Bugfrog Hops Podcast – VR, AR, and MR to the Future – E. 57

Due to sudden publishing issues, Bugfrog Hops podcast is currently available in transcript only. I apologize for the inconvenience, and will get this resolved as quickly as possible.

Welcome back to Episode 57 of the Bugfrog Hops podcast where I cover things like technology, music and the industry, and whatever else I feel like talking about.

Thanks for joining me today, and I apologize for any issues you may have had streaming this episode. I’m having a slight dispute with our publishing partner so things might be a little bumpy as we work out the details. But don’t worry, I’ll get it all worked out and be up to full speed in no time.

So let’s get to it! As always I like to respond to a few of the comments and questions you have added to the comment stream. Again, I’m very sorry I haven’t been able to answer all your questions and comments in the last few weeks, but my communications intern Terry is healing up fine and hopefully will have full use of at least one arms again very soon. Good heath to you, Terry! Way to be a fighter!

So let’s get started here.
  • Michael E from Enid, OK asked a great question in response to last episode’s discusson of personal liberty. Michael its physically possible, but may be frowned upon in pubic social circles. Proceed with caution, and take your cues from those around you in the moment.
  • I got a letter of regret from last episode’s guest Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost. Remember he was not able to join us unexpectedly. Apparently there was a challenging mascot incident that he needed to attend to. Sluggerrr we are all pulling for ya. These misunderstandings happen in the Big Leagues. You’ll get through it.
  • And finally to Joshua from Chicago who used the Bugfrog Hotwire – Apply antibiotic ointment, and please, next time contact urgent care before calling me. Good luck.

Be sure to keep sending me your questions, comments, and criticisms through whatever channel works for you. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and now Peach. Certainly looking forward to seeing all your Peaches, so keep em coming.

Don’t forget about the Bugfrog Hotwire on the site, just click the button and leave me a voice message. I’m not afraid to put a new spin on doing things the same as before. Your voices screaming in the night are what keeps me going.

Before I go any further I want to give a warm Bugfrog Hop welcome to our new sponsor Walmart. Great to have you on board and I’m looking forward to a long and prosperous relationship with you. Walmart – where every penny you save forfeits a piece of your soul.

Ok, now we are ready for the real meat of the show, so make sure you have aren’t operating any heavy machinery or handling a weapon while drinking with me today. Today we are talking about another subject I find interesting, and if you one of the subscribed masses, hopefully pretty dang interesting to you as well. Let’s get started shall we?

Virtual Reality. Have you been paying attention to what is going on with VR these days? If you haven’t been following it or noticed anything about it lately, you must have some pretty strict filters on your news feeds – Virtual Reality is in the news feeds multiple times a day for me. From different systems like the Oculus Rift and more importantly the Oculus and the Oculus platform, to the HTC Vive. Yes Vive VIVE, be sure to pronounce that right the VIVE. The Vibe is different and I think the winner in that race was Hitachi, but don’t hold me to that. But there are a variety of tools and platforms that let everyone get a Virtual Reality experience in one way or another. The Samsung Gear works together with a Samsung phone, which is very smart. I have a session in progress for that one coming. Of course Google has their hand in the mix as well starting with the very low cost Google Cardboard, and rumors starting to surface of a new device in development. Stepping a but further into the matrix are the newest Augmented Reality AR offerings like the much anticipated Hololens from Microsoft and the still very magical  unicorn of the field, Magic Leap.

What is interesting about all this VR, AR, and the more approachable Mixed Reality or MR right now is that finally the technology is at the point where regular humans not working in some exclusive research or training facility can actually see this in action. We’ve been seeing this for years in movies and games. Massive three dimensional computer generated worlds that you walk through like the real world, selecting files, getting information beamed to your display, shooting anything that dares to move in your field of vision, very cool stuff that took a lot of people and effort to bring to life.

There have been high tech training and simulation systems for many industries going back decades. 3D surround flight simulators, immersive military and emergence response training environments, even laparoscopic surgery simulators with active haptic response components that let a user feel the pressure when practicing tying off a bleeding artery. Immersive environments have been around for a while, but usually reserved for a select few due to cost and effort required.

Now this technology is available at what will soon be a desktop price. We can buy this without a the budget of a small country. Tools for consumption and creation of 3D immersive experiences right at home. Oculus, Unreal, Unity, Steam, and all the others all waiting for new artists to step into the ring. Were you alive for the desktop publishing revolution? Everyone suddenly could create whatever they needed to share their ideas. It was amazing! A new world… and yes a lot of that world looked like crap with terrible layouts, fonts, and images, but still new and amazing. Information to the masses like never before. How about film editing? Now any filmmaker can start shooting, editing, and sharing in HD what ever idea comes into their head. On their freaking phone! Of course there’s more crap too, some people tell stories like a 5 year old explaining why the cat is blue and in the dryer. But there has been a huge leap in seeing first hand the stories of real people. Creating and sharing has never been more accessible. There is still a technological divide and not everyone has the same access, but that is evolving as well.

So here’s the point I want to make: VR, AR, MR are arriving and are going to be amazing. MR especially is going to change the way we view, interact, and contribute to the world we live in. Right now we are at the beginning, so don’t freak out. There is lots to be figured out still. Just because we can’t go to Walmart and buy a full body haptic response suit and HMD unit for $49.99 with a 10% off coupon doesn’t mean its all crap. We are just looking at the beginning of this experience, and it’s going to be everything we hoped for eventually. For now, it’s a little bulky and goofy, but we’ll get there. The thing is as an industry, people in tech are at least in part dreamers, always thinking “Where can this go? What can this do eventually?” All the amazing and exciting things that COULD be are what keeps us moving forward creating the things that are happening right now. It’s a journey, and the destination keeps getting more interesting and further away the more we learn.

That’s what makes this so exciting for me. This journey has just begun, and we don’t really know where it will go. Discoveries, adventures, victories and epic failures await. We know only a fraction of what this journey will show us, and we have no idea who we will be on the other side. Is there anything cooler?

I’m going to stop there before I get too giddy. If you have any comments or questions, let me know what you think, I look forward to hearing from ya. Maybe we can even get you on the show next time.

One last thing, I’ve just been notified that we lost Walmart as a sponsor. Damn, I though that one was really going to work out. The good news is we have a new sponsor starting next week, so let’s give a big welcome to our new benefactor, the NRA.