Since my last post, I've been working on a project for Amazon Studios that has recently wrapped. It's been wonderful, but unfortunately, there's been no time for working on my panoramas. Now that my job is finished, I have a backlog of VR images to process and upload. Wait for it. They'll be coming soon!
Last night was the Proto Awards, an event produced by the Virtual Reality Foundation to reward individuals and teams making strides in the field of virtual reality. The event took place at the Avalon in Hollywood, blocks away from where the first Oscars (May 16, 1929, at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel) and Emmys ceremonies (January 25, 1949, at the Hollywood Athletic Club) took place.
|Shane Nilsson - Proto Award Winner for "Fruit Golf"|
My friends from Coal Car Studios were up for their game "Fruit Golf" and won! Coal Car Studios are a team of two brothers -- Shane and Tyler Nilsson -- from Canada whom I met when we all spoke on the social VR panel at the "Future Trends In Stereoscopic Filmmaking & Virtual Reality" summit in Beijing late last year. Since Tyler was unable to make the ceremony, I got to be a +1 at the table. The photo above is Shane Nilsson accepting the award.
Shane gave a succinct and sweet acceptance speech that even MC Ron Funches had something positive to say. But the quote of the night was when, as we were headed back to our cars after the event was over Shane remarked, "Wow. I win this award and suddenly all these girls start talking to me."
|Tom Furness, VR pioneer, Professor in the University of Washington Department of |
Industrial & Systems Engineering, and the founder of the Human Interface Technology Lab
The highlight of the evening was when I got to meet Thom Furness III, who was honored with the Founders Award. Furness has been pioneering virtual and augmented reality for the past 50 years and has come to be known as the "Grandfather of VR." He started back in 1966 while he was in the Air Force building some of the first helmet-mounted displays. He left the military to head up the Human Interface Technology Lab at the University of Washington, which has been doing original research to validate the efficacy of VR in the areas of medicine, education, and training. He also helped invent the virtual retinal display technology in the early 90s, which is being used as some of the basis of Magic Leap’s lightfield display technologies. Today Furness continues to be a virtual reality visionary serving as the Founder of the Virtual World Society.
The Proto awards was a blast. Congratulations to all the winners!