As noted elsewhere, Brown University’s history with VR and immersive media goes all the way back to 1997 when faculty from the applied math, chemistry, cognitive science, computer science, geology, and physics departments came together to design and build the Cave. At the time the Cave’s seven stereoscopic projectors pushed the boundaries of both technology and budget. It’s successor, the YURT, utilizes 69 stereoscopic projectors to create a continuous projection across the ceiling, floor, and walls of a domed structure capable of accommodating up to ten viewers. When the YURT finally came online in 2015 it was significantly behind schedule and over budget. It also had the misfortune of competing directly with the first wave of personal VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
The video above was produced as part of a larger documentation of Brown University’s immersive media resources, however for the staff at the Center for Computation and Visualization (the group responsible for the Cave and the YURT), it also presented an opportunity to connect to a broader audience and educate the university on what set the YURT apart from the new VR devices that were coming onto the market. Having had the opportunity to engage with a wide variety of technologies as part of this project, I was genuinely blown away by what I experienced in the YURT, and I am glad that I could help advocate for the CCV through the filming and editing I did on this piece.