than that i was going to be very surprised by what they are!
Either way, great news that this really awesome service that lets you use Second Life at ultra settings on mobile devices but also on those ancient computers.
Yes, SLGo allowed me to explore SL at ultra settings on my 5 year old macbook!
The High Fidelity team just uploaded this interesting video showing an avatar singing along to Queen.
Just in case the video is blocked in your country or doesn’t work on my blog, try this direct link; High Fidelity sings Queen
A VPN service may also help you bypass the block.
It is a huge step forward from the previous avatars we’ve seen so far and the technology is really impressive.
This is something that will appeal to a lot of people, not just performers and artists who sing live in virtual worlds, but of course it is also hugely important to translate your RL expression into VR.
When looking at HiFy, we have to remember that it is still in very early Alpha stages but it appears to be moving along pretty well and if this footage is a good indication of what will be possible in Philip Rosedale’s new virtual world, we’re in for a treat.
Let’s hope that Ebbe Altberg, CEO of Linden Lab can borrow some of this cool stuff for the next Second Life as well, because personally, I can’t wait to use something like this in my virtual time travel adventures.
This screenshot, uploaded to Twitter a few hours ago is also a huge step forward from what has been shown to the public before.