The Blog

Lab Founder Kathy Bisbee Presents Keynote to National Telecommunications Professionals

Kathy Bisbee, Founder, Public VR Lab

Our founder and executive director, Kathy Bisbee presented a riveting talk on why the time is right now for community media and local government organizations to invest in a grassroots movement for community-based virtual reality, in the creative economy of VR, and in VR/XR storytelling.

Arrival: Immigration in Full Frame’s Participatory Media Installation is a Featured Artist at Boston’s Hubweek!

Arrival: Immigration in Full Frame
Arrival: Immigration in Full Frame

Arrival: Immigration in Full Frame

BIG and our project, the Public VR Lab, are proud to announce the launch of a participatory media installation on immigration and migration stories in Brookline and beyond. We’ll be sharing the first release of Boston and Brookline stories from Arrival: Immigration in Full Frame in our container at Hubweek from Wednesday, October 10th through Sunday, October 14th, 2018! 

In addition to watching these compelling XR/VR stories, visitors will also have the opportunity to record their own families’ immigration and migration stories onsite as part of an interactive component of BIG’s exhibit. These new stories will be included in a broader national project that features a VR/XR visual timeline, scheduled to launch as a separate immersive storytelling project in late 2019-early 2020 at film festivals, libraries, museums, and arts and cultural organizations nationwide. 

Please come by Hubweek October 10th-14th in Boston’s Government Center, check out the stories and share your own American arrival story!

https://2018.hubweek.org/page/1343122/the-hub

XR Storytelling Professional Development Workshop for Educators

Come be curious and play with us for two days of professional development in VR, AR and 360 storytelling in Boston this summer!

Sign up here, and email Erin [at] brooklineinteractive.org with any questions.

Learn new skills, experiment, and gain curriculum and units for your classroom!

We’ll have two tracks on the Basics of Unity and another on creating 360 digital storytelling projects using personal narratives with your students in the middle school, high school and college level classroom.

 

ACM-Community XR Webinar Wrap-up & Links

The staff of Brookline Interactive Group and its project, the Public VR Lab.

Thank you to everyone who joined our co-founder and director, Kathy Bisbee, on today’s Alliance for Community Media webinar. We’ve added links to some of the resources she mentioned below, and have linked to her presentation here.

The Public VR Lab is also available for training, consultation, equipment discounts, curriculum development and support for arts, media and cultural organizations moving towards an emerging media practice and bringing Community XR to your community. More about our campaign to build a field for Community XR here.

CONTACT: Feel free to be in touch by emailing Erin Kinney [at] brooklineinteractive.org or info [at] brooklineinteractive.org. You can reach Kathy on Twitter or LinkedIn @KathyBisbee and @PublicVRLab.

Resource Links & Workshops

Learn more about the Lab’s VR Toolkits: http://publicvrlab.com/purchase/

Sign up for the August 6 & 7th workshop in Brookline, MA: VR Storytelling & Filmmaking for Educators 

Research

Weather Channel Video using Mixed Reality-Used Unreal programming to code/create a “virtual studio” that then blew up the virtual studio on a live broadcast.

Google 360 Tour Creatorhttps://vr.google.com/tourcreator/

‘Oculus TV’ Brings Live & On-demand Video to Oculus Go, Now Available: https://t.co/bdeHVbGttx

Google Offers AR Content Creation Training: https://www.coursera.org/learn/ar

Does Medium Matter? -VR Research & Report from Frontline and Nonny de laPeña funded by The Knight Foundation.

Immerse Publication at MIT: Many stories about the use of VR in filmmaking and documentary,  including this one the Public VR Lab was mentioned in around DIGITAL INCLUSION

Kamal Sinclair, Director of the New Frontiers program at Sundance, has an exceptional resource bank here of digital inclusion, equity, -especially in the VR/XR space etc.

