Reality+ Reading Group

promotional design for David J. Chalmers's book "Reality +". Includes a penguin random house logo in the corner.

David Chalmers, a leading philosopher of consciousness and philosophy of mind, will be giving a virtual talk on his forthcoming book about the philosophical implications of virtual and augmented reality as part of our Voices of XR Speaker Series. The talk will take place on Wednesday, April 6 from 12-1 with support from Kathy McMorran Murray (details TBA).

Students, faculty, and staff who are interested are invited to join a casual reading group to discuss Reality+ in advance of Professor Chalmers’ visit.

promotional design for David J. Chalmers's book "Reality +". Includes a penguin random house logo in the corner.

The group will meet biweekly from 12-1 on Fridays beginning Friday, February 4. If we are able to be on campus, the group will meet in Studio X and use a hybrid format for anyone who wishes to join on Zoom. Generous funding has been made available from the Humanities Center and River Campus Libraries to purchase copies of the book for reading group members. Thanks to Kate Phillips, Associate Professor in the Writing, Speaking, and Argument Program for organizing this group. If you are interested in joining the reading group, please fill out this short form.

Voices of XR Speaker Series

graphic for XR speaker series entitled Voices of XR. On the bottom, is an illustration of a person in a headset reaching with neon geometric squares in the background. On the top is text that reads: "Voices of XR: A Studio X Speaker Series." On top of that, is the Studio X and River Campus Libraries wordmarks.

Join Studio X at the River Campus Libraries in conversation with invited scholars, artists, professionals, and more, who will discuss their work with immersive technologies across disciplines and industries. These events are virtual, free, and open to all members of the campus community and the general public.

banner for XR speaker series entitled Voices of XR. On the left, an illustration of a person in a headset reaching with neon geometric squares in the background. On the right is text that reads: "Voices of XR: A Studio X Speaker Series." Underneath, is the Studio X and River Campus Libraries wordmarks.

Recorded Talks

Anxiety Cues Found in the Brain Despite Safe Environment

3D nature scene. Shows a field, a wide sky, and a mountain in the background.

Imagine you are in a meadow picking flowers. You know that some flowers are safe, while others have a bee inside that will sting you. How would you react to this environment and, more importantly, how would your brain react? This is the scene in a virtual-reality environment used by researchers to understand the impact anxiety has on the brain and how brain regions interact with one another to shape behavior.

“These findings tell us that anxiety disorders might be more than a lack of awareness of the environment or ignorance of safety, but rather that individuals suffering from an anxiety disorder cannot control their feelings and behavior even if they wanted to,” said Benjamin Suarez-Jimenez, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Del Monte Institute for Neuroscience at the University of Rochester and first author of the study published in Communications Biology. “The patients with an anxiety disorder could rationally say – I’m in a safe space – but we found their brain was behaving as if it was not.”

Read more.

Beat Saber Competition

Studio X Beat Saber Competition.

Like dancing to fun music, light sabers, and virtual reality? We have the perfect competition for you! Stop by Studio X over the next few weeks and participate in our three-round Beat Saber competition. Compete against your peers, and if you dominate and have one of the top-three scores, you will win a trophy. If you are the ultimate, numero uno, top dog Beat Saberer, you will win a fancy portable, wireless, waterproof Bluetooth speaker. Ooh La La!

But what’s Beat Saber, you say? Only the most popular VR game of all time! Beat Saber is a VR rhythm game in which you slash floating boxes as they fly toward you to the beat of the music with gigantic light sabers.

The Rules

  • Participants must be affiliated with the University of Rochester. Students, faculty, or staff are welcome to participate.
  • Participants must complete all three rounds to be eligible for prizes.
  • Participants must complete each round in Studio X.
  • Scores must be recorded by a Studio X staff member.
  • Participants will get three attempts for each of the three rounds.
  • Participants are not allowed to use score multipliers.
  • The songs will be chosen by Studio X staff.
  • Once you have your score, you will be added to our scoreboard.
  • At the end of rounds one and two, a selection of the lowest scoring participants will be eliminated. This depends on how many participants we have.
  • The first week will be a song on easy mode, the second week a song on normal mode, and the third week a song on hard mode. You will have to follow the difficulty levels, no matter your current skill level.

