Virtual reality is rapidly evolving into one of the 21st century’s critical technologies for effective healthcare, but few people outside of the medical field have heard about why. Virtual reality has the potential to address many areas that current healthcare practices can’t, which is why it’s so exciting.
In this article, we’ll break down the ways that VR is being used in healthcare to help patients and doctors alike.
Treating Unique Patients
In one particularly notable use of VR in healthcare that received a lot of news coverage, doctors used a virtual reality interface paired with imaging software to design a new surgery for an infant born with a normally fatal heart malformation. This kind of use of VR will become more common for unique cases that are difficult to treat due to lack of information.
The amazing thing about using VR to treat unique patients is that VR models of relevant anatomical parts can be made using compilations of data that healthcare workers already harvest. This means that doctors can create 3D models of trouble areas using information compiled from MRIs and other imaging technologies.
Having 3D models without having to open up the patient in the operating room to get a look at what there is to work with is going to help doctors save a lot of lives provided that they have access to the right VR technology and understand how to use it to benefit rare patients.
Improvements in imaging and 3D modeling will also help doctors by mapping patient features to quantifiable rubrics to dictate what kind of intervention is necessary.
Treating Common Patients with Treatment-Resistant Symptoms
In many medical conditions affecting the brain or the inner ear, it’s extremely difficult to treat the symptom of poor balance—but VR can help, according to several preliminary cases.
The idea is that by allowing patients to move through simulated environments that doctors can control, the doctors can gain a more granular understanding of the extent and nature of the patient’s symptoms and then create VR worlds which can aid in rehabilitation or symptom reduction. While there isn’t a case of complete symptom remission using virtual reality as of yet, doctors and researchers are just getting started.
Distracting Patients During Medical Procedures
Some medical procedures are extremely uncomfortable, just as experiencing certain wounds can be extremely painful even when in the process of treatment. VR can be a great distraction from disconcerting or extremely painful medical procedures that the patient is typically awake during.
In particular, patients suffering from severe burns are increasingly being given VR pain relief in addition to analgesics. Because burn wounds are so painful, changing the dressings on burn victims is also extremely painful, and the pain resists treatment using standard analgesics.
In response to this issue, the VR program called “Snow World” was developed, which is made specifically to calm and reduce the pain associated with burns while patients have their bandages changed. Some data suggest that the patients who used Snow World reported nearly half as much pain as those who didn’t, which means that every burn unit should have a VR headset once the results are clinically validated.
Using VR during uncomfortable procedures also distracts patients from having to focus on the medical staff, and may even be able to drown out the somewhat disturbing sounds that medical procedures can produce.
Treating Mental Illnesses
Mental illnesses are often treatment resistant, which is why there is a substantial amount of research going into VR in the context of mental illness. Using VR in applications like PTSD has been a constant effort by clinicians, and there’s substantial evidence of its efficacy in helping people living with PTSD achieve some symptom remission.
There is also tremendous promise in using VR as a way of desensitizing phobic patients via structured exposure to the object of their phobias in a virtual environment. Rather than forcing patients into real-world desensitization immediately—which will still likely remain part of the treatment process for phobias—doctors could allow patients to interact with their phobia in a controlled environment.
It’s also clear that remission of phobias via VR needs to be performed very carefully lest the patient become triggered by a too-real experience of their phobia.
Training New Medical Professionals
One of the areas that VR technology shows the most promise in healthcare is in the training of new medical professionals. It’s incredibly time-consuming to train doctors, nurses, and specialists like surgeons to their full range and depth of abilities, and book learning can only take trainees so far.
VR can provide healthcare professionals with a far more realistic training environment that can bridge the gap between medical school and the operating room far better than anything else. Using soon-to-come haptic feedback technology, doctors can even get tactile feedback during their VR practice sessions, which would improve their ability to deliver care even more.
It goes without saying that VR could provide an entire medical school experience far more cheaply than is currently possible with in-person methods. This means that medical experience will become more widely available to the public, too.
Without a doubt, VR is in the process of revolutionizing healthcare in a way that provides better outcomes for patients and increases the efficiency of doctors, not to mention allowing doctors to treat previously inaccessible patients and symptoms. The only question that remains is one of hardware.
