British Columbia

Virtual reality: 4 ways Vancouverites are using VR

Virtual reality has gotten much better in recent years, thanks in part to a group of Vancouver VR enthusiasts who meet every month.

Meet-ups, medical training, live theatre and a different kind of headset

A participant is wowed during Virtual Reality night on May 22, 2014. (Alonso Benavente)

Virtual reality has gotten much better in recent years, thanks in part to a group of Vancouver VR enthusiasts who meet every month. 

Maria Lantin, research director for Emily Carr University of Art + Design's Stereoscopic 3D Centre, gave The Early Edition guest host Stephen Quinn an introduction on CBC Radio.

Conquer Mobile uses virtual reality for medical training. (Conquer Mobile)

1. Medical training 

Conquer Mobile uses virtual reality simulations for medical training.

Sidney Doberstein navigates through virtual reality at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. (Maxime Cyr Morton)

2. Live theatre

Athomas Goldberg, CEO of Pepper's Ghost, uses VR to broadcast live theatrical performances.

"You can put on your headset, and log into a stream and look around a virtual theatre that is being filmed in 360 [degrees]," says Lantin.

Aaron Hilton wears an Oculus Rift heaset at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. (Alonso Benavente)

3. A different kind of VR headset

WaveSine Solutions has developed a different kind of head-mounted display. The Somnus is wireless, transparent and does not fully cover the face.

Aaron Hilton wears a Somnus virtual reality headset. (Alonso Benavente)

4. Virtual Reality night

It's a kind of show-and-tell with tech demonstrations.

"People bring their own headsets, or just experience the headsets that we have," she says.

"We'll have it set up with the NaturalPoint [motion capture] system … so we put little markers on the hands on the Occulus [VR headset] and on the hands of the user, and then we can track movements in real space. So you can walk around with your headset, so you're not stuck in your chair."

The group meets at The Sawmill, 8938 Shaughnessy St., Vancouver..