Versions is the essential guide to virtual reality and beyond. It investigates the rapidly deteriorating boundary between the real world and the one behind the screen. Versions launched in 2016 at the eponymous conference dedicated to creativity and VR with the New Museum’s incubator NEW INC.

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The key to VR streaming might be less VR

The key to VR streaming might be less VR

The dream scenario for virtual reality is that you, from the comforts of your home, could see the world—or a world—through someone else’s eyes. That dream, in practice, is nauseating. I don’t mean to suggest that it’s bad or disgusting, though that may well be true, but simply that looking at the world through someone else’s head movements and twitches sounds like an expeditious way of pumping one’s stomach.

But, you say, VR streaming could be interesting! Alternate worlds! The subjectivity of another’s point of view! Yes, all of this might well be true, but how much would you be willing to puke for it?

Anyhow, here’s an uploadVR story about VReal, which aims to do something involving VR and streaming:

Players could be teleported directly into a game with a streamer — while they’re inside VR — and hang out in the game together, chatting with their voices. The streamer could beam that content to their standard 2D-monitor viewers, like usual, but it provided a more social and engaging way of viewing content.

“We’re building a platform with tools for people that have shown us if you give them a little bit of support, they can create these amazing streams and communities out of thin air,” said Todd Hooper, CEO of VReal during an interview. “If you go and look at popular Twitch channels or YouTube channels they are propelled by the strength of personalities and one person’s ability to craft an audience and community around them.”

This may sound like a bit of a cop-out: we were promised a future of headset-to-headset communication, or something to that effect, and instead we got more 2D-monitor viewers. But it’s not clear that more VR is always the answer. A headset-to-monitor streaming solution allows you to get the subjectivity of someone else looking at the world without all the complexities of being stuck in a virtual world yourself. It’s not clear who, in this scenario, gets the better deal, but all parties may well be winners, and your dinner might even stay down.

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