Currently, there aren’t any virtual reality headsets designed specifically for healthcare use, which is holding back their permeation into the healthcare sector. As soon as an enterprising hardware company takes on the challenge of creating a virtual reality headset that is sanitation friendly and optimized toward healthcare’s particular needs, healthcare companies everywhere will be scrambling to get a hold of them.
Virtual reality will likely see even more use in healthcare once VR-assisting technologies like haptic feedback become more developed, not to mention robotics. The doctors of the future probably won’t wear a VR headset all the time, but when they do, it’s going to be the ingredient that makes treatment possible where it isn’t possible today.
Schools have been attempting to use crude versions of virtual reality since the 80’s, but in recent years we’ve seen it implemented quite successfully. With the price of VR dropping drastically and the quality improving, virtual reality classes could soon be a reality.
VR isn’t just a gimmick either; immersive environments can help us to better understand the world around us in a way that words of videos can’t. Over the coming years, virtual reality is going to become further integrated into both the curriculum and extracurricular activities.
What is Virtual Reality?
Virtual reality is often explained as a computer-generated environment that is entirely immersive, replacing our actual reality. This means that you must be able to control the situation, see it visually and also hear it.
The simplest way to achieve this is to wear a headset that blocks your vision of the outside world and immerses you into a screen. In this way, you can transport students into a different environment, and they will feel as if they are there.
How Can VR Be Beneficial in the Classroom?
With the most simplistic and crude versions of VR, it’s easy to disregard it as a gimmick or a fad that adds no real value to the classroom. However, the latest technology allows students to see and interact with realistic environments.
The key is to use VR as an interactive and fun learning tool. After all, it’s far easier to convince a child to concentrate, interact and listen to an audio recording explaining how a rocket works if they can see it, interact with it and focus on it.
Within the curriculum, virtual reality education is most useful for subjects that deal with abstract topics which we struggle to relate to. A few examples of this might be physics, anatomical biology, and molecular chemistry. Each of these subjects tackles topics that we can’t physically see, interpret or understand. Simple arithmetic is made easier by the use of counters which we can move into groups to identify addition or subtraction, but with these subjects, it isn’t as easy.
But virtual reality education gives us the chance to put students inside of the body, within a chemical reaction or an element, so that they can understand the components. Even outside of the realm of science there are clear applications. Rather than reading a book and then watching a movie after, imagine if you could have the audiobook read through a headset while you walk through the scenes.
By giving the students control you can empower them, something that we recognize that teenagers require and therefore encourage them to learn. The goal of VR should not be to replace all standard teaching methods, but to enhance them and to make it easier for the student to learn.
It’s important that we don’t limit virtual reality education to just the classroom. Where VR shines is in its ability to tackle complex topics and to make them more interactive. One example that is regularly given is school trips. While some school trips are exciting and keep children captivated, the vast majority are incredibly dull. Unless the children are interested in the museum they are visiting, it’s unlikely they’ll take much from the visit.
Virtual reality stretches the gap between fun and learning, making a somewhat dull museum visit into an interactive and immersive journey through time. Nearly every extracurricular activity can be improved using virtual reality. In the future, we might be able to have virtual field trips with schools from other countries, where students can meet and learn from each other’s experiences. No longer will students be cross-continent pen pals, instead, they can meet face to face and learn from each other.
Even within school clubs, there are obvious uses for virtual reality. The football team might run through tactics virtually, seeing exactly what the coach wants them to do, at what angle and at a given speed. Even the chess team could play virtual games against other schools from around the world, seeing the chess board virtually rather than just on a screen.
Challenges in Implementing VR in the Classroom
The problem that schools face currently is not in the uses of virtual reality education but the correct implementation of it within the classroom. Although headsets have dropped in price drastically over the past few years, they are still relatively expensive.
That doesn’t even factor in the cost of developing or licensing software, or the repair or replacement of headsets that will inevitably be damaged by the children. Unfortunately, the real problem is that a lot of schools can’t justify the cost of bringing VR to their students, even though they would like to.
As well as the cost of the equipment teachers would need to be trained in using the headsets, the software and also fixes any fundamental technical errors. All in all, it’s going to be relatively expensive and time-consuming to implement VR into schools. That shouldn’t come as much surprise because some schools are still using blackboards and many even don’t use laptops or computers within their teaching.
