Mission

Versions is the essential guide to virtual reality and beyond. It investigates the rapidly deteriorating boundary between the real world and the one behind the screen. Versions launched in 2016 at the eponymous conference dedicated to creativity and VR with the New Museum’s incubator NEW INC.

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In-VR photography is possible now thanks to the HTC Vive Tracker

d3-u
In-VR photography is possible now thanks to the HTC Vive Tracker

Virtual reality has dabbled with the concept of in-VR cameras before. Usually, they’re of the streaming variety: a faux-prop camera that you can set up in the virtual space and use to record your interactions from inside VR for your Twitch audience. But the act of in-VR photography, such as the ones seen in newer videogame “photo modes” or creative use of camera angles, is sorely missed. But thanks to HTC Vive’s new Tracker technology, in-VR photography isn’t so unrealizable anymore.

The D3-U exists as a controller-like object, not a virtual camera you manipulate digitally.
The D3-U exists as a controller-like object, not a virtual camera you manipulate digitally.

Created by interactive production and design studio dotdotdash, the D3-U seeks to solve our in-VR photographic needs. It’s a surprisingly tangible objectas in something you actually hold in your handsand can utilize to take in-game photos while in VR, rather than manipulating yet another digital object in the environment. In order to showcase D3-U’s potential, dotdotdash even developed a game alongside it: the surreal-looking Exoplanet, an exploratory experience.

The HTC Vive Tracker tracks the D3-U while within VR.
The HTC Vive Tracker tracks the D3-U while within VR.

Exoplanet looks aesthetically similar to another perfectly color coordinated space-bound game (*coughs* the ill-fated No Man’s Sky *cough*). In Exoplanet, you investigate the mysterious lifeform Arche from the planet Kepler 22-b. To fully observe Arche, the player must swap out miscellaneous photo filters from the D3-U (x-ray, thermal, etc.). And by the end of your in-VR, Pokémon Snap-like quest, snapshots are printed in real-time for you to admire beyond the limitations of virtual reality, or a folder on your desktop.

The D3-U likely won’t be coming to a store near youit’s more of a proof-of-concept to see what’s possible with the Vive Tracker. But in the off chance it becomes a reality, stay tuned to dotdotdash’s website for updates.

Versions is brought to you by Nod Labs,
Precision wireless controllers for your virtual, augmented and actual reality.
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