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.
Virtual reality has become somewhat of a ‘buzzword,’ but behind that hype lies a very real technology that has the potential to change the way that we live our lives. Not least in the world of corporate events where capturing the imagination of a single reporter or investor can represent hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit. Like it or not, virtual reality is here to stay, and it’s only going to become more common.
Virtual Reality Corporate Events
Have you ever noticed that a lot of corporate events are out of the way? Often, they require hours of traveling and thousands of dollars in costs. Virtual reality corporate events circumvent that and allow viewers to experience the event from the best view. By setting up a single camera to capture the event from the best possible angle, every viewer can experience the optimal presentation.
This obviously helps the presenter too, because those virtual reality corporate events can be pre-recorded, preventing any unfortunate mishaps. But this makes the viewing experience that much better; we can sit in the comfort of our own homes and still see the speaker right in front of us. For the company presenting it also makes branding and sponsorship far simpler. Rather than trying to integrate them somehow into the presentation you could just have their logo appear in the corner of the viewer’s vision.
This type of advertising would be far more powerful than traditional banner ads or TV advertising because the viewer can’t look away, it’s directly in their vision.
Improving Real-World Live Events
But what if your viewers do want to be there, to enjoy networking and a few drinks after? Virtual reality can be used to enhance, rather than replace, the experience of a real-world live event. We’ve already seen Intel and Facebook using virtual reality goggles at live events to give their viewers a unique presentation that integrated virtual objects and characters.
The people in the audience wore goggles that showed them exactly what was in front of their face, but also could add in digital creations. Imagine the money that companies could save by creating a beautiful virtual environment, rather than purchasing real sculptures and artwork. In recent years, we’ve also seen cars implement heads-up displays that show you your speed and other metrics without you having to look away. This kind of functionality could be applied to an event.
You might show the time, the speakers name and the best way to contact them. With the best VR equipment, you can even give the audience the functionality to look at a virtual brochure of the event. Almost everything at an event could be replicated or replaced by a virtual version, saving companies money and giving a more interactive and immersive experience.
Virtual Reality on Mobile Devices
The most common barrier to entry for companies looking to integrate VR into their events is simply the cost of buying or renting the equipment. Fortunately, the vast majority of people own smartphones, and those phones have the capability for basic virtual reality.
In fact, Samsung and Snapchat have both released small, portable and incredibly cheap headgear that can hold your phone. This allows you to replicate an expensive VR experience for a tiny fraction of the cost.
The cost of virtual reality seems to be dropping every single day, and undoubtedly the single most significant trend in VR is increasing accessibility. No longer is it something that only the first movers and Silicon Valley millionaires have access too, but almost everybody can enjoy it at a low cost.
Although the 360-degree video isn’t technically considered virtual reality, it represents a massive leap from traditional video towards a user-centric experience. By giving the viewer the control over what they see you significantly improve the content. In recent months, we’ve seen 360-degree video being used more frequently, particularly by smaller companies who want to capitalize on their first mover advantage.
The 360-degree video is particularly good at one thing; giving you perspective. This might be in the case of explaining the dimensions of the room to an employee, showing the event hall to attendees or simply showing viewers more than just the stage. The goal of all virtual reality, from the most primitive forms up to our most advanced, is to make the audience feel like they are there. In this way, a 360-degree video is far superior to even the most skilled technician using a standard camera.
Social Media as a Gateway for the Future of VR
Since the advent of the first social media networks, we’ve seen companies like Facebook and Twitter continually scrambling to stay at the forefront of technology. And in the past few years, they’ve unequivocally succeeded. Facebook has integrated 360-degree video flawlessly into the timelines of their users, allowing us to experience events as if we were there. But more exciting than that is the possibility that we will use Facebook as a delivery method for true virtual reality.
Facebook acquired Oculus Rift, the largest and most well-known virtual reality creator and that makes us confident that they will soon be integrating it into Facebook.For corporate events this solves the problem of delivery, they can simply use their Facebook accounts to deliver the virtual reality experience to all of their viewers. And in the past week, they announced a new $200 virtual reality headset that will make VR more accessible than ever.
