IowaNow: UI makes immersive virtual theater a reality

Friday, December 7, 2018 - 8:38am

"Fine and Kearney applied for and received a UI Creative Matches grant, which allowed them to purchase additional trackers and software for generating the virtual environments, and to pay undergraduate and graduate students to develop interactive VR apps and build 3-D scenes. More than a year later, they rolled out the performance to a live audience on Dec. 6. [...]  Kearney and Fine say the UI is getting in on the ground floor of experimenting with the possibilities of applying VR to live theater. 'Everyone is trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t work,” Kearney says. “What technology and processes work best? How do you interact with the environment? And that doesn’t even touch on augmented reality, which is also burgeoning.'" (IowaNow)

"To use all the possibilities of a virtual environment — to allow you to explore, to move around, to see new and different spaces — and to use all the tricks of theater — lighting, sets, costume— and put that into virtual reality," said Kearney, who is also a professor of computer science. [...] "

"More realistic first-person shooter games, less invasive medical research into body parts, on-the-ground views of the crowd at a Political Soapbox: A team of University of Iowa faculty and students are adding interactive theater to the growing list of how virtual reality technology can be used. A team of computer scientists and performers at UI have created "Elevator #7," an interactive theater experience that embeds live actors in a virtual world."

(Press Citizen)

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