Getting down and dirty on the show floor with Redpill VR & Sensorium.
This years E3 featured no shortage of visually-captivating installations on the show floor. Each year the premier computer and video game expo draws some of the biggest names in interactive entertainment, resulting in a show floor stacked to the brim with incredible booths, expensive marketing stunts, and plenty of live entertainment.
And while this year was no exception in terms of wild spectacles, it was Redpill VR and Sensorium’s ambitious VR dance club that had my attention most throughout my time at the event.
Founded originally by Laurent Scallie, Redpill VR is a cross-platform virtual concert experience that connects users from around the globe to live performances from artists, game publishers, influencers, and various other personalities/organizations. Similar to other social music-based experiences, such as TheWaveVR and TribeXR, users are able to connect to a shared virtual space in real-time and interact with their digital environment in a number of unique ways. Built with the intent of harnessing the power behind their social virtual reality (SVR) framework, Redpill VR and Sensorium’s VR dance club is all about connectivity over large distances, creating a space where users can dance, socialize, and interact with one another in a more personal manner despite their physical locations.
“SVR overcomes hurdles of modern virtual reality, specifically the emotional isolation of the user,” said Ingvar Goldman, CVO, Sensorium Corporation, in an official release. “We’ve completely removed this obstacle by creating compelling shared virtual worlds centered around music, gaming events, and shows. Fans will experience new visual and sound effects, create their own content and can explore SVR with friends through real-time communication and self-expression, as seamlessly as they would in person.”
Redpill VR and Sensorium debuted a technical prototype of the experience during this years E3 in Los Angeles, treating attendees to a captivating VR experience that was just as interesting outside of the headset as it was while immersed.
Upon approaching their towering installation on the show floor, the first thing I noticed was a massive 3D screen broadcasting live footage of a live concert currently taking place in VR. Using a pair of 3D Live glasses offered by the staff, attendees passing by the booth were able to experience some of the incredible visuals without even having to set foot in VR. Inside the installation itself, a live DJ wearing an Oculus Rift S spun a mix of thumping EDM tunes to both the spectators on the show floor as well as those in-game. Meanwhile, live dancers wearing Xsens motion capture technology were translated into the experience in real-time, providing more realistic, spontaneous moments for those in-game. Various NPC’s were also scattered throughout the environment, a feature that will most likely be replaced once the experience has officially launched and there are more users to fill the dance floor.
Once inside the experience, I found myself surrounded by an eclectic group of video game-themed club goers, each exploring a different facet of the visually-captivating experience. After busting out the sweetest robot moves you’ve ever seen during an intense dance-off with a surprisingly flexible space marine, I proceeded to explore the forest-like environment further. At one point, I scaled a series of floating cubes located above the dance floor, sort of like the popular club scene from Steven Speilberg’s Ready Player One. The options for interactivity while in the virtual club space are a pleasant combination of realism and fantasy, allowing me to essentially choose the type of experience I wanted to have.
“The dream of delivering SVR experiences without compromise will soon become possible with the release of future standalone consumer hardware combined with new rendering technologies leveraging 5G networks and Edge Computing,” said Laurent Scallie, CEO, Redpill VR, in an official release. “Fans will soon see a revolution in entertainment possibilities with the nearly limitless potential that SVR worlds offer. Our partnership with Sensorium will offer AAA experiences that will be sought out by fans, creators and entertainment franchises. We invite the brightest minds to join us in building this future.”
In terms of expanding and growing this unique social experience, Redpill VR and Sensorium hope to team-up with major names within the entertainment industry, turning their social platform into the premier location for VR-based live music partnerships. So far the team has received over $70 million in support from joint investors, making this one of the most ambitious social VR projects in recent memory.
Redpill VR and Sensorium have confirmed that the SVR platform will launch in 2020. Between now and then, it’ll be interesting to see just what types of organizations and entertainers the project will attract. After all, an entertainment platform is only as good as the content it provides.