Virtual reality is the future; it would be difficult to argue against that. But what exactly should we expect in the coming years? For corporate events, the use of 360-degree video will become standard and expected by viewers who can’t physically make it to the event.A virtual reality version of the event, live and after the fact, will be used by the most significant companies to make the experience more immersive, and this will filter down to smaller companies within a decade.
VR represents a new frontier for events, and the companies that are willing to leap will find themselves with a significant advantage over those that wait.
The trade show industry hasn’t changed much since it first originated. Companies come, and they show off their products and services in the hope that people will be excited enough to purchase them. Not only that but in recent years they’ve been getting more press coverage than ever, and that makes trade shows an ideal place to show off your latest inventions. But with virtual reality becoming more accessible than ever it threatens to change the trade show industry forever irreversibly.
What Exactly is Virtual Reality?
Virtual reality is a computer-generated experience that you view through a headset, which allows you to interact with the immersive environment as if you were there. On the high-end, this can mean incredibly detailed and lifelike objects, and at the lower end of the market is can be a 360-degree video with an immersive headset.
Drawing in a Crowd
At a trade show, the goal is to draw the biggest crowd possible. That’s why companies bring lifelike sculptures and artwork, why they employ beautiful staff and bring TV’s to show off their latest videos. Companies are constantly battling for attention with the latest and greatest technologies that will draw in a crowd. And virtual reality is the current market leader, by far. If you go to any major trade show in the world, you can guarantee that at least one company is using virtual reality to show their customers what they have to offer.
Although the virtual reality is as accessible as it has ever been the vast majority of the public has never used it. That makes it incredibly easy to bring people to a stand, especially when it’s a company that sells products or services in an industry that they already care about. One-upping the competition is the name of the game, and nothing is better than VR, except better VR. With so many different VR headsets on the market, companies are battling with each other to let their customers experience the best that the industry has to offer.
Creating a Lasting Impression
While tactile products and high-quality videos are still a great way to interact with your audience and bring in new customers, they struggle to leave a lasting impression like VR. This lasting impression is simply because it’s an experience that most people have never had. Not only that, but it’s not comparable to anything else. It’s a new frontier of technology, and to the average person, it can be mind-blowing.
One VR tool that the trade show industry has been using to great effect is Google Cardboard. This is a simple cardboard box that has been designed to hold your smartphone as a VR headset. Alongside the physical headset, Google has developed a VR toolkit that allows developers to create their virtual realities for viewers. All in all, this makes it cheap and easy for companies to develop their virtual reality for trade shows.
But what’s even better is that the cardboard headsets are cheap enough that the company can afford to give them away at trade shows. Talk about a lasting impression. You’re giving customers something to take away that they are inevitably going to show to their friends and family who have never experienced trade show virtual reality before. And you can be confident that you’ll be the first company that they think of when they are ready to make a purchase.
Making the Most of the Space
Perhaps greatest of all is the ability for trade show virtual reality to give stalls more space. Most trade shows are characterized by small booths that are crammed full of a company’s products, but VR allows you to create a much more significant, virtual space for your visitors.
Rather than having to bring everything physically with you to explain your products or services to visitors, you can let them experience it in an immersive trade show virtual reality.
This cuts down on the space that you need and allows visitors to experience the product just as if it was right in front of them. For companies with bulky or expensive products, this is ideal, especially if the product is difficult to explain.
NASA has used this exceptionally in the past at their trade shows. They created a VR environment that explained how their technologies work while allowing the visitor to walk around and interact with them, all virtually of course.
This enabled them to show viewers their rockets and other technologies that were far too big to bring to trade shows in person, but that wasn’t given justice through a simple video.
The Different Options Available
Although the Google Cardboard is an innovative way to bring trade show virtual reality to the masses, it’s certainly not the only option. Companies like Oculus and HTC also have their headsets, which are far more technologically advanced than the Cardboard.
As VR becomes more and more common at trade shows companies will inevitably try to outdo their competition by offering better, more immersive and more exciting virtual realities.
