Multiplayer Virtual Reality Experience for Collaborative Music Making
SoundLab is a virtual reality experience whereby three people can engage through the universal language of music in a surrealist landscape where melodies take on 3D form, and you can generate music with nothing more than your fingertips.
The first thing each user notices is that they can see each other and their hands – so there is no need for any kind of controller. Viewers experience three scenes, each of which treats sound in a different way. In one scene sounds are like plants that need watering to generate their sound. Another pins sounds to physical objects that can be activated by touch. Finally the audience is invited to create sounds with a pinch of their fingers, and collaboratively generate a sonic composition that fills the room.
DOTDOT is an interactive studio specialising in virtual reality, augmented reality and multiplayer networked gaming. Happiest when playing at the edge of what is possible, our work includes prototyping virtual reality experiences for Google, creating interactive digital installations for museums and galleries, and helping launch products like the Samsung Galaxy S9 with astonishing live events. Since 2014 we have focused our internal research and development on multiplayer virtual reality to best understand how to develop and design compelling social experiences.
With the recent release of the Vive Pro and 2.0 lighthouses our vision for SoundLab is now affordable and achievable as a multiplayer installation. We are currently adapting the single-user interactive play of SoundLab into an experience that lets multiple users collaboratively create visual manifestations of music using just their hands and the movement of their bodies.
Adapting the multiplayer aspect of the experience is currently a work in progress, we have spent the last month testing the capabilities of the new Vive 2.0 lighthouses and understanding how we can take the learnings from our single user experience forward into SoundLab, a multi-person installation.
SOUNDLAB // SINGLE USER
The first version of SoundLab was designed as a single user virtual reality installation for exhibition in art galleries that have no host to oversee operations. To achieve this we designed and built a custom virtual reality headset which is suspended from the ceiling and can be pulled down by visitors to experience and contribute to the virtual soundscape.
The headset includes an infrared camera to track the users hands, and miniature speakers so there is no need for headphones and minimal physical contact within the helmet. The rig also includes a projector and speakers for other gallery visitors to see and hear what the person inside the headset is doing.
The experience steps the user through abstract ways to interact with sound to demonstrate different paradigms for musical creativity.
EXPERIENCE A DEMO
The single user version of SoundLab requires a Leap Motion sensor for hand tracking in order demo.
DOTDOT is based in New York at NEW INC in the New Museum so if you would like to come by and try it please get in touch with us.