Collaborations, XR for Change & Job Training Programs for Youth

As June ends, we’re celebrating all things Community Media and Community XR! Join us today at 3 pm EDT I’ll be presenting on Community XR today on a national webinar for the Alliance for Community Media (ACM). Register here for:

Community XR: How VR/AR/360 Can Extend Your Community Media Mission

This week we’ll be at XR for Change in NYC, launched this years’ Crowdsourced Boston community arts project to have 40 teams remake a scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

We taught a media training to our job training youth program who then successfully pitched a reporter on their story before taking them on a career eye-opening trip to meet and learn about VR, marketing, and diversity initiatives from Colin Burch, VP of Marketing & Broadcasting at the Red Sox!

This month we were also featured on Hubweek’s blog, an amazing festival here in Boston focused on the synergy of art, technology, advocacy, community-building and health that we’re honored to be a partner with and a collaborator. This interview focuses on our new artist-in-residency pilot and our collaboration with talented artist, Nathan Miner.

https://medium.com/@HUBweek/featured-collaboration-brookline-interactive-groups-kathy-bisbee-and-artist-nathan-miner-bff42482b6a6

Kathy Bisbee Presents on Growing the Community VR/XR Field as a Movement

Co-founder, Kathy Bisbee, shares her vision for Community VR/XR at the Alliance for Community Media's Northwest conference in Portland, OR

The Lab’s co-founder and director, Kathy Bisbee, has been presenting at conferences about building an inclusive, accessible field for community-based VR/XR. Join us!

Co-founder, Kathy Bisbee, shares her vision for Community VR/XR at the Alliance for Community Media's Northwest conference in Portland, OR

Public VR Lab co-founder, Kathy Bisbee, shares her vision for Community VR/XR at the Alliance for Community Media Northwest conference in Portland, OR, left, with panel moderator, Sabrina Roach, of Seattle and the ACM national board of directors. 

See and read more her presentations here!

 

Online Release of Data Visualization Tools in Partnership with United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Brookline Interactive Group, The Public VR Lab and Datavized Technologies

Brookline Interactive Group (BIG), The Public VR Lab and Datavized Technologies are pleased to announce the public launch of “There’s Something in the Air” a VR data visualization experience exploring air pollution and global data over time around the globe that was presented at the United Nations Environmental Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya in December 2017.

PRESS RELEASE  MAR 22, 2018 09:00 EDT

(BROOKLINE, Mass., March 22, 2018) Launching March 22nd online and in virtual reality, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Brookline Interactive Group (BIG), The Public VR Lab, and Datavized Technologies are pleased to announce the public launch of “There’s Something in the Air,” a VR data visualization experience exploring air pollution and global data over time around the globe. The public launch coincides with the official launch of Datavized’s closed beta platform at the Data for Development Festival, the inaugural gathering of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data in Bristol, March 21-23 and will be on view in the VR Data Play Space along with access to Datavized software tools and at the festival and the Bristol Data Dive on March 23.

The visualization, powered by Datavized WebVR software, was presented by the Public VR Lab’s team at the third session of the United Nations Environment Assembly “Towards a Pollution-Free Planet” of the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) in Nairobi, Kenya on Dec. 4-6, 2017 to 800-1000 UNEA delegates, volunteers, NGOs, students, businesses, activists and world leaders, helping them to experience and understand environmental data stories in a new way.

The collaborative project was spearheaded by the UNEP, Brookline Interactive Group, The Public VR Lab, The EcoLearn Project, and Datavized Technologies to demonstrate how VR can create a paradigm shift to a more hands-on, visceral understanding of environmental issues through immersive data storytelling, and the physical sense of presence and increased empathy that VR provides. “There’s Something in the Air” presents estimates of air pollution based on fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and mean annual exposure by country every five years from 1990-2010 and yearly between 2010 and 2015. Data sources include the Health Effects Institute – State of Global Air.

“We want to inspire local communities to craft their own collaborative, immersive storytelling and visual data experiences, and to then be able to share their experiences and data with other communities around the world, with compelling, visceral and visual storytelling around critical issues in the public interest.”

-KATHY BISBEE, CO-FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AT THE PUBLIC VR LAB

“The response of over 800 UNEA delegates and world leaders was absolute raw delight and enthusiasm for their experience of virtual reality. From the seven-year-old environmental activist, Sasha Bennett, to Ibrahim Thiaw, Assistant Secretary-General at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), all remarked how very real and impactful their virtual reality experience was,” added Ms. Bisbee.

