V-Rtifacts

Tag Archive: Trade Show

The REAL VR Industry

Taken from Mike Bevan’s excellent VR News, this compendium of upcoming trade shows and conferences relating to Virtual Reality gives a clue to where the real money is: Conferences! Mike lists 30 shows for the 11 month period, April ’95 through Feb. ’96, something like 3 per month, from Hangzhou to Lisbon.  As a potential exhibitor, I soon took to heart the fourth great lie (served up by show management): “Its a marketing opportunity…”

So… enjoy your trip around the world with the 1995/1996 Event Calendar.

Siggraph ’92 Wrap

The media drops in on Siggraph ’92 in Chicago:

Definitely a show that I outsmarted myself on. Had an exhibitor’s badge from a friend (thanks Marilyn!), and while touring the exhibits before opening I found a booth where the exhibitor had bailed… it was empty. Grabbed my PhotoVR computer gear and Flight Helmet out of the car along with a company sign stashed in the spare tire well, and setup “our” booth. Nature (and I) abhor a vacuum. But, as the video above clearly demonstrates: if you’re not in the show program, you’re not gonna be on TV.

The show wasn’t a total waste, met up with a college kid who was brimming with VR helmet ideas. Just a year later, Brad Burnett had launched his own company and a new head mount product, the Tier1.

Arcade “Player Retainer” – HeadGames VR2000

IAPPA 1999 brought us another stand-up VR system from New York based HeadGames, the VR2000. Based on the Forte consumer head mounted display, the VR2000 also featured the “Player Retainer.” Initially I thought this was some special magic which ensured repeat play, as HeadGames projected up to $3,000/mo. revenue for this $25k system. To my chagrin the retention system is a waist high railing which keeps players from falling over. Good move!

VR2000

If anyone knows what became of HeadGames, add a comment below. The Wayback Machine shows them falling off the grid in 2001.

Myron Kruger Takes a Spin in the Flight Helmet

“Virtual Reality Systems ’93” in the Hyatt above Grand Central Station was the end of the line for this trade show, as it was for the Virtual Research Flight Helmet which was soon to be superseded by lighter and more manufacturable HMDs. In the spirit of these pioneers, here’s a couple of snaps with Myron Kruger spinning away in the Flight Helmet. His mojo must have been pretty good as the gyro and Flight Helmet were worn by Regis Philbin on his morning show the next morning. Video to follow soon…

Flight-Helmet-Myron-Kruger

Flight-Helmet-CyberTron

What to do with the Cable? – Dynamic Visions

If you’ve ever tried out Virtual Reality, the FIRST thing you’ll feel is the tug of the helmet cable as you virtually (and actually) try to walk down the path. Many HMDs use the weight of a rear exiting cable as a counter-weight to offset the heavy front end containing the displays and optics. In 1995 a Canadian company, Dynamic Visions, using the lightweight Kaiser Electro-Optics VIM, offered a solution (No, I’m talking about the human attendant to wrangle the cable):

Dynamic-Visions-Cable

Actually it’s a flexible post dangling the cable above the gamer.

Dynamic-Visions-Orion

“Clearly In The Development Stage”

We knew it was in the development stage, but did the Computer Chronicles have to remind any potential customers. That’s OK because the conference’s resident AI expert (didn’t AI bubble and burst in the 80’s) tells us: “… the resolution is low, the headgear is uncomfortable, but what’s exciting is … the promise of the technology.” Watch and learn:

As usual … I’m at the tail end of the video, long past my sell-by date.