Kentucky Aviation Museum 360 Experience

Spend some time discovering the great exhibits at the Kentucky Aviation Museum. Tour guide Tom Burch will guide you thorough the museum as he teaches and talks about some of the planes that are on exhibit. You really have a chance to gt up close and personal with some of these planes. Sit in a helicopter and become apart of the history on display. If you want to visit the Kentucky Aviation Museum you can find them at 4029 Airport Rd, Lexington, KY 40510. The Museum is open from Tuesday- Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sunday 1pm to 5pm. So make sure to enjoy your VR experience and get ready to take off. Brandon Jent was the editor and reporter of this story.

VR at the Final Four

The NCAA basketball tournament is one of the most interesting and intriguing tournaments in all of sports. There is a rush of excitement when fans see a buzzer-beating shot or a Cinderella team upset a number one seed. On the contrast, there is a wave of agony and sadness when you see your team knocked out of the tourney. For the past four years, the NCAA, Turner Sports, in partnership with CBS, Oculous, and Intel have been offering fans a front row seat to all the action through the March Madness VR app. VR brings the fans straight to the arena and gives them a chance to follow their team through the tournament. In theory, watching a game in VR sounds amazing but is it really better than keeping up with the action through your television set? Here are some of the pros and cons of going through March Madness in VR.

View from within the March Madness Vr app

During the 2019 NCAA men`s Basketball tournament 21 games were broadcasted in VR including the Final Four and National Championship game. You can find the full list of games here. To get the broadcast in VR you had to own either an Oculus Go headset or a Gear VR headset. Then you would have to go an actually download the free March Madness VR app. Once you have the app downloaded and set up the app you can buy single game tickets for $2.99 or you can gain full tournament access for $9.99. The app also offers game highlights, the ability to view the bracket and view recaps in VR all for free. During the games, you have the ability to switch to multiple different camera angles or allow a director to switch for you. Compared to watching the games on TV this can seem like a lot of work to just get to the experience. On television, you get every single game in the tournament and don’t have to worry about missing any moments. You also don’t have to deal with the headache of setting up the app or paying to see the games. It is nice that the app offers VR highlights for free for those that don`t want to pay but still want to have the experience. The directors cut feature is was also a good idea because some people don’t want to have to worry about switching between camera angles.

Video courtesy of KPIX CBS SF Bay Area

The video above does a good job of showing off some of the features in the app and how the app actually works and functions. One of the main advantages of watching the game in VR is the different camera angles and views you get of the game. There is no way other than in VR to experience a right under the basket shot. I do feel like it can get exhausting to have a headset on for the length of a basketball game compared to watching a game on television. One thing that I hope happens in the near future is an expansion of the app to any mobile device. The app could draw in more viewers if it did not rely on the use of just an Oculus Go headset or a Gear VR headset. You could just have it as an app in the iPhone or Android app store and allow people to use any headset. This will give them much better viewership and more downloads of the app.

The work it takes to bring the tournament in VR is impressive and Intel has done a good job at setting up their cameras. I would suggest buying a single game pass and seeing if you do enjoy watching the game in VR. Then you can decide if you prefer the television view or VR view. If you don’t like the VR view or feel it is not worth the price you can always watch the highlights in VR for free. Overall there are advantages and disadvantages to watching the tournament in VR but everyone should at least try watching one game in VR.

UK Track and Field Meet in 360

The UK Track and Field team is back in action at the Black and Gold Invitational in Nashville Tennessee. Follow the team as they warm up for and compete in events. Kamilah Williams was the photographer responsible for the shots and sound. While  Brandon Jent was the editor and was responsible for editing the footage together. Make sure to take a look around and cheer on the Cats as they compete in one of the nations top track and field invitationals.

How Eye Tracking Technology is Changing VR

Many science fiction movies like to paint virtual reality as a way for characters to be transported to a different world completely different from their own. At one point the character is just in their room and the next they are transported to a different world. Many of the developers of VR are trying to make this movie version of VR a reality. As virtual reality continues to grow and expand as a medium for entertainment so does the technology that is used to make virtual reality. One such technology that is leading to more immersive and interactive VR experiences is eye-tracking technology within VR headsets. Eye-tracking technology would make it possible for the lens inside a VR headset to trace your eye movements and allow the VR program to respond accordingly to where you are looking. In many VR headsets, you have to physically turn your head to see something new but headsets with eye-tracking technology allow the user to use a more natural way of looking at things in VR. Another thing that eye-tracking technology helps with is the ability to focus on different points. Our eyes naturally focus on one point and put other objects in our peripheral vision. Doing this in VR can be hard for our own eyes to do but the eye-tracking technology will render points the user is looking at more clearly and spend less time and effort rendering points that the user is not looking at. This less render section will make it seem like the user is using thier peripheral vision. Many companies making VR headsets believe that eye tracking technology is the future of VR and the next step to giving users a more immersive experience.


Image credit: Stanford University.

Companies Developing Eye Tracking       According to Forbes developers like Apple, Tobbi, HTC, and Varjo are all currently developing, testing, or have made headsets with eye-tracking technology. HTC and Tobbi have been the two companies at the forefront of the eye tracking trend. Tobbi has a headset with eyetracking technology and a great piece on thier website about how eye-tracking technology actually works and improves a VR experience. HTC released the first headset with eye-tracking technology the Vive Pro in April of 2018. The video below, by the verge, does a good job of explaining how the Vive pro changes virtual reality and the difference it makes in quality.

How Eye Tracking will be Used: The video also does a good job of explaining how this technology will also be used. The most obvious benefit of eye-tracking will be in the gaming sector of VR. Eye-tracking will provide gamers with better graphics and more of an immersive experience. It will also help VR game developers to be more creative with their games. If you know exactly where a user is looking, then you can trigger certain events to happen in the game once the user looks in that direction. Just imagine the possibilities of jump scares in VR horror games. This article by roadtoVR explains some of the other things developers can do to implement eye-tracking technology in gaming. The video also points out that eye-tracking can be used in the business sectors to show off new products at higher quality resolutions. It could even be used in the health sector to track doctor`s eye movements during simulated surgeries.


Tobii`s VR4 for Vive Kit,

Eye Tracking is Changing the Game Eye-Tracking will become a staple of the VR industry and even be incorporated into the cheaper versions of VR headsets. The difference that eye-tracking will make is going to leave an immeasurable impact on the VR industry. This will only make the experience for the users of VR headsets even better and more immersive.

Lexington Farmers Market in 360

Link: https://youtu.be/d-i1BKCJcY0

This is a 360 video of Lexington`s farmers market. The video`s goal is to give people an idea about what the Farmers market is about and maybe inspire them to goto the market. Many people may not realize that the Farmers Market is still open during the winter months but this project shows that it is open for business. The video takes the viewer through a regular day at the farmers market, from set up to when customers started showing up. There is also an interview with Josh England, the manager of the market. On this project Kamilah Williams was the photographer and was responsible for filming and getting the interview in the video. While Brandon Jent was responsible for editing the video and audio and publishing the video.