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Business, Technical, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

Since 2014, e-commerce has become one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Back in 2014, the e-commerce market was making about $1.3 trillion. Fast forward to 2019, e-commerce has more than doubled its sales and has become the only trillion-dollar industry growing at a double-digit percentage each year.  



In spite of the growth, many businesses still use brick and mortar locations for retail sales and building customer relationships. 


Brick-and-Mortar vs. E-Commerce

The traditional showroom has proven to be a tried and true solution for businesses showcasing their products to potential customers. And while e-commerce is the next phase in purchasing patterns, there is a significant audience of consumers who still prefer to make purchases in person. 


Hands-on experience with certain products, like investment items, makes a world of a difference to some consumers. Most consumers would not purchase vehicles, furniture, or pieces of art without experiencing the product first. Although e-commerce sites have become incredibly sophisticated and convenient, they have yet to resolve the challenge of accurately representing scale. Online retailers can share their product’s specifications, but measurement errors result in purchases being returned for being too small, too large, or just not what was expected. Plus, nothing really beats in-person experience the product. 


On the other hand, having a brick-and-mortar location means that both retailer and consumer are restricted geographically. While you may deliver an incredible showroom experience, your model is built on the basis of asking your clients to come to you. 


Thankfully, there is a solution


Virtual showrooms have become the solution that combines the convenience of e-commerce without compromising your client’s in-depth interaction with your products. Blending VR into your showroom experience is not only engaging for your audience but allows them to personally engage with your products. 


The process for creating a virtual showroom is simple and straightforward. Here are the 4 steps you should take for an extraordinary showroom experience. 


Accessorize your Project with Hotspots

Yulio’s hotspot feature allows you to enhance your VR showroom by providing extra information or directing your viewers to the next scene. Yulio currently has 3 different types of hotspots that would be perfect to incorporate into your virtual showroom. 


Text Hotspots: This versatile hotspot allows you to share extra information about a specific product in your showroom. Use text hotspots to give a brief description of a product’s specifications, as well as any additional information that you foresee would be useful for your client to know. 



Image Hotspots: Adding an image into your scene helps your client understand more about your product in a visual way. This is a great feature if your product has any color, material, or shape variations. Although you could use a text hotspot for an in-depth description of the variants, letting your clients see the difference can help them in their decision-making process.




Navigational Hotspots: Not only do navigational hotspots make your virtual showroom interactive, but this hotspot allows your clients to explore your whole showroom from different angles. Make the most out of this hotspot by including them into the various sections of your showroom. This allows your clients to quickly find what they’re looking for in your virtual showroom. 



All of Yulio’s hotspot features are powered by the latest in gaze and go technology. Simply look at the hotspot to trigger the feature. 


Upload your Floor Plan

Once you have added all the necessary hotspots into your virtual showroom, it’s time to add a floorplan. Floorplan navigation allows you to create a navigation overlay layer in your project. This helps your clients better orient themselves in your showroom and to navigate with ease. 



This feature is particularly useful if you have a larger virtual showroom. Yulio’s navigational hotspots allow your clients to quickly zip through to the next scene, however, it can be a little annoying going through multiple hotspots to get to where they wanted to go. This is where floorplan navigation comes in handy. 


This feature is presented in a “doll-house” view, giving a 2D bird’s eye view of your whole showroom. All your clients have to do is to access the floorplan view and select where they wanted to go. 


Custom Branding

We know that with any showroom – physical or virtual – your main goal is two-fold: helping your customers decide on the right products with confidence, and having a great experience with your business. Being able to execute these two goals will help your clients learn more about who you are as a company as well as why they should choose you moving forward. 


It’s important to remember that your company is not just a business but also a brand. Branding allows your clients to easily recognize your business and the experiences you offer, giving you the opportunity to reinforce your company’s image. 


One simple step you can take to connect your clients to your virtual showroom is to add your own custom branding. 


Once stepping into your virtual showroom, your audience will be instantly greeted by your custom branding. Yulio’s Custom Branding feature allows you to add the logo of your company or organization into your virtual showroom. We created this feature to perform in this way as it allows your business to welcome your audience into your VR experience. Plus, first impressions are everything. Having your branding pop up in the first 5-seconds allows your clients a way to connect with your business in an interactive way. 


 This feature is available on all Yulio plans, allowing anyone with a Yulio account the opportunity to leverage your brand in VR. 


Set your Default Starting View

Yulio’s default starting view feature gives you the opportunity to make the best first impression on your clients. Previously, your rendered image or 360 photo would have to be exported just right in order to get the “money shot” of your showroom. Although it was technically doable, if you wanted to change the view a few degrees over, you would have to either reshoot your photo or rerender your image again. 




That’s why Yulio created a simple fix to help you give your clients the best introduction to your virtual showroom possible. 


Whether it’s a certain area of your showroom you would prefer to highlight or a new collection you want to draw your client’s attention to, this feature gives you the added flexibility and control over what you want to show your clients. 



The Future of Showrooms

Virtual showrooms are a key way to bring some of the benefits of a brick-and-mortar showroom to your e-commerce marketing. Not only can you showcase your products in a new and interactive way, but you can also share your virtual showroom with anyone in the world. Whether you want to share your virtual showroom on your social media platforms, include it in your next email campaign, or embed it onto your website, your business can now reach a wider audience by taking your showroom digital. 


It’s also important to remember that the main purpose of a physical or virtual showroom is to share extra information that will help your client on their purchase journey. Ultimately, having a virtual showroom without including extra information defeats the purpose of having a showroom at all. Utilize these 4 features to curate an unforgettable virtual showroom experience. 


Here at Yulio, we strive for excellence in performance and integrity when it comes to our product, and customer service. To discover how you can use VR for showroom sales, check out this 2-page brochure to help you get started. To learn more about us and what we offer, please visit our page or take our product tour.
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Business, Design, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

For interior design firms, it can be challenging attracting potential clients, let alone clients that are seeking your specific services. The barrier that many firms face when marketing their services is that traditional marketing strategies were too expensive and didn’t bring as much awareness to their business. 


So what can you do?


Let us introduce you to the term: digital marketing


In short, digital marketing helps you spread awareness and pair clients looking for a service that you can provide all through using technology. This includes online social media platforms (ex. Facebook, Instagram etc.), email, as well as search engines like Google or Bing. 


Nowadays, the majority of businesses have taken the plunge into digital marketing to increase their brand awareness and exposure. Whether you’re a large design firm or a freelance interior designer, investing your time and resources into digital marketing can take your business to the next level. 


Here are 5 digital marketing tips that will help attract the right clients to your interior design firm. 


Tip #1: Create an Eye-Catching Website

A company website not only provides visitors with information about who you are and the services you provide but more importantly it is an extension of your corporate brand. You may already have a website that transitions visitors to potential customers, however,  your site could be underperforming because of its lack of visual appeal. 


Once a website is launched (however many years ago), many companies don’t think twice to update content or refresh the look and feel of the site. Although it is common for businesses to get away with this oversight, your interior design firm cannot. 



Whether someone finds your website through word of mouth, your search engine ads, or even scrolling through social media, your website will be your prospective client’s first impression of your business. The purpose of a website for your interior design firm is both to state the services you provide AND showcase your ability to create beautiful designs. Competing in an industry with heavy importance on visual selling, we recommend designing an image-based website. A clean format with eye-catching and elegant imagery will demonstrate your dedication to quality workmanship while highlighting the level of skill your team executes. Always remember that the quality of the image matters. So, use only the highest quality images to represent your company online.


Tip #2: Make it User-Friendly

Along with making your website visually pleasing and eye-catching, making it easy to navigate and user-friendly is equally as important. Having a confusing website is not only extremely frustrating for visitors, but it can deter your prospects from staying on your site long enough to learn about your firm. 


Here are some considerations when setting up/redesigning your website:


Is your website easy to navigate on a mobile device?

Up to 70% of web traffic happens on a mobile device and the numbers are set to rise to 80% in 2019. More and more consumers are starting to conduct their search on inquiries they have on their mobile device, and being compatible with the format has become an important part of digital marketing. Don’t assume that the format you see on your desktop will be the same on a mobile device.


Call to Action (CTA) Placements

Let’s say that your prospect has browsed your website, is interested in a service you can provide, and wants to get started but doesn’t know where to go next. As you make/redesign your website, it is your responsibility to make the conversion process as simple for your prospect as possible. If you’re not sure where to begin with your CTA placement, you can try placing it after you have listed the services you provide. 



Tip #3: Strong Copywriting

Being an effective copywriter is a skill that is a crucial element to all forms of your marketing content. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, copywriting is writing text with the intent of getting the reader to take some form of action on the information you’re sharing with them. 


The beauty of copywriting is that anyone can have this skill. How do you do it?


Practice, practice, practice. 


You don’t need any degree or diploma to be a copywriter, but just a robust understanding of language, your business, and how to steer someone into action. 


In regards to your interior design firm’s case, what you want to focus on is communicating your services in a clear and concise manner. If you think from your perspective, seeing a large chunk of text on a website is a huge deterrent — you’ll probably click out of the site before even giving the text a read. Plus, if the text is purely just about your services and nothing else, the experience can be really boring. As you can see, your copywriting can really make or break your prospect’s interaction with your business.


We recommend making your copy as short and sweet as possible — the quicker you get to the point, the better. Additionally, incorporate words like “you” or “your” into your copy to make your prospect feel like your services are specially catered to them. Doing so makes your prospect feel like you are interacting with them even before making any official contact. 


As always, your copy should prompt your reader into some sort of action. Whether it be to fill out a form for more information or to request a quote, always include some form of Call to Action at the end of your copy. 


Tip #4: Make your Social Media Presence Known

Social media has taken the world by storm, and there’s a reason for this phenomenon. To put it simply, most people nowadays have some form of social media and are already interacting with brands on their chosen platforms. Social media has become a powerful and relatively cost-effective tool in fostering brand awareness and greater interaction with your current clients and prospects. 


Utilizing social media in your interior design firm can help with the legitimacy of your company, allowing you to connect with your audience and build an online presence. If you are unsure of where to start with social media, we recommend focusing on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn (these are our recommendations, but they’re absolutely subject to change depending on your target demographic). 


We mentioned Instagram first as it’s largely a visual social media platform that allows you to showcase your latest designs. Not only that, but you can also document the design process through short videos and Instagram Stories as a way to engage with your audience and showcase your skills to attract greater attention. 


Facebook is another widely popular platform as there are approximately 2.38 billion monthly active users. Compared to the other social platforms, Facebook has a wide network and enormous reach and can help you connect to prospects looking for your services.


LinkedIn is an Enterprise-oriented media platform that is used for professional networking and all things related to business. Although it is a more niche media platform, establishing your presence on LinkedIn is one big step in establishing your firm’s legitimacy online. Plus, you are able to connect with your clients and post your firm’s latest news to keep your current customers informed. 


Tip #5: Be a Step Ahead of your Competition

A telling sign of a successful business is its commitment to incorporating the latest technology into their marketing strategies. Be mindful of how other design firms are marketing themselves online and research how they are staying competitive in the market. Understanding your competition is the first step into how you can improve your marketing strategy. One way to create a competitive advantage and take your interior design marketing strategy to the next level is to incorporate an element of Virtual Reality (VR).


VR provides an interactive experience that can spark interest in your prospects. One way to incorporate VR into your digital marketing strategy is to embed a VR project into your website. 



For example, under the VR Showcase tab on our Yulio page, we have embedded a VR project that demonstrates what our product can do. Similarly, you can do the same for your interior design firm. Instead of opting to use a static image as your hero image on your website, embed a VR version of a previous project to highlight your firm’s skills in design and to showcase your commitment to being current and up to date. Not only would using VR in interior design be visually pleasing for your visitors but having a unique element on your site can make a big difference. 


Digital Marketing — The Next Frontier

Technology opens up opportunities for your firm to increase brand awareness and to attract potential clients to discover who you are and the services you provide. Plus, it has advanced at such a rate where there is now a diverse selection of tech solutions that are both affordable and accessible, perfect for large and smaller firms. With following our 5 digital marketing tips, sit back and watch your interior design firm transform into something bigger and better than it was before. 



Here at Yulio, we strive for excellence in performance and integrity when it comes to our product, and customer service. To learn more about how VR can enhance your business workflow, sign up for our FREE 5-day email course. If you’re interested in starting your first VR in design, click here to access our “How to Design in VR” Whitepaper for our full list of tips, tricks, and considerations when getting started.

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Business, Industry News, News and Updates, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

Last week, we had the pleasure of attending the 51st annual NeoCon convention in Chicago. Here’s our roundup of some of the top trends from NeoCon 2019.



NeoCon is the largest commercial design industry showcase in North America. Furniture dealers, manufacturers, architects, and interior designers come together once a year to see the latest in design and innovation and tour the stunning showrooms of the major commercial furniture manufacturers.


Every year we attend the event to learn from other industry leaders, and see the creative design trends from industry leaders and see how they’ll influence office design.


With that in mind, let’s jump into the design trends from NeoCon 2019!


Mix-Matched Materials and Designs

Matching contrasting textures is very on trend in 2019. This visual juxtaposition was prevalent throughout the NeoCon 2019 showrooms. Whether it be matching a set of fluffy and chunky pillows with sleek tight-woven cushions, matching mixed textures was a common theme among the different showrooms.


Manufacturers like Geiger, whose pieces are traditionally wood-focused incorporated different materials to make their surfaces more varied and interesting. From natural stone to glass and laminates, their products generated a lot of buzz, and attendees lined up to feel the different surface options in their showroom.



On top of that, Geiger pushed the design envelope by creating pieces that have surprising edge profiles, showcasing the difference in textures. This look gives off a more casual vibe while still being thought-provoking in design.