For the past two years the Public VR Lab has provided free community VR demos, launched a VR Academy teaching six different ways to create XR content, and began creating VR/AR experiences in the public interest, working with artists, local museums, education, arts and technical organizations, and with local government. The Lab is training the next generation of creators and environmental educators through a high school job training program, the VR Ecohack, a hackathon focused on mentoring new storycoders, and supporting immersive journalism projects like their collaboration with the Boston Globe’s STAT news team.

In 2018 the Lab launched a national collaborative VR filmmaking project on American immigration/migration stories with 15 community-based filmmakers and organizations from Alaska to Philadelphia, called Immigration in Full Frame. With the goal of accessibility in mind, the Lab recently began providing low-cost VR Demos & Creator Toolkits to libraries, schools, arts organizations, filmmakers, universities, governments, and other cultural organizations to build their capacity to demo VR, create local content, and to show that VR can be accessible and used in the public interest.

“There’s Something in the Air” features a customized visualization of the Datavized software tools scheduled to be released in 2018. Datavized immersive visualization technology, built on the WebVR API, enables users with efficient, easy-to-use, three-dimensional geospatial templates for mapping global, national and city data visualizations. The startup, headquartered in New York, is currently expanding its closed beta program working with pilot partners in industries including government, business, education, transportation, mapping, statistics and sustainable development. Business and individual users can sign up to request access to the beta platform through datavized.com.

“This experience demonstrates how big data and VR can be used together to create an immersive environment for increased understanding and enhanced communication of real-world challenges. We are delighted Datavized geospatial software products and mapping technologies are being used as powerful tools for environmental education, awareness and impact,” Debra Anderson, co-founder and chief strategy officer, Datavized Technologies Inc.

The experience is viewable on any connected device at https://demo.datavized.com/somethingintheair, including mobile, desktop, tablet and in VR through WebVR browsers, including in the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream, Google Cardboard and Microsoft Windows Mixed Reality headsets. For details on WebVR browsers and supported platforms, visit webvr.rocks.

“The data collected and experienced through this pioneering VR initiative will inform policymakers on the status of air pollution in their respective constituencies worldwide. We, at UN Environment, hope that this VR experience will help expedite the implementation of the recommendations in the resolution approved at the Third UN Environment Assembly,” said Cristian Mazzei, special assistant to the director of the ecosystem division of the United Nations Environmental Programme.

“The experience we created together represents a new frontier in environmental education, uniting the possibilities of new technologies with the urgency of crises such as air pollution. The leaders exposed to this tool gain a new understanding of the issue, and also an understanding of how emerging technologies can add a vital dimension to education,” said Nir Darom, lead creative designer at the Public VR Lab.

Nir Darom, Lead Creative Designer at the Public VR Lab with the Ibrahim Thiaw, Assistant Secretary-General at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), partner, Amy Kamarainen from EcoMOVE, and Public VR Lab Co-founder/BIG Director, Kathy Bisbee.

Nir Darom, Lead Creative Designer at the Public VR Lab with the Ibrahim Thiaw, Assistant Secretary-General at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), partner, Amy Kamarainen from EcoMOVE, and Public VR Lab Co-founder/BIG Director, Kathy Bisbee.

About Brookline Interactive Group (BIG):

Brookline Interactive Group (BIG) is an integrated media and technology education center and a community media hub for Brookline, Massachusetts and the region. BIG facilitates diverse community dialogue, incubates and funds hyperlocal storytelling, arts, journalism and technology projects, and serves over 500 youth and adults annually through innovative classes and partnerships. BIG offers extensive multimedia training, VR, AR and 360-video cameras and training, access to high-quality filmmaking equipment, production grants, artists’ residencies, and provides low-cost professional media services to nonprofit organizations, education partners, businesses, and to local government.

