Creative Mornings Seattle: Heather Raikes - Moments

Last week I attended my first Creative Morning in Seattle. Creative Mornings are a series of talks hosted round the world by a number of different speakers based on a theme or topic. The talk that I went to see was by Heather Raikes under the theme of Moments, she spoke about Virtual and Mixed Realities.

Heather's talk was centred around her experience in initially the mixed, and later the virtual, reality spaces. With immersive experiences merging projection and performance, and later how 8ninths are using virtual reality to create experiences both commercial (with Microsoft Hololens and Citi) and consumer / game (with The Box) . She also shared the trailer for 'Capturing Everest' an immersive VR experience film.

Seeing all of these different arms of Virtual Reality, and how different consumers are interacting with the evolving space really got me outside the usual buckets I've put VR concepts and ideas in to. I started thinking more about the breadth of the area of Virtual Reality, how can it push beyond the sometimes more obvious, outside of; video games, educational tools, workstations and immersive videos? What else can it deliver? How else can it be used? I also thought a lot about how it becomes integrated, a lot of VR set-ups are still so alien to the consumer, from the hardware you wear to the ways you interact with it, especially in situations with more than one person. As Heather mentioned in her talk, with VR still in it's infancy, it feels a lot like the internet did when consumers first began interacting with it, not really knowing how to use it, and creating random websites about odd topics, like their cats... actually... not much has changed there really! An evolution of cats on the internet!

There was a professor at the talk with a group of students who participated in the Q&A at the end of the session, Heather re-iterated that this would be their technology, their space to explore and develop. And although I'm far past my student days, it excited me. This new area is slowly developing, and because there's so much more to explore, there's so much more to design! I can't wait to see how Virtual and Mixed Reality evolve over the next ten years, and I'm keen to get involved in it in some way. I'd love to explore the where, how, why and who.

Whilst it sounds like designing the 3d experiences for VR platforms can be tricky, it's inspired me to get back to Unity, to learn more about how the software can be used not only in the gaming space, but how it can be used to explore different ideas in an interactive 3D virtual space. I'll start getting ideas down on paper, whilst seeing how far I can push myself with Unity.

It was great to hear somebody so obviously passionate about the area of design that they work in, and be surrounded by people so passionate about what they do that they were keen to turn up at 8:30 for coffee and inspiration!

I'll definitely be attending the next Seattle Creative Morning, if you head that way I'll be about for coffee!

Find out more about Seattle Creative Mornings at https://creativemornings.com/cities/sea