What Would Shakespeare Think of Virtual Reality?

“I recently joined the advisory board of HamletVR, which has built a compelling experience of Hamlet battling his evil uncle in the Elsinore Castle”.

We know Shakespeare’s prose has lived for centuries, but do you think he could have imagined his work evolving onto every new media platform fueled by technology from radio to television, movies and now virtual reality.

I recently joined the advisory board of HamletVR, which has built a compelling experience of Hamlet battling his evil uncle in the Elsinore Castle. It will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2017.

Multiple users wearing virtual reality headsets, from anywhere in the world, can drop into witness the dramatic moment and choose from which vantage point to watch the iconic scene.

 “Motion Capture, noun
  a process by which a device can be used to capture patterns of live movement; the data is then transmitted to a computer, where simulation software displays it applied to a virtual actor”.

What they are watching is live actors performing in what’s called live motion capture, though in the user’s version they see the characters outfitted in the garb of the time in a castle of the time.

HamletVR is the brain child of Javiar Molina, an adjunct professor at NYU and Director of the school’s Motion Capture Lab and David Gochfeld, an interaction designer and computer scientist. They live at the intersection of deep technology and the arts, in this instance live theater.

It’s made through what’s called live motion capture technology. The tech allows the actors–in what you will see are black body suits– to perform live on a stage and audience members to be inside the play from anywhere in the world. This is a combination of other new technologies besides motion capture, there is multi-user VR –which means more than one person can be inside the virtual world at the same time, and also spatial audio technology-which means you are surrounded by sound

“The audience will be witnessing a live performance in real-time, streamed directly to their virtual reality headsets”.

Together these technologies make it possible for users, meaning the audience to walk the battlements of Elsinore Castle with Hamlet as he confronts the ghost of his murdered father.
The audience will be witnessing a live performance in real-time, streamed directly to their virtual reality headsets. The production’s multi-user VR platform allows participants to see their fellow audience members in virtual space, creating a unique, shared immersive theatre experience.

I am backing this team because it is critical, the experimenting they are doing across live theater and emerging technology is critical to understanding these evolving new mediums and if anyone is going to help us think about the next level, it is this group.   HamletVR is looking for support. If you love Shakespeare and are excited about where new technology can take it to new audiences, please join us!

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