About The Public VR Lab

The Public VR Lab, a project of Brookline Interactive Group, is building a global network for a Community VR/XR movement that facilitates public dialogue; provides professional training; empowers community knowledge and creation of 360, virtual and augmented content; offers access to tools, headsets, arcades, toolkits, and professional expertise; and generates locally-focused, broadly impactful, XR experiences in the public interest. www.publicvrlab.com

About Datavized Technologies

Datavized is an immersive visualization platform that makes it easy to turn complex data into fully interactive web experiences. Datavized’s geodata software products provide users with web-based drag and drop tools to effortlessly turn location data in spreadsheets into fully interactive 3D maps for enhanced spatial analysis, visualization and decision making. Datavized works on all platforms and connected devices; including desktop, mobile, tablet, and with virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality headsets, enabling users to tell immersive data-driven stories. Datavized Technologies Inc is currently in closed beta and is headquartered in New York. datavized.com

About EcoLearn

EcoLearn is an educational research group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education that explores the use of immersive technologies to support learning about the complexity of ecosystems. EcoMUVE and EcoMOBILE are two products that are freely available for download and use. EcoMOBILE uses mobile devices and augmented reality to infuse real environments with digital resources that engage, inspire and educate people about the complexities of the natural systems that sustain us. ecolearn.gse.harvard.edu

Stay Connected:

datavized.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/datavized

publicvrlab.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/publicvrlab

Media Relations

www.publicvrlab.com

Brookline Interactive Group (BIG) / Public VR Lab

Kathy Bisbee

kathy at brooklineinteractive.org

datavized.com

Datavized Technologies Inc

Debra Anderson

contact at datavized.com

Categories: High TechnologyEnvironmental, VR, XR, WebVR

Tags: Brookline Interactive Groupdata visualizationDatavizedDebra AndersonenvironmentKathy BisbeeNir DaromPublic VR Labunited nationsvirtual realityVR storytellingWebVR

Additional Links

 

Upcoming Events at the Public VR Lab: March 2018

Mozilla WebVR

St. Patrick’s Day Hackathons on WebVR & AR at the Public VR Lab on Saturday, March 17th, 2018: Co-sponsored by Mozilla, Fasility, Boston VR 

Mozilla WebVR

BIG, the Public VR Lab, Fasility, and the Mozilla Foundation invite you to join the WebVR Experience Challenge and create a new game, experience, design, or interaction using assets from the Real Time Design Challenge with Sketchfab.

Mini-WebVR Hack: 1-6pm on Saturday, March 17th, 46 Tappan Street, Brookline MA at BIG

Register here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mozilla-webvr-experience-challenge-mini-hack-tickets-43608581441

Bring your WebVR skills to the next level at this one-day mini-hackathon at Brookline Interactive Group (BIG) hosted by the Public VR Lab and Fasility, in partnership with Mozilla Foundation.

Mozilla invites you to join the WebVR Experience Challenge and create a new game, experience, design, or interaction using assets from the Real Time Design Challenge with Sketchfab.This mini-hack will offer workshops and mentoring to help you meet the challenge! Participating is an awesome way to gain experience in WebVR and become a part of the open-source VR community.

Submissions are due to Mozilla by April 2, 2018. By the end of the day’s mini-hack, you’ll have improved your plan, prototype, or in-progress project to help you along the path to a successful submission.

Refreshments will be provided during the afternoon and the event will conclude with time to share the day’s results and vote for superlatives.

This hack is in partnership with the Mozilla Foundation, hosted at BIG & the Public VR Lab, in collaboration with our awesome WEBVR partner, Fasility.

You can join our Public VR Lab Meetup group to learn more about hacks and events at the Public VR Lab!

Mohammad Azam

Mohammad Azam

The second hack is with Boston VR on augmented reality (AR) and using AR Tookit.

ARKit and Open Projects With Mohammad Azam

Register here: https://www.meetup.com/Boston-Virtual-Rea…/events/248213026/

Mohammad Azam (http://www.azamsharp.com/) is a well-known ARKit guru and instructor. He will give a free class on ARKit at 10:15AM, open to the public. The class will start with learning the basics of ARKit development and then dive into intermediate topics. Azam will also provide free access to his best seller 8+ hour Udemy course on ARKit and his ARKit development book.

