Turin, Italy-based developer Enea Le Fons is aiming to spend more than 30 days of extended stints in VR, and although he won’t be able to qualify for any records—he’s still eating, sleeping, and using the bathroom sans headset—Le Fons is hoping to use his time in VR to explore its long-term effects while developing applications he says will help make “VR an essential part of our daily life.”
Le Fons started his 30-day challenge shortly after the release of Steven Spielberg’s film Ready Player One (2018), and although he’s nearing the end of his full 30 days, according to a SkarredGhost exclusive, he’s adding on another 15-30 days of multi-hour stints immersed in VR. It’s a bit of a solo-hackathon to come up with ideas related to a person’s normal activities like sitting, chatting, and even going to the dance club.
In effort to make his life easier in the some 7 to 16-hour sessions split between an HTC Vive, Vive Focus, and the new HTC Vive Pro, Le Fons completely ‘digitized’ his entire apartment using photogrammetry, and even created individual captures of things like chairs, tables and dishware. Importing it all into Tilt Brush (2016), Le Fons is able to make art in a sort of virtual-augmented version of the studio.
It isn’t all just Tilt Brush creations though; Le Fons also attached Vive Trackers to his physical furniture, making it possible to simply grab a chair and sit in it while in VR, or even operate his turntable to listen to music. A VR-tracked Roomba seemed like a perfect fit for Vive Tracker too.
Since he has a complete 3D model of his studio, he’s also spliced them into Unreal Engine prototypes using the Unreal Engine VR Editor. Simply put, he can work on VR projects while inside VR in a digital version of his house.
When not throwing the model of his apartment directly into his creations and developing from within his virtual-augmented reality space, Le Fons used the time to prototype 3D furniture that could be later laser-cut and realized in the physical world, and a martial arts/yoga experience he used to practice MMA and for his Hatha Yoga routines. Using a Beatmix DJ console, two Vive trackers, Ableton Live and Unreal Engine’s MIDI in-out capabilities, he also tinkered with performing a DJ set in VR.
Using Mozilla’s A-frame, Le Fons also experimented with creating a multi-user environment that worked completely through the web. “The first results are very promising, even if the un-ripeness of the A-frame framework didn’t allow to create a perfectly usable and stable experience just yet,” Le Fons said.
Taking his Vive Focus to a dance club with a prototype sound-reactive music experience, he says he’s “confident more development and design will likely make this app a commercial and cultural hit.”
Le Fons’ 30-day challenge isn’t the usual dash to post a new world record; it’s been more about finding a reason to stay in VR and live there comfortably. We’re hoping to see the fruits of his labor sometime soon, as he says they will be open-sourced to share with the greater VR community.
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