Within CEO Chris Milk says VR will be ‘the last medium’ at TEDTalks

The struggle is real for those born before their time. Putting on a show, the CEO of Within, as rebranded from Vrse, Chris Milk, held a presentation at TEDTalks that was published yesterday. He spoke of how he has exerted himself to create the experiential sensation he had when he listened to music as a child.

Progressing from music to music videos, to experimental projects incorporating audience input, he finally encountered VR for the first time five years ago. Milk spoke of this as he related to his childhood and the steps he’d taken to get to where he is today, as well as why he thinks it’s such an important medium.

He formed the company Vrse after that first VR experience, and since then the studio has grown into one of the most recognized VR story production studios in the world, and just last month the company adopted the name Within.

Milk says it wasn’t until he encountered VR that he felt he had encountered a medium through which he could meaningfully enhance the experience from his childhood. It embraces the experiential approach, which is why a lot of the content consumers are getting into across the various VR platforms is referred to as an experience. Milk says after encountering the medium, “I quickly started building things in this new medium, and through the process we realized something: that VR is going to play an incredibly important role in the history of mediums. In fact, it’s going to be the last one. I mean this because it’s the first medium that actually makes the jump from our internalization of an author’s expression of an experience, to our experiencing it firsthand.”

It’s a bold claim, but it’s certainly one that makes sense. Mediums are referred to as such because they are conduits that we use to communicate with one another, be it through fictional narratives or documentary stories. From that perspective, there’s hardly a better medium to communicate an experience than VR. Putting us in the front seat, it lets users take part in an experience rather than be a witness to it.

And it’s still in its infancy. Milk describes how rather than mastering film-making, for example, and experimenting afterwards, VR invites experimentation even for people who are not yet close to mastering the medium. “Contrary to popular belief there is composition in virtual reality but it’s completely different than in film where you have a rectangular frame. Composition is now where your consciousness exists and how the world moves around you.”

He ended the speech by inviting the audience members to take part in the world’s largest collective VR viewing. The video they watched showed a locomotive turning into a shower of birds as it approached the camera, urban landscapes from a helicopter perspective, and a family suffering from the consequences of war.

Music

From Jay Rock to Saba, these are the 50 best albums of 2018

We've spent the year listening to new albums, digging deep, and culling our master list into 50 favorites. From blockbuster releases to hidden gems, these are the best albums of 2018.
Gaming

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.
Digital Trends Live

Cryptocurrency investor Ian Balina sees a comeback for cryptocurrency in 2019

We chatted with crypto investor Ian Balina on what the future is for cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin. He also gave us three things to look for when we are investing our own money.
Smart Home

How to talk to Santa on Alexa and Google Assistant

Nothing say "holiday" like talking to Santa. Here's how to talk to Santa on Alexa and Google Assistant, whether he's helping you create a playlist or checking to see if you've been naughty or nice this week.
Mobile

From the road to your wrist, see how Android has evolved over the past 10 years

Android started out as just a mobile operating system, but 10 years in it's pretty much everywhere. Check out our round-up of all the different Android variations that have cropped up so far, and what might be coming in the future.
Computing

Oculus VR could upgrade the Rift with a new display in 2019

Oculus could be set to release a new version of its Rift headset in 2019, but it will be more of a modest upgrade than a true sequel. The Rift S, as its purportedly called, will have a new display, and inside-out tracking.
Mobile

Google awarded patent for using eye tracking to detect expressions in VR

Google was awarded a patent that involves using eye tracking to infer facial expressions using machine learning in virtual reality. The tech could help make virtual reality a whole lot more immersive than it already is.
Gaming

Immerse yourself in a new universe with these incredible PSVR games

The PSVR has surpassed expectations and along with it comes an incredible catalog of games. There's plenty of amazing experiences to be had so we've put together a list of the best PSVR games available today.
Virtual Reality

Prototype Valve VR headset leaked: HTC Vive challenger confirmed?

Leaked images revealed that a Valve VR headset is in development, even amid Valve's partnership with HTC for the HTC Vive. Sources confirmed the device, which may be bundled with a Half-Life VR game.
Virtual Reality

Is the Vive Pro better than the original Vive? Our answer might surprise you

HTC Vive vs. Vive Pro, which comes out on top? That's the subject of our latest comparison, which looks at everything from tracking solutions, to controllers, and the brand new headset that could set a new standard for VR.
Gaming

The best HTC Vive games available today

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
Computing

A Google patent shows a way to make VR even more immersive

Virtual reality can be a really immersive experience, but it does sometimes it does have boundaries. Google has addressed this problem by patenting shoes with a flexible region on the bottom.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.
Gaming

Dive head first into the best experiences available now on the Oculus Rift

The Oculus Rift brought back virtual reality and put a modern twist to it. Grab your Touch Controllers, put on your VR headset, and jump into the fun with some of the best Oculus Rift games available now.