Event Recap

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EEVR II – recap

By Event Recap

Undoubtedly EEVR II was a blast. With three presentations, 30 people and a room full of different hardware and software demos, the Estonian VR community was in for a real treat this time around. New ideas were shared, new acquaintances met and new realities experienced. Pictures from the event can be found here (by Kertu Saar), video below.


First up in the talking sessions was soon-to-be-MSc Madis Vasser with a quick overview of the status quo of VR in psychological science and at Tartu University. He demonstrated the flood of different headsets on the market, yet there seems to be less focus on accompanying software. He and a team of fellow students are working on a solution to bring researchers with less programming background closer to VR with a toolbox that makes creating virtual experiments much easier. Madis will most likely also attend the IEEE VR conference in France this march, so we’ll make sure he keeps a proper travel diary while abroad. For more info, shoot a message at

Next things got really nostalgic and futuristic at the same time with tech entrepreneur Peeter Nieler on stage. He drew a clear distinction between virtual reality environments and the means by which to experience them. With a short history lesson the audience got to see the parallel progress in both fields that now have begun to finally merge properly. Peeter also pointed out some reacurring names in the process, like Ivan Sutherland and John Carmack. Then the time was right to reveal his own plans for the future – making man run in virtual reality. More precisely, the Criffin RunPad. He went over the many concepts and prototypes that were tried before settling on a simple and effective solution (not shown here until the proper time). A fortcoming full-body tacking system was also briefly discussed. Those interested in more detaild information can get in touch:

The final talk was from a full-time game dev Filipp Keks, who is well known in VR circles for his EvilMech Runner. The problems and lessons learned from that demo was also the main topic of Filipp’s presentation, most of it happening inside Unity game engine. We discussed the different solutions to issues like walking through virtual walls, cheating the step detection algorithm and staying in camera range while in VR. Filipp pulled together different clues to suggest that Oculus is heading in the direction of a standing experience with the consumer version of the Rift. He finished with a call for action to all the developers to help make his freely available code better. Follow the link:

The demo sessions can be summarized with the words of one of the participants: “I have never seen so many Oculus Rifts together in one room!” Criffin had their latest prototypes on display for anyone to try out, this included a full body tracking system and two cool RunPads (ideally suited for Filipp’s EvilMech runner!). Madis held the first public test of his change blindness experiment, where one must spot changes in a virtual room (a devilishly difficult task), somewhat resembling Sightline: the Chair demo. Siim Raidma was back once again with his laser turret battle, this time with added multiplayer support! People were also stunned by Ambient Flight and couldn’t get enough of paragliding over the mountaintops (wind effects included). Keeping things down to earth, Keijo Koort brought out his impressive collection of driving games from Euro Truck simulator to Project Cars and Assetto Corsa. One players was so immersed he nearly killed the gear shift. Also, the funky music from a cool top-down shooter Nighttime Terror filled the room constantly. After three hours of fun and games people were ready to return to present reality.

Many thanks to UT Idea lab for the most awesome rooms in town, Criffin for the snacks and Psühhobuss for various logistics.

Now start preparing for EEVR III in early april (probably)!

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EEVR I – recap

By Event Recap

28th of november 2014 saw the first ever EEVR meetup in Tallinn. There was a great mixture of people from 3D artists, game devs and engineers to general enthusiasts. All in all, about 15 people attended the proof-of-concept event during five hours. We had two planned talks and much discussion, also some really awesome hardware/software demos.

In the intro talk the organizers Mario and Madis talked about the concept behind the event – to get people connected, share knowledge, discuss latest VR news and also boost the development of local VR software/hardware. Humble goals indeed 🙂

Madis Vasser then discussed the different aspects that make up a stress-free VR demonstration. In short: know your hardware, location, software and audience. He highlighed some big mistakes one can do in a demo setting, like placing your laptop in direct sunlight (performance killer) or letting players accidentally smash themselves into various real objects while inside the rift (fun killer). Special focus was also on the fear factor – how different age groups tend to react to VR. Children can be quite shocked, so it’s advised to communicate with them frequently. Older people are sometimes in “VR denial”, so expect lots of screaming from them.

Mario “Zuurik” Saarik took the audience down the memory line with a quick review of VR history, starting from the 1930s! The slideshow had something new for everybody, as the VR scene was much more diverse than anyone had expected. Some headsets were super cool, slightly funny or epic failures, others never even saw a proper release. The talk
smoothly transitioned to todays technological advances. People discussed different input devices and their limitations, the possibilities of waking in VR and also the elusive soon-to-be-seen Magic Leap technology. All in all, a solid two hours of discussions. Next were the demo sessions.

Madis Vasser demonstrated the uncanny valley effect with a all-too-real looking 3D scanned self-portrait demo, done with the help of DollyMe3D. The players could see him run around, creep uncomfortably close or just mirror the headmovements of the rift to really mess with the senses. Madis also let people experience the presence of hands in VR through a rift-mounted Leap Motion and different demos found from the web.

Zuurik brought out his War Thunder cockpit –
complete with a joystick, steering pedals and throttle lever. Those who tried it were impressed – despite the crazy in-game dogfight and upside down manouvers the whole experience felt comfortable and quite immersive.

Siim Raidma premiered his special build for EEVR I called Ball Turret. In the game you are a Turret pilot that sits, well, inside a ball. The virtual world is TRON-ish, with a seemingly endless flat surface beneath and a city of blocks above. Your job is to roll about and shoot different targets high in the sky. The game relies on a joystick for movement and fire commands, the aming is done with head movements. Although rolling around in a giant ball might sound nauseating, the actual experience was super-comfortable. Drifting sideways was the most fun I’ve had in VR since the barrelrolls in Great Power demo.

We didn’t have the planned hackaton due to hardware issues, but Madis filled the gap with his DIY VR viewers (one made from a tea box, the other simply from cardboard and foam). Ott Pilipenko also brought his legendary Puppetmaster, so people could take turns controlling each others minds.

The evening presented many opportunities for networking with fellow enthusiasts. Some where looking for a job, others were offering jobs. In summary, the first event was a great success and the next one can only get better, as we already have some sweet talks in mind. Many thanks for Psühhobuss for providing all the snacks and Tallinn Polytechnic School for the nice

The next event will most likely take place sometime in the end of january 2015 in Tartu, Estonia. Who knows, maybe in a form of a VR jam. Everybody, start your game-engines!

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