Perhaps in the future, we might experience trade shows entirely virtually, walking around events with headsets on which interact with each of the booths. It might seem unrealistic, but entire presentations have been done by Intel and Facebook using VR.
Correctly Implementing VR at a Trade Show
The most significant challenge that companies using VR currently face at trade shows is the correct implementation of that technology. By drawing in massive groups the wait times can often be hours long, just to experience a short five-minute clip.
If virtual reality is genuinely going to transform the trade show industry, then the companies implementing it need to ensure that they manage the experience carefully.
This means shorter experiences to avoid massive queues, content that is specially designed for the platform and adequate training of the staff manning the booths.
The companies that can achieve this will be rewarded by levels of brand awareness that they have never seen before and resulting increases in revenue. Virtual reality certainly can transform the trade show industry, and the shift has already begun.
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.
In an industry known for pushing the envelope, escape rooms are undergoing the next exciting revolution: escape room virtual reality (VR). Thanks to unlimited themes, low overhead, and outrageous popularity, escape room VR is the next craze that promises to supercharge an already exploding industry. Savvy business owners will jump at the chance to realize large cash flows on minimal investment.
What is an Escape Room?
Inspired originally by escape-the-room style video games, the first escape room in the United States emerged in 2010. By 2015, there were over 2,800 in existence in the United States alone. Especially popular among twenty-somethings, these rooms charge individuals or teams by the hour to cooperatively solve clues to “escape.” Escape rooms use props and even sometimes secret passages to other rooms.
Thanks to new advancements in technology, virtual reality has brought escape rooms full circle by allowing players an even more immersive experience. Using VR headsets provided as part of the game fee, participants can live out experiences that seem almost real.
Escape rooms even have uses outside the typical gamer scenario. Corporations use them for team building activities, and they’ve even been put to educational use, helping students gain problem-solving skills.
What Makes Virtual Reality Different?
Imagine your heart racing and your pulse pounding as you work with your closest friends in a locked room. It looks like an old castle, with a throne, iron bars on the windows, and a treasure chest which you’re tasked to open. Puzzles and clues abound, leading you at last to a set of iron keys. But the timer is sounding, and you only have ten minutes left–can you beat the clock?
With escape rooms, this is exactly the kind of fun players anticipate, but with virtual reality, players can take their games to the next level. Now, they’re not limited to four square walls or physical props. In fact, depending on the game, players can swim, fly, climb, and otherwise defy gravity.
View an example of Escape Room VR in the video below:
Themes vary wildly, as well. Mission Impossible and Sherlock Holmes are two favorite themes, but players can experience anything from underground prisons to swanky lounges in D.C. They can also play in any country–or even an alternate universe. Space stations, worlds where time stops, and even the inside of favorite movies are popular destinations!
VR in an escape room partners with players’ imaginations for a truly memorable experience. Business owners find themselves with a product that’s quick to go viral among its satisfied consumers, with little investment in public relations or marketing. It’s a fantastic combination that means maximum profitability!
Arguably the most convincing feature for business owners interested in escape room virtual reality is the ridiculously low overhead. Most businesses simply need one or more rooms, VR headsets, and the VR game itself.
Before, escape room owners had to close down and possibly reconstruct a room to change the theme. Now, it’s just a matter of uploading a new game. Owners can purchase licensed or themed games, or hire developers to create unique games. Headsets will cost less than $1,000 per room as a one-time investment.
While escape room VR games range from $50,000-$500,000, the popularity of escape room VR allows businesses to become profitable almost immediately.
Escape rooms typically charge approximately $25 per person, per hour, but escape rooms equipped with virtual reality can charge much more. At a game fee of approximately $50 per hour per person, and average team sizes between six and twelve people, the potential for profit per room is staggering.
If a room regularly averages six people, and each room has ten sessions a day, business owners easily stand to make over $3,000 per day, per room. It’s not hard to understand why escape room virtual reality is so appealing as a business proposition!
