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.

Yet Another Fashion Emergency – J D Roth Talks Virtuality on GamePro TV

The ill fated GamePro TV did a 1991 “Cutting Edge” feature on the original Virtuality arcade systems, including footage from their premier multi-player Dactyl Nightmare title. Be careful not to fry your eyeballs on host J.D. Roth’s outfit; did anyone actually dress like this? Roth incorrectly attributes the system to Spectrum Holobyte, who was for a short time, one of four US distributors for Virtuality systems. Did the revolutionary (for 1991) Virtuality system really need this infomercial?

Aftershock and a Fashion Emergency

On it’s way to the Whistlestop, this VR system (1 of 10 on tour) makes a stop at Louisville’s channel 32 early, early morning show. Perfect makeup notwithstanding, I don’t think the host was thinking that anything below the belt would be on camera. She wore the wrong skirt, for sure. These VR systems were promoting an intoxicant dubbed Aftershock. Scott, who wrote the code for the VR game speculated that the stuff was intended for sterilizing combs. Nonetheless, the combo of VR and shooter girls at the thousands of bars this tour visited made moved cases and cases of the stuff. And… don’t forget to hit the Whistlestop tonight!


Meet My Friend “Ralph”

Simulator Sickness and the lingering effects of Virtual Reality, drunken behavior in particular, are the subject of this Brian Williams NBC special from 1996. Brian’s teaser: “When they were first unveiled, the science of it all was staggering, but now there’s some evidence it’s having a staggering effect… on some who use it…” A typical industry shill (me) attempts to refute these staggering claims!

Regis Takes a Spin

You know the wave has crested when Regis and Kathie Lee make your specialty an early morning featurette. Reeg hams it up beautifully. If it hadn’t been for that 3:30am load in, it might have been perfect. Dave Polinchock provides expert narration. Quick glimpse of an SGI Indigo on the left, and the Virtual Research Flight Helmet atop Mr. Philbin. From March of 1993. PNVA3DJZPHDB

Fear of Flying? Try the Forte VFX-1

1994 brought a fully packaged consumer head mount, the Forte-VFX-1 Brochure. Stereoscopic and with head tracking included, it somehow found it’s way into the hands of psychologist Les Posen who employed this device to treat patients with various phobias. The video below demonstrates treatment for Aviophobia, the fear of flying (not the zipless-f**k!) I take it for granted that Les wasn’t able to help those with virtua-phobia, the fear of VR.



Forte VFX-1 Lenses

Forte VFX-1 Lenses

Forte VFX-1 Connectors

Forte VFX-1 Connectors

Urinated in His Pants?

Proving that VR doesn’t automatically lead to hurling the intrepid subject of this 1995 video wolfs down a cornucopia of fast food and hops on some VR games at Toronto’s CN Tower. The manager of the arcade facility prevaricates a bit, telling us that while he’s never seen chunks, peeing one’s pants is an actual reality. We hope that’s not in the sit-down version of the Virtuality system show…

“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.