One reason many manufacturers are heading into the mix-matched direction is its appeal to the Generation Y employees – also known as Millennials. This current trend of clashing textures, finishes, and colors first took the fashion industry by storm a couple of years ago. Many style-focused Millennials have adopted matching mixed materials into their style, transferring their desired aesthetic onto what they are looking for in furnishing options and work environments they consider desirable and forward thinking.


“[Our] intent with the mixed material trend is to make the workplace environment more attractive to millennial employees.”

Brian Fuller, Senior Product Designer for Geiger


Many of the Gen Y and Gen Z cohort have graduated from their post-secondary degrees and are heading into the workforce to begin their careers. With this in mind, the workforce climate is changing, and the workplace environment will be a direct reflection of the direction we’re heading into.


Open Spaces

The traditional workspace environment is starting to fade out as office design is heading into a more residential feel. Most showrooms in NeoCon 2019 played with the concept of space and how they can best beat the feeling of confinement and create a more home-like and comfortable environment.



With the newest generation joining the workforce, their vision for the future of office space is veering away from feeling institutional and into a relaxed and inviting environment. We have seen in the past few years a greater awareness of mindfulness and a focus on creating social spaces in a work environment.


This includes breaking down the structure of cubicles, and opening up the space where you can see your colleague’s face. Plus, reinventing the common areas to encourage and foster the opportunity for creativity and collaboration. We’re heading into a time where collaboration is going to be a key aspect of our everyday work lives, and will drastically challenge the setup of the traditional workspace.


Going Green

Environmental activism has sparked the minds in the commercial design industry. Numerous brands have been approaching their products from the angle of sustainability and focusing on minimal harm to the environment.


It’s no secret that manufacturing a product as well as running a building can use materials that could damage the environment, as well as use up large amounts of energy. As a response, many brands are participating in the Living Product Challenge, spearheaded by The International Living Future Institute.


One showroom that is a participant of the Living Product Challenge were Carnegie Fabrics.


https://www.architectmagazine.com/technology/products/biobased-xorel-carnegie_o


A few years ago, Carnegie Fabrics created their award-winning Biobased Xorel that was of the same quality and performance as traditional Xorel. As a result, their efforts have left a positive handprint on the world, encouraging other brands to support a sustainable goal when designing a space. Seeing the different products in NeoCon 2019 affirm the prediction for a spike in demand for sustainable and eco-friendly pieces.


Adaptable Pieces

With overall space becoming exponentially more expensive, manufacturers have started to create product lines that allow the client to adapt their furniture.


One such product that was Steelcase Education’s new Verb Flip-Top Table.




This adaptable table has a flipping mechanism that allows it to be easily folded up to one side, opening up a larger space. The table also has the capability to store whiteboards and other hangable school supplies. This slim and sleek design is perfect for a classroom that may not have the space for traditional desks and chairs. Plus, it allows students to interact with the piece while creating an active learning space.


This is just one example, but we predict rearrangeable furniture will see increased demand in the coming year. More individuals, partners, and families have moved to living in stationary tiny homes or tiny homes on wheels. They will constantly battle for space, and adaptable furniture could be the ultimate solution.


Technology and Contract Furniture

As we continue to lean into the digital transformation, technology and our mobile devices will continue to have a huge affect on our daily lives. From how we work to how we live, we have and will continue to be shaped by technology.


The last and final trend that we’ll touch upon today is how technology affects the commercial design industry.


The KITS collaborator embraces the use of visualization technology for sales professionals to show off their proposals faster. With digital catalogs from over 60 manufacturers, furniture dealers can quickly craft their client’s vision by configuring furniture pieces and specifying fabrics and finishes. After curating their space, dealers can run a quick render and send the image to their clients as well as a quick sheet that includes product details and estimated pricing.


We also had the privilege of showcasing our Yulio platform to furniture dealers, architects, and interior designers. VR is a piece of disruptive technology that completely transforms the visualization process and helps your team to get to the sale quicker. With VR, rest assured that your client can see your exact vision without any risk of translation errors. Give your clients the opportunity to not only hear about your intentions with your design, but to actually experience it for themselves.

These mobile sales tools are revolutionary for furniture salespeople, as it allows you to tell your story far clearer than before. The KITS collaborator and Yulio are the next phase of visual storytelling, fostering a deeper client relationship than ever before.

NeoCon 2019 – A Step Into the Future

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at NeoCon 2019 and seeing the latest in innovation and design. It as impressive seeing everyone’s end products and having their efforts paying off. a success as every business pushed the bounds of creativity, making this event truly outstanding. We look forward to going back next year and seeing what NeoCon 2020 has in store for us.



Here at Yulio, we strive for excellence in performance and integrity when it comes to our product, and customer service. To try our program for yourself, sign up for our free 30-day trial (no strings attached). Or get in touch with us to schedule a training webinar for a full walkthrough of Yulio here.

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Business, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

Businesses of all size have been exploring practical use cases of virtual reality because they recognize the power of this new medium in sales, marketing, training and more. Walmart is currently the world’s largest company by revenue and is implementing the technology enhancing their skills development sector – not a bad endorsement for VR.  

 

As other companies look to how they should be adopting VR, new implementations in training, architecture, interior designer, and engineering are using the tool as a step in their visual storytelling for sales and marketing.


VR Technology is Rapidly Evolving

A few years ago, the only VR headsets available were tethered and relied on external sensors to track movement. Although the headset produced a relatively high-quality VR experience, there were limitations to using the hardware as a practical business tool. The price to purchase the hardware, and have a powerful enough PC to run it was outside what most businesses were willing to spend on an unproven technology at the time, ranging from $1000-$2000 for the headset alone and a $5000 computer to run it.




Besides the steep pricing, tethered headsets drastically limit a client or customer’s mobility. Not only are you limited in the range of movement by the wires and external sensors, but for safety reasons, you needed an employee nearby at all times while someone was using it. And because of the complexity of the computer running it and the sensors, it wasn’t at all practical to move the rig to a client’s office, meaning they had to come to you. –

 

The evolution and hardware that has made VR in Sales and Marketing a practical possibility.  Mobile standalone headsets allow users to experience VR free from any external wires and sensors, letting you take VR with you to immerse your clients with ease no matter where the meeting is held. Among our A&D clients, we hear that about 80% of meetings take place at the client’s office so mobility is critical.




Now, you may be thinking, “VR sounds really great, but it sounds like it’s made for just a handful of industries”.

 

This is not true.

 

Virtual Reality is a tool that fosters a perfect understanding between the presenter and the audience. This could mean a one-on-one basis and can certainly be from one department to another.

 

Let’s dive into how VR could enhance your marketing and sales department.



VR in Sales and Marketing

It seems that the two departments stereotypically don’t get along due to differences in methods and end goals. However, VR could be used as a bridge between the two worlds by encouraging opportunities to collaborate with one another.


1. Captivate your Audience’s Attention

Consumers are still quite fascinated by VR and the notion of being transported into another environment. The advanced tech has moved past merely being a fad and into being a legitimate tool that can be used to drive prospect clients and close the sale faster.

 

Marketing campaigns that utilize VR can attract new leads when VR experiences are part of a landing page, or an in-store event. Not only does this set your business apart by being tech-forward, but the technology itself appeals to customers on a visceral level.. Presenting the same product’s story in an immersive way by showing your clients rather than just telling them about it, and allowing them to see the product in context can earn trust. Incorporating VR into your strategy to encourage lead generation and trial prospects will support the sales team with interested potential clients.



A salesperson can also utilize this tool to engage with their clients as it gives them the opportunity to get as close to the product without it being physically there. Plus, with the latest in VR hardware, bring the experience to your clients with ease. The beauty of VR is that what you see is what you get. This allows you to showcase your products candidly so your client can understand what the product is exactly.


2. Interactivity = Good

One of the winning features of VR is the element of interaction.

 

It can be difficult making a presentation that is both informative and memorable. Utilizing VR in sales and marketing is one tactic that could help with attracting and retaining clients.

 

Research shows that seeing promotes a better memory recall than hearing information. Your brain when seeing a piece of information begins to instantly draw connections from other objects or life experiences you have encountered. Being able to draw connections stimulates the audience, making the experience more enjoyable, leaving a lasting impression. And studies indicate VR experiences activate different areas of the brain and drive even greater recall than 2D images, likely due to the greater comparisons to real-world objects.

 

Presentations can easily become boring, and you can lose your audience’s interest pretty quickly. However, hand your client a VR headset and let them be transported into a whole new way of viewing your products. Not only are you giving your clients the opportunity to interact with the presentation itself, but it also allows them to experience your product for themselves.



3. Connect Better, Connect Smarter

Many criticisms that arise from using VR is that it’s an experience that only one person gets to try out at one time. Although it is fair to say that one headset can only support one user at the time, this doesn’t have to make VR an isolating experience. Instead, it can be a group experience in the store and in showroom locations, generating positive feedback about combining experiences with purchasing. Syncing the headset to a screen allows other customers to see what the person in the headset is experiencing and drive people to want to try the experience.

 

You can also bring this community experience to sales presentations in a boardroom setting with features that allow you and others in the room to see what the headset wearer is seeing. As an example, our Yulio platform includes a Collaborate feature that allows the rest of the room to see what the viewer is looking at. As you continue to pass the headset around, give everyone else a sneak peek as to what they can look forward to when they wear the headset. Despite the limit of one user per headset, we figured out a way to combat the exclusivity so everyone can enjoy a part of VR. It’s also a critical element of your sales pitch for you to understand what your client is looking at when you receive feedback like “it feels too bright/big/small” etc.



It’s great having an element that can engage your audience, however, if you only have the one headset to pass around, be prepared to stall until everyone has had their turn. Not only could this quickly become a distraction, but it could also dilute the purpose of your presentation rather than enhance it. Our collaborate feature allows you to streamline your presentation by keeping the whole group informed until it’s their turn to interact with your product.


Enhance your Teams with VR

Ultimately, VR is a tool that promotes a perfect understanding and is able to take your sales and marketing teams to the next level. It’s time to welcome the new way of acquiring customers and retaining the relationships.


Here at Yulio, we strive for excellence in performance and integrity when it comes to our product, and customer service. If you’re interested in learning how to implement VR into your workflow, sign up for our FREE 5-day email course. Or check out our collection of whitepapers to discover all of our tips, tricks, and considerations for a successful VR implementation.

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Business, Employee Highlight, Lifestyle, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

Welcome to our Yulio VR Employee Highlight Reel where we introduce to you to an on the team – and the people whose ideas and sense of how VR and AR should work have shaped Yulio from the ground up.


The Yulio VR employees are working in roles that for the most part didn’t exist 5+ years ago, the VR job market was pretty minuscule. So the variety of experiences that led people here have created both expertise and variety in our team. And our history may lead you to the perfect VR job.


In this week’s Yulio VR Employee Highlight Reel, we’re chatting with our go-to demo and training guy, Steven Humphries! Steven is our Account Executive and is an absolute essential to our Yulio family. Chances are, if you’re an avid Yulio user, you would have had at least one conversation with Steven. His role consists of helping people get excited about VR, introducing Yulio, and guiding potential clients on how they can easily integrate our program into their workflow. With his client-focused mindset, Steven is successful in providing our users with the support they need for a smooth and easy VR experience.


 

So, Steven, tell me a bit about yourself.

A majority of my work experience is governmental in the US Army and Department of Defense. I started with field work, then worked in supply chain management, and finally as an intelligence analyst. It really shaped who I am today, and I learned a lot from the experience. While stationed in San Diego I attended San Diego State University and majored in Business Administration with a minor in International Business.


How did you find Yulio?

After I left the Department of Defence, I took some time off from work and ended up doing some part-time consulting for Steelcase. That’s how I met Gabe Szriftgiser, who is a managing partner at KiSP, a partner company of Yulio. Back then, he asked me if I wanted to be a part of the back end systems for Yulio and KiSP. At the time, I was living in Brazil and helped out part-time — this was my first introduction to Yulio. After that, when I moved back to the US, I was able to join the team full time.


Tell me a bit about your role at Yulio

My role at Yulio is Account Executive, which basically means my core focus is the client. The biggest part of my job is helping our new clients with the onboarding process to integrate VR into their workflow, as well as maintaining the relationships with our current Yulio users. My area of focus is the contract furniture dealer networks that are associated with a larger manufacturer group. I work closely with our sales & marketing team to strategize how to best support our clients. To support our clients well, I present demonstrations as well as host training sessions to help people realize that VR isn’t scary and our program is really easy to use. It’s a consistent relationship between us and the client – any issues our clients need help with, I’m the person they come to.


I’ve also been in charge of heading special projects like coordinating 360 photo shoots of our client’s spaces and creating a full walkthrough of their shoow rooms. We have even hosted a CEU accredited course at a conference — we definitely like to keep busy!


Tell me a bit about your first experience with VR?

My first VR experience was at a video game arcade. I remember the equipment was really clunky, heavy, but super cool. At the time, VR was still considered the “technology of the future”. Although the graphics were quite underwhelming, the concept itself was amazing. It was a little strange playing with the rig though since you needed to have a specific area to play with it. Lots of people would be staring at you as you’re strapped in.


If you got to dream up any VR experience and immerse yourself into it, what would you choose?

I would like to see something like a VR Google Maps street view but everywhere in the world – and I mean everywhere. Jungles, inside public buildings, icebergs, the whole world. It would be super cool to be able to walk the entire Earth but in VR.


Our world is such a big place, and I think it’s an important experience as much of it as you can. Unfortunately, so many people don’t have the time or money to do it, and VR allows you to get as close to the actual experience in the comfort of your own home.


Outside of your VR job, what are your hobbies?