Challenges to Business Owners
Not all escape rooms are created equal, and since the concept is still so new, business owners are right to be concerned that one or two bad escape rooms might seriously damage the reputation of the entire industry.
Another thing business owners must be concerned about? The quality of the puzzles themselves. Puzzles that are too difficult might frustrate players. Puzzles that are too easy might leave players feeling like they didn’t get their money’s worth.
Escape room virtual reality is one way to offset these challenges. Thanks to its dramatic appeal and exploring capability, puzzles are much more interactive and exciting. They’re also adaptable, enhancing the overall level of customer experience.
The technology behind escape room virtual reality is exploding at a rapid rate, and the future is even brighter for the business owners who take advantage now! Not only is the quality of the games improving, but new advances in technology will continue to make interactions with fellow avatars more exciting.
In the future, visuals will become more and more lifelike, and be able to mimic real life in greater depth. Also, many escape rooms have begun to hire actors to add additional levels of depth to the gaming experience.
It’s not a stretch to anticipate movie companies getting into the game, as well, by offering virtual reality options for escape room players to immerse themselves in their favorite movie experience.
A Virtual Opportunity
There’s just something about the thrill of a good escape! While escape rooms continue to grow in popularity and profitability, escape room virtual reality is truly the next revolution for smart business owners. Getting in on the ground floor now allows owners to both cash in and build a large following now, before the market grows saturated.
Frankly, low overhead and outrageously high margins just can’t be beaten, and smart business people who take advantage will only see profits in the years to come!
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!
Even just a few years ago, the idea of virtual reality was more at home in the realm of science fiction than the real world of business. But today VR is more affordable, available and useful than ever before. Using just a smartphone and cardboard headset device, anyone can access a virtual reality experience.
While VR is fun and entertaining, it’s also good for business. No matter what type of product or service you provide, virtual reality can help you reach potential customers, improve site traffic and increase conversions.
Let’s take a look at five simple, effective ways VR can help your brand:
Virtual Reality is an increasingly effective way to train people in situations which would otherwise be very dangerous, expensive or otherwise impractical. In the medical field, surgeons can use VR to train for procedures; nurses can learn how to find a vein and other medical professionals can learn skills without having to practice on an actual patient.
Learning to operate complicated machinery such as a truck or airplane is another situation where VR training can be a big benefit. Before the popularity of smartphone-based virtual reality, aspiring pilots had to train in large flight simulators located in specific locations. Now people can learn complicated tasks from anywhere as long as they have a smartphone, VR headset, and the right training apps.
Sometimes touring a home in person can be logistically difficult. Real estate professionals are increasingly turning to VR tours. This lets potential buyers check out a house with no physical travel required.
Setting up the virtual tour requires two steps. First, the real estate professional must film the home for sale. They’ll capture every aspect of the house from the front door all the way to the back yard. Then potential buyers can tour the house virtually. Even better, they can take the virtual tour from anywhere and at any time. Virtual tours are also a lot easier on the seller’s schedule, too.
Immersion therapy is a well-established method to help people overcome phobias, anxieties and other issues. This type of therapy involves exposing the person to their fears in a controlled environment. For instance, if someone is afraid of dogs, the therapist will gently and safely introduce a dog to the patient. The idea is to slowly build comfort with whatever the patient fears.
Virtual reality allows for safe immersion in otherwise dangerous environments. Using a simple VR setup, patients can experience virtual heights, crowds or other anxiety-provoking situations. With the therapist’s guidance, patients have a safe setting where they can learn to manage their fears. If the session ever becomes too intense, the patient can “escape” at any time by simply removing their VR headset.
Many companies offer additional training opportunities for their employees. Virtual reality is a great addition to many in-office training programs. Employees are able to fully immerse themselves in subject to a degree not found in any other type of instruction.
Virtual reality is a fun, fascinating way to learn. A VR session is often more engaging than a traditional textbook or lecture. In some cases, a virtual classroom can be created where students across multiple locations can meet and share an online space.
VR also allows for easy group training. Trainees can all “meet” virtually for an instructor-guided course. Location and logistical problems are easily solved when everyone can connect online.
