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Android Jones and Friends are Experimenting with VR

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When looking for innovation in any industry, it is important to seek out where the psychedelic influences are sparking from. This is especially true with the medium of virtual reality which has strong connections and similarities to dream-like altered states.

Among the new people entering the VR space and showing the expansive potential of what the platform can do is the “Digital Painter” known as Android Jones. He has become an established artist over his career through his deeply layered, psychedelic works and live performances that are often custom built. At the center of his projects is a sense of spirituality and consciousness mixed together like a powerful cocktail one would find in the hands of a shaman.

Through a collaboration with a few of his close friends, Android Jones and the surrounding crew have produced a virtual reality experience for the Vive called “FlowMotion” that allows users to shoot out creativity in an uninhibited fashion. The results are a delectable treat for the soul, especially when paired with a SubPac to feel the vibrations of the music within.

This demonstration runs parallel to one of the more popular art-related projects out there – TiltBrush. The main difference though is the fleeting nature of the patterns that are extruded from the controllers in FlowMotion. Instead of creating a semi-permanent work of art like one would establish in Tiltbrush, FlowMotion’s approach keeps the imagination moving.

When a 1st time “VR Virgin” gets into an experience like Tiltbrush, and after they get acquainted with the interface, they often waive their controllers around joyfully sending out beams of light and animations at a fast rate of speed. However, after a certain period of time, they step back from their creation and start to wonder what exactly they are making.

Unless that person is in a place and have the time where they can explore what they want their work of art to look like, the surrounding forces of the demonstration can become a limiting factor. On the other hand, the ephemeral nature of FlowMotion gives the person a quick dip into VR without concerning themselves on developing something long-lasting.

It is reminiscence of a form of Fire Spinning known as Sparkle Poi that shoots out beautiful embers that appear and disappear around the performer in a spectacular way.

charcoal

The core team on FlowMotion is Android Jones, Scott Hedstrom, and Anson Phong with added influence from the electronic musician Tipper who provides the soundtrack to the experience. Interestingly enough, one of the next steps on the roadmap is to link VR headsets together so that people can create objects on the fly in a more social way.

Now, FlowMotion is not the only virtual reality demo that Android Jones is working on. He has started condensing the visually appealing 360-degree dome experience Samskara for use in mobile VR headsets. The original Samskara project is a large-scale exhibition that projects flowing, transdimensional images onto a huge dome above groups of people. It was recently shown at E3 where people could lay on bean bag chairs, sit on couches, or plant themselves on the floor while watching the 16 minute experience together.

The mobile VR version of Samskara has already been converted into an easily accessible format as a test by a member in the community. VR Playhouse is also in talks with Android Jones, which makes total sense given their previous track record of creating gorgeous experiences with a psychedelic aura.

360 dome display at E3

360 dome display at E3

With these amazing creative forces working together, we are set to see a radical innovation in the VR scene like never before. Watch them close, and stay tuned for more!

About the Scout

Matthew Terndrup

Matt Terndrup is a virtual reality journalist and content creator. He has written for Motherboard/Vice, UploadVR, Road to VR, Make Magazine, Hackaday, and many others. He was also worked with Two Bit Circus creating 360-degree video. In addition, he is currently working on a science fiction book related to VR.

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