Welcome to the Afterlife!

This is a story about death, well the life after death. In this story the user wakes up in what the narrator calls the afterlife. In this afterlife, you are talked to by an afterlife manager to help you in your time after death. This manager can get you as comfortable as possible. So sit back and enjoy your time!

VR Future Tech: The Teslasuit

                This review is an unconventional approach due to the item not actually being on the market. However, come to its release (supposedly sometime in 2019) could potentially change how we interact with Virtual reality. The company Teslasuit is on the forefront of full body haptic suits this day and age. Their website currently states that they are in a current stage in production where they are only releasing developmental units for game developers. This is so VR game developers have a chance to test their games with a haptic sensing suit and to make sure it’s calibrated with their game correctly.

If you aren’t familiar with the haptic suit concept, it is essentially a device that delivers real sensations designed to mimic environments in the digital space. This process is triggered by haptic sensors inside the suit that stimulate muscle groups using electrical feedback. This means that when a person is using the suit they are able to feel the simulations of any bump, push or shocks that occur in the digital space. The company states that the Teslasuit will in no way actually hurt the user or disrupt the muscle groups, it only uses electrical impulses to simulate the natural responses that the muscles already facilitate. Not only is the Teslasuit is designed with haptic sensing the suit also allows for climate control, motion capture and biometric systems. Among these systems, the suit also allows for tracking of the user’s heart rate, stress levels, and mental/emotional states. This is to allow more data to flow through the user to the developer to enhance and adapt the experience to how the user feels.

The Telasuit is equipped with 68 channels throughout the suit to help deliver electrical simulation, the company is also working on expanding that number to further increase the immersive experience. Along with the haptic sensing, the climate control lets the user feel the intended climate of a virtual space and adjusts the temperature of the suit (heating and cooling) to best simulate the virtual environment. The suit is said to have a 10 hour battery life as well as being completely wireless (connecting via Bluetooth or WiFi) and on top of all of that the suit is even washable.

While I believe this suit will revolutionize the gaming industry I find that this sort of device will be invaluable to the business side of things. It would allow for more realistic hands-on training. The company released a blog post discussing VR-training demo for different industries on this website that can be found here. In this article goes into the various industries software and equipment like this could be used such as astronaut VR training, emergency evacuations, and even oil-loading ramp operations. This kind of tech could also be used in the medical field to help training doctors to get more hands-on experience in the surgical room instead of working on real people. Should this device make it to the commercialized markets it will forever change our interactions with the digitals spaces that we know, and I for one, look forward to seeing it.

Manteca!!

Come listen in on a personal University of Kentucky Jazz Ensemble performance! The tune is called Manteca and is on the programming for this up and coming concert on April 11th, 2019. The band is directed by Dr. Raleigh Dailey in the 20 person big band! Sit back relax (or dance) and join us on this experience! Michelle Zhu did the videography and Eli Francis edited the video.

Story Review: How Finland stores Nuclear Waste.

This story was located on Euronews and is presented to us by IImari Huttu-Hiltunen. The story’s headliner is “how does Finland handle radioactive waste? By burying it”. The story takes places 450 meters down in Finnish bedrock. This is the location where Finland dumps its nuclear waste from the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power plant. Down here in the winding Onkalo Tunnel the Finnish have taken to relying on the bedrock to help contain the nuclear waste in a stable environment that could even withstand changes on the surface like another ice age. The story was shot on a GoPro Fusion.  The intended audience would be Europeans or persons interested in news about nuclear facilities.

This story I would say would be quite successful in demonstrating the feelings surrounding being 450 meters down below the earth. With the use of creative shots the users experience the space more intimately. In the beginning the viewers, here a voice over talking about the feelings of traveling down to this waste sight. The viewers are accompanying the film crew in a vehicle headed down a dark stone tunnel.  Following the tunnel it takes you through the nuclear facility accompanied by more voice-overs. Throughout the rest of the story, interviews and comments from news casters always take place in the back to help further along the context of the story while the viewer is at liberty to look around absorbing the information. The whole point of this video is to show you the perspective of these workers being 450 meters below the surface and the feeling of the quiet and close quarters inside the bedrock comes across.

This newscast demonstrates a proper story arch of a beginning middle and in. The beginning opens you up in a dark space introducing you to the place you will be visiting. Throughout the meat of the piece, they introduce us to the dumping location followed up with a concrete explanation of the process that goes on. The end fades out with communications manager, Pasi Touhimma, having finished his say. All in all this story is very effective in making you feel like you are on a tour through this location. While there were no specific characters throughout the story, the constant voiceover’s and personnel on site explaining things to the viewers gave the sense you were traveling with these people and getting the inside scoop. While no great swaths of emotion were used either it wasn’t necessary. The walls and spaces made you feel compact along with the stillness and silence that can only come from being underground also has a great effect.

In this newscast, the producers used several different techniques that were subtle but greatly affected the story. The first is the use of graphics. When there was text on screen it was shown from different angles in case the viewer was looking around. The text usually included who was speaking on the VO at the time. The editor also had an outstanding use of graphics.

When a worker explains the process of how they bury the waste a very clever diagram is projected on the way of the tunnel to help give the viewer context. Another interesting thing they did with the text is wiped it off screen, with the moving of the video. A specific example being text wiped away as the car in the video turned a corner.

A specific example being text wiped away as the car in the video turned a corner. Shots hanging out of a moving car, peering down a 400-meter hole, and a (very appropriately spaced) shot of a man carrying the camera down a hallway are among the few that felt particularly immersive.

           All in all I found this text very effective and suitable for Virtual Reality. The shots throughout the piece were very carefully designed and the filming was smooth, without jarring cuts. The only thing I would argue against throughout this 4 minute video is some shots could have been longer than others like the scene showing us the very deep hole in the ground. However the video made up for it with interesting commentary and an insiders take.