Darren Malley, a technical specialist for an international IT firm, lives and works in the Highlands and Islands. He spends much of his free time at home creating virtual 3D worlds which he hopes will inspire people with an interest in music.
Darren loves all things technological, and was one of the early adopters of a Kickstarter project for a new virtual reality headset - the Oculus Rift.
Darren says: “In my spare time I often like to write music and DJ. I tend to keep up with new technology and came across the Oculus Rift early last year. Its promise of highly immersive virtual reality really got me thinking about how I could tie it together with my music.
I started developing a music project called Synesthesia. The idea is to enable users to perform music live in a beautiful reactive virtual environment.
Virtual reality allows us to see and interact just like we do in the real world, but since it is computer generated your only limit is your imagination."
3D is an innovative field, and superfast broadband at his home is helping Darren develop projects more effectively.
Prior to June he had a basic broadband service with speeds of around 3 Mbps. He was struggling to test the networking for his project, and also to handle the upload and download of the files for the 3D animation models he was creating. After his upgrade to fibre broadband he now gets 65 Mbps.
Using the software is much more seamless now, and I can also stream live via cloud computing. I can have servers generate highly detailed 3D environments and then stream it to my PC.
“Using the software is much more seamless now, and I can also stream live via cloud computing. I can have servers generate highly detailed 3D environments and then stream it to my PC.”
Darren’s aim is to turn his project into a commercial product which he hopes will inspire people into seeing music in a new way.
This could include using augmented reality (creating real world environments supplemented with computer generated effects) to help people learn instruments.
As a developer, Darren sees a time when everyone could benefit from being better connected.
“I really think that consumer virtual reality will change the world. If you can have a meaningful conversation face to face in virtual reality, why bother spending all the time and money flying across the world to then do the same thing?”