The Schedule

You have the entire week to come into Studio X and complete that week’s song.

  • Round 1 (easy) will be the week of November 15th.
  • Round 2 (normal) will be the week of November 29th.
  • Round 3 (hard) will be the week of December 6th.

Register

Sign up here >> bit.ly/studioxbeatsaber2021

Microsoft HoloLens 2

HoloLens2 mixed reality headset.

HoloLens 2 is an untethered, mixed reality headset created by Microsoft. 

HoloLens2 mixed reality headset.

Patrons may reserve these headsets for use within Studio X. This equipment is intended for XR development work. Patrons must provide a reason for using this equipment as well as attend a short training session with Studio X staff.

Reservation & Usage Policies

Making Reservations
  • Borrowers may check out headsets for use within Studio X for up to four hours if available.
  • Hourly equipment must remain in Studio X.
  • Last call for equipment is 30 minutes prior to Studio X’s closing.
  • Reservations that are not picked up on time (~two hours) will be made available to other patrons.
  • Requests for more than two items of the same kind require approval from a Studio X staff member.
  • No more than three items may be checked out to one person at the same time.
  • Patrons are limited to booking equipment up to nine days a month.
  • Equipment may be booked up to 21 days in advance.
  • Equipment is available to currently enrolled UR students, faculty, and staff. Priority is given to borrowers using the equipment for course purposes.
  • Studio X does not provide disposable accessories such as batteries.
  • Renewing Reservations
    • Renewals are not automatic. You must check with Studio X staff to extend reservations.
    • Hourly equipment may be renewed for up to an additional four hours or until closing time (if available).
  • Picking Up Equipment:
    • A valid UR ID is required to check out equipment and must be presented at time of checkout.
    • Equipment must be picked up by the individual who made the reservation.
  • Returning Equipment
    • Equipment must be returned directly to Studio X.
  • Please do not attempt to sanitize equipment. Borrowers may inadvertently damage the equipment. Studio X staff will sanitize the equipment following this process before its next use.
Late Fees & Fines
  • $5.00/per hour until $25.00
  • After one day, the equipment is considered to be lost, and the replacement cost (item cost) is charged to the borrower’s account. Upon return, the replacement cost will be waived.
  • Fines and fees may be paid at the Carlson Q&i Desk using a credit card. Cash and checks are not accepted. Unpaid bills will be reported to the Bursar or other appropriate authority.
  • When fines accrue to $100, patrons will be unable to reserve equipment until the fines are resolved.
Loss & Damages
  • If the equipment is lost, damaged, or stolen, the borrower is required to pay its replacement cost.
  • All pieces of the equipment must be returned and in the same condition as in which they were lent. Please check the equipment tag for full list.
Health & Safety
  • Prior to each reservation, Studio X sanitizes its equipment using a combination of UVC light technologynanotechnology spray, and alcohol-based sanitizers. Read more about this process here.
  • If you are experiencing any symptoms of a cold, like a sore throat, coughing, or sinus issues, please do not use the equipment.
  • Wash your hands or use an alcohol-based disinfectant. Let your hands dry completely before using the equipment.
HoloLens 2 Technical Specifications

Read about HoloLens technical specifications here.

Documentation & Tutorials

Zoom H3-VR Audio Recorder

Zoom H3-VR audio recorder.

The Zoom H3-VR virtual reality audio recorder captures and processes spatial audio for VR, AR, and MR content. 

Zoom H3-VR audio recorder.

The recorder may be checked out and taken outside of the library. Please review our reservation and usage policies below.

