Virtual-reality projects showcased Thursday at SFU Surrey

Two-hour Immersive Environments events runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

VR (virtual reality) headsets like this one will be worn during a showcase event at SFU Surrey on Thursday

SURREY — The latest in VR, or virtual reality, will be showcased at SFU Surrey on Thursday (April 14), and the general public is welcome to check it out.

The university’s School of Interactive Arts and Technology (IAT445) will host the Immersive Environments Spring ’16 Showcase at the campus from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Projects on display will take visitors to a virtually interactive campfire, through the “fringes” of an ancient Greek archaeology site and into a freefall in the desert.

Students are studying with Steve DiPaola, a VR pioneer and former Electronic Arts director who taught 3D/VR at Stanford University before coming to SFU.

DiPaola, known internationally for his facial-recognition research, is a co-creator of the 3D app FaceFries, launched by Apple in 2014.

He is also responsible for creating a VR whales exhibit at the Vancouver Aquarium and has lectured on the move away from live animals to virtual ones.

Other projects to be showcased:

• Interactive VR campfire, which features new collaborative multi-user VR including networked devices (HTC Vive, 3 Google cardboards). The vive player is able to read a story and trigger animations that are controlled via the controllers and animations are seen by every VR player.

• Project Ai Khanoum: visit a virtual heritage of the site Ai Khanoum, a hybrid Greek-Bactrian city. Feel/see what a city on the fringes of the ancient Greek world during the Hellenistic period may have looked like.

• Take the Plunge: a falling simulation that takes place in a desert environment. This simulator hopes to recreate the adrenaline rush associated with high-risk activity in a low-risk setting

• Little Prince: enables people to find the curiosity they once had and not forget the childlike joys of going through life, as inspired by the Little Prince

The SFU Surrey campus is located at 13450 102nd Ave., Surrey.


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