My main hobby is woodworking, I absolutely love it. I have a little workshop attached to my house where I can build my own furniture or gifts for friends and family. My favourite thing to make is anything with live edge wood. This type of wood still has bark on the sides, and it’s really fun to work with. Plus, I really like the idea that I can make anything that will fit perfectly into my house. Woodworking is usually quite calming for me as well. Outside of woodworking, I really enjoy hiking and camping. And if I have the time, I like playing video games.


What’s your favorite Friday afternoon office game that we’ve played?

There’s a ping pong table in the office, and I enjoyed playing a game or two. Also, we have a few hoverboards in our office, and I like to hook it up to the go-kart and ride around.


We’d like to say a big thanks to Steven for taking the time to sit with us for a little Q&A about himself! Stay tuned for some more interviews with the staff that power Yulio, and discover how we’re all learning more every day about our VR job!


If you want to learn more about the VR/AR industry, and things to consider when you’re looking into VR solutions, then sign up for our FREE 5-day email course to get up-to-speed with VR. Want to try Yulio for yourself? Sign up for a free 30-day trial with full access to our feature set!

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Business, Lifestyle, VR

If you have been following our monthly Yulio VR Employee Highlight Reel, you would know our team is made up of many bright and talented VR experts. This week, we were curious to know when everyone’s first experience with VR was. We went around the office and asked everyone these questions:


When was your first VR experience?

What was the experience?

What is the most notable change/improvements the industry has made thus far?


Let’s explore who in our team had the most recent experience with VR.



2018 – Rachel

I first experienced VR when I joined our Yulio team. I remember Dana passed me the Oculus Go to view one of our sample VR projects, and I was completely shocked – it truly felt I was in a room bigger than the small meeting room we were in. It definitely reminded me of the TARDIS (for all my Dr. Who fans out there) phenomenon.


Although I’ve only been recently introduced to VR, there have already been significant improvements. For one, the hardware upgrades like the Oculus Quest will have huge implications, especially for business. We played around with the headset two days ago, and I must say the experience is really impressive. In addition, it’s really exciting seeing all the businesses arming their workflow with VR.


2018 – Elena

My first VR experience was strapping into the station at the back of the office, and shooting down zombies! It was a really cool experience, but I remember the first thing I tried to do was look down. I couldn’t see my legs which made me scared and numb for a minute, but it was fine afterwards. I thought it was really interesting how seeing something in VR could have an outward effect on your body.


I’m not a gamer, but in a year, I’ve seen how the business sector has changed. Many industries like retail and medicine have been transformed by VR. It’s a great cost-effective way to train people, especially medical staff. Plus, consumers are now expecting more experiences than just the product itself. People are getting tired of traditional marketing methods, and this is a new way to bring a new and memorable experience to your customers.


2017 – Jim

Ian walked me through my first VR experience, and it was absolutely incredible. He showed me the full extent of VR and the different experiences you can have with just one piece of technology. Part of the presentation was a hotspot walkthrough, which is what we do at Yulio, of a VR project and looking around the space. The other was experiencing and manipulating an environment through a video game.


I’d say the most notable changes to VR are happening right now, and it’s happening in two phases. One part of it is the fact that VR now has mobile capabilities, allowing for easier access to the technology. All I need to do is simply attach a Homido to my phone, not to mention the transformational release of the Oculus Quest. The second aspect is that now you have the ability to have a better understanding of where you are relative to a space. It’s absolutely incredible.


 

2017 – Steven

I first experienced VR when Ian brought the rig into the office. I believe we were walking around in a virtual world, something similar to Mario. Back then, the graphics weren’t great and it was quite pixelated. Plus, you needed to hold controllers that didn’t have great tracking. Now, the movement is much more accurate and captures your hand movement very well. The overall quality of the VR experience is much better and more immersive, especially with the emergence of advanced eye and head tracking.


2017 – Oussama

I remember my first VR experience was playing Arizona Sunshine in the office, and I definitely noted that the illusion wasn’t great, especially compared to what we have now. I would say the most notable change since the first time I used VR is the portability of the headset. VR hardware is getting smaller and more accessible for anyone to use. As well, the next evolution of the headsets will include six degrees of freedom, which will make the VR experience even more awesome.


2016 – Dana

I went to school for architecture, and when I started at Yulio, I used our Sketchup Plugin to see my own model in VR. I got chills when I saw it in VR. When you’re in architecture school, and when you’re working on a project for so long, since you’re a student, it will never get build. Now, being able to stand inside of something you worked on for months and months is really cool and rewarding.


Although VR still has a ways to go, the biggest change is the accessibility to the VR headsets. Anyone can now go to Best Buy and purchase a VR headset when previously this would never happen. Plus the overall attitude towards VR has been a huge change. Most people are confronting their fear of trying something new and unfamiliar with to combat being left behind.


2016 – Rob

I was at a tech foncerence when they strapped me into a 20lb+ headset with heavy-duty gloves. Suddenly, I was hanging on for my life about 100 meters up a sheer rock face. I’ve done quite a bit of rock climbing in a previous life, and even though the graphics quality wasn’t great, I felt instantly connected to the experience. It felt real enough to convince me that this technology was going to go beyond gaming and entertainment.


I think the release of the Oculus Quest may be a step into being the big “ground shifting” improvement. The headsets have seen many improvements, however, they have been incremental in nature. To name a few, better head and eye tracking, improved navigation, and greater processing power have all contributed to making the VR experience more immersive. Plus, we have entered an era where there is no longer a dependence on phones for a standalone VR headset. I am also quite excited to see how the introduction of 5G and greater availability of cloud-based, low-cost rendering services could provide the catalyst for the next round of exponential improvements in the VR user’s experience.

2015 – Ilan

I believe my first VR experience was using the Samsung Gear VR looking around a hotel. I definitely liked the stereo effects because it’s not flat, and you can clearly see distance and depth — it’s more than a picture. It’s using real-world units to judge how to scale something that would look real in our reality whereas a normal picture gives no sense of scale.


I never expected the industry to blow up like this. We mostly work with 3 degrees of freedom, and since our platform is mostly made for mobile VR, the quality of the experience only goes as far as your phone’s performance. Now, headsets are supporting 6 degrees of freedom, giving a greater and more immersive VR experience.


2014 – Dani

It was at the SIGGRAPH conference in 2014 where they set up a contraption that would simulate flying like a bird. The experience was absolutely incredible. I literally felt like I was flying, especially with the added fan blowing in my hair giving a greater immersive effect. I’m amazed at how far VR has come. I knew that VR wasn’t a new thing, but I didn’t know how the industry was going to progress. I really thought VR would only be used in gaming, not training, visualizations, and what we do at Yulio.



The headsets are getting smaller and smaller. Previously, the cables were so heavy that the VR experience required an extra person holding a cable behind the person in the headset. Plus, the headset required a lot of space, often taking up a whole room for the experience. With the headsets available now, the industry has really improved the accessibility of the headsets as well as what is required of the person wanting to use the technology.


2014 – Geoffrey

I first experienced VR at a student showcase at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Students would show off their projects in VR, and I was walking through the booths trying the headsets out. I believe the headset was the Oculus Rift DK1. Although it was really cool, it was a nauseating experience.


I would say the most notable advancement is the release of the Oculus Quest. It’s a more mainstream headset, and you can set it up anywhere just like the Nintendo Switch. The headset doesn’t require any external sensors, and it’s at a relatively affordable price.


2013 – Kan

Ian brought a VR rig to the office, and I experienced a dinosaur screaming and chasing me — it was amazing! The quality, of course, isn’t as good as what we have today. However, at the time, it was a whole new world and was really awesome. The experience made you feel like you were actually there.


I feel like the tracking technology has come a long way. We now have really advanced head and eye tracking, allowing users to have a very immersive experience. I also heard that what’s next on the tracking horizon is finger tracking! There is still a ways to go, but there are definitely a lot of improvements in VR.

2002 – Steven

I first experienced VR at a video game arcade where they had a giant rig that you got strapped into. It was definitely an amazing experience since it was a brand new concept that I’ve never seen before. The graphics at the time were pretty low quality, even by the standard back then for video games. On top of that, the headset itself was quite clunky, and since it was tethered, your movements were pretty restricted due to the cable. Plus, it was kind of a strange experience since everyone was looking at the guy strapped into a huge machine.


The biggest change in the industry has definitely got to be the tie between mobility and accessibility. You have machines like the Oculus Go and Quest where you can pick up the headset at any electronic store for a reasonable price. The feature that is especially useful for me is that you can take the headsets around anywhere. This opens so many doors in terms of how you can get your content out and share it with others. It’s definitely beneficial for sales people as you don’t need to worry about carrying a bunch of equipment like if it was a tethered experience.


1999 – Christine

My first VR experience was at Disney World in their “Technology of the Future” exhibit in EPCOT. I remember it was an hour-long lineup, but it was definitely a super cool experience, kind of like a  TRON environment. I remember the headset was like a giant helmet in a protected circle area, and the experience required 2-3 staff to support the individual user.


 

Today, VR is much more practical where you can slip on a Homido on your phone to access your VR project. It’s been getting easier to adopt VR into business. Back then, VR experiences were mostly centred around fantasy or experiencing something you never could, like visiting the moon. Now, it’s about experiencing something you can see in a picture.  VR has the potential to be a major disruptor in numerous industries like architecture, interior design, and retail to name a few.

1997 – Ian

The first experience I had with VR was the first generation of microdisplays and head tracking, most of which was the very early head mounted tracking display prototypes that never made it to the mass market. Although it was pretty rudimentary, it was indicative of direction VR will take in the future. You saw there was a lot of potential, however, it wasn’t advanced enough to convincingly and completely displace you into another environment.


Accessibility is absolutely the biggest groundbreaker. The early prototypes were millions of dollars to build, which meant that it was prohibitively for the Enterprise R&D class. The Quest and Rift S for going, what, $400? That’s a lot of people’s monthly coffee bill! However, it’s also important to note that hardware without content is nothing. There is a growing ecosystem of inexpensive and accessible camera-based capture, with a high-quality stereoscopic image starting at $420 (previously you’d be looking at $6,000). Content and hardware is absolutely the biggest aspect of blowing up the market.


1996 – Lev

My first VR experience was back in 1996, and I found it was a really awesome idea, but I also expected it to suck. At the time, the quality was at 300×200 per eye, plus you can only rotate and move your head so much. The first experience definitely made me feel nauseous and I couldn’t stay on the rig for very long.


VR has definitely come a long way, but there is still a long way to go. Previously, there was no eye adjustment, which meant you would have to place the headset on your head just right for a mediocre VR experience. Now the headsets are very advanced, and you don’t need to do any external adjustments for a high-quality experience. Although this generation of headsets (referring to the Quest an Rift S) are alright, I’m really excited for the next line of headsets to come.


Were you surprised by who first experienced VR at Yulio? Tell us when you first experienced VR and the biggest improvements you’ve seen to the technology over our social media platforms! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin! For more information on how to integrate VR into your business for maximum ROI, check out our Whitepaper.

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Business, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality has been successful in delivering immersive experiences to an audience bored with brochures, catalogs, and flyers. This is increasingly important for the current generation of consumers who are content-saturated 21st century Millennial and GenZ members. The most successful companies are transitioning from material objects to experiences.  As a result, businesses have started to incorporate advanced experiential technologies like VR to create a whole new way of interacting with their brand. Consequently, VR in retail is gaining significant traction – engaging customers, and driving sales.

How Could VR Enhance My Business?

1. Deepen Client Engagement. Giving customers the opportunity to connect with your products in VR allows them to envision using them in their own life and build an emotional connection with what you’re selling. This not only encourages greater brand awareness and rates of retention but makes for an overall memorable experience with your company. This could be a small but crucial step in generating trial and inserting your products into the lifestyles of your customers.  

2. Try Before you Buy. In today’s market, online reviews can make or break your product – making accuracy crucial in maintaining and growing your client base. Unlike a 2D digital file, by integrating VR into your consumer-product relationship you allow potential clients to interact with the product before buying. VR consumer-product interaction removes the limitations imposed by traditional online profiles and reduces the likelihood of an unsatisfied customer. Your customers are always looking for the product that answers any barriers or inconveniences they may be facing. However, in that search, understanding a product’s specifications and qualities can be difficult when you’re not seeing it in person. Viewing the product in VR may be a simple solution to this situation. Using VR, your shopper can now pick up the product, look at it and review a pop up of all the item’s information. As a result, not only are your customer’s questions answered, but they were also able to connect with the item.  

3. Make Shopping Fun Again. VR is an interactive and enjoyable medium to inform and entertain your customers. Whether you’re looking for a new way to attract prospects or to captivate those already in your store, VR offers new experiences. Enhance your customer’s experience with your brand and make shopping about more than consumption and offer experiences.

“Virtual reality is developing fast and in five to ten years it will be an integrated part of people’s lives. We see that it will play a major role in the future, for instance it could be used to enable people to try out a variety of home furnishing solutions before buying them”

Jesper Brodin, IKEA Range & Supply Manager

Virtual Reality in Retail – Use Cases

The current landscape of VR in retail is extremely diverse, and it’s especially exciting to see all the creative approaches businesses have chosen to integrate the technology into their workflow. Some of the biggest names in retail have jumped head first into the VR pool. Let’s explore how TOMS Shoes and Audi have uniquely integrated VR into their workflow.

TOMS Shoes
In recent years, TOMS Shoes released a short film called “Experience the TOMS Virtual Giving Trip”. Viewers joined the TOMS team in Peru and met some of the children that have been directly impacted by their One for One program. The film allows the viewer to enter into the experience of the distribution trip. By showing the viewer to the reality of their impact, VR allowed the viewer to emotionally connect with the companies campaign and – most importantly- their product.