Reservation & Usage Policies

Making Reservations
  • Borrowers may check out the audio recorder for up to three days if available.
  • Last call for equipment is 30 minutes prior to Studio X’s closing.
  • Reservations that are not picked up on time (~two hours) will be made available to other patrons.
  • Requests for more than two items of the same kind require approval from a Studio X staff member.
  • No more than three items may be checked out to one person at the same time.
  • Patrons are limited to booking equipment up to nine days a month.
  • Equipment may be booked up to 21 days in advance.
  • Equipment is available to currently enrolled UR students, faculty, and staff. Priority is given to borrowers using the equipment for course purposes.
  • Studio X does not provide disposable accessories such as batteries.
  • Renewing Reservations:
    • Renewals are not automatic. You must check with Studio X staff to extend reservations.
    • Audio recorders may be renewed for up to an additional three days (if available).
  • Picking Up Equipment:
    • A valid UR ID is required to check out equipment and must be presented at time of checkout.
    • Equipment must be picked up by the individual who made the reservation.
  • Returning Equipment:
    • Equipment must be returned directly to Studio X.
    • Please do not attempt to sanitize equipment. Borrowers may inadvertently damage the equipment.
Late Fees & Fines
  • External Lending
    • $25.00/day for seven days 
    • After seven days, the equipment is considered to be lost, and the replacement cost (item cost) is charged to the borrower’s account. Upon return, the replacement cost will be waived.
  • Internal Lending
    • $5.00/per hour until $25.00
    • After one day, the equipment is considered to be lost, and the replacement cost (item cost) is charged to the borrower’s account. Upon return, the replacement cost will be waived.
  • Fines and fees may be paid at the Carlson Q&i Desk using a credit card. Cash and checks are not accepted. Unpaid bills will be reported to the Bursar or other appropriate authority.
  • When fines accrue to $100, patrons will be unable to reserve equipment until the fines are resolved.
Loss & Damages
  • If the equipment is lost, damaged, or stolen, the borrower is required to pay its replacement cost.
  • All pieces of the equipment must be returned and in the same condition as in which they were lent. Please check the equipment tag for full list.
Zoom H3-VR Technical Specifications

Read about the Zoom H3-VR technical specifications here.

Documentation & Tutorials

iPad Pro with Apple Pencil

ipad pro.

11-inch, 3rd generation, 128 GB

ipad pro.

iPad Pros may be reserved for up to four hour for use within Studio X. These iPads are intended for XR development work. Patrons must request to use this equipment and provide a reason.

Reservation & Usage Policies

Making Reservations
  • Borrowers may check out equipment for up to four hours if available. 
  • Hourly equipment must remain in Studio X. 
  • Last call for equipment is 30 minutes prior to Studio X’s closing.
  • Reservations that are not picked up on time (~two hours) will be made available to other patrons.
  • Requests for more than two items of the same kind require approval from a Studio X staff member.
  • No more than three items may be checked out to one person at the same time.
  • Equipment is available to currently enrolled UR students, faculty, and staff. Priority is given to borrowers using the equipment for course purposes.
  • Patrons are limited to booking equipment up to nine days per month total. 
  • Equipment may be booked up to 21 days in advance. 
  • Renewing Reservations:
    • Renewals are not automatic. You must check with Studio X staff to extend reservations and renew equipment up to an additional four hours or until closing that day (if available).
  • Picking Up Equipment:
    • A valid UR ID is required to check out equipment and must be presented at time of checkout.
    • Equipment must be picked up by the individual who made the reservation.
  • Returning Equipment:
    • Equipment must be returned directly to Studio X. 
    • Please do not attempt to sanitize equipment. Borrowers may inadvertently damage the equipment.
Late Fees & Fines
  • Internal Lending: $5.00/per hour until $25.00
  • After one day, the equipment is considered to be lost, and the replacement cost (item cost) is charged to the borrower’s account. Upon return, the replacement cost will be waived.
  • Fines and fees may be paid at the Carlson Q&i Desk using a credit card. Cash and checks are not accepted. Unpaid bills will be reported to the Bursar or other appropriate authority.
  • When fines accrue to $100, patrons will be unable to reserve equipment until the fines are resolved.
Loss & Damages
  • If the equipment is lost, damaged, or stolen, the borrower is required to pay its replacement cost.
  • All pieces of the equipment must be returned and in the same condition as in which they were lent. Please check the equipment tag for full list.
iPad Pro Technical Specifications

Read about the iPad Pro technical specifications here.

Black Past Lives Matter: Digital Kormantin

Aerial image of Fort Amsterdam in May 2019 before start of excavations.