The rest of the day, until 6:00pm, will be a chance for everyone to work on their own VR and AR projects. We’ll have one or two htc vives, an Oculus rift, a hololens or two, and so on. However, the resources and emphasis will be on ARKit. We will gather as many ARKit experts and other resources as we can and add them here, as they are found.

An iPhone 6S or above is required to run ARKit applications.

We will begin at 10:15 am sharp.

There will be a small $5.00 fee to pay for pizza and snacks. If you cannot afford it for any reason, please contact jeff@enterprisevr.com and we’ll give you complimentary ticket.

 

Highlight Reel: United Nations Environment Assembly

Watch our rhythmic highlight reel of our experience bringing VR to the United Nations Environment Assembly just a month ago in Nairobi, Kenya!

 

New in 2018: Low-cost VR Toolkits in the Public Interest

The Public VR Lab is building a broad network for a Community VR movement that will facilitate public dialogue; provide professional training; empower community knowledge and creation of 360, virtual, and augmented content; provide access to tools, headsets, arcades, toolkits, and professional expertise; and generate locally-focused, broadly-impactful VR experiences in the public interest.

Visit www.publicvrlab.com to view current classes, events, training, projects, and VR in the public interest content.

Our VR Demo Toolkit 2017 pricing is as listed below. Use this kit if you want to bring new visitors into your organization by offering free Virtual Reality demos, having the latest technology, and offering classes in VR movement, art, travel and more. Our goal at the Lab is to provide community organizations, schools, local government, libraries and colleges with access to VR equipment.

You can research all of this equipment and information online, or you can quickly benefit from our team’s two years of research to package a VR Toolkit for you and deliver instructions, cables you need and sign up for a training!

One of the largest community media centers in the U.S., Boston Neighborhood Network (BNN), just bought their Toolkit and received a training from BIG and the Public VR Lab. [photo left: BNN staffers; Brett Rodrigues, Susan Conner, and Tomek Doroz.]

We also have a VR Creator’s Toolkit available for journalists, art centers, filmmakers and media makers. This Toolkit is ideal if you want to create VR content using a 360 camera provided in the kit to create immersive news, films, and non-profit organizational videos.

We also provide additional training to bring your immersive storytelling skills up to speed. 

Register for your VR Toolkit Today!

Please fill out this form to get started with your VR Toolkit from the Public VR Lab! Please note training and shipping fees will additional, and will apply based on your location. Our team can also come to you to provide in-person, customized VR Toolkit and content creator training, all based on schedule availability.

Note: We’ll have a regional schedule of upcoming group training should you want to join other organizations for your training in your region. If you’re an educator or journalist, please see our March extended training program

January 2018 Pricing: $2500-5000 (price based on organizational budget and training/camera add-ons as requested)

Testing the Public VR Lab Toolkits

Brookline Interactive’s IT Coordinator, Andrew Doig, and Nir Darom, Lead Creative Designer, test the Lab’s VR Toolkits to be transported to the United Nations to demo VR to world leaders in Nairobi, Kenya. December 2017

Basic VR DEMO Toolkit includes:

  • Pelican Case
  • HTC Vive Headset
  • ACER Laptop
  • 2 Light Stands with swivel tops
  • Deluxe audio headstrap
  • 25-foot HDMI Cable
  • HDMI to Displayport Adapter
  • Steam link
  • Training provided in Brookline, MA
  • Add-ons: VR Demo training; on-site 360 camera training; ongoing technical support

Basic VR CREATOR Toolkit includes:

  • Nikon KeyMission 360 camera
    • 64G MicroSD card
    • 360 Accessory kit (camera bag, tripod, selfie stick, waterproof lens, shock proof case, etc)
  • Pelican Case
  • HTC Vive Headset
  • ACER Laptop
  • 2 Light Stands with swivel tops
  • Deluxe audio headstrap
  • 25-foot HDMI Cable
  • HDMI to Displayport Adapter
  • Steam link
  • Training provided in Brookline, MA
  • Add-ons: VR Demo training; on-site 360 camera training; ongoing technical support