 

This isn’t the only time that TOMS Shoes invested in a VR experience to communicate their company’s mission. The following year, they teamed up with AT&T to release “A Walk in Their Shoes”, another short film that brought the viewer to a couple of cities in Colombia. TOMS Shoes set up VR stations with the promo video in 100 of their stores, providing their customers with a brand new experience. The video reached over 700,000 views on YouTube, increasing their brand awareness and providing evidence of the impact of their mission to their current clients. TOMS Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie found the VR experience so successful that he hopes to make 5 more films in different locations to share more of their humanitarian story.

“VR is the greatest technology I’ve seen to create empathy… It’s amazing when people experience and see things first-hand. We know this because we’ve seen it when we take people on giving trips over the years. Obviously that’s not scalable, but a VR experience is infinitely scalable.”

Blake Mycoskie, retrieved from: https://www.fastcompany.com/3059526/why-toms-shoes-and-att-are-taking-a-virtual-reality-trip-to-colombia


Audi
Audi German automobile manufacturer giant Audi is a great example of personalizing VR to fit the company. Audi has primarily incorporated VR in their showrooms, allowing their customers to completely customize their car virtually. When strapped into the VR headset, customers are immersed in an extremely realistic and detailed experienced the configured car. By adding a VR element to their arsenal, dealers are now able to showcase the full line of Audi models and all the customization options with ease. In addition, the customer has the option to see their car in different environments, times of day, and light conditions.



“As part of Audi’s comprehensive initiative for digital innovation at dealerships, the VR experience is completely integrated into the brand’s IT system.”
Audi MediaCenter


Audi’s VR experience has proven to be an effective tool to help dealers communicate with their clients. Interested buyers can now configure their vehicle down to the smallest of details in VR. Previously, the most common practice of showing their line’s variety or custom options would be to flip through swatches in a pamphlet. Although this method gives an indication of what the finished product may look like, an impression of a potential product cannot be compared to the experience of reality. With VR, the client sees exactly what they will be getting. With viewing the variants in virtual reality, customers not only have the opportunity to interact with the custom product but to build confidence in their purchase. Audi has been incredibly successful in providing support and engaging with their customers by using VR.

Moving Forward

The retail industry is steadily increasing its use of advanced digital technology as the demand for an immersive purchasing experience increases. 70% of customers are interested in using VR when shopping- a statistic that suggests the expectation that VR is the future of retail. TOMS Shoes and Audi are just a few examples that have creatively and uniquely incorporated VR in retail. Whether it be creating a 360 video experience or a new and refreshing way to present your products, VR has the power to adapt into your company’s workflow where you need it. Bring back the fun in shopping, and begin to engage with your customers like never before.  It’s time to give the people what they want.


Here at Yulio, we strive for excellence in performance and integrity when it comes to our product, and customer service. To learn more about how VR can enhance your business workflow, sign up for our FREE 5-day email course. For more tips and considerations on the right way to integrate VR into your business, check out our Whitepaper.

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Business, Employee Highlight, Lifestyle, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

Welcome to our Yulio VR Employee Highlight Reel where we introduce to you to an on the team – and the people whose ideas and sense of how VR and AR should work have shaped Yulio from the ground up.


The Yulio VR expert team are working in roles that for the most part didn’t exist 5+ years ago, the VR job market was pretty minuscule. So the variety of experiences that led people here have created both expertise and variety in our team. And our history may lead you to the perfect VR job.


In this week’s Yulio VR Employee Highlight Reel, we are sitting down with our resident Pictionary Queen and Director of Marketing, Christine (Chris) Bellefontaine! As the head of marketing, Chris’s main role is to introduce Yulio to you in the most seamless way, and support you on your journey to being the VR champion of your firm. With her knack for creative solutions and continual commitment to putting clients first, Chris is successful in spreading the word about Yulio and its capabilities to numerous industries. She firmly believes that VR is the future of business and will take your portfolio, presentations, and partnerships to the next level. Chris is an integral pillar to Yulio and we are very fortunate to have her as one of our core leaders.


So, Chris, tell me a bit about yourself.

Well, let’s see…among the Yulio crowd I’m a bit of the ‘wise old person’. I grew up in a small 500-person village and when I graduated high school I knew I wanted to go away to school. I studied communications and media at Queen’s University in Kingston and have turned that into a 20-year career spanning traditional and digital marketing. In my different roles, I have learned that I love working with small teams and what kinds of coworkers I like to surround myself with. In my spare time, I’m a mom of two young sons and that means I use my ‘management skills’ at home a lot too, for such critical disputes as “who was sitting there first”.


How did you find Yulio?

Actually, Yulio was on my radar for quite a while before I joined. I worked with Yulio’s CPO, Ian Hall, back in the early-2000s at another company (ironically we were trying to get them to transition from print-based products to web-based). Ian had been telling me about his early user testing in VR and what was going on with Yulio for a while and I always thought it sounded really interesting. As we had gone our separate ways I went through a role at Google Toronto, then working with Search Engine People, a digital agency but I wasn’t sure agency life was for me. Then in late 2016 I got a call telling me that Yulio was ready to focus more on marketing and driving use – I signed up right away as the Director of Marketing.


Tell me a bit about your role at Yulio

I think of marketing as responsible for letting the world know about this amazing product we have – and we do that with all kinds of tools and channels. I head up a 4 person team who focus on different areas from our digital presence to customer success after people have signed up, and everything in between. But I also think of marketing as a bit of an internal consultant for the company. We have a focus on product marketing and thinking about the problems Yulio can solve for design and architecture customers, and the features they will most use in their everyday business. We also work with the business development team to come up with the right solutions, training and case studies to spark the imagination of our customers….then we get to sit back and watch them use Yulio in great new ways.


Tell me a bit about your first experience with VR?

It was at Walt Disney World in 1999 (I told you, I’m the ‘old’ person). They were demonstrating a heavy tethered helmet somewhere in Epcot – the exhibit was about technologies of the future. It was so popular I waited nearly an hour to try it out. I don’t fully remember what the experience was – basically moving around a futuristic TRON type environment – you could reach for doors and things like that. It made me a bit nauseous but I still thought it was really cool. Fast forward to my interview with Ian for the Yulio gig – he made me shoot some zombies in VR and it was terrifying – inevitably, one ate the back of my head because I forgot to turn around.


If you got to dream up any VR experience and immerse yourself into it, what would you choose?

I love the idea of VR for travel – for those who are limited by either finances or mobility – to get to be immersed in the amazing places in the world. I’d probably build a multi-stop tour of the world’s great buildings like the Eiffel Tower and the Vatican and get to explore the sites over many days, just continuing my tour whenever I have time. It’s all the more relevant with the sad news about the fire destroying the spire at Notre Dame Cathedral lately – I think VR is a way of preserving our world in a more immersive way than photos could ever achieve. And of giving access to behind the scenes areas that you can’t have thousands of tourists traipsing through.


Outside of your VR job, what are your hobbies?

I still love going to movies in theatres – I like making it more of a formal experience than watching something at home, so I do that as often as I can. I write a few articles every month for Medium to flex my creative brain. And I spend as much time as I can at my parents’ farm – I help them with gardening and get the benefit of home-grown produce later in the year. And we get pretty competitive at my place for board games with my sons.


What’s your favorite Friday afternoon office game that we’ve played?

I am the Pictionary queen (at least in my own mind) whether it’s drawing or guessing, I get very competitive on that one. I also love our STEM activities like the egg-drop challenge. I was pretty proud when marketing humiliated development on gingerbread house building. And while I have a bit of a reputation for a win streak that I’d like to maintain – I sincerely just think getting together and socializing with the whole Yulio team is really valuable and contributes a lot to our sense of team. I’ve learned over my career that it’s not so much what you’re doing every day, but who you are doing it with that makes or breaks a workplace culture.



We’d like to say a big thanks to Chris for taking the time to sit with us for a little Q&A about herself! Stay tuned for some more interviews with the staff that power Yulio, and discover how we’re all learning more every day about our VR job!


If you want to learn more about the VR/AR industry, and things to consider when you’re looking into VR solutions, then sign up for our FREE 5-day email course to get up-to-speed with VR. Want to try Yulio for yourself? Sign up for a free 30-day trial with full access to our feature set!

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Architecture, Business, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality (VR) is a piece of advanced technology that has recently become popular across various industries. Although the tech is most commonly associated with the entertainment industry, VR’s flexibility and adaptability have been successful in Enterprise too. From real estate to hospitality, the opportunities for applying VR into your workflow are endless. One such industry that has been greatly affected by VR is the architecture industry.


For those in architecture, being able to visualize a design is one of the most crucial steps in the design process. VR has become an asset in architecture, allowing designers to step into their design and see their vision with clarity. By having a greater understanding of scale, proportion, and texture, using VR in architecture has become a viable business solution.


However, VR is a powerful and adaptable tool that does not only enhance your internal design process. This technology also has the ability to transform all external interactions you may have with your clients.


Create a Perfect Understanding

Diamond Schmitt Architects (DSAI) had recently partnered with Ingenium, Canada’s Museum of Science and Innovation to design an adjacent building to the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa. Designing the new building was a huge project, prompting DSAI to dabble with advanced tools that would help both the designers and clients understand the project better. The VR portion started off as a side project. However, it quickly progressed into an asset promoting better communication between DSAI and their client.


“Before VR, the client understood the concept, but didn’t feel the visceral connection. We noticed a much more emotional response once they viewed our design in VR, in contrast to an almost clinical approach when they looked at plans.”

Andrew Chung, Diamond Schmitt Architects


Using Virtual Reality in architecture allows you to create a perfect understanding between you and your client. Try and think from your client’s perspective. Your design team may be well acquainted with looking at a floorplan but your client may not be as familiar. With the ability to step into the design, your clients will be able to orient themselves with a better understanding of the space. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to carry on the conversation. Andrew found that “the client engaged in a dialogue with [them] much more frequently”. By showing rather than telling, effectively communicate with your clients with greater clarity, and generate more continuous conversation.


Actions Speak Louder than Words

Again, put yourself in your client’s shoes. When teaming up with an architecture firm for a project, what makes for an exceptional experience? What would convince you to not only seek their services in the future but also tell others about it? Sure, one key characteristic is clear communication. However, as a client, being heard and understood is another key component. Receiving timely and accurate changes based on the feedback submitted is arguably the most important for a client-to-business relationship. Not only does this show that you are attentive to your client’s vision, but it also shows that you are committed and active in the design process. Although this may be intuitive, it is always better to remember that when your clients see changes made based on their comments, your actions now become tangible to them.

Nowadays, VR has become even more advanced than ever before. As such, features like recording feedback while in the VR environment is now possible and available. Yulio’s newest feature, Project Markup, allows you to do just that. Launching a Collaborate session allows you to draw directly on your VR project to highlight edits and lets your clients see them applied in real time. By giving your clients the opportunity to see your comments, you show that you actively listening, engaged in the revision process, and committed to achieving their vision. 


Decide Easier, Better, and Quicker

Revisions take time, and the constant back and forth between client and designer is quite costly. However, with VR, you are now able to cut the number of meeting times significantly. There are two main ways that VR is a solution to this inconvenience:


Confidence and Trust

Similar to the previous point, showing your client that you have understood their vision is an important part of building a solid relationship between you and your client. Not only does this establish trust between both parties, but also confidence in your abilities on delivering their vision. The more your client has confidence in your skills, the more they will trust you in the decision making process. This will help both the client decide quicker, but also you as a designer receive the feedback needed in a timely manner.  As a result, both the client and designer greatly benefit.


Seeing is Believing

Being able to see a space with your eyes makes a huge difference. However, it may be more difficult for your client to understand your plan and give insightful feedback based on it.


“Architects and designers often forget they’ve been training for years to understand and interpret design drawings. There is a struggle in ensuring there’s a connection between what we conceive and what the clients perceive. Allowing spaces to be viewed in VR makes our process more streamlined.” – Alex Garrison, Gensler


Whether you are presenting different layout options or wanting your client’s opinion on a specific area, presenting it in VR could reduce the gap between designer and client. Get answers like “I don’t think this captures our vision” or “this is absolutely perfect” by showing your clients rather than just telling.


Experience the Benefits of a Deeper Client Relationship of Using VR in Architecture

So far, we have explored the benefits of implementing VR in architecture by fostering a greater connection with your clients. However, this process actually encourages a symbiotic relationship between both client and designer. As the client is receiving what they need from the designer, the designer is also being pushed out of their comfort zone and challenged to be the best designer they can be. With bigger and more unique projects coming your way, the various opportunities will stretch your repertoire, adding to your already existing and extensive skillset. Begin building a deeper connection with your clients, and set yourself from the others with VR.


Here at Yulio, we strive for excellence in performance and integrity when it comes to our product, and customer service. Want to hear more winning VR stories? Check out these case studies of companies successfully integrating VR into their business here. Check out our Whitepaper on the right way to integrate VR into your business for maximum ROI.

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Business, Culture, Industry News, Lifestyle, News and Updates, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

Apple is one of the largest tech companies in our global economy and their products greatly influence how the world uses technology. This revolutionary tech giant continues to lead the charge in innovation while staying true to simple design, including heavy investments in VR. Just last year, Apple became the world’s first public company to hit the $1 trillion valuation, beating their Silicon Valley rivals like Amazon and Microsoft. Apple seems to have the Midas touch as so many of their products have generated international uproar and overwhelming success.


On March 26, Apple did it again.


Apple hosted another one of their special events announcing a whole new range of products and upgrades, including a highly anticipated product: the Apple Card. Almost immediately, news outlets and social media pages were flooded with talk about the future release of the card. Set to be available this Summer, the Apple Card is a blending of the physical and virtual world, which will create even greater comfort in digital tech in daily life.

 

Why Does this Matter?