Michael Jarvis’ latest digital history project at the University of Rochester couldn’t come at a better time.

Aerial image of Fort Amsterdam in May 2019 before start of excavations.
Aerial image of Fort Amsterdam in May 2019 before start of excavations. (Photo courtesy of Michael Jarvis)

“Black Past Lives Matter: Digital Kormantin,” funded with a $99,874 NEH Digital Humanities grant, will create a website with meticulously detailed virtual tours of a 1632 English fort on the coast of Ghana that was among the earliest to send enslaved Africans to the American colonies.

Sustained Black Lives Matter protests have focused national attention on persisting racial inequalities in the United States. Because this racism “has been centuries in the making, reconciliation depends upon all Americans understanding a Black history extending back four centuries temporally and across the Atlantic world spatially,” says Jarvis, a history professor who also infuses archaeology and digital media studies in his teaching and research.

Unity software was used to superimpose a model of the 1790 reconstruction of Fort Amsterdam onto an image of the current ruins compiled with photogrammetry. (Courtesy of Michael Jarvis)
Unity software was used to superimpose a model of the 1790 reconstruction of Fort Amsterdam onto an image of the current ruins compiled with photogrammetry. (Courtesy of Michael Jarvis)

Moreover, the website will be accessible to millions of people who, even without the travel barriers raised by COVID 19, would never have the means or opportunity to visit the coast of Ghana.

“Although no substitute for an actual visit, this project will make virtual visitation possible for an historic site every bit as important to American history as Jamestown or Plymouth Rock,” says Jarvis.

Read more.

Unity Pre-Workshop Instructions

This looks like a lot, but it’s not. Just making the process super-duper clear. 😉

Step 1: Download and Install the Unity Hub (available on Mac and PC).

The Unity Hub is a standalone application that streamlines the way you find, download, and manage your Unity Projects and software installations. Read more about the Unity Hub here.

  1. In a new tab, either Google “Download Unity Hub” or go to https://unity3d.com/get-unity/download, and then click Download Unity Hub.
  2. From your Downloads folder, double-click on the Unity Hub Setup file to begin the installation. (If on a Mac, drag the application into your Applications folder, then double-click on it.)
  3. Agree to Unity Terms of Service and follow the instructions to install Unity Hub.
  4. Open Unity Hub for the first time.
Mac Instructions

PC Instructions available via the first video on this page.

Step 2: Download and install Unity version 2021.1.16f1.

There are many different versions of the Unity software, as its developed and released over time. During this workshop, we’ll be using version 2021.1.16f1.

  1. In the Installs tab, click Add to add a new Unity version.
  2. Choose 2021.1.16f1
  3. Choose to install Visual Studio (for Mac or PC) and Android Build Support
  4. Accept any necessary terms and conditions and begin installation.

Step 3: Create a Unity ID.

  1. From the Account menu in Unity Hub, click to Sign in.
  2. If you already have an account, sign in. Otherwise, you can create a new Unity ID.

You may receive a notice about needing to activate a license. You can do this under the settings menu (click the cog in the upper-right corner). From there, you can click License Management in the menu and choose a personal license.

Screenshot of the Unity Hub with a new license activation window.
Choose Unity Personal and I don’t use Unity in a professional capacity.

Step 4: Download the workshop package.

Just download this and know where the file is located for now. Download here: bit.ly/studioxcsc

Step 5: Watch this video.

Step 6: Bring a Mouse.

You do not need a mouse to participate, but it will be very helpful. Otherwise, please be prepared to right-click on your computer’s track pad.

Studio X Collection Highlight

many books stacked on top of one another.

Change Your Reality: XR Readings, Resources, and More!

These books, DVDs, and equipment are part of the River Campus Libraries’ collections and are available to all UR students, staff, and faculty members. Visit the physical exhibits in Rush Rhees Library near the Lam Square Q&i desk as well as on the first floor of Carlson Library just outside of Studio X!