What the Future Holds
Virtual reality is a relatively new industry, and we know for sure that the cost of headsets will continue to fall. Only this week Facebook announced that they would be releasing a $200 Oculus headset which will bring VR within reach of a lot of schools.
Google has also extended their Google Pioneer program which lends virtual reality equipment to schools for a day so that their students can experience journeys around the universe. It seems likely that within the next decade we will see VR becoming a pivotal part of teaching in the same way that laptops have. The focus is expected to be in the hard sciences at first where students often struggle the most, but as the technology advances, there is no reason that it couldn’t be used for every subject.
Currently VR Vision Inc. is working with a few schools to roll out both hardware and custom VR applications to the classroom. If you would like more information from us to see if it something that would fit within your curriculum, please get in touch with us and we can discuss your school’s specific needs in more detail.
Virtual reality (VR) has long been a term associated with video games and futurism. Thanks to swiftly developing VR and AR (augmented reality) technologies, however, retailers are now able to create custom, unique experiences for their customers. In fact, retail virtual reality is quickly becoming the go-to way to increase customers and enhance the overall customer experience.
Not sure how these technologies can impact your business? We’re sharing how real companies are making retail VR an integral part of their sales strategy!
Why Virtual Reality?
As retail stores struggle to find ways to attract new and existing customers to their stores, retail virtual reality and augmented reality offer tangible solutions. These tech experiences can help solve serious buying obstacles for customers, help consumers visualize purchases, and provide an exciting experience that encourages shoppers to tell their friends.
As online buying becomes the norm for more and more consumers, VR and AR offer retailers the chance to stay relevant. Often, these two technologies become a way for retailers to extend their reach from the brick and mortar store to the online world their customers inhabit.
What’s the Difference?
While similar, the two technologies differ notably. Virtual reality is immersive, and typically involves hardware (like a headset) that the store provides for the customer. These are almost always in-store experiences.
Augmented reality, however, uses technology to overlay sounds or images onto live video feeds. Snapchat, the social media giant, has done such a great job of introducing users to AR that most don’t even realize they’re using it.
Better In-Store Experiences
Retailers selling everything from tile to shoes to outdoor gear have found ways to incorporate retail VR into their store experiences.
Home Improvement Isn’t So Painful Anymore
Lowe’s, the home improvement and DIY giant, has combined virtual reality and augmented reality in a concept it calls the Holoroom. Home renovation customers slip on an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset which allows them to “see” potential renovations in their own homes.
Lowe’s salespersons can personalize the virtual space with individual room sizes, equipment, colors, and finishings. Customers can select from literally thousands of Lowe’s products, swapping out choices even while in simulation mode. They can even view their design at home on YouTube 360 with a Google Cardboard viewer, which Lowe’s provides free of charge.
For Lowe’s, this retail virtual reality is a game changer. Before such technology, home renovators were forced to abstractly envision future renovations. All they had to help were paint swatches, Pinterest images, product shots, and paint chips.
Retail VR in stores now enables potential customers to overcome one of the largest hurdles they face in home improvement projects: how will this all look together? In the past, retailers like Lowe’s have sought to overcome this obstacle with sample show rooms. Thanks to VR and AR, however, the result is significantly more holistic and immersive. It also drastically increases the likelihood of shoppers using Lowe’s.
Bringing the Wilderness Indoors
Outdoor recreation provider North Face has also found a way to make retail VR work. In March 2015, the company debuted its first immersion vision experience: a VR video featuring rock climbing in Yosemite and the Moab Desert in Utah. The second video featured Nepal, and North Face partnered with Outside magazine to issue Google Cardboard to subscribers so they could view on their smartphones.
In 2016, North Face had equipped three retail locations with VR headsets, but partnering with Outside magazine to reach into people’s living rooms is a smart way to reach the customers who might not ever step foot into a North Face store.
Not only are the videos North Face created great ways to bring the wilderness indoors, but keeping the outdoors alive in customers’ minds through interactive technology encourages shoppers to associate North Face with their wilderness adventures. Further, North Face’s use of VR allows it to continue to stay relevant in the minds of millennial shoppers, who tend to do large amounts of their shopping online.