Virtual reality is entertaining. Almost any product or service can be packaged into a VR experience and sold as entertainment. If you sell a product or service which is visually interesting, you can showcase the experience in virtual reality.
For instance, the travel industry can often make excellent use of VR. Potential customers can use a VR headset to take a virtual tour of a distant location. When the customer can actually see themselves in some exotic locale, they’re far more likely to book a trip.
But really any business can benefit from VR. You can use virtual reality to take potential customers on a behind-the-scenes tour of your office or workplace. This helps create a personal connection between customers and your brand.
Virtual Reality for Business
VR headsets are cheap and available. But virtual reality isn’t currently a “must have” for every business plan. That’s actually great news! If you start developing a VR strategy today, your business will have a serious advantage over the competition.
Make no mistake: Virtual reality isn’t a fad. Much like smart devices, VR is going to fundamentally alter the worlds of business and marketing.
Developing a VR Plan
The first step towards developing a virtual reality plan is actually fairly low-tech. You need to understand who your customers are and what problem they want to be solved. Virtual reality is really just a tool. In order to connect with your customers, you’ll need to create VR programs which they’ll respond to.
Virtual reality for businesses has tons of potential. Whether you sell a physical product, virtual service or something else entirely, a virtual experience can boost brand awareness and conversions. Toronto virtual reality will soon impact the business world in a big way – is your business ready?
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.
Have you ever hosted a company outing and wanted to add a little flair to the mix to really give your guests and employees something to remember? Virtual Reality is amazing new technology that gives event planners and coordinators something extra to offer that will amaze and awe. The sheer feeling of being immersed in another world gives the user a deep sense of enjoyment, something that can go a long way when adding to the benefit of guests.
The beauty of Virtual Reality for your next event is the ease of use. Once setup (which doesn’t take more than 5 minutes due to portable units and systems that allow for easy integration virtually anywhere there is a 8×8″ area. The VR headsets themselves are very user friendly and can often be picked up and learned within 5 minutes. The controls are super intuitive and once you calibrate for yourself within the virtual world, you will have no problem getting acquainted with the nuances of controlling your experience or game.
Not only is VR easy to pick up and play with, there is also a breadth of games and experiences available so that there is never short supply of entertainment with over 100+ games at your disposal. The technology has grown leaps and bounds since it was first released a few years ago, and the experiences are now at the point where they are polished and immersive.
What This Means For You?
Are you an event coordinator or an event planner? Are you looking to amaze your guests with state-of-the-art technology and immersive experiences aimed towards your target market? Virtual Reality events may be the perfect segue for you to introduce a new technology? A new internal company feature or product release? A way to showcase new company news or learning materials? The possibilities are literally endless with VR.
Not only are the games and experiences that are currently available completely customizable but they can also be easily integrated into whatever kind of business you have. The beauty of virtual reality is that the breadth of the technology allows it to be custom tailored to your needs so that you get the most out of your experience.
Virtual reality events are just the tipping point and with custom virtual reality education and experiences on the rise, the future holds much more for VR than we can even think of today. The games and experiences are only going to increase in realism and immersiveness, and the quality of the games and experiences will only get better with time as well. Dont miss out on showcasing your brand in the light of virtual reality and you will see the difference between old and new technologies.
Oculus and HTC are forerunners in the virtual reality (VR) realm. They are both the top in their respective hardware rights; Here you can check out the detailed specs comparison to see what to expect with both models.
Oculus Rift is Facebook’s version of virtual reality that is very much similar to the HTC Vive in their experiences, with a few unique differentiators.
The headset will entail 2160 x 1200 or 1080 x 1200 resolution for duo OLED display for eyes. This is around 233 million pixels per second, and a refresh rate of around 90Hz. Furthermore, it comes with 360-degree head tracking and field of view of approximately 100-degrees. In contrast to HTC Vive, Oculus Rift is to be used while sitting in conjunction with controllers (Oculus’ Touch).