The main point of the Apple Card is to give people a greater sense of control over their banking and finances in a way that isn’t confusing through the use of technology. Apple’s shift towards going digital is part of a trend to changing objects we interact with on a daily basis into virtual concepts. Additionally, the product meets their clients where they’re at. With a focus on clarity and keeping it concise, Apple made a system that appeals to the masses, especially the younger generation.


Before we dive into how and why the Apple Card will be revolutionary, let us first explore what the product is.

What is the Apple Card?

The Apple Card is a credit card created by Apple in collaboration with Goldman Sachs and MasterCard, promising to give people greater sense of their banking and finances in a clear and simple way, chiefly through visualizing data and integration with daily life. Located in its Wallet app, the Apple Card will introduce clients to a new phase of going digital.


Transparency and Utilization: The Apple Card creatively utilizes their already existing apps in addition to new card features in a simple and innovative way. From showing where a particular transaction was made with Apple Maps to their newest slide feature that clearly communicates how much interest would be charged, all of the card’s features are geared towards generating greater transparency and understanding by presenting data in new more visual ways.


New Wave of Support: Instead of calling their support hotline and waiting who knows how long before an available representative picks up the phone, simply text in your question or a change you would like to make. Expect an answer to your question in a matter of minutes.


One aspect of the Apple Card that deserves an honourable mention and has garnered a lot of design attention is the physical copy of the digital card. Along with the Apple Card, you will receive a titanium laser etched physical card for places that don’t use Apple Pay. The sleek and creative design, we predict, could be just enough to convince those interested in the product to invest in it.

 

Why is the Apple Card Important to Tech Change?
  1. Reinventing the familiar in a whole new way

Rethinking a concept or design that we are perfectly acquainted with is difficult, yet Apple does it so seamlessly. Everything now will be done digitally, which includes applying for the card, making transactions, and seeking support. Some companies don’t have a 24/7 support line, and even when you try to call, you’re met with staying on hold for who knows how long. Apple has created a solution with its new system of 24/7 text support, further improving previous processes in a new and fresh way.

  1. Leaning into the Digital Transformation

The emergence of the Apple Card gives a lot of insight as to where we are heading into the next phase of digital transformation. This is a huge step made by one of the most prolific tech companies in the world to combine a physical process with a virtual one. Especially for those who are more skeptical about virtual technology, the Apple Card is a good stepping stone. Previously, banks issuing cards would hand over the physical copy first, and then provide supplementary online software to help you track your expenses and to view your eStatements. The Apple Card completely flips that process around by providing first the virtual copy then a supplementary physical version in case stores don’t have Apple Pay. Apple is becoming another player in harnessing the power of going virtual.


  1. Generational Shift

We have previously covered who the Gen Z population are and how virtual products and experiences could be key to winning this demographic. Apple has recognized that a large portion of their clientele is made up of the younger generation, like Gen Z and Millennials. Creating a product that appeals to this demographic is a brilliant step as the younger population are entering the workforce, and will soon become contributors to the wider economy.


It’s also important to note that Apple does a difficult thing really well: they listen to their audience. It’s no surprise that the Apple physical card is designed the way it is. The current style that is on trend with the younger generation is a minimalist and neutral palette, which is exactly what the card is. With following the change of design and people’s tastes, Apple’s product caters to the evergrowing population of Gen Z and Millennials. Following the same suit is key to ensuring business in the future with a demographic that will soon account for 40% of the US consumer spending.


Speculation

The Apple AR glasses are still officially just a theory, however, there is concrete evidence that they will be on the market soon. With the release of Apple’s virtual Apple Card, we’re really curious to see how Apple may tie these two ends together. Who knows, perhaps in the foreseeable future, all you would need to do to make a purchase is to simply look at an object. However, this is still just purely speculation. We are all excited to see Apple’s new Apple Card launch in the Summer, and how the release will shape people’s perception of going virtual.


Here at Yulio, we strive for excellence in performance and integrity when it comes to our product, and customer service. Check out our Whitepaper on the right way to integrate VR into your business for maximum ROI. To learn more about us and what we offer, please visit our page or take our product tour.

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Business, Employee Highlight, Lifestyle, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

Welcome to our Yulio VR Employee Highlight Reel where we introduce to you to an on the team – and the people whose ideas and sense of how VR and AR should work have shaped Yulio from the ground up.


The Yulio VR expert team are working in roles that for the most part didn’t exist 5+ years ago, the VR job market was pretty minuscule. So the variety of experiences that led people here have created both expertise and variety in our team. And our history may lead you to the perfect VR job.


In this weeks’ Yulio VR Employee Highlight Reel – we are sitting down with another member of our exceptional development team — Geoffrey Mok! Geoffrey is our Graphics Programmer who works tirelessly in making sure our mobile VR app works seamlessly in supporting numerous VR headsets. On top of that, Geoffrey works behind-the-scenes in exploring and prototyping the latest trends in technology, which includes AR/VR headsets and the newest in graphics. His work with the app is vital to Yulio and to our users as it ensures our promise and your convenience in having a mobile portfolio with you on your device. Although there are certain technological barriers with the development of the native VR apps, Geoffrey is skilled with navigating through the limitations without compromising quality.




 

So, Geoffrey, tell me a bit about yourself.

I went to the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology – specializing in game development and entrepreneurship; graduating with the highest distinction.

 

Prior to this I attended Seneca College for a diploma in Computer Programming and did two co-op work terms. I wasn’t exactly passionate about web or databases. Feeling a bit jaded, I did a bit of self-reflection on what course I enjoyed the most. It was game programming – which I found both fun and challenging. With this, I decide on further education at UOIT.

 

Down the road, I learned a lot about graphics programming and for my final year I was part of a capstone project involving the use of combining Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality for the purpose of streamlining pre-production in filmmaking.

 

How did you find Yulio?

Fresh on the coattails of graduating and in between looking for a job, my capstone team was offered one last mission – to participate in the Oculus mobile VR jam and develop an experience for the new Gear VR headset. With only a short timeframe we were tasked with porting parts of our capstone project into a cohesive mobile experience. It was a hectic struggle that ultimately failed due to a lack of testing hardware. Overall, the experience was thrilling and kindled an interest in VR.

 

With the conclusion fresh in my mind, I wanted to leverage what I’ve learned and looked for a job involving VR. That’s when I joined KiSP were I worked on mobile VR prototypes, and with the formation of Yulio I hopped on board to develop the mobile VR viewer app.

 

Tell me a bit about your role at Yulio

My role at Yulio is focused on the development of the native VR apps; which involves supporting the popular mobile VR headsets such as Cardboard, Daydream, Gear VR and Oculus Go.  It certainly can be challenging at times; balancing quality and performance taking into consideration of mobile hardware limitations.

 

Behind the scenes, I develop various prototype features and experiment with the latest technological trends, from AR to new VR headsets, to the latest in graphics. Not everything winds ups being a viable product, but the process is a learning experience and as technology advances, old prototypes may suddenly become practical.

 

Tell me a bit about your first experience with VR?

At a convention showcasing student projects, it was on the Oculus DK1 – Which was a prototype headset intended for developers; this was well before Oculus Rift was commercially released. Let’s say it was a rough experience, it very quickly induced nausea after a few minutes of use, I was however excited about its future potential.

 

If you got to dream up any VR experience and immerse yourself into it, what would you choose?

As I’ve played through countless VR experiences, I’ve had the joy of witnessing the growth and ever-changing ideas in the industry; the birth of new innovations in design & user experience. However, there is yet to be a true “killer app” that many of us have been waiting for; an experience that would act as the flagship title that would draw in mainstream users.

 

There has been many cool demos and applications created over the years, but most end up being one-off short demos or end up being a one-trick pony with little depth. With this in mind the perfect VR experience, in my opinion, would be a fully fleshed out roleplaying game built from the ground up for VR, borrowing all the advances and innovations in locomotion, combat, and immersion, and gluing it all together with a compelling narrative.

 

Outside of your VR job, what are your hobbies?

I enjoy video games in and out of VR as well as watching TV and movies, along with listening to podcasts. When I’m feeling ambitious, I chip away on personal projects such as 3d printing, papercraft and developing a game.

 

What’s your favorite Friday afternoon office game that we’ve played?

It’s a tie between Telestrations and Pictionary. I enjoy the creative and challenging aspects of drawing and guessing. Plus it’s always fun to witness other people’s creative talents and reactions.


We’d like to say a big thanks to Geoffrey for taking the time to sit with us for a little Q&A about himself! Stay tuned for some more interviews with the staff that power Yulio, and discover how we’re all learning more every day about our VR job!


If you want to learn more about the VR/AR industry, and things to consider when you’re looking into VR solutions, then sign up for our FREE 5-day email course to get up-to-speed with VR. Want to try Yulio for yourself? Sign up for a free 30-day trial with full access to our feature set!

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Business, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

One of the most important aspects when creating a VR project is the quality of the content being created. In this day and age, making a stunning VR project has gotten more accessible than ever before. Numerous companies like Visualization Services are appearing all over the world, adding to the readily available supply and demand for 3D rendering services. Due to the demand for 3D designers and the emergence of advanced technologies, VR content creation is simple and convenient. We have also previously posted a blog post tackling the question:  is it better to outsource or hire someone in-house to do 3D renderings? Regardless of which mode you chose to go with, you have now ended up with a beautiful 3D image.


However, now that you have got your content, what should you do with it now?





Enhance your Projects to a Whole New Level

VR is a revolutionary and disruptive tool that is the next phase in visual storytelling. Although your project may technically be complete with a 3D image if you had the option to go the extra mile, why wouldn’t you? Although the VR experience in itself is impressive and memorable, provide the ultimate experience by further enhancing your projects. Many may write-off this step since it may be seen as useless and/or extra work. That cannot be further from the truth. Enhancing your project is valuable in helping:


  • Share added useful information
  • Create a lasting experience with your clients
  • Impress your clients with your forethinking of their potential concerns/questions
  • Show your added investment of time in creating a comprehensive VR experience
  • Put your best foot forward by taking all the steps available in creating an amazing VR experience

Now that we have covered the importance of enhancing your project, let’s take a deep dive in how to utilize Yulio’s features to help you create stunning an thorough VR content creation.


Hotspots

We currently have 3 different types of hotspots that you can choose from, each with its own unique way of boosting your project. With the latest in gaze and go technology, simply look at the hotspot to trigger the feature. As with all of the hotspots, provide additional spatial context by changing the depth of the target.


Audio Hotspots – The audio hotspot helps you control and create the ambience you want to set. Whether it be a regular day in the office or the calm sounds of wind blowing through the trees, audio hotspots will give an extra layer of immersion. In addition, allow the designer to have a conversation with the audience. Whether it be describing your specific design choices or giving specifications and details to a specific object, audio hotspots will be very useful to you.




Text Hotspots – Arguably, this hotspot is the most used and beloved one of them all. This feature is extremely versatile, allowing you to write out certain design choices, or providing more information about a particular object in your project. Forsee certain questions or concerns your clients may have and address them directly on your VR project.


Tip: You can use text hotspots to share information about products with difficult to pronounce names. Audio hotspots are useful for creating a dialogue between designer and audience, however, some foreign names may blow past over someone’s head. Provide more clarity by adding text hotspots in conjunction with audio hotspots.


Image Hotspots – It’s always useful to provide different options and alternatives to a particular product or certain configurations. However, it can be quite distracting clicking in an out of a VR project to show the different choices. To combat this issue, upload all of the possible alternatives as image hotspots on your VR project. By doing so, reinforce a degree of professionalism and decrease the possibility of distractions.


Color Customization – Unlike the other three hotspot features, color customization is not as big nor exciting however is definitely worth mentioning. Many of our users requested the ability to change the color of the hotspot to reduce the likelihood of their details being lost in the background. As such, it proves to be useful in creating enough contrast for your clients to notice and trigger the particular hotspot.


Floorplan

Now that you have added hotspots into your VR presentation, upload an image of the floor plan to allow your clients to navigate through your design with ease. This feature is particularly useful, especially when navigating through large spaces with many scenes. The floorplan feature is presented in a “doll-house” view, which means a 2D bird’s eye view of the whole space. It can be especially inconvenient navigating scene by scene for the particular one you were looking for. Now, there is flexibility in jumping around scene to scene to present more effectively and without disrupting your flow.




Default Starting View

Although it may seem like a small feature, setting your default starting view is extremely important. First impressions are everything and starting your presentation facing a random corner is not impressive whatsoever. Previously, you would need to set up the camera angle perfectly before rendering the scene in a CAD program. However, if you wanted the angle shifted an inch to the left, that would not be possible. Now, there is greater flexibility with our custom starting view. Set your “money shot” as the first thing your client sees and start your project off on the right foot.


Enhancement is Key

VR is the newest and best tool for visual storytelling, however, you can make the experience even better by adding extra layers to tell your story more effectively. We have made our features for the purpose of helping you enhance your VR content with ease. Add in more specifications to cater your project to your audience and make a memorable VR experience.


Here at Yulio, we strive for excellence in performance and integrity when it comes to our product, and customer service.  Need more assistance with your account? Visit our knowledge base for step-by-step tutorials on all of the features listed and more. Get in touch with us to schedule a training webinar for a full walkthrough of Yulio here.

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Business, Culture, Industry News, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

The past couple decades welcomed a new cohort that is drastically different from their predecessors — Generation Z. You may have heard this term thrown around a lot, but do we really know who the Gen Z consumers are?


Who are Gen Z Consumers?