The Life-Changing Experience
If a company can help its consumers experience its benefits before even buying, that company might just have a customer for life. Retail virtual reality allows businesses to do just that.
Toms is an example of a retailer that has used VR to help its shoppers envision the difference they make. Customers who purchase a pair of Toms shoes are also purchasing a pair of shoes for an impoverished child in a third world country, and Toms has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in creating virtual reality videos that immerse the shopper in the giveback experience.
In over a hundred Toms stores, customers can use VR headsets to experience firsthand what it’s like to hand out shoes to children in Peru.
These types of VR experiences flow seamlessly between the consumer and the company’s mission and have a tremendous impact on the customer.
Lowe’s, North Face, and Toms are using virtual reality in flagship ways, but retailers can also find simpler ways to utilize this powerful technology. Augmented reality, in fact, can be used to help internet browsers visualize potential new furniture placement or help shoppers “try on” clothing from the comfort of their own homes. Smart mirrors and virtual makeup apps are quickly becoming the norm for tech-savvy retailers looking to increase their market share.
Using VR the Smart Way
In today’s quickly evolving world of technology, the smartest retailers are finding ways to make retail virtual reality a vital part of their success. Whether it’s shopping for a room refresh, envisioning new furniture, clothing, or makeup, or becoming immersed in a life-changing new experience, consumers are learning to expect technology as part of their buying experience.
Savvy retailers can learn from the examples of companies like Lowe’s, North Face, Toms, and others to find fresh new ways to use VR and AR to help consumers overcome buying objectives, resulting in satisfied customers and increased sales.
One drawback to current VR systems is the complexity of the many different user interfaces. This brings up an interesting aspect of virtual reality: For a system based on visual and auditory experiences, the entire process depends on the hands.
Originally, VR was simply a screen inside a pair of goggles. But the addition of hand controls was quickly added. This tactile element of hand and body tracking greatly increases the immersion factor of the VR experience. The two major products in the VR space (no pun intended) are the Oculus Touch and the HTC Vive.
Game and tech development company Value was an original pioneer with the Vive, and now they’re released a new product which VR developers and aficionados. Called the Knuckles, this new device is a wearable VR controller which tracks each finger on your hand. The device works with the existing SteamVR system. Still in development, prototype Knuckles controllers have recently been shipped to select VR developers.
The Knuckles is an interesting paradox. Although it looks more complicated than other VR controllers, the Knuckles is actually pretty simple to operate. Earlier VR controllers were basically controllers you hold in your hand. However, the Knuckles operates in a whole new way.
Instead of holding a controller, the Knuckles device simply straps into your hand. You don’t have to hold the device at all times. If you open your hand, the controller stays attached and tracks your finger movements.
The user isn’t constantly holding a physical object. This is actually the first controller where your actions in the virtual space correspond to actions in the physical space. Wrapping your hand around the controller lets you grab an object in virtual reality.
In what may not initially sound like a compliment, the Knuckles are easy to forget about. You’re not constantly gripping a controller. Instead, your hands are open and free. Plus, when you grab an object in the virtual space, your fingers will grab the device in the real world, too.
Generally speaking, when the VR equipment is natural to operate, the user is able to live inside the virtual space. You want the VR user to be organic instead of intuitive. For example, a dial you physically turn can be intuitive. But reaching out your real hand to grasp an object in virtual space is organic.
Knuckles opens the door to gesture movements. In social VR environments, gestures movements allow for fluid, natural actions such as gesturing, pointing, waving and more. The controller replicates your exact movement instead of snapping to a new position or approximating your gesture.
Gesture movement also allows for the ability to navigate dense data. For instance, hands and gestures can be used to develop an extensive language. Imagine creating and using virtual painting instruments of various sizes and colors.
Many developers believe the future of VR controllers will be a device which is easy to use by the general public. Think of devices like the Wiimote, Vive wands, game controllers and similar. With the introduction of Valve’s Knuckles, maybe the solution isn’t the type of device, but simply less of a device at all. With Knuckles, the future of virtual reality is literally in the hands of the user.
