Divine Vibes (Divine Lorraine Virtual Experience)

Produced by DreamMachine and Sheldon Abba with MING Media. A very special thanks and shoutout to Chris and Najeev at the Divine Lorraine for helping make this possible. As well as the incredible production support from Max at Steam Machine, MING (Media in the Neighborhood Group) and Sheldon Abba.  Hit them up @ming_media and @radsdon. Special thanks to Sancha Birns for help with the original score to the piece and Thomas Kee for sound design and mastering.

Get in touch for your  next generation project, from 360 vids to holograms to solar plants, we're ready for your dreams.


It's Time To Project Tango


Geoff Hollander - Business development + Legal

What’s the difference between Virtual Reality and this?   Some people will tell you that 360 degree videos are virtual reality by reason of visual immersion. I object.

In an actual virtual reality, the user interacts with the environment, at least to some degree.  In a 360 video, the viewer can only observe passively.  You can tilt the phone or your head, however the viewers visual environment remains predetermined.  It’s always limited to where the creator has placed the camera. 360 degree video is beyond awesome, but it’s not quite virtual reality. True VR is technology that recognizes a user’s location within an environment and allows for changes inside the environment.  

What’s exciting for me is that for just $512USD you can get a development tablet with those abilities.  Enter Project Tango.

If Cardboard was Google’s first steps into the world of VR, Tango is the coming evolution.  It’s a fantastically cheap way to develop highly immersive VR experiences.  It’s compatible with Android devices and can understand space and motion using fan favorites like Java, C, or Unity. Best of all, Google offers a relatively robust Developer Resources.

What’s important about this?

Motion tracking    

Depth perception

Area learning

With these capabilities built into the tablet, a virtual environment can be developed that allows for changes in perspective and increased interaction. It’s a whole new way to develop games, learning modules, and impactful experiences.  I’m not much for gambling, but I bet these capabilities will show up in a future crop of Nexus devices, perhaps just a generation or two away.  The Nexus 6P already has us accustomed to a giant rear lens. The next logical step is to fill it with more sensors and watch the real fun begin.  What do you think? Is Google barking up the wrong tree? You can bet DreamMachine has one of these on the way.



360 VR Vid Demo at La Colombe

Here is a quick clip of some demo footage we are working on at La Colombe in philly. We decided to post this footage without post production, so everyone can get a feel of what our 360 editing process looks like before and after.

There are a few points in the clip where multiple cameras overlap and produce a slight "ghosting" effect. This can be corrected by manually adjusting the stitching in the ghosted areas. Multiple cameras mean a ton of information. But in this case, the ghosting is produced by too much information. The good stuff is yet to come!

PS - Special Thanks to MING Media for the production support.


Memes as a form of Visual Communication

Two people, from two different countries, who speak two different languages are able to communicate with each other with only pizza memes. Is this the future, or is it heaven?

Communication is limited by words. At best, it’s an abstract representation of true thoughts and ideas (Steven Pinker). The ancient egyptians knew this. Hieroglphics were representations of ideas in an abstract, visual format. Communication itself only needs a system in order to function. The same reason we can understand the mating signals of fireflies. Systems make the language, and language makes the communication.

Memes are a digital language. Think of memes as a predetermined, yet constantly evolving collective language. A new meme on it’s own is not yet a part of the language. But once another observer views or interacts with the meme, it becomes fair game. If the observer shares the meme, it has greater odds of becoming a visual element for the system.  The collective consists of native speakers/users with the potential to communicate through the same visual language. So what might have started as a 4Chan meme now functions as an accepted element within the system and overall language. As the system gains more parts (established memes) the lanagauge becomes more robust, and communication becomes easier.

The system also relies on technology. Memes are a way to get an almost complete thought out insanely fast. The meme may consist of a visual cultural reference, along with a word or phrase. With this you’re relying on the power of collective memory - things like tv shows or movies. The internet makes this all possible. Even better it’s on a cell phone, so these quick little bits of ideas and information can be emailed, texted, tweeted, fb’d, pm’d, pinged’, and thrust into your digital mind hole. Thanks to their simplicity, usually a smaller size image, they can make their rounds faster than a video clip or entire web site. The more I describe them, the more I think about viruses. I guess all languages are crude until they have a certain spark of refinement and clarity.


VR landscape - Then and now

Virtual reality and immersive technology have recently stepped back on to the world stage. VR might be the new "it" word in the tech world, but the seeds were planted decades ago. Advances in hardware, software, and storage have given all immersive tech a new audience and life cycle.

One of the biggest barriers to previous VR adaptation was cost of hardware. Companies like Nintendo and Sega were the earliest adopters of immersive tech around 1993. They managed to create experiences a head of their time, but were a little too pricey for consumers. Virtual Boy - Nintendo's VR effort, had a price tag close to $200, and an extremely limited software library. Beyond these gaming VR experiences, the average tech company lacked the resources to research and build rich immersive experiences. 

Currently the landscape looks vastly different. Cells phones, the digital darlings in our pockets, have become the new gateway for VR. Hardware previously needed to run rich, interactive experiences, has been replaced by a wide range of VR solutions. Everything from Google Cardboard, to Samsung GEAR utilize your cell phone as the heart of your immersive experience. The reduced cost of hardware has also opens the door for more creators. 

Heart Rate - VR A/B Test


We wanted to run a live A/B test of virtual reality during our presentation to panma using a heart rate monitor to demonstrate physical differences that a user experiences, when immersed in two very different virtual reality applications. We created two apps, one that should be relaxing to a user and one that should be exciting to a user.

  1. Relaxing VR experience: Bike ride in the countryside - our hypothesis was that the participant's heart rate would remain constant or slow.
  2. Exciting VR experience: Roller coaster ride - our hypothesis was that the participant's heart rate would climb several times throughout the ride.

We didn't have a chance to do a pre-test to validate our assumptions in advance of the presentation due to some technical difficulties (misplaced heart monitor). Not knowing what the result would was a bit nerve-racking, on the upside it added a bit of drama to the presentation. So in front of the audience - we asked a brave volunteer to sit down in front, and experience both apps while wearing a heart rate monitor. 

When he immersed into the bike ride, his heart rate was constant, in-fact it slowed slightly from where it was at the start (he was probably a little bit nervous at first). At one point his heart rate did rise slightly, we knew that was when there was an oncoming car coming around the corner. Next we had him repeat the activity and immerse into the roller coaster ride. His heart rate shot up as he approached the drop. He got pretty excited throughout the experience, as did we. We shared the heart rate live with the audience as he was experiencing it.

Ultimately, the test worked out as we had hoped. I'll publish the heart rate data in an upcoming post.

Test materials: Google Cardboard, 3D Videos, Audio & Headphones, Smartphone, Wahoo Heart Rate Monitor, Wahoo Fitness App, Smartphone Stand, Fan

Watch the demos here

Bike Ride VR Experience


Roller Coaster VR Experience