Panelists: Kelly Gaither, Director of Visualization, University of Texas at Austin; Aaron Lemke, co-founder Unello Design; Brian McCann, virtualization interfaces and applications, UT Austin; Noltan Nadasdy, research scientist and adjunct professor, St. David's Neuroscience and Spine Institute
The gist: Doing a panel late in the afternoon on the last Friday of South by Southwest is no easy task, especially when you have to follow a popular panel on virtual reality coupled with porn. But "Your Brain on VR" attracted its own sizable audience, as many VR-themed content did this year, with a talk about the many challenges VR designers face beyond just coding and tech; the human body must be understood in order to improve the VR experience in order to prevent nausea and to present the best possible experience to take advance of the ways human perception works. The panel also discussed the mechanics of VR, including what goes into representing it and what the future of the medium will be based on some of these limitations. The panelists were very interested in how VR can be used in science and whether it will take off in the mainstream.
The takeaway: A better understanding of how humans perceive their environment, how biology works and what's required to trick the body's inner-ear and mitigating nausea will make for better virtual-reality experiences. Technology that can create less latency and head/positional tracking will reduce some of the problems early VR has had.
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