Step Into Virtual Reality at the Edinburgh Digital Festival
We’ve just spent a few hours in virtual reality at the Edinburgh Digital Entertainment Festival and we are mind-blown! The Digital Festival is on from the 4th to the 28th of August but chances are you might not have heard of it since you’ve been busy checking out shows at the Fringe. After visiting the Tech Hub and spending an hour in the Virtual Reality Studio we feel like we need to share some of the mind-boggling things you can experience at the digital festival with you!
Most of the festival takes place at the beautiful Assembly Rooms on 54 George Street and on the street outside.
First we entered the Tech Hub – a room filled with exciting new technologies for you to try, including many options to spend some time in various virtual worlds…
This is what you need to wear to be able to enter virtual reality; a Samsung Gear VR headset. Combined with headphones you’ll find yourself in your own little bubble, losing track of time!
If you’re into sports you need to try the Sky Sports stand where you can sit back and not only watch sports but be right there in the midst of it all on a bicycle or in a Formula One car. Here’s our Operations Manager Colin trying to make sense out of his first virtual reality experience…
One of the most fun and mind-altering things we tried was the Google Tilt Brush where you can explore your artistic side and paint in 3D space. It’s very difficult to explain, but you’re basically painting in the air, leaving strokes of colour around you in the environment you choose, e.g. in space. The most astonishing thing of all is that you can walk through what you’ve painted. You have to try this!
One of the exhibitors gives you the opportunity to experience what it’s like to be in solitary confinement for nine minutes to get an understanding of what thousands and thousands of prisoners go through for days, weeks and months on end. Very thought-provoking.
Here Louise is just about to get attacked by a misguided robot seeking the unconditional love of humans…Pretty scary! There are plenty of staff at the festival, helping out with any technical issues and making sure the attendees are ok. There’s also a limit to how many people are allowed to enter each two-hour session to prevent queues.
After the Tech Hub session we spent a mind-blowing hour in the stunning Virtual Reality Studio. Here you take a seat, put on your headset and headphones and start watching a selection of virtual reality short films. And what an hour it was! We were up on top of the World Trade Center, we dived with dolphins and whales, we felt what it was like to go blind, stood on the shore welcoming Syrian refugees, we learned about what horrible places detention centres are, we flew up into space to meet Michael Fassbender and much more!
It’s a surreal experience where you’re starring in a 360° film and taking everything in like you’re right there. Being in the middle of it enhances the emotions you’re feeling and makes everything seem more real. This is something you need to try for yourself, so we suggest that you book your tickets to the Digital Entertainment Festival right now!
PS. If you’ve bought a ticket to the Virtual Reality Studio you can visit the Tech Hub for free on that same day.