The Mobile World Congress in Shanghai recently wrapped up, and some of the biggest news was Samsung’s surprise reveal of the ExynosVR III, a standalone virtual reality headset. We’ve gathered up all the info on the new device and the likely impact on the VR industry.
The reveal of the device was unexpected, and there’s still a lot we don’t know. Samsung released the reference design which includes specs such as an ARM Makli G71 MP20 GPY and a M@ Dual 2.5 GHz CPU. Unconfirmed, but strongly suspected, is support for 4K resolution at 75fps and Wide Quad High Definition at 90fps.
This is an all-in-one, or standalone, headset. No other equipment, like an external PC or smartphone, is required. Instead, processing power is provided by Samsung’s brand new Exynos 9 chip.
Also noteworthy are what appears to be cameras on the front of the headset. These are likely used for inside-out position tracking. This new model is apparently a prototype for future Samsung products, which now seem likely to include some combination of eye-tracking, hand-tracking, voice recognition and possibly even recognition of facial expressions.
The Power of the Exynos 9 Chip
A standalone headset needs to be worn on the user’s head. So, it needs to be lightweight and comfortable, even if just worn for a short period of time. While some hard-core tech people will be willing to put up with head and neck pain in order to explore virtual worlds, mainstream success for VR headsets will depend a lot on the comfort of the device.
Standalone VR head-mounted displays are cutting edge but not entirely new. We’ve seen similar products from Qualcomm and Intel. This isn’t a huge surprise. Powering a VR headset is a great way to illustrate a chip’s power and light weight.
The ExynosVR device is at least somewhat designed as a showcase for the Exynos 9 chip. Lightweight and powerful, the chip would fit just fine inside a smartphone. But there are certain characteristics of the chip which are necessary for mobile VR. Basically, the types of features the chip needs to power a VR headset will also power a smartphone.
Samsung’s Larger Strategy for the Marketplace
Samsung likely has a larger strategy in mind beyond VR headsets. For starters, the Exynos processors are rarely seen outside of Samsung smartphones. The company has expressed a willingness to increase awareness of their processors by rebranding them along tiers. For instance, the Exynos 9 is the highest tier followed by the 7, 5 and 3.
As Samsung focuses on their chip brands, we’ll likely see more competition between the company and other chip makers such as Qualcomm and MediaTek.
There’s an interesting business relationship between Samsung and Qualcomm. Qualcomm’s failed Snapdragon 810 chip caused them to reach out to Samsung for help in future processor development. Perhaps Samsung’s success with Qualcomm encouraged them to develop chips of their own.
While the standalone VR headset is certainly an exciting development, it’s also only part of the story. Samsung’s increased promotion of their Exynos line is sure to influence the larger market. We’ll keep an eye on this developing story.
As virtual reality continues to grow in popularity, advertising is sure to be close behind. Google recently made a big announcement regarding their future plans for advertising. Their recent Google Developers Blog details the plans for mobile VR platforms.
The entire VR advertising project is being run by Area 120, which is Google’s workshop for experimental projects. One of the first ideas shared is a floating cube. Activated by either a tap or gaze, the cube is designed to seamlessly integrate into a virtual environment.
The cube format can use existing ad formats, which allows for a larger field of advertising opportunities. Companies don’t have to develop entirely new VR ads. Instead, they can use existing ads, including flat video. VR isn’t quite popular enough for many companies to develop VR-specific ads, so using existing ads is usually the most cost-effective solution.
Google’s plans for VR advertising are still being developed. Currently, developers can apply for early access to the VR Ads Plugin for Unity program. The ad format will be tested on Android, iOS, Daydream and Gear. The name implies the ad system will be similar to mobile ad platforms, with ads able to be easily plugged into existing VR content.
Advertisers are sure to love the flexibility VR ads offer. After all, they don’t have to spend time or money developing ads specifically for VR. Instead, their existing ads can be used in an all-new space.
The VR User Experience
While that’s all great for advertisers, what about consumers? VR users aren’t exactly thrilled that the VR experience is increasingly easier to advertise in. What advertising strategies are people likely to see develop within virtual reality?
Traditional methods might not be effective. Picture a free-to-play mobile app, like a game. Many apps are covered in ads. There might even be ads permanently displayed on the screen.
