January 1, 2015

2014 is officially behind us, and what a year it’s been!

It was a year of learning how to use OS X after years of being Windows-only, and dabbling in iOS application development.

I attended my first-ever “Unconference” and met some great people at the Bay Area She’s Geeky conference – and I’ll be headed back in a few short weeks for She’s Geeky 2015!

Virtual Reality began to take the scene when Facebook bought Oculus, and I dove into it myself with SVVR meetups and began learning Unity development.

My first anniversary with Microsoft was this summer, and I’m now well into year two!

I love the holiday season – the coziness around the holidays is hard to get any other time of year and I love any reason to go back to the East coast and see family and friends. This year, my Oculus Rift stole the show at Christmas with both kids and adults alike. Getting a chance to get more eyes on the experience had some interesting results, and I’ve learned even more about how people are starting to see this type of technology:

  • Kids (generally under 17) seem to have very few, if any, issues with adjusting to the screen. Similar to the hackathon I wrote about a few years back, my little cousins very quickly were able to feel completely comfortable playing in VR and reported zero side affects.
  • Non-gaming experiences are going to be what lands VR in the general public. I had three main games that I showed on my MBP: Radial-G, Guided Meditation, and Helix (a roller coaster demo that seems to have decreased in quality since the last SDK update). The kids loved Radial-G immediately, but Guided Meditation took the cake with adults in the family. I would love to see more of these types of demos built for the Mac, since most of the really neat ones that I found on Oculus Share were Windows exclusive.
  • Reliving experiences from favorite books and movies will be a huge opportunity to reopen older franchises. Almost everyone that I showed the Rift to immediately said “Man, I would totally love to do this Harry Potter / Star Wars / Disney thing in VR!” and with what Dreamworks has started working on, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before the other studios follow suit.

I also had a chance over the holidays to try out a favorite game with Oculus support: Minecraft! It wasn’t the most intuitive thing to set up (I used the Minecrift add-on) and I still haven’t gotten it into a playable state yet (I’ll be honest, I’m not 100% convinced my MBP can take it) but it’s just really exciting to see how much is getting to the “good enough” stage.

2015 is going to be an even better year, especially where VR is concerned. It’s finally making waves with the Samsung Gear VR becoming available, and more applications are being released every day for mobile and desktop. It’s an exciting time to get in the field!

I have a few VR projects in full swing right now, and the events start early, with the HTML5 Web VR meetup in a few weeks and She’s Geeky 2015 at the end of the month. I couldn’t be more ready for whatever 2015 brings – and I hope you all are also ready to make this the best year yet!

Related Posts

1 thought on “Happy New Year!”

Leave a Reply