The Rift requires a computer running Windows 7 or higher. You’ll need to have a GPU as capable as AMD 290/Nvidia GTX 970 or better. Other hardware requirements comprise 8GB+ of RAM, Intel i5-4590 processor, HDMI 1.3 video output and 2x USB 3.0 ports.
HTC Vive also features 2160 x 1200 or 1080 x 1200 resolution over duo OLED displays for every eye. Its refresh rate is 90Hz; has over 70 sensors for seamless and fluid movement and operate tracking space (15ft x 15ft) for supporting wireless cameras. Front-facing cameras help you identify objects around you as per the Chaperone safety system. This will protect users from bumping into objects, allowing Vive to be a true mobility gamer. HTC Vive needs tethering to a PC running GNU/Linux, OS X or Windows via HDMI cabling. Vive requires high specs to match its latency-free wireless capabilities.
The Oculus Rift is compact and lightweight. It comes with Velcro straps which are easy to adjust; offers comfortable headphone removal and faceplate padding on either side of the headset. However, as far as design is concerned, it’s not the most appealing VR-ware. Typically, it’s a huge, black protrusion from your human face. However, it’s more compact than various market alternatives.
The HTC Vive is a one of a kind VR gadget; it’s lightweight and has 37 external sensors on the device’s front to allow seamless connectivity to infrared cameras in tracking space. Moreover, it has Velcro straps and comfortable faceplate padding similar to the Rift. The Vive design is, however, worse than its Rift rival–It is not only a black protrusion from your face, but it’s also bulkier.
The Oculus Touch is the controller companion to the Oculus Rift, aiding users immerse deeper into the VR. Xbox One controller ships with the Oculus Rift as the controllers are to be sold separately. Touch controllers apply the half-moon design feature; are wireless, lightweight and a lanyard similar to the Wii remote.
One of the most awesome features in Oculus Touch is the inbuilt haptic feedback, analog stick, analog trigger and two extra buttons. Although Oculus Touch has good functionality, there still exist minor bugs, wireless connection and latency issues. The issues with the headset will be ironed before Q1 launch.
HTC Vive controllers have a more traditional design over Oculus Touch. For instance, wheel below the thumb and a single analog index finger. The wheel is for scrolling menus and game zooming. Furthermore, it functions as game options and selector. They are flawless, very responsive and should be better upon release.
Rift and Vive will ship with a free content suite. The Rift features Lucky Tale, a VR-enabled vivid graphs game. HTC Vive will ship with three titles built around wireless input controllers. It has an inbuilt fantastic contraption Roomscale VR which utilizes hand controllers. Job Simulator is a little game that simulates various tasks. Tilt Brush is the 3rd title with a 3D Google app. Tilt Brush has a Vive wireless controller to paint and sculpt artworks.
Nothing physical limits you from integrating with the other platform. Oculus Home is the ultimate store for VR apps and games. Oculus Home is a perfect mix between Xbox and Steam dashboard for layout and functionality.
HTC’s Vive will make use of traditional stalwart on PC game industry. Vive rolled out a new digital storefront with specialized VR gaming support mode, Vive headset point of sale and VR-ware content.
Though the Rift and Vive both have their unique strengths and weaknesses, it makes none better than its alternative. VR is an amazing technology and is a leap into gaming future, especially with HTC Vive partnership with Steam-VR. Vive has a better overall standing experience in our opinion, verses the Rift having a lot more seated experiences. (Although that is set to change with Oculus touch)
The downside to these VR headsets is that they require PC tethering, hence requiring powerful machines. This can, however, change in the near future, making them more user friendly.
Are you looking for a way to bring the exciting realism of modern virtual reality to your next corporate event? VR Vision provides state of the art virtual reality packaged events that will help bring out the most of your next function. With a hand picked selection of the best games, experiences and immersions you can expect to be blown away with the best in VR. We have packaged combined to appeal to all different ages and experiences.
Whether you want to focus on growing your team skills with a team leadership package or perhaps you want to experience more of a gamified immersion where you will get the chance to try the best virtual reality games on the market, VR Vision has the options available for you. All our events come with a professional VR enthusiast that will walk you through your event and guide you to ensure that you can learn the game or experience you are trying, as well as being there for you if things get a little too intense for your liking.
