Virtual Reality Archives - Wet Haute Tech
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Virtual Reality

From winter wonderlands to sweltering summer tents, I have lost count how many weddings I have attended--nay, survived--over the past couple of years. I thought I’d seen it all, runaway grooms, drunken mothers attempting to strip groomsman, and the icing on the cake, a naked...

The future is shaped by the community who foster it, and last week I was proud and honoured to be a part of a community dedicated to shaping the future of fashion. I may not be a designer, a fashion house, a tech startup or a VC, but I am a someone who wants to see emerging designers and fashion-tech startups take on this intense and often challenging industry. Last week Startup Fashion Week (SFW) kicked off for the third time and once again I was thrilled to be there. The highly successful five-day event provides a platform for emerging designers and fashion-tech startups to increase visibility through networking events, conferences, and a prestigious runway show. For those who felt a sense of loss when Toronto Fashion Week announced it’s downfall, SFW became not just the remedy but a solution for championing the success of the Canadian fashion (and tech) industry.
Your heart is racing, palms are sweaty, and you can barely contain your excitement. It's one of the biggest television events of the year; Shark Week! While many of your friends are out enjoying the summer sun, Discovery Channel addicts (like myself) are basking in the blue glow of our televisions watching a marathon of toothy, dangerous, yet beautiful creatures. There is nothing that matches these seven days of underwater adrenaline, except maybe a week-long roller coast ride--but I'm not sure my stomach could take that. Actually, on second thought, diving with sharks might just take the cake, but I doubt I will be doing that anytime soon.
Having a scientist for a father meant that my childhood was injected with some pretty interesting memories. From electrified potato clocks and Van de Graaf generators to Tesla coils and what I vaguely remember as a nitrogen laser, my childhood may not have been as normal as I had once thought. Looking back on my years as a mad scientist’s assistant, I wish that everyone could experience the rush of seeing lightning shoot across their house or watching a solar eclipse through a pinhole projector. It’s the feeling when every cell in your body is electrified—not literally, well once, but it was an accident—and you behold the magic you have created and unleashed into the world. There is nothing like it. There are many who chase this moment. They are the Makers. They are a community of people; young, old, professional, hobbyist, it really doesn’t matter. Their main objective is to create. If you are looking to join this community, I would suggest checking out Maker Festival in Toronto. It’s a month long celebration from June 15th-July 17. The festival includes the Maker Extravaganza where over 100 makers will come together to show off their creations, and over 80 satellite events across Toronto including workshops, meetups, speakers and hackathons.
It's that time of year again! You're gleefully searching Pinterest for the lastest Christmas themed cookies and you're decking the halls like an elf on a sugar high. The presents are almost wrapped and you've managed to cross everything off your list. But have you thought about after the family arrives? The screaming kids, complaints about the turkey being too dry, and that uncle who always manages to end up face down in the egg nog! It's your home and you're stuck with these people. But what if I told you that you could escape, escape to a beautiful beach, even if it was only for a couple of minutes. When the pressure becomes too much and you can't handle the heat take a little virtual vacation. You might not be able to feel the sand between your toes, but you can find a little serenity in your Griswold gathering.
Saturday mornings are usually reserved for sleeping in, but this past weekend I trekked it (not far, I know) to Richmond Hill for the TAVES Consumer Electronics Show. Usually when I prepare for an event I like to make a list of must-sees for myself, so I can avoid being overwhelmed by vendors. Well, I forgot...and I had to go into survival mode and curl up in a corner with the glossy show guide before I began elbowing my way through the crowds. Due to the shows origins in home audio and video there was an extensive amount of vendors showcasing what's new and exciting in that industry. I'm not in the market (yet) for building my ultimate home theatre, so I skipped over these exhibitions. If you are interested in speakers that can blow your socks off, I do recommend checking them out next year. My first stop on my list was a presentation by Marc Saltzman. I managed to weave in and out of guests without seriously hurting myself or damaging precariously perched products. Saltzman a tech journalist, radio host, author, and overall enthusiast hosted a seminar featuring the  Top Tech Trends Worth Getting Excited About. As a tech nerd, I already had an inkling of what he would be covering but I always find it invigorating watching crowds discover what is happening in the industry (so many ahhhhhhs and gasps). Saltzman hit the nail on the head with his list; which I have listed below--although I was hoping he was going to share something completely new like an invisibility cloak or a teleporter.
As a kid I had dreams of being a superhero, they had capes, colourful tights, and gadgets that could stop villains in their tracks. Now as an adult I have given up on the cape—it kept getting stuck in the door—but the tights and the gadgets I still yearn for. Earlier this year I discovered We Are Wearables a meet up that brought people together to discuss wearable tech, or gadgets for your superhero belt (either way it’s a group of kick-ass people). This Saturday I am excited to join the first (of many I hope) We Are Wearables Gives Back event. Partnering with Toronto Public Library, We Are Wearables will be giving kids a chance to get their hands on wearable technology and inspiring them to become superheroes.
I am finally over that TIFF hangover, but I am also in film fest withdrawal. My hangover may have lasted a month, but at least it was another experience to last a lifetime. The ten-day long cinematic carnival featured spectacular films, but I must say there is another festival that has just captured my heart. There were no celebrities, not an ounce of champagne, and I didn’t have to wear a suffocating dress. Last week I attended the Kaleidoscope VR Film Festival (KVRFF) presented by VRIDEO. The traveling showcase of the best cinematic virtual reality stopped by Toronto last Sunday. We were treated to 20 short films from moviemakers from across the world and the night not only showcased their hard work but an interesting and honest panel discussion. Kaleidoscope wasn’t my first VR film event, a couple of weeks ago I checked out FIVARS, which was the catalyst to my new found love of virtual reality films. So how does a VR film fest work you might ask? Forget about renting out an expensive theatre any space will do. The evening’s event was hosted at the Twist Gallery on Queen West. The perfect place to wrangle VR lovers alike. The room was grouped into sections, and you were able navigate the gallery and check out a variety of experiences. Armed with Samsung Gear and Oculus Rift VR headsets guests were able to view animation, 360-interactive experiences, and live-action 360 video.