Born between mid-1990s to early 2000s, Gen Z is the generation after Gen Y, also known as the Millenials. As they are considered the first true “digitally native” generation, the Gen Z cohort has not experienced life without the internet or mobile devices. On average, a Gen Z individual receives their first mobile phone around the age of 10, and spend at least 3 hours a day on their device. As many Gen Z children’s have parents have smartphones and tablets, how they play or entertain themselves has changed. Terms like “screen time” and “tablet time” have started to appear in many of Gen Z’s parents’ vocabulary, alluding to the newest forms of play. As such, the constant direct exposure to advanced technology has made the newest generation the most technologically fluent group thus far. Other nicknames for this cohort include iGeneration, which comes from the boom of Apple “i” products, and Gen Z’s close relationship with technology. Growing up in a hyper-connected world, the Gen Z cohort is more in tune culturally, socio-economically, and environmentally than their preceding generations.



Gen Z Market Influence

As some Gen Z individuals are reaching the age of 23, many from this cohort will be entering the workforce and beginning to contribute to the wider economy. It has become increasingly important to understand what impacts their spending patterns as they have huge market influence. To put it into perspective, by 2020 the Gen Z cohort will make up 40% of the US consumer spending. This statistic is significant as they will shortly take the spot of being the largest group of consumers worldwide. With their acute knowledge of technology, Gen Z consumers pay extra attention to what story a brand is telling, and their authenticity in doing so. As a result, they are quick to leave or build a brand relationship if it aligns with their values, tapping into their proficiency in intuition.


Additionally, Gen Z individuals also have direct influence with those from previous generation cohorts. A 2016 study conducted by HRC Advisory found that the Gen Z age group is influencing what their parents buy. Both children and their parents are in agreeance that there is significant influence from the child on purchase decisions. Between parents that are 21-41 to 42+ years old, an average of 84% say that their children have some influence on their buying decisions in regards to clothing. On the flip side, 93% of children (aged 10-17 years) report feeling they have some sway on their parent’s clothing purchases amongst other categories. With this much market influence with their immediate circles and the wider economy, the Gen Z population are to be taken seriously.



The Experience-Driven Generation

The Gen Z cohort and their buying patterns can be summed up as the experience-driven generation. Unlike the previous generations, Gen Z consumers seek more experiences rather than a material item. Due to their upbringing with technology, they are digitally literate and always connected. As such, they look to invest in experiences that foster meaningful connections rather than an inanimate item. Additionally, Gen Z individuals possess more entrepreneurial characteristics and are fearless self-starters. This is a crucial part in trying to understand this generation, as they continue to seek the next best thing. As the Gen Z age group may be the more entrepreneurial generation ever, they are always on the lookout for businesses who are adapting to the market just like they are.


Another aspect of the experience-driven generation is that they are a part of a cyclical pattern on influence. The Gen Z population is influenced by their peers, which cycles around as their peers are also influenced by them. 61% of Gen Z consider their social circles the most influential in their purchases. This trumps media influencers like bloggers and YouTubers (13%), athletes (14%), and celebrities (~7%) combined. Whatever Gen Z’s friends try, endorse, or share on their social media pages will make a greater impact on others in the same cohort. Catering to this leading demographic will unlock endless possibilities for your business.



VR is the Answer to Winning Gen Z Consumers

So how would you convince Gen Z consumers to build a brand relationship with you? The answer is simple: Virtual Reality. VR is the business solution that will help draw this younger crowd in as it speaks to their desires directly.


Next Frontier for Authentic Experiences – Immersing a Gen Z consumer not only will encourage the positive “wow” reaction, but it allows them to have a perfect understanding of your story. VR is a powerful storytelling tool, connecting the author and audience in a way without any risk of misinterpretation. As Gen Z consumers continue to seek genuine encounters, VR will be the precise tool you need.


Building an Emotional Connection – We have previously covered that our senses play an integral role in emotional processing. As VR is a completely immersive experience, allowing Gen Z consumers to interact with your brand like never before. Since the Gen Z population are particularly interested in being connected, VR is the perfect tool for this nuanced group that appreciates and is passionate about meaningful experiences.


Free Publicity – As the Gen Z population is exceptionally engaged with digital social platforms, they are more likely to share impressive experiences on their social media. In addition, since all of their other Gen Z friends are also connected online, them sharing a post will be seen by hundreds, if not thousands, of people. As you can imagine, this becomes really handy for businesses. The term “viral” has become more common nowadays and is incredibly useful for brand awareness.


Your Target Audience has Changed, Have You?

Our technology is everchanging and continually has the drive an momentum to be bigger and better. There was a point in our lives where we though websites or smartphones had no place in our society. However, as a whole, we all have become more digitally literate to keep up with the times. If you’re in the market to attract the newest audience of consumers, it’s time to look into investing in the wants and needs of the evergrowing Gen Z cohort.


Here at Yulio, we strive for excellence in performance and integrity when it comes to our product, and customer service. To try our program for yourself, sign up for our free 30-day trial (no strings attached). To learn more about how VR can enhance your business workflow, sign up for our FREE 5-day email course.

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Business, Employee Highlight, Lifestyle, Your Business + Virtual Reality

Welcome to our Yulio VR Employee Highlight Reel where we introduce to you to an on the team – and the people whose ideas and sense of how VR and AR should work have shaped Yulio from the ground up.

 

The Yulio VR expert team are working in roles that for the most part didn’t exist 5+ years ago, the VR job market was pretty minuscule. So the variety of experiences that led people here have created both expertise and variety in our team. And our history may lead you to the perfect VR job.


This week, we’re sitting down with someone who has been with Yulio even before Yulio was a company — Dani Spiroska! As the head of Quality Assurance, Dani tests all of our new features and web updates, making sure Yulio works seamlessly with our pre-existing features and on all platforms, VR headsets, and mobile devices. Being our “last line of defense”, her work is absolutely crucial to our team and your experience with Yulio. As she digs through all our use cases and devices, Dani ensures that all of you have the best user experience possible. Thanks to her detail-oriented and patient personality, Dani is successful in executing her role to the highest degree.

 

So, Dani tell me a bit about yourself.

I have a degree in Mathematics from the University of Waterloo.  Initially, I worked in the financial sector until I figured out I really didn’t enjoy finance and then went back to school for a second degree in Computer Science from UofT.  I enjoy getting into the smallest details, which is probably why I was drawn to quality assurance. I love the outdoors, I really love to run and have competed in over 70 races from 5k to full marathon.


How did you find Yulio?

I was involved in the earliest stages even before Yulio was officially a company – I got to test the very first VR prototypes that eventually formed the basis for the Yulio platform.


Tell me a bit about your role at Yulio

As the head of QA I am responsible for testing and test strategy.  That means I get to spend A LOT of time in every type of VR headset under the sun and work with the developers and business team to make sure we are launching the best experiences possible.


Tell me a bit about your first experience with VR?

I have been lucky to have access to every type of VR and AR headset since the introduction of the first Oculus Rift DK. I remember kneeling down in terror in the Brookhaven Experiment while the zombies swarmed me, and I vividly remember ‘flying’ at SIGGRAPH in the first generation of the ‘Birdly VR’ flight simulator.  Both times I remember telling myself “That was incredible, this is going to change the world!”


If you got to dream up any VR experience and immerse yourself into it, what would you choose?

I have tried just about every type of VR application and game out there, but the ones I really love are the ones that get me moving.  Games like BeatSaber and BoxVR are so much fun you don’t even realize you’re getting a workout until you run out of breath. I’m really looking forward to the next generation of VR exercise apps.


Outside of your VR job, what are your hobbies?

I love to make things.  A few years ago, my partner and I renovated our home from top to bottom and we did everything – design, carpentry, drywall, electrical, plumbing, even landscaping – I loved that when we were done we got to live in our creation.  Maybe that’s why I’m now an avid sewist – I love that I get to wear what I make.


What’s your favorite Friday afternoon office game that we’ve played?

I like Blind Pictionary, Yulio Feud, and pretty much  any game where I get to be on Chris’ team – her team usually wins 🙂



We’d like to say a big thanks to Dani for taking the time to sit with us for a little Q&A about herself! Stay tuned for some more interviews with Yulio VR’s employee, and discover how we’re all learning more every day about our VR job!


If you want to learn more about the VR/AR industry, and things to consider when you’re looking into VR solutions, then sign up for our FREE 5-day email course to get up-to-speed with VR. Want to try Yulio for yourself? Sign up for a free 30-day trial with full access to our feature set!

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Business, Culture, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

VR has quickly established its presence in today’s economy with numerous multi-billion dollar companies recognizing the technology’s value and potential. Many of these companies that have invested in VR have found themselves a part of one of America’s most recognized lists in the world: the Fortune 500 (F500). You may be asking yourself, “What is the Fortune 500, and why is this list of names so important?”.


The Fortune 500

“The Fortune 500” is an annual list that is published by those at Fortune; a multinational media publication focusing on all things business. For 64 years, the list has recognized and ranked the top 500 corporations in the United States by total revenue for their respective fiscal years. Both private and publicly held companies have the opportunity of being a part of Fortune’s 500.



“[The] 500 companies represent two-thirds of the U.S. GDP with 12.8 trillion in revenues, $1.0 trillion in profits, $21.6 trillion in market value, and employ 28.2 million people worldwide.”

Fortune 500, retrieved from here



It’s safe to say that those on the list are major market influencers that have a direct effect on America’s economy, let alone the world. Many of the companies listed are some of the most powerful and well-known corporations to date — whichever direction they move towards is worth exploring. With many F500 companies stepping into VR, it is time for the rest of the world to catch up.


Let’s examine 5 investments in VR from the top 50 of the Fortune 500, and how they have adopted the tec.


#1 Walmart

Walmart currently holds the #1 spot on the F500 list, with $500,343 million in revenue under its belt in its 2018 fiscal year. According to Fortune, Walmart has recently been cutting less efficient aspects of its business and allocating the saved resources to other areas of growth. One such area being invested in is their training programs with the application of VR.


Since mid-2018, Walmart has announced that they will be committing more resources to their training program and expanding other methods to better prepare their employees for success. As such, this revenue-powerhouse of a company has committed to shipping four VR headsets to every Walmart Supercenter, and two to every neighbourhood market and discount store. This translates to more than 17,000 Oculus Go headsets by the end of 2018. Around 4,700 US locations have received their VR headsets by now, but Walmart did not stop there. Walmart was already using VR in their 200 Academy training centers, immersing their future and current employees in simulated scenarios to better equip them in real life. Since then, they have updated and revamped their simulations, welcoming their newest addition: the Black Friday shopping simulator. Black Friday is one of the busiest and stressful times in retail, with floods of people looking for the deal they have been eyeing on for months. With using VR, Walmart is projected to train more than 1 million in-store employees, helping them to be more equipped and prepared for every situation.



#4 Apple

In 2018, Apple brought in $48 billion in net income, welcoming a 6% annual sales increase compared to their last fiscal year. They have solidified their #4 place on the F500 list with the introduction of three new iPhones, and the exciting development of facial-recognition technology. Apple dominates in being one-step ahead of others, prevailing in staying modern and intuitive, making it easy for all to use and enjoy their products.


Apple has been relatively secretive when it comes to VR. Comparatively, other big named tech giants like Microsoft, Sony, and Samsung have released their own versions of VR, while Apple has seemingly remained dormant releasing nothing related to the tech at all. However, this may not be the case for long. It is true that Apple has not released anything AR/VR related, yet. But, as we dug deeper into the Apple-VR situation in our most recent blog post, it is important to note that Apple has laid out the VR foundation and have started building upon it. Not only have they been researching into VR but have actually been doing so for decades. Keep an eye out in the next couple of years for Apple’s investments in VR and AR!


#10 General Motors

One of the companies that have been on the F500 list since the start is General Motors (GM). GM is America’s biggest carmaker, ranking at #10 in the most recent F500 list. In the last fiscal year, GM took in $157,311 million in revenue, heading into the direction of greater strategic refocus. Although GM experienced a 5.5% drop in annual revenue, with a recalibrated sense of direction they hope to catch up for a bigger and better year.


GM has been dabbling with VR for some time, as well as its close sisters AR (augmented reality) and MR (mixed reality). Dating back to 2014, Chevrolet (owned by GM) had dipped their toes by using VR to preview prototypes of products before ordering the physical copies. This process allowed for a much less expensive production process, allowing for a wiser allocation of resources. Two years later, GM had started using VR to help finalize designs for their upcoming vehicles, allowing for greater flexibility and opportunity to perfect their product. Fast forward another two years, Cadillac offered a whole new phase of customer service by introducing its Cadillac Virtual Reality Experience. By giving their existing customers the opportunity to immersively browse through their catalogues, GM also achieved another goal by appealing to a wider audience. Following the success with their VR Cadillac showroom, we can anticipate that Chevrolet may follow the same pattern by providing another layer of excitement through experience.


Through the years, GM has proved to be a loyal and supportive company of VR and it’s powerful capabilities to bridge the gap and build a deeper connection with their audience.


#14 Cardinal Health

Back in 2017, Cardinal Health had a 10% loss in revenue due to a loss of a contract and shaky pricing on certain pharmaceuticals. However, in 2018, Cardinal Health bounced back, rising up by one rank to take the #14 spot. Cardinal Health’s revenue rose by 7% in the most recent fiscal year, coming in with $129,976 million in revenue.


Cardinal Health may be a pharmaceutical and medical products distributor, but they have also recognized that VR has become a viable tool to help them achieve their goals. This health care services company has written a number of informative substantial articles on the value of AR/VR in supporting the patient’s experience. One of their previous posts predicted that the healthcare system in 2017 will move towards a digital solution in order to “win patient business”. In addition, their other pieces have shared how this tech would reform a patient’s experience, as well as how it’s changing medical education for those practicing. Furthermore, their support for VR isn’t skin-deep. Back in 2018, Pulse Design Group announced its partnership with Cardinal Health using VR as a business solution to enhance its sales process.