This is unlikely to work inside a virtual space. A virtual environment is incredibly immersive. The user is transported away to a fictional land. Ads will break that immersion. Plus, anything which disrupts the immersion is likely to annoy the user. The user’s feelings towards the brand will likely not be positive.
Google’s cube format is widely expected to be successful precisely because of its simplicity. The cube is unobtrusive but still visible. Versatility is another benefit. Unlike a banner, a cube can fit into smaller spaces. When dealing with a three-dimensional virtual environment, ad placement takes on a new layer of complexity.
So, where will these ads be placed? Some VR developers are already experimenting. The ideal placement seems to be away from the main action of the VR experience. Ad cubes seem to work best in pause menus, loading screens and similar.
The Future of VR Advertising
As new technologies emerge, advertising is sure to follow. Even though virtual reality is still not quite a mainstream technology, its popularity is poised to explode quickly. Google is already helping advertisers to prepare. While there will likely be some missteps along the way, hopefully both advertisers and consumers are able to successfully navigate the future of VR advertising.
Virtual Reality is an ever growing niche that has been making waves lately as the technology improves and allows for more and more innovation. VR Vision Inc. has stayed at the forefront of the market by providing custom developed applications, software, experiences and mobile apps. Our custom VR development allows us to cater to businesses that want to feature their products or service offering in a fully immersive virtual reality environment.
Virtual Reality Experiences
Conceptualizing your idea in VR takes precise execution and a vision that will push your brand objective forward in a meaningful way. Providing a fully immersed virtual reality landscape to showcase your product or service takes that branding to the next level allowing your customers to experience first hand the awe and power of VR. Whether you want to feature the latest product innovation or hardware we can custom develop a VR Application or VR experience to bring it to life in a full 360º environment that is unlike anything that you would experience otherwise.
With the breadth and freedom to experiment in a fully immersive environment, custom VR application development can allow for a much more diverse range of application. With custom designed and developed virtual reality experiences the sky’s the limit as to what you want to showcase in a virtual environment.
VR Vision can build custom virtual reality experiences for training, education, healthcare, medical, industrial, real estate, marketing, trade shows and virtually anything else you can dream up that would be engaging in a fully immersive virtual reality environment.
360º Video & Applications
With the power of 360º camera’s in 2017 we now have the capability like never before to film experiences and movies in a fully immersive 360º environment. With this full range of motion there is no limit to the potential of the experiences that you wish to showcase in VR.
The virtual reality landscape is always changing and we see the future of 360º video application to change the way people watch movies, sports events, even advertising methods will change as the visual fidelity from a 360º video production is much stronger than that of regular old fashioned media methods.
If you would like a quote or to find out more info about how VR Vision Inc can help your brand enter the world of custom VR development and 360º video please feel free to contact us today to see how we can help!
Is your business ready for virtual reality? Basically, anyone with a smartphone and a cardboard headset now has the ability to experience virtual reality. Businesses in practically every industry are finding success with VR – and your business can, too!
Right now, virtual reality for businesses is still in its early stages of development. This means today is a great time to develop a VR marketing plan for your business. Many businesses benefit from a five-year plan. Let’s take a look at how virtual reality will impact your business in the next five years:
Product Development will Improve for Less
Product development costs time and money, but many of these issues can be improved with virtual reality. Complicated products can be developed virtually, which helps reduce material costs. Plus, virtual models allow managers and other decision makers to assess product development early on.
Potential Customer Markets Will Grow
The customer base for VR is currently limited by cost and social stigma. In the next five years, both of those are likely to drop. You might not think your customers are interested in VR, but that could change in the next few years.
For instance, seniors living in retirement communities might not be obvious candidates for virtual reality experiences. But as VR becomes more accessible, the elderly and others with limited mobility are a large potential market. Understanding your customer base today will help you understand how to use VR marketing successfully in the future.
Advertising Opportunities will Expand
VR already operates in the worlds of gaming, movies and other entertainment. Those industries will likely always be near the forefront of how VR is used. But advertising shouldn’t be overlooked.
VR has plenty of opportunities for direct advertising and brand promotion. Think of this as similar to mobile search. Mobile marketing plays a big role in advertising for brick-and-mortar businesses. In the next five years, virtual reality will likely play just as big of a role in real-world purchasing.
