Inside the Wacky World of Daniel Beauchamp's Wonderful VR Experiments
You may not know Daniel Beauchamp, who works as the Head of Augmented Reality at Shopify, but once you see his VR creations... you will never forget them.
By day, Daniel Beauchamp is an established programmer, working for Shopify AR to help "merchants create better, more seamless online shopping experiences through the use of 3D and augmented reality." But by night, Daniel's VR innovations get really interesting.
His creations are not only indicative of a profound programming knowledge and an incredible design talent. There's often a kind of novel absurdity to them that I quite like, too.
Like most surreal genius, these experiments often hide behind the veneer of utility. Take this VR Jenga innovation, for instance. It seems fairly functional and thoughtfully designed. If you were just presented with a screenshot, you would be forgiven for assuming it was just an early build of some plain old VR Jenga game.
See if you can notice anything strange about it...
Beauchamp is also fond of creative innovative solutions to problems that I've never heard anyone having. Aggressively dissatisfied with the lack of accordion representation in VR rhythm games, he bravely took matters into his own hands:
His brave exploration of the unknown is a great service to us all, ending every instalment with that signature thumbs up. Beauchamp answers life's most difficult questions; difficult not because they are complex or painful, but because who on earth would think of this stuff?
In other words, here's what it would look like to give Mario a haircut that he is quite disappointed with... in VR.
Jokes aside, these projects are very impressive, even if they are a little silly at times. But often there's a noble ambition behind them too, like in his work with Oculus Quest hand tracking.
Earlier this year, UploadVR wrote a story about one of Beauchamp's experiments. Building on his innovations in networked hand tracking, he had built a proto-type program for communicating via sign language in VR.
What do you think of Daniel Beauchamp's weird and wonderful VR creations? Which would you be most excited to try out? I think for me the answer is obvious: I want to give Mario a mohawk.
And if he can do all this with just an Oculus Quest, I'd love to see what he could do with a fully immersive VR suit. Be sure to follow Daniel Beauchamp on Twitter, @pushmatrix.