As Steve Biegun writes:


“This exciting new tool is specifically designed to increase sales, shorten the sales cycle, and further position Cardinal Health as an innovative leader in the healthcare industry.”


Cardinal Health has secured its place in being a forward-thinking business, despite not being commonly associated with such technology. They will be a business you would want to keep an eye on.



#27 Boeing

As the world’s largest aerospace firm, Boeing is internationally known for their consistent drive for innovation, generating large amounts of revenue. They are currently sitting at #27 on Fortune’s list, bringing in $93,392 million in revenue. Although 2018 had been a tough year, Boeing is still boldly holding their ground, continuing to place themselves in the top 50 range in the Fortune 500 list.


With their keen passion for innovation, Boeing birthed Boeing HorizonX with the sole purpose of investing in the future. Through providing resources to businesses and entrepreneurs, they hope to discover the next big idea. Back in 2017, Boeing HorizonX invested in C360, a VR start-up with a focus on 360 videos. With this new found investment, Boeing HorizonX hopes that this partnership will allow them access to the latest in technological advancements, and bring them to their customers. In addition, their parent company has started to develop an AR/VR simulation to train its pilots. The market has seen a huge spike in demand for pilots, adding to the challenge of providing effective and efficient training. As such, Boeing has started to adopt digital solutions such as VR to help combat this area of friction. Through immersive simulations, pilots are now able to have far more profound training experience. Now, more than ever, pilots are able to equip themselves and learn from their mistakes without costly repercussions.


The Future of Business

Some of the biggest market influencers have started to recognize and adopt VR as a  piece of powerful technology. As we continue to embrace the digital transformation, it’s time we stepped into the future of business. Of course, the F500 companies may seize this opportunity at a much larger scale, and their way of adoption is much more costly comparatively. However, VR is more accessible today more than ever before. Our market is shifting, and we are transitioning into technology that is future-proof and provides an out-of-this-world experience. Large corporations have made the change — when will you?


Here at Yulio, we strive for excellence in performance and integrity when it comes to our product, and customer service. To learn more about how VR can enhance your business workflow, sign up for our FREE 5-day email course.  To try our program for yourself, sign up for our free 30-day trial (no strings attached).

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Business, Lifestyle, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

The past few years have welcomed a brand new wave of VR. 2016 was the start of mass widespread VR adoption, inspiring businesses to embrace the new tech and all that it offers them. Many F500 companies have turned to VR as a business solution, enhancing the efficiency and quality of their training programs and their marketing strategies. With the current trends in business and technology, a majority of consumers are expecting VR to be a part of their daily lives. From real estate to retail, VR has proven that it is a valuable business tool for all industries, fully capable of helping you achieve your goals.


Although there are many reasons why VR is a great business solution, at the end of the day, it can still seem like a really daunting piece of technology. We understand the skepticism, and it’s difficult to feel confident using what seems to be a useful tool when you aren’t all too familiar with it.


So what even is VR?

VR = Visual Storytelling

To put it simply, VR is a presentation tool that allows you the freedom and flexibility to tell your story. Any industry who is in the business of using visual storytelling can benefit greatly from using VR to do so. Whether it be showcasing a space you have curated for your client, to a potential workplace filled with your line of products, VR literally brings your concept to life and gives everyone the chance to step into your vision.


“[VR] is the first real massive leap forward in visual storytelling”
Ian Hall, CPO of Yulio Technologies (Retrieved from here)





How Can You Use VR in Furniture? 

The furniture industry, like those of A&D, rely heavily on visual storytelling, leading their clients to believe and invest in the concept painted. Besides giving the “wow” factor to a project, VR is a practical tool ridding many obstacles furniture dealers may face when trying to make a sell.

1. Say Goodbye to Translation Errors

As a furniture dealer, it can be a disappointing feeling when your clients say “I’m just not seeing it”. Sure it’s discouraging because they aren’t sold on what you’re selling them, but more importantly, there could have been a miscommunication of your vision. However, with using VR, there will no longer be a situation where your client cannot visualize your concept.


VR is the first medium to create a perfect understanding between the author and viewer, discouraging the possibility for any translation errors — what you are seeing will be exactly what they will see. Instead of showing your clients a floorplan of a room, or a possible configuration on paper or with samples, allow them to stand in your showroom and witness your vision. Not only will it be a more stimulating and memorable experience, but you can rest assured that what you envisioned for a space will be perfectly represented.

2. Showcase Your Products in Their Space in a Whole New Way

One of the many beauties of VR is the flexibility of showcasing a space that doesn’t exist yet. The gaming industry has masterfully utilized this awesome feature, immersing their audience into a whole other universe by providing an out-of-this-world experience. This same line of thinking can be applied to those in the commercial and office furniture business.


Access your virtual portfolio, and allow your clients to experience for themselves what your products would look like in their space. Using VR in furniture gives an individual the opportunity to get as close to “trying before buying” they will ever get. Immerse your clients, and give them the chance to get acquainted with your products and what you have envisioned for them. Furthering the point on flexibility, get your clients excited about the upcoming products that you will be releasing soon. Give an exciting and unforgettable sneak peek of what your newest design will look like.

3. Build an Emotional Connection

We use our senses to navigate the world we live in, and they have an integral role in emotional processing. As such, we humans build a lot of emotional associations towards certain events or objects. By translating the input we receive, we then interpret the emotional response along with the data. For example, if I hear the squeak of a rusty chair and I find it annoying or offputting, I’m less likely to use the said chair in the future. On the flip side, if I enjoy the sleekness construction of a certain sliding door, it sparks a positive response which increases how memorable the object was, and the likeliness of greater curiosity of the product.

This is definitely an area where using VR in the furniture industry can strengthen the connection.


Although logic plays a role when we make decisions, we frequently underestimate how big of a role emotions play in the process as well. By completely immersing your clients, they are now able to see as clear as day what your vision for their space can be like. VR, being a storytelling tool, gives you the freedom to simultaneously express what you would like your client to know about a particular piece and share your story. With the most realistic visual input aside from seeing it in person, VR nurtures an emotional connection between your concept and your client, giving the potential to establish a successful long-term business relationship, and for opportunities to increase commercial/office furniture sales.

4. Become More Strategic with your Resources

Building a variety of samples in different shades and colors takes time and resources, not to mention different variations of configurations in a space. What it takes to have a variety of options to show your clients can be costly, and those resources could be better allocated elsewhere.


With using VR in furniture, you have the ability to extensively build your portfolio, and easily bring it around at the convenience of your phone. Nowadays, it’s essentially the norm to carry a smartphone that has more technologically advanced capabilities than we could ever imagine. The ability to show your clients your vision in VR is easier than ever since many VR apps have gone mobile. All you need to do is open the app, slip on an inexpensive VR headpiece, and voilà! You have a portable portfolio, ready for all occasions to showcase your designs to your clients. Start carrying around your virtual showrooms to offer an extensive selection without burning a wider hole in your pocket.


5. Speed Up Your Sales Cycle

We understand that many variables and barriers arise in each sale and that the cycle can be a long and strenuous process. Clients may have a long list of questions or concerns about a certain product, and it can become time-consuming addressing each and every one of them. However, VR applications are powerful tools that you can use to help shorten that time up and get to “sold” quicker.


Here at Yulio, one of our most popular features are our variety of hotspots, allowing you to share information right within your VR presentation. Hotspots are there to enhance your project, and span from creating a more immersive ambiance, to providing specs of a product all in one place. Showcase your forward thinking to your clients by anticipating what their concerns may be, and addressing them whilst they are still in VR. Not only does this add to the overall experience, but it quickly answers any other questions your client may have that could hold up the sales cycle. Attract your clients and future potential clients to your dealership by providing an extra layer of customer service.

It’s safe to say that many features of VR will benefit furniture dealers and manufacturers, and it’s time to prepare for the future of this business. As the future continues to encroach upon us, important to continually stay relevant, and to hunger for bigger and more exciting change. We understand that it still may be daunting, but you will never know unless you have tried it out for yourself.


Here at Yulio, we strive for excellence in performance and integrity when it comes to our product, and customer service. To learn more about how VR can enhance your business workflow, sign up for our FREE 5-day email course.  To try our program for yourself, sign up for our free 30-day trial (no strings attached).

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Business, Culture, Industry News, Your Business + Virtual Reality

When thinking about virtual reality, the first thing that may pop into your head may be related to entertainment. The gaming industry is one of the biggest winning cases for VR, with VR tech companies like Oculus becoming synonymous with other big name consuls like Playstation or Xbox. It’s no surprise that there is significant demand, as VR unlocks the opportunity to take a step further into your screen, and into another world. But that makes the power of VR incredibly versatile and its power exceeds just a single industry.




VR has started to become a revolutionary presentation tool, with B-to-B businesses recognizing its potential and value. Industries like real estate rely solely on a client being able to picture the vision of their potential home. Agents have been able to experience greater flexibility by uploading a VR presentation of a particular property online. This not only saves on time and energy by filtering those who are actually interested in the property, but it also provides an added interactive experience, making your customer service more memorable. Additionally, VR has proved to be really useful for those in architecture and design. As being able to visualize a space is the foundation of the industry, VR fits perfectly into their workflow by allowing A&D individuals to step into their creation.

These two B-to-B industries are just a few examples of VR in Enterprise, however, many businesses that we least expect have started to join the current too.


Mining Industry

One the most unexpected industries that have been turning towards not just VR but also AR has been the mining industry. Arguably, mining is one of the most dangerous occupations known to man, with constant exposure to life-threatening accidents, and lifelong health hazards. Although there have been significant changes to decrease the mortality rate, greater strides in innovation are needed to further improve their working conditions. According to VR Vision, the mining industry has invested about 0.5% of their overall revenue into research and development over the past few years. This has led companies within the mining industry to create thorough training programs on proper safety precautions. Simulated Training Solutions, a South African company, created a VR blast wall for trainees to practice their skills in a safe environment. Instead of making very costly mistakes, areas of improvement are highlighted through markings in the simulation. The virtual simulations provide the extra layer of reality to a situation, yet an effective and low risk means of getting the necessary training. As such, miners will be more equipped to act quickly and safely during high-stress situations.




Furniture Dealers

As a furniture dealer, it could sometimes be challenging communicating your vision to your clients. On the flip side, from your client’s perspective, it can be hard visualizing that piece of furniture in a particular space. This is when VR steps in. VR has become a useful tool for both furniture dealers and their clients, providing a perfect understanding of what space would exactly look like. As VR can showcase something that doesn’t exist yet, the versatility of the technology can allow you to visit a fictional world, or, on a more practical side, envision what your workplace could look like. Additionally, using VR before investing in fully furnishing an office space is a cost-effective solution. VR allows you to try it before you buy it, discouraging the risk of needing to make costly revisions or redo’s. Moreover, furniture dealers can now provide their clients with the flexibility to review their designs in the convenience of their office, and at their own pace. Conversely, furniture dealers have the opportunity as well to allocate their resources more wisely instead of building multiple models for their clients. Although it may seem like this technology is ways away from where we are now, businesses have found success while using VR to accomplish their goals. If you’re curious about how this technology works with this industry, find out for yourself with this case study.




Therapy

VR therapy is quite an unconventional method that has gained more traction in recent years. One type of therapy that has been utilizing the immersive aspect of VR is exposure therapy. But what kind of method is exposure therapy?




“Exposure therapy targets behaviors that people engage in (most often avoidance) in response to situations or thoughts and memories that are viewed as frightening or anxiety-provoking”
– Matthew Tull, Ph.D. (retrieved from Very Well Mind)


It’s important to address the avoidance, as the behavior can cause greater consequences in the future by interfering with a person’s daily life. Virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET) is starting to be used to treat certain anxiety disorders, such as phobias and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD). VRET immerses an individual to come in simulated contact with their fears to allow them to confront them in a realistic yet controlled and safe environment. So far, VRET has been used to examine Vietnam War combat veterans, resulting in soldiers experiencing reduced PTSD symptoms. Hopefully, in the near future, VRET can be used to help all veterans that have served their country by providing them with much-needed support.

 

VR has moved far and beyond just being a fad, infiltrating many industries we would not commonly associate with it. It’s time to disassociate the technology with just entertainment and take VR in Enterprise seriously. As we are coming to the end of the first month of the new year, how do you envision VR effecting your life?


Here at Yulio, we strive for excellence in performance and integrity when it comes to our product, and customer service. To learn more about how VR can enhance your business workflow, sign up for our FREE 5-day email course. To try our program for yourself, sign up for our free 30-day trial (no strings attached).

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Business, Employee Highlight, Lifestyle, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

Welcome to our Yulio VR Employee Highlight Reel where we introduce to you to an on the team – and the people whose ideas and sense of how VR and AR should work have shaped Yulio from the ground up.

 

The Yulio VR expert team are working in roles that for the most part didn’t exist 5+ years ago, the VR job market was pretty minuscule. So the variety of experiences that led people here have created both expertise and variety in our team. And our history may lead you to the perfect VR job.


This week, we’re sitting down with one of our members on the development team — Lev Faynshteyn! Lev is the head of research and development, ensuring we continue to incorporate the newest in technology into Yulio. His role includes looking into the technologies of the future and figuring out how we can implement it into Yulio to answer to your needs. The work Lev does is absolutely vital to Yulio, as it upholds our promise to be future-proof, and our commitment to being the best VR presentation tool for business. His dedicated hours into research is how we can continue to push the boundaries of innovation.


So, Lev tell me a bit about yourself.

I was born in Russia and attended South Russia State Technical University where I did my bachelors of computer science. When I was completing my studies there, I did my thesis work in computer graphics, which got me interested in this field of work.


