When British artist Jamiroquai’s hit single Virtual Insanity took off in the late ’90s, it was considered groundbreaking, mostly because of the music video, which featured cutting edge cinematography. Very much of its time, the video showed moving floors and unpredictable wandering furniture.
The video won several awards, including MTV’s Video of the Year for 1997. The catchy chorus of the song was an earworm: “The future’s made of virtual insanity.” While the video and song might be dated, the lyrics are prophetic.
We now have options to experience virtual reality everywhere, in ways more insane, experiential and positive than Jamiroquai could have ever predicted. Today you can pop into Newcastle’s East End, step into VRXP on Watt Street, don a headset and try to walk a narrow plank off a skyscraper.
If you slip, you plummet to the sidewalk below and feel your stomach launch into your throat. If that’s too dramatic, you can just use the hand-held controls to paint colourful nonsense in every hue and brush stroke imaginable, although some artists paint virtual landscapes that you can also explore if you prefer.
Virtual reality (better known as VR) has arrived full force in Newcastle. It’s here to entertain, teach, train, and heal. Academics, tech nerds, graphic artists, film makers, product designers and even an ex-debt collector all want a piece of the fantasy pie, which can look pretty realistic. Businesses and institutions are on board to test it out and work with it, including places like University of Newcastle, Newcastle Museum, 2Real (a VR company focused on new home environments) and ctrlspace (a Newcastle consultancy and development studio focused on immersive technologies including VR, augmented reality and mixed reality. Read more from theherald.com.au…
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