New Virtual Reality Films Put You in the Scene
The technology draws on the concepts established by theatre companies like Punchdrunk that create an immersive world for an audience to explore while the narrative unfolds around them.
Virtual reality headsets were originally designed to immerse gamers into worlds of fantasy, but because the headset blocks their view of hand controllers, technologists are turning their gaze toward films.
The idea of putting audience members literally into the scenes of films is an attractive idea, if potentially gimmicky. The technology draws on the concepts established by theatre companies like Punchdrunk that create an immersive world for an audience to explore while the narrative unfolds around them.
At this year's Sundance Film Festival, for example, VR technology was brought to bear on the film Wild, starring Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern, resulting in a three-minute, three-dimensional event called Wild: The Experience.
Peter Diamandis, chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation, which leads the world in designing and launching large incentive prizes to drive radical breakthroughs, thinks 2015 may well be the year when VR technology matures and becomes a widely available consumer product:
"A number of technologies [are] coming together: infinite computing, very cheap high-resolution cameras, machine-learning capabilities, low-latency/high-bandwidth networks. All of these things are coming together to reinvent the virtual world experience."
The British firm Alchemy VR is currently working on a series of immersive natural history films with veteran broadcaster David Attenborough made by "arranging a number of cameras in a sphere and stitching the resulting videos together to create an all-encompassing film."
The idea of infinite virtual realities contained within every smartphone is not only futuristic and exciting, but also extremely useful to filmmakers who want to shoot at exotic places, but lack the travel budget to always be on location.
Could this be the long-awaited solution to economic inequality?
Under capitalism, the argument goes, it's every man for himself. Through the relentless pursuit of self-interest, everyone benefits, as if an invisible hand were guiding each of us toward the common good. Everyone should accordingly try to get as much as they can, not only for their goods but also for their labour. Whatever the market price is is, in turn, what the buyer should pay. Just like the idea that there should be a minimum wage, the idea that there should be a maximum wage seems to undermine the very freedom that the free market is supposed to guarantee.
Humans evolved to live in the cold through a number of environmental and genetic factors.
- According to some relatively new research, many of our early human cousins preceded Homo sapien migrations north by hundreds of thousands or even millions of years.
- Cross-breeding with other ancient hominids gave some subsets of human population the genes to contend and thrive in colder and harsher climates.
- Behavioral and dietary changes also helped humans adapt to cold climates.
It's unlikely that there's anything on the planet that is worth the cost of shipping it back
- In the second season of National Geographic Channel's MARS (premiering tonight, 11/12/18,) privatized miners on the red planet clash with a colony of international scientists
- Privatized mining on both Mars and the Moon is likely to occur in the next century
- The cost of returning mined materials from Space to the Earth will probably be too high to create a self-sustaining industry, but the resources may have other uses at their origin points
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