In 2002, I moved to Canada and worked in the security field for a few years. After a while, I got bored of it and I quit to pursue further studies in computer science at Ryerson University, specializing in computer graphics. At first, I was in the field of medical visualizations — fossil graphics. However, when I graduated and started looking for a job, one of the first companies I found was KiSP. Personally, I don’t like really big companies because you can get sucked into politics and control. I found KiSP to be the perfect environment for me, especially since I was doing lots of experimentation, which I found really interesting.


How did you find Yulio?

I didn’t find Yulio, it found me! Before Yulio was officially formed, I started working on VR prototypes for about half a year at KiSP. In January 2018, I officially started with Yulio when it was founded as a separate VR company focused on architecture and design applications of VR.


Tell me a bit about your role at Yulio

My official title is Head of R&D — research and development. My role is a mix of everything and requires a lot of forward-looking. Part of my role is to look at technologies we can employ or prototype to bring into our pipeline. For example, one technology we looked at was Ray Tracing, which is basically generating cube maps. Our primary basic need in our pipeline is to visualize what our audience wants, and wants to see.

Back in the day, there weren’t as many tools available, or it was very underdeveloped as compared to today. Technology is now advancing at such a quick pace, which makes researching about them vital to staying up to date. All of my work is associated with developing ways of bringing content to the consuming devices (ie. mobile devices). We have gone from 2D into transitioning to a 3D pipeline.

Tell me a bit about your first experience with VR?

My first experience with VR was with the Google Cardboard — everything before that was tethered like the Oculus Rift. The Google Cardboard made VR perfect for business since you don’t need to be strapped in, and the experience is with brief exposures. It’s for a different use case than playing a game and being inside for a long time for entertainment.


If you got to dream up any VR experience and immerse yourself into it, what would you choose?

Maybe flying to Mars? But it has to be done right and developed enough to be deliverable. VR is about trying something that you may not be able to in real life because if I could do it in real life I would. It’s not worth it if it’s pixel-y, so in regards to content creation, it has to be executed at a high standard. I like Sci-Fi, and maybe something like an episode from the show Black Mirror. Hooking your brain up to completely suppress your physical world, and when it’s completely indistinguishable.


Outside of your VR job, what are your hobbies?

I really like board sports, like snowboarding, wakeboarding — I’ve been into sports my whole life. Lately, I’ve been playing more table tennis and taking that more seriously. I also used to race motorcycles, but I cut back on that now. I also really enjoy sci-fi, so I read a lot of books in that genre.


What’s your favourite Friday afternoon office game that we’ve played?

Pumpkin carving is my favourite one. We also had ping pong tournaments, those were really fun too!


We’d like to say a big thanks to Lev for taking the time to sit with us for a little Q&A about himself! Stay tuned for some more interviews with the staff that power Yulio, and discover how we’re all learning more every day about our VR job!


If you want to learn more about the VR/AR industry, and things to consider when you’re looking into VR solutions, then sign up for our FREE 5-day email course to get up-to-speed with VR. Want to try Yulio for yourself? Sign up for a free 30-day trial with full access to our feature set!
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Business, Employee Highlight, Lifestyle, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

Welcome to our Yulio VR Employee Highlight Reel where we introduce to you to an on the team – and the people whose ideas and sense of how VR and AR should work have shaped Yulio from the ground up.

 

The Yulio VR expert team are working in roles that for the most part didn’t exist 5+ years ago, the VR job market was pretty minuscule. So the variety of experiences that led people here have created both expertise and variety in our team. And our history may lead you to the perfect VR job.


This week, we’re sitting down with our Presdient, Jim Stelter! Jim is our out-of-the-box leader who effortlessly connects with our clients, and is currently paving the way for VR adoption. One aspect that Jim is passionate about is demonstrating how our Yulio software can truly transform visualizing a project. With his dedication for making VR as accessible and easy to understand, Jim’s demo of our Yulio software helps everyone in any stage understand how truly transformative VR is. Our commitment to our clients and prioritizing their needs is a testament to the quality of Jim’s outstanding leadership. 

So, Jim tell me a bit about yourself.

I went to Michigan State University, and I absolutely loved it. Paid my way through college by working as a security guard and janitor at a department store and learned a tremendous amount from that. When I was studying at Michigan State, I played soccer, also known as football for our European friends, and was their team’s captain for 3 years. With soccer, I had the opportunity to travel around the US, playing on different teams, and to also fall in love with the woman who would one day be my wife! I have three children, three grandchildren, and three grandchildren dogs.

How did you find Yulio?

So Rob Kendal is one of the co-founders of Yulio and founder of their sister company KiSP. I’ve known Rob for some time, and over the years I have been very impressed with KiSP — they have proved to be a leader in technology across the board. Since becoming friends, about a year ago, we started talking about Yulio which has led me to my role here. It was watching the company grow, and really taking the lead in technological applications in the furniture world where I became excited about Yulio.

Tell me a bit about your role at Yulio

I’m leading the charge on customer integration with the large account base that we have — Steelcase, Herman Miller etc. Being on the front line, I help dealers and manufacturers understand how VR can help achieve their business goal, ultimately benefitting their business. With our focus always being on the customer, we want to make sure the experiences we are giving to our clients are innovative and immersive. Although it’s not always clear, it’s my job to work with the dealers and manufacturers in helping them understand how VR will make a world of a difference. We need to make sure that virtual and digital reality is something they need to be pursuing, which will ultimately help their own customer experience. It’s getting easier since cost is coming down, it’s more accessible, and other applications are emerging.

One of the biggest lessons I have ever learned was that above all, you must concentrate on the customer experience. This has been reinforced over the years in terms of the success I had at Steelcase and Enscape, but also personal experiences I had and I’m sure everyone has in dealing with products that you buy.

From the standpoint of leadership, you must involve the entire team and keep it simple and understand their point of view. Empathy — or the ability to understand — how people feel about you and what your skillset is, you must understand yourself and others to achieve your goals.

Tell me a bit about your first experience with VR?

My first encounter with VR was at a museum where I got to experience the Amazon river. It was a truly transformative experience. Of course, you can read about the Amazon river and you can look at pictures, but VR took that learning experience to a whole new level. When you put on a headset and you’re paddling a canoe down a river, that learning is tremendously deeper in the immersive experience, and helped me understand the Amazon river more.  

Even before that experience, I was already interested in education and how people learn in the most effective manner. VR offers that learning experience, through experiential learning. Take, for example, tieing a shoe. If you describe the process versus going through the process with someone, they will learn much better with experiencing it. My time at the museum had a real lasting effect on me and how I view VR.

If you got to dream up any VR experience and immerse yourself into it, what would you choose?

I think it would be having a conversation with my dad who passed away around 20 years ago — that would be great. Those interactions are the most important experiences of my life and I would love to be able to go back to them when I feel lost and talk it over with my dad. I read recently you can keep people alive in your dreams, and it’s much more realistic if you do this in virtual reality. People are now using 3D videography with their loved ones, recording their memories in a more realistic way. I would love it if I could do a 3D recording of having a conversation with my grandchildren and my great-grandchildren for them to look back to in the future.

Outside of your VR job, what are your hobbies?

I love photography! One thing I love to do is photographing my family jumping off buildings and seeing our reactions. Some may call it strange, but I absolutely love it. I also love cycling, road bikes, and working out every morning. It doesn’t show but I do!

What’s your favorite Friday afternoon office game that we’ve played?

Run around ping pong! I made everyone start to run around, hit the ball and run around. Here’s a picture of it!



We’d like to say a big thanks to Jim for taking the time to sit with us for a little Q&A about himself! Stay tuned for some more interviews with the staff that power Yulio, and discover how we’re all learning more every day about our VR job!


If you want to learn more about the VR/AR industry, and things to consider when you’re looking into VR solutions, then sign up for our FREE 5-day email course to get up-to-speed with VR. Want to try Yulio for yourself? Sign up for a free 30-day trial with full access to our feature set!

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Business, Employee Highlight, Lifestyle, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

Welcome to our Yulio VR Employee Highlight Reel where we introduce to you to an on the team – and the people whose ideas and sense of how VR and AR should work have shaped Yulio from the ground up.

 

The Yulio VR expert team are working in roles that for the most part didn’t exist 5+ years ago, the VR job market was pretty minuscule. So the variety of experiences that led people here have created both expertise and variety in our team. And our history may lead you to the perfect VR job.



This week, we’re going to continuing our Yulio VR Employee Highlight with ‘The CAD Man’ himself, Oussama. Oussama Belhenniche is one of the guys behind-the-scenes of Yulio on the development team, but he works on one of the major pieces that makes Yulio as business-ready as we are. CAD plugins are essential for making our business-experience as seamless and simple as possible, and it’s all because of Oussama. He works to improve this flow between Yulio and your CAD plugin so that technology doesn’t cause friction in the process of creating VR experiences. By focussing on CAD plugins, Yulio lets designers be designers and use the tools they already use.


So, Oussama tell me a bit about yourself.

So I’m an electrical engineer by training, but a software developer by choice. I went into software because the feedback loop is shorter than electrical engineering – if you don’t know what that means, basically when you make changes to your product you get instant feedback if you do it in software rather than hardware – that’s why you don’t see a lot of hardware startups. It’s very difficult to achieve that same feedback loop.

 

I went into software in my second year of university at Ryerson University in downtown Toronto. So yeah! Four years later I graduated and started looking for jobs without exactly knowing what I wanted to do, so I applied to a bunch and just went from there!



How did you find Yulio?

I found Yulio on a startup recruitment website. What struck me was the mission that Yulio was on – getting from a 3D format to a VR medium – it was something I was genuinely interested in learning. I knew what 3D was and I’ve had experience working with 3D objects and 3D schematics from university, and I knew what VR was, but I didn’t know how the two connected. So when I saw the job posting, I thought it would be a great opportunity to learn how they do it and become a Yulio VR expert.



Tell me a bit about your role at Yulio

Well, I do a little bit of everything. Sometimes I work on the website, sometimes I work on the core-side, but mainly I’m the CAD guy – which means I do a lot of the work surrounding the CAD plugins that we offer. The plugins are tools we have for our clients who use different kinds of CAD programs in their business; they make it as easy as a click of a button to bring their 3D scenes into glorious VR. So my job is to try and work on those plugins to make that transition as easy and seamless as possible for our clients.



Tell me a bit about your first experience with VR?

Before I came to Yulio I had never tried VR before, so I played a VR game where you’re shooting at zombies in a desert. When I first tried it I didn’t really like it because I wasn’t wearing my glasses – the experience was kind of blurry and pixelated, but now that I’ve been able to try it with my glasses on, it was much better! I can see why people would lose hours in it – it’s very immersive, especially if you have headphones in, it’s like you’re there. Yeah! So I spent about half an hour playing it for the first time.  



If you got to dream up any VR experience and immerse yourself into it, what would you choose?

I’d like to see more VR in education. We’ve seen it in games and we see it in enterprise software like Yulio is doing, which is awesome, but I’d like to see something like ‘The Magic School Bus’. Imagine THAT in VR – it would be super cool. Like, “Ok class, today we’re learning about biology. We’re learning about hearts and what it does and the different components” – I’ve always struggled with that kind of stuff, so yes, I understand what the teacher is saying but I can’t really visualize it. But, if every student had their own headset, then they can explore the heart together. I could definitely see the value added to education through VR.

 

Or museums, for example. If you have a painting of an artistic rendition of a war scene and a  VR headset next to the painting. You can look at the painting and when you put on the headset, you can also feel what it’s like to be inside the painting itself.



Outside of your VR job, what are your hobbies?

I like running to keep myself active. I like cooking and baking. I like watching British Bake-Off… which is a British TV show about cooking. It’s a nice show for when you just want to relax and see some British people cook. I like to relax and hang out with friends and play video games sometimes.



What’s your favorite Friday afternoon office game that we’ve played?

I like telestrations! People guess what you draw and then the next person draws what you guessed. I like to see where the disconnects happen. It also has a message that communication is very important in a workplace – If you say something wrong then it can propagate itself to being really wrong down the line, so you have to make sure that communications are clear and precise.



We’d like to say a big thanks to Oussama for taking the time to sit with us for a little Q&A about himself! Stay tuned for some more interviews with the staff that power Yulio, and discover how we’re all learning more every day about our VR job!

 


If you want to learn more about the VR/AR industry, and things to consider when you’re looking into VR solutions, then sign up for our FREE 5-day email course to get up-to-speed with VR. Want to try Yulio for yourself? Sign up for a free 30-day trial with full access to our feature set! (Have a CAD program and want to use Oussama’s plugins? Click here to download your CAD plugin!)

 

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Business, Guest Blog, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality (VR) is taking the world of business by storm across many industries like construction/architecture, shopping, clothing, and interior design. Most of us think of entertainment uses for virtual reality like video game simulators. We don’t often look at exactly how VR is changing business.

Some business analysts have claimed that virtual reality will be a short-lived fad but technological improvements in the workplace and in business have already proven that the numerous possible applications available make it a long-term solution.

What defines Virtual Reality (VR)?

Virtual reality is software-based technology that enables users to immerse themselves into an alternate, virtual environment that oftentimes looks and feels real thanks to the level of detail put into the design.

 

How VR Is Changing Business
  1. Helping Employees Become More Empathetic. Non-profits have started to use VR to put their prospective donors into the shoes of the people they are working to help in order to give them a day-to-day experience in order to understand the struggle. Businesses are using VR to train sales employees by immersing them in a customers life to better help them understand their needs in order to become better salespeople for that product or service.
  2. Lower Business Operational Costs. The bottom line is important to every business and each is always looking for ways to improve profit margins or decrease costs. This is how virtual reality is changing business, if a business is able to reduce training costs by employing VR to streamline the process, they may be able to reduce man-hours spent on training and focus on money making activities. Virtual reality may someday reduce the number of mobile technicians needed if customers are able to troubleshoot