Internal Business Operations will Change
The internet allows for a variety of far-flung teams to work together on a single project. Virtual reality helps to create additional team cohesion. Look for virtual meetings to become more and more common. Groups can tour virtual locations, view a virtual presentation and more.
On-the-job training can also benefit from VR. Trainees from around the world can all meet to learn in a virtual environment. This is especially useful for situations where training in the real world can potentially be dangerous. Any type of hazardous field work will likely benefit from VR training.
Improved Visualization of Large and Complex Projects
Large, complicated spaces are hard to visualize from blueprints and drawings. VR is an excellent design resource. With a virtual reality walkthrough, designers gain a unique perspective of a potential building or other structure.
A project doesn’t have to be big to benefit from virtual reality. VR allows for easy and close-up viewing of small, complicated objects.
Virtual design has a tremendous cost advantage. A project can be tweaked, changed and re-engineered virtually without concern for material costs and other physical expenses.
Virtual design also helps increase safety. Complicated installation procedures can be first learned virtually. Expect to see virtual training throughout construction and manufacturing industries.
VR Offers Versatility
Virtual and augmented reality are flexible enough for practically every type of business. VR can be used for product development, advertising, inter-office communication and more. A business can even hold virtual reality events to connect with customers.
Businesses of any size will likely benefit from virtual reality in some way. The question isn’t “if” VR will work for your brand. Instead, the question is “how” to incorporate VR. Will your VR efforts be customer facing or for employees?
Talent Management will Change
Virtual reality will improve the capabilities of remote workers. In situations where some of the team works onsite and other members work elsewhere, VR will allow for increased communication.
VR can help improve hiring procedures, too. A potential hire can use VR to spend time within an organization. This can be a great way to assess the individual’s fit within the company culture.
VR will Improve B2B and B2C
Many VR strategies are customer focused. After all, VR is still relatively new. People are interested in VR-based entertainment such as movies, games and other experiences where having fun is the primary goal.
But B2b organizations can benefit from VR, too. Virtual reality allows for easy communication with contractors and other businesses. Meetings can be held virtually. Products can be unveiled in a VR space.
VR will Impact Retail
Virtual reality will influence how people purchase physical products. For instance, VR will allow customers to virtually try a product before they buy. This will lead to an increase in the online sales of products which were traditionally more often purchased in a brick and mortar store.
Real estate is another industry which will likely benefit from extensive use of virtual reality. Potential homebuyers can tour a house virtually. This is also great for sellers because a virtual tour doesn’t interrupt their day-to-day living.
Virtual Reality for Business
Virtual Reality will have as big of an impact as both personal computing and the smartphone. No matter what type of product or service you sell, VR will likely be useful in some capacity. Businesses might use VR to create advertising and other content for customers. VR might also impact more behind-the-scenes areas such as product development and employee communications.
In the next five years, Toronto virtual reality will become a necessity for almost every type of business. Start planning today and your virtual strategies will translate to real-world success!
LG launched their upcoming Virtual Reality headset at GDC 2017 a few weeks ago in what is set to be a monumental development for the VR industry. LG has been long working on their version of a VR headset and it’s great to see them working with Valve to bring this to life. The tracking technology used in Valve’s Steam VR is the same as what appears with HTC Vive’s headset with a few small differences that will make VR developers extremely happy.
LG is currently sending out development kits to an exclusive set of select partners (mostly big companies that have development teams ready to deploy and work on creating new games/experiences). LG didn’t give a direct timeline for the time frame behind their consumer based release but we should get an announcement from them in the coming months in regards to partners and developers.
From the looks of things the tracking base stations look very similar to those provided by HTC Vive’s headset. They are comparable with their FOV and the resolution is said to be a a bit clearer than current Vive/Rift options however from those who have demoed the hardware the consensus is that it is on par with the Vive.
Here are the headset specs for those wondering:
- Two panels (one for each eye) with a resolution of 1440 by 1280 each
- OLED display from LG
- 3.64 inches diagonal
- 90 Hz refresh rate
- 110 degree FOV
This means that there is a new real contender in the VR headset space, and they will look to push adoption with their Steam platform for the gaming community. This could mean widespread adoption and better accessibility to games and experiences for Steam subscribers as well as easier portability between games/platforms.
