The presentation that I was most impressed by (of those I attended, which was unfortunately not as many as I would have liked) was the presentation by Stefan Welker about Google’s ‘daydream labs’. I appreciated the way they approached their timelines and decided to prototype from the ground up on a weekly basis, valuing diversity of techniques rather than working on refining a larger project. I think that this approach to VR development, an incredibly small team on a quick turnaround, is more honest to the medium which is arguably still in its nascency. Unlike many of the projects that I’ve seen that appear to be little more than ‘immersive’ ports of screen-based interactions, their prototypes focused on testing interactions unique to room-scale VR as a medium, finding successes and failures in both techniques and social contexts. As someone who is as interested in the interaction methods and context of VR as the content of VR, Welker’s role sounds immensely exciting, working broadly to explore new types of interactions for what many (myself included) believe will evolve into an increasingly prominent medium.
He also mentioned that they frequently make blog posts summarizing their findings here, working to build more of a community of best-practices and patternized interactions, which is the sort of early-stage interaction design that VR needs right now.