Books

Fiction

The Six by Mark Alpert
Take Me with You by Tara Altebrando
Killobyte by Piers Anthony
Rim by Alexander Besher
The Dueling Machine by Ben Bova
Tea from an Empty Cup by Pat Cadigan
Ready Player One Series by Ernest Cline
Ready Player One
Ready Player Two
The Mortality Doctrine by James Dashner
The Eye of Minds
The Rule of Thoughts
The Game of Lives
Infoquake by David Edelman
The Wired Series by Donna Freitas
Unplugged
The Body Market
The Mind Virus
Warcross Series by Marie Lu
Warcross
Wild Card
Upload by Mark McClelland
Erebos by Ursula Poznanski
Trading Reality by Michael Ridpath
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Reamde by Neal Stephenson
Halting State by Charles Stross
Daemon by Daniel Suarez
Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Velde
Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge
City of Golden Shadow by Tad Williams

Nonfiction

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality: Myths and Realities by Bruno Arnaldi & Pascal Guitton & Guillaume Moreau
Practical Augmented Reality: A Guide to the Technologies, Applications, and Human Factors for AR and VR by Steve Aukstakalnis
Experience on Demand: What Virtual Reality is, How it Works, and What it Can Do by Jeremy Bailenson
Breaking Glass: Spatial Fabulations and Other Tales of Representation in Virtual Reality Editors Yara Feghali & Johan Bettum
Terminal Identity: The Virtual Subject in Postmodern Science Fiction by Scott Bukatman
Cyberpunk by Andrew M. Butler
The Pocket Essential Cyberpunk by Andrew M. Butler
Cyberpunk and Cyberculture: Science Fiction and the Work of William Gibson by Dani Cavallaro
Virtual Reality Headsets: A Theoretical and Pragmatic Approach by Philippe Fuchs
Building Interactive Worlds in 3D: Virtual Sets for Pre-Visualization for Games, Film, and the Web by Jean-Marc Gauthier
Emerging Technologies of Augmented Reality: Interfaces & Design by Michael Haller & Mark Billinghurst & Bruce Thomas
How We Became Posthuman Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics by Katherine Hayles
The VR Book: Human-Centered Design for Virtual Reality by Jason Jerald
The A-Zs of Worldbuilding: Building a Fictional World from Scratch by Rebekah Loper
A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Virtual Reality by Karen McMenemy & Stuart Ferguson
Virtual & Augmented Reality for Dummies by Paul Mealy
Learning Web-Based Virtual Reality: Build and Deploy Web-Based Virtual Reality Technology by Srushtika Neelakantam & Tanay Pant
Creating Augmented and Virtual Realities: Theory and Practice for Next-Generation Spatial Computing by Erin Pangilinan & Steve Lukas & Vasanth Mohan
Virtual Reality by Howard Rheingold
Future Presence: How Virtual Reality is Changing Human Connection, Intimacy, and the Limits of Ordinary Life by Peter Rubin
As If: Modern Enchantment and the Literary Prehistory of Virtual Reality by Michael T. Saler
Virtual Reality Development for the Google Daydream by Matthew Scarpino
Avatars at Work and Play: Collaboration and Interaction in Shared Virtual Environments by Ralph Schroeder & Ann-Sofie Axelsson
Virtual Sound: A Practical Guide to Audio, Dialogue, and Music in VR and AR by Stephan Schutze
Auralization: Fundamentals of Acoustics, Modeling, Simulation, Algorithms, and Acoustic Virtual Reality by Michale Vorländer
Ambisonics: A Practical 3D Audio Theory for Recording, Studio Production, Sound Reinforcement, and Virtual Reality by Franz Zotter & Matthias Frank

DVDs


Assassin’s Creed (movie, 2016, PG-13)
The Cell (movie, 2000, R)
Gamer (movie, 2009, R)
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (movie, 2017, PG-13)
Jumanji: The Next Level (movie, 2019, PG-13)
The Matrix (movie, 1999, R)
Ready Player One (movie, 2018, PG-13)
Total Recall (movie, 2000, PG-13)
Westworld (TV series, 2016, TV-MA)
Season Two
Season Three

Immersive Technologies Resource Library

XR Equipment

Special thanks to Pauline Schwartzman, Allegra Tennis, and Kristen Totleben for their collaboration on this collection!