At the 2015 Siggraph conference, I had the pleasure of attending a special session of Jon Peddie's famous press luncheon. The theme of the luncheon was "Getting Virtual" and Mr. Peddie arranged a spectacular line-up of speakers to discuss the increasingly vital subject of VR (Virtual Reality).
It was a wonderful introduction to VR for me and I came away convinced that VR is going to become a very important part of the entertainment and education industries. I hardly imagined that in within a few months a museum exhibit in Florida would present a marvelous VR experience that is exactly what the JP luncheon speakers were predicting.
The Dali Museum in St. Petersberg, FL., with the help of Goodby Silverstein & Partners had created one of the first truly entertaining and insightful works of VR with the "Dreams of Dali" exhibit which opened on January 23, 2016 at the museum (it's part of their Disney and Dalí: Architects of the Imagination exhibit).
Here's what the Goodby Silvertein & Partners website had to say about this amazing VR experience
Dreams of Dalí takes viewers inside the mind of the legendary surrealist Salvador Dalí by transporting them into one of his early paintings, Archeological Reminiscence of Millet's "Angelus" (1935).
Visitors are invited to wear a virtual-reality headset that brings Dalí's dreamscape to life. They can then move around inside the painting in a fully immersive 3-D environment. The experience allows the viewer to explore the elements in the painting, to look beyond the areas depicted on the canvas and to even listen to what could have been the artist's thoughts in his own voice.
Viewers may come across famous elements of Dalí's work--like his elephants, birds and ants--and may even begin to recognize some of the signal motifs that recur in other paintings in the museum's permanent collection, such as Weaning of Furniture Nutrition (1934), Lobster Telephone (1936) and First Cylindric Chromo-Hologram Portrait of Alice Cooper's Brain (1973). The latter recalls "Halo of Flies," the 1973 single by Alice Cooper, which was donated by the artist after hearing about the project.
And what's really cool is the fact that you can still experience Dreams of Dali online via the www.dreamsofdali.org website which offers a 360° video for desktops and mobile devices. You can find out more information for using simple VR devices like Google Cardboard at the website as well.
I'm so excited about this programming. I think this exhibit will go a long way towards making VR a viable form of learning and entertainment. The video below gives a good sense of what the experience is like.