Evocative U

(ee-vok'-uh-tiv) Bringing strong images, memories, or feelings to mind

Glenn Murray

Written by Glenn Murray. I design and build cool software. CV

Here's my latest think piece.


In Los Angeles for my first virtual reality conference. Haven't toured downtown since its recent renaissance, so I stayed the first night at the Standard Hotel at 6th and Flower.

The hotel called it a WOW room. Indeed. Massive king-size-plus bed, largest proper bathtub (meaning not a jacuzzi) I have ever experienced. Size wasn't everything; they were also very comfortable and looked fabulous.

In my younger days (during the 70s and 80s), downtown LA was known as a cultural desert. Since then, a functional urban center has arisen, with mixed results. The area around Frank Gehry's remarkable Disney Concert Hall, the Broad Museum and Grand Park leading to the iconic 1920's City Hall, is innovative and inviting.

L.A. Live is at the other end of downtown. Though I enjoyed the energy of the crowds, the entire complex seemed sterile and garish, overwhelmed by electric signs, billboards and branding. There's a reason I have not included photos.

While exploring the "new" downtown, I noticed several iconoclastically-attired groups with convention name tags. Being a card-carrying iconoclast, I asked one of the groups what event they were attending. Not just an event, RuPaul's DragCon. Though a big fan of Drag Race, I hadn't known there were DragCons. If I'd had time, I would have attended on a day pass. It was still fun chatting with drag fans who were out and about, including several queens staying at my hotel.

On to Loew's Hollywood Hotel, site of Vision AR/VR Summit virtual reality conference. The room was nice, but the view was spectacular! The Capital Records tower, Hollywood sign, and the downtown skyline - all conveyed the starry dreams of Los Angeles and Hollywood.

Vision AR/VR Summit is becoming the Oprah Winfrey Show of virtual and augmented realities. Oprah gave away cars to her audiences; here it is the latest high-end systems. Last year Valve gifted Vives to attendees; Microsoft announced they will be giving Acer mixed reality systems to all of us upon release this summer. It was great to meet up with other VR visionaries, though my excitement was tempered by my dawning realization that the vast majority of VR development is for games. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but my interests are in non-gaming VR applications.