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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Mixed reality project turns real life into a bizarre videogame

Mixed reality project turns real life into a bizarre videogame

In a world of augmented realities and virtual realities, the addition of mixed realities can be hard to wrap your head around. Mixed reality, in a nutshell, is when the physical and virtual worlds collide to create new environments. Neatly laid over upon one another, the physical and digital equally coexist, unlike the typical uneven layering of digital-upon-physical augmented realities. If the phrase mixed reality sounds familiar, that’s because it’s been most commonly tossed around to describe Magic Leap and Microsoft’s HoloLens. Artist and writer Michael Molitch-Hou, founder of The Reality™ Institute, believes that in a future mixed-reality ecosystem, life will become gamified as we know it. It’s hard to say he’s wrong.

Molitch-Hou created a proof-of-concept game of sorts, called Pseussudio, to emulate such stark predictions. Using the Structure Sensor from Occipital (funded by a successful Kickstarter back in September 2013), Molitch-Hou captured “reality data” from his life. “Reality data” is a cold-sounding phrase to describe, uh, everything we know in life (the phrase itself lifted by Molitch-Hou from Autodesk). Reality data in this particular sense refers to Molitch-Hou’s condo, his friends, and himself. After scanning his reality data, he imported it into Unity and created a game. Oh, and all the assets are 3D printable too. That’s where the mixed reality really comes in.

mixing reality as much as it can go
GIF of Pseussudio in action, via UploadVR

In an article for UploadVR written by Molitch-Hou describing Pseussudio and the basics of mixed reality, he suggests a future in which mixed reality is a part of our everyday lives. Like going to IKEA, but having a 3D scan of your living room on hand to virtually test out any cheap yet stylish piece of Swedish furniture. Or instead of a mere silly face filter on Snapchat, you can try on an entirely new outfit, and perhaps even buy it right there and then. In mixed reality, the virtual can help us realize the consumer needs within our physical reality. (But who knows if that’s a good thing or not.)

Yet, in taking his reality data, throwing it into a digital world, and regurgitating it back out into the physical world via 3D printing, Molitch-Hou is mixing reality as much as it can go. First merely a virtual world with augmented-reality aspects, but combining 3D scanning and 3D printing from the physical world to tie everything together. In his article, he asks, “Will mixed reality turn our lives into videogames?” And the answer is, if it’s anything to go by from 3D scanning everything in plain view as suggested and gamifying our everyday lives, probably yes.

Getting a 3D scanner of your own this Summer when they become widely available? Create your own mixed reality game with Molitch-Hou’s Instructable guide!

Versions is brought to you by Nod Labs,
Precision wireless controllers for your virtual, augmented and actual reality.
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