Chris Milk hosts the “largest collective virtual reality viewing in history” during TED2016

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By Kate Torgovnick May

“You’re about to participate in the largest collective VR viewing in history,” said Chris Milk in his talk on virtual reality at TED2016. “We are all going to watch something at the exact same time, together.”

A Google Cardboard and pair of Urban Ears headphones sat on every chair in the theater. We assembled the viewer, downloaded a special version of the Vrse app, and readied ourselves to step into other worlds at Milk’s prompting, beautiful cello music wafting through the theater. After a countdown, we found ourselves in an idyllic valley, surrounded by mountains, with a lake before us. A murmur of birds flew overhead, and as we followed them, a train emerged from the lake. Crash — some people in the audience scream. But then brightly-colored streamers swirl all around and we lift of the ground, the streamers weaving themselves into a tunnel. We go faster and faster through it.

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Chris MilkGabrielle Brown