San Jose, CA, May 16, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Visitors will create new worlds and fly like a bird in The Tech Museum of Innovation’s new exhibit, Reboot Reality. This experimental space, opening Friday, May 26 at The Tech in downtown San Jose, offers a series of immersive activities that allow visitors to create with cutting-edge technology in virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality.
“There are things in Reboot Reality you can’t see anywhere else,” said Dan Streelman, Director of Exhibit Development at The Tech. “You’ll be met with a plethora of experiences from digital painting on state-of-the-art touchscreens to being transported to a whole new world in a VR headset.”
The Tech is working with some of the biggest players in Silicon Valley digital media, including Adobe, Google, Oculus from Facebook, HP, Stanford University and more. There will also be opportunity for startups to beta test their VR experiences with the public.
“The Tech is living up to its potential and promise to give our community access to new technology and empower visitors to create with it.” said Tim Ritchie, President and CEO of The Tech. “Reboot Reality is an entirely new kind of exhibit in that the experiences themselves will be provided almost entirely by Silicon Valley businesses and will be refreshed continually as immersive digital technologies improve.”
Reboot Reality is the first permanent home of Birdly, a first-of-its-kind VR flying simulator. Visitors can soar above skyscrapers, flapping their arms in wing-like panels as their body tilts during “flight.” A fan emits the whoosh of a dive bomb or the gentle breeze of a leisurely glide as visitors steer their virtual avatars across the sky. Creators hope that one day VR technology could make important improvements in education.
The Tech is the only place the public can bring their artwork to life with Adobe Wetbrush, the first digital painting experience to recreate the textures and colors of real-life oil painting with a physics-based brush and particle simulation on a pressure-sensitive tablet. Users can blend their paints and add complex textures in ways that feel shockingly like the real world.
Two experiences in Reboot Reality will transform a visitor’s world into a virtual 360-degree canvas where they can use VR to paint, sculpt and play. Using a headset and hand controllers, a guest can sculpt with digital clay using Medium by Oculus from Facebook. And in Tilt Brush by Google, visitors pick from a colorful pallet of animated brush options. Visitors can also paint with electrified ropes, duct tape, sparkles and many other options before “walking through” their 3D masterpieces. These experiences can be navigated with ease even by people who don’t feel entirely comfortable with technology.
“We’re excited to see how Reboot Reality will use the power of immersive technologies to break down traditional barriers to creativity,” said Nadav Hochman, Experience Developer and Program Manager, Art and Technology. “Visitors will get to unleash their imagination using new tools in inventive and fun ways.”
Visitors of all ages will use the Sprout by HP to create a mashup of graphics and photos taken on the spot in a blended digital and physical computing platform that reimagines the computer workspace. They’ll also envision the future of downtown San Jose with a 360-degree glimpse of the Diridon Project — a proposed new downtown office and living space — in a visual experience developed by the architectural firm Gensler. Art meets machine learning in X degrees by Google Arts and Culture, where visitors pick two pieces of art, then an algorithm draws connections using a series of images. Researchers from Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab will also encourage visitors to explore how VR affects the way we feel about ourselves, each other or the environment.
“People will feel inspired to use their experience long after they leave,” said Prinda Wanakule, Director of Experience Development and Prototyping. “I’m really excited for the potential of AR, VR and mixed media to tell immersive stories that instill hope and empathy in how we see the world.”
Reboot Reality, which opens Friday, May 26, is a permanent exhibit at The Tech with new experiences rotating in periodically. All offerings are included in admission except for Birdly, which is an additional cost. Age restrictions apply.