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Aside from gaming content, VR doesn't pay – at least not yet. Baobab doesn't charge to download its shorts. While some creators are experimenting with promotional sponsors, advertising, subscriptions and pay-to-download models, Baobab has never run any kind of ads with its work. The company won't comment on how it expects to make money, other than to say it's healthy and can continue to create animated VR stories. Since its founding in 2015, Baobab has raised $31 million, the highest known amount of any startup making animated VR.

Baobab has already changed VR storytelling by being among the first to put the viewer inside a character's body, With early VR content, for instance, the viewer was often a disembodied observer, When you looked down, you wouldn't see your feet, iphone case open bottom Sometimes in live-action VR video, you'd see the lower part of the camera or even an inelegant black dot, But in "Invasion," you see yourself inhabiting a white bunny body, similar to the rabbit that hops out of a cave to sniff you in greetings, In "Asteroids," you're a "Class C Menial Task Robot," a janitorial droid with purple pincer hands, And in "Legend of Crow," you take on a mysterious persona, manifested as those ghostly, snow-conjuring branches..

That can do wonders for empathy and understanding. In a study published last year, researchers from several universities put college students inside the virtual bodies of cows. (Those poor undergrads had to crawl around on their hands and knees and drink virtual water from a trough.) The study measured an illusion called body transfer, which gauges how much you feel like you've actually become a brown-and-white bovine. "Once you really feel like you become the avatar, we can simulate just the avatar in the virtual world without simulating your physical body, but your brain still tricks you into thinking that you're feeling it yourself," says Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn, one of the study's authors and founding director of the University of Georgia's Games and Virtual Environments Lab.

High-end VR headsets can collect more detailed information about your individual activity than video, gaming or even theater, A headset like an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift can tell where and how you move, Your subconscious body language — nodding your head in agreement, cocking it to the side in confusion or jerking it back in surprise — produces data that Baobab uses to create and advance "smart" characters that iphone case open bottom react to you in various ways, Its characters mimic your movements, for instance, Click here to see more Road Trip adventures..

Our tendency to prefer people who copy our movements, called the chameleon effect, is well-established in social science. But the effect's been found to hold up in virtual realms too, says Stanford's Bailenson. Of course, "smart," reactive characters aren't unique to VR. Video games have relied on them for years. But the reality part of VR heightens their impact compared with what you'd feel in a game. That's where interactivity — me waving my arms to make snow — affects memory. "When you drive yourself through a virtual environment, you have better memory for it than if you just sit there and watch a video for that exact same virtual environment," says Thackery Brown, a cognitive neuroscientist who's launching a neuroscience laboratory at Georgia Institute of Technology. "That feedback loop in the brain is very important for helping to build these more detailed representations of the experience."Maybe that's why I beamed back to childhood Ohio blizzards when I watched snowflakes gust around me in "Legend of Crow"?.


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