Virtual Reality in Toronto
All our events are focused on the greater Toronto area and can be applied at your location of choice, or you can opt to have us host the event for you at one of our locations. We have 2 downtown locations ready to go, and many more at our disposal all over the Toronto area for whatever size event you wish to host. We can service up to 5 VR stations at a time at any event which is good enough to service up to groups of 50. We always aim to give you the best possible experience so that you can experience VR in its fully immersive environment. Virtual reality provides a unique opportunity to try new things that you would never have been able to experience otherwise in worlds that are completely immersed for the viewer.
Book Your Next VR Event Today
If you are looking to supplement your next corporate event then look no further than VR Vision to provide you with the latest in virtual reality technology to make your event unique and exciting! We aim to give all events a fully immersive experience that will captivate and wow your guests. There is truly nothing like our events anywhere today and we know you will be completely satisfied with your event! Contact us today for more information and to book your next virtual reality event in Toronto!
You’ve probably already heard that VR is a hot technology right now, but did you know that the real estate sector is going to be reshaped by VR tech?
The intersection between virtual reality and real estate is obvious: instead of touring a potential new home or apartment in person, you can take a virtual reality tour to get a similar feeling for how the new piece of real estate measures up to your expectations.
In this article, we’ll look into the preliminary applications of virtual reality in real estate to see the coolest examples and a few notable flops.
Making the Most Out Of VR
Many realtors envision VR as a way to massively increase their productivity and make their jobs much easier. There are some advantages to using VR which are downright cool that are entirely separate from allowing long distance viewing of a property’s environment.
Benefits To Realtors
First and foremost, realtors will experience massively increased ability to tighten their turnaround of existing properties. Usually, when a property comes on the market, the present occupants still live on the property. This is inconvenient because it means that realtors need to juggle the schedules of the occupants in addition to the people that are prospective buyers.
With VR, this isn’t an issue. If the property is scanned into the VR environment and rendered effectively, the present occupants get removed from the picture, and realtors can offer guided or unguided VR tours at any hour of the day or night without worrying about inconveniencing the sellers.
Scanning many different properties to render them in VR will pay off in the long run for realtors, but the biggest strength of VR is that it allows realtors to easily sell identical units in large apartment buildings or housing developments. Since there are only a couple of variations of units in large buildings, the realtor only needs to make a few scans before they have a comprehensive VR library.
Cutting Costs by Removing Realtors
VR might displace many employed realtors, as with the help of VR it’s possible for one realtor to remain in one location and guide potential buyers through their VR explorations, which saves a lot of time that is usually spent traveling to and from the properties that the realtor handles. The increased efficiency of each realtor is massively increased by VR, meaning that real estate brokerages won’t need to retain as many.
VR Might Not Show the Cracks In The Walls
You might want to be careful while using virtual reality to explore your next home, though. While VR is extremely powerful for showing off potential properties using CGI, it puts the buyer at a disadvantage in a few areas.
First, there’s no way to tell if you smell mold or if you’re allergic to the materials in the house if you’re only viewing a potential property through the current state of the art VR technology. Considering that you’ll have to live in the house if you purchase it without seeing it with your own eyes, this is a major concern which there doesn’t seem to be any solution to.
Second, buyers will need to keep in mind that the image that they’re experiencing as they virtually walk through a property is not the reality of the property. 3D scans of the property’s layout and furniture might not capture things like cracks in the walls or discoloration on the wallpaper.
Likewise, it’s unlikely that a realtor’s VR rendition of property for sale will show the highway out the window or the perpetual construction project across the street. The point here is that VR only provides input that approximates reality via creating visuals that represent reality. Even if the quality of those visuals is photorealistic, there’s no guarantee that they reflect reality.
What’s Next In Real Estate’s Use Of Virtual Reality?
With major international brokerages like Sotheby’s integrating VR into their practices, it’s hard to see a future where real estate exists without extensive use of VR. VR has the potential to streamline the real estate industry in more ways than are currently used, however.