While no price has been defined as of yet, we can expect it to come in at around the same prices we are currently paying for Vive/Rift. I guess a lot of that has to do with market research and feedback they get from developers.
I had a chance to get an all access pass to the most recent DX3 Canada conference for digital marketing and innovation. I wanted to go to see what kind of synergy VR Vision could have with modern companies and utilize our expertise and technology to help advance business. I came armed with a pocket full of business cards, my mind, and a venti grande from Starbucks to keep the motor running.
Overall the show floor was packed full of businesses that were looking to expand into different markets, and many of the conversations I had showed extreme interest in the Virtual Reality markets. I wanted to get a sense of where businesses are going with technology and I wanted to interact with the vendors to see where a fit could be for working together. I also wanted to see what other VR companies were in attendance while picking their brains for innovation and ideas for growing our business.
I started out at the Samsung booth as they had a few demos up and running for people to try out with their Gear VR offering. They were showcasing the Galaxy S7 edge with a Gear VR for users to check out a simulated skiing experience. The experience was fitted with full out simulated ski’s as well as poles to complete the aesthetic. Users then were immersed in a downhill ski experience that felt real, even in spite the fact that the hardware (Gear VR) isnt that robust. They had a few other demo’s available within the Gear VR but I didn’t stick around to try them out as I was looking for something a little more immersive.
I moved on to the Holocube booth where they were not only showcasing holographic projections, but also an interactive display that allowed users to change clothes on an interface that had really cool retail application. Users could change simulated outfits (hats/shirts/pants/etc) and then see what those outfits looked like on a full screen digital display.
I played around with this for a bit and it was a lot of fun, and I can see retail application for this working extremely well, even if the technology isn’t quite perfected. The ease of use for trying on different outfits could fit very will in any major retail clothing outlet like Zara, H&M, and any other major brand clothing company.
From here I hopped over to an Oculus Rift booth that featured a few of the top Oculus titles being played in a seated experience environment. There was a line of people waiting to try out a horror experience as well as a deep blue sea underwater experience. Both of which require no controller and are fairly easy to setup for the end users.
People seemed to enjoy it as there was a waiting list that was about 15 people deep, which is a good sign of things to come for the technology. I had already tried similar experiences so I didn’t wait around to hop in the demo’s.
Microsoft also had their own display for a Hololens demo, but unfortunately they had some technical difficulties and my RSVP for the demo went in vain and I was unable to try it out. A shame because I was looking forward to finally checking out the Hololens in all its glory. I went from here to a session on how Virtual Reality is disrupting today’s markets, which also featured the Microsoft Hololens, so I was hoping to see the experience live during that session. Unfortunately they ALSO had issued during that session in getting the Hololens working, which doesn’t give me much confidence for the product coming to market.
Mixed Reality & What It Means For Your Business
The session on mixed reality was interesting in that they introduced me to some new technology that I wasnt aware of in the virtual reality marketplace. Companies are starting to adopt new technology to make their lives easier and Virtual Reality is leading the forefront.
Planograms: These were really cool diagrams that allowed retail products on shelves in a virtual environment so store owners could test out product placement and get feedback prior to launching a new layout for their store. The entire store would be mapped out in a virtual model that could be walked through and interacted with in order to get an idea as to how the layout would perform.
Dark Stores: These dark stores were a level above planograms in that there are fully built out facilities that are being utilized by businesses in order to have a test layout live in the field for building out shopping automation. The entire store would be open to a select group of people who would then in turn rate it and provide feedback in order for companies to have a good idea as to the layout and how it would perform in the live market.
These systems are being rolled out across the globe in order to help businesses succeed with their retail storefronts and are using technology to do so. The virtual reality component allows store owners to get a good idea as to what their ideal store layout should be and will allow businesses to save money and time by optimizing their stores from the get go.
Overall the VR market is starting to pick up steam and the engagement of virtual reality apps and businesses is at a crux where front runners are investing in VR in order to improve internal processes and overall sales. VR is still in its early stages and is set to explode in growth in the next 2-3 years, and companies that are starting to adopt the technology today will be ahead of the curve tomorrow.