Realtors will gain access to faster scanning methods, and can eventually operate via the internet exclusively if they choose to as VR permeates the consumer market more fully. Likewise, if a consumer wants to put their home on the market, they just need to scan its interior and exterior to start the selling process, so it’s conceivable to see fully automated real estate exchanges shortly.
What We Won’t See
It’s unlikely that we’ll see the integration of other sensory technologies to virtual reality in real estate used in the near term, however. In fact, even sound might not be integrated into the new standard for realty. There’s not much of an incentive to provide a soundtrack if it doesn’t increase the chances of fast turnover and increased efficiency.
Likewise, there’s little reason to expect that haptic feedback technology will be used by realtors to show off properties because touch isn’t a necessary element of the real estate buying process.
If you’re eager to grab a VR headset and start looking at properties, your best bet will be with the larger and more established realty companies, as the smaller brokerages may be a bit behind the times when it comes to state of the art solutions. It may be a bit embarrassing to stumble around the room while the realtor is watching you traverse the virtual property, but it’ll probably save you a lot of time that you’d have to spend traveling otherwise.
Before you pull the trigger on a buying decision, you should probably visit the place you’re going to buy to make sure that the VR render of the property isn’t covering up anything too crazy. And remember: start looking for opportunities to use your consumer VR hardware at home to look at other properties directly so that you get the most out of its potential.
Today we are seeing kids in classrooms with personal devices that are responsible for managing course loads, all of their homework, and of course the ever important personal life of social media and general communications. Those devices are also heavily used for gaming primarily as a form of entertainment. What if we were able to get that type of time commitment from kids on a daily basis to do homework or grow skills? Or maybe have fun but also be developing critical thinking habits or team building? The great thing is educators are already using gamification but now it’s available in Virtual Reality.
As a planet we spend over 3 billion hours a week playing video and computer games. That is nearly 25 minutes for each human being on the planet today. I can personally remember a time when it was a big deal to have a PC in your home and the amazing devices we have available today were strictly ideas in Star Wars and in Sci-Fi shows. The world as we know it is changing so fast in regards to technology it seems nearly impossible for us to keep up with all of it especially in the world of gaming and Virtual Reality. The technology that we saw on TV is now available for our kids to learn and have fun while they do it.
Understanding gamification and its effectiveness beyond anecdotal evidence and hype is evidently a pertinent practical issue as well as, increasingly, a scholarly pursuit. Regardless of the increasing amount of both industry chatter and scholarly articles, there still is a dearth of coherent understanding whether gamification works and under which circumstances. To address this gap, we reviewed empirical studies on gamification. We focused on investigations and studies that were carried out by Huotari & Hamari 2012; Zhang 2008 what were the implemented affordances (independent variables), psychological and behavioural outcomes (dependent variables), what was gamified, as well as the methods and results of these studies.
The current empirical research on gamification largely supports the popular view that, indeed, gamification does produce positive effects, but many caveats exist. Most frequently, the studies bring forth three categories of caveats: the context of gamification, qualities of the users using the system and possible novelty effects. We encourage educators to review these findings as it is the future of education.
Earlier this year some amazing educational immersive experiences became available like the Apollo 11 Launch, Titans of Space, and Mars is a real Place. Could you fathom as a young person the ability to sit in your classroom and SEE MARS up close and personal without ever leaving your seat or the planet?! Well you can with VR Vision!
We aim to bring some of these experiences in to schools so children can have a more visual and engaged learning experience. It also shakes up the general day to day school and classroom environment and gives them the ability to be a part of a foreign world they may never see so closely otherwise! We have a list of titles that are designed and developed around team building, critical thinking and problem solving. We have content for artists to be uber creative with or just draw smiley faces with if they wish.
The beautiful thing about Virtual Reality technology and Education is people can learn and see things in person they may not ever be able to see and have a ton of fun while doing it! There is Virtual Reality experiences and content that has been developed to train the world’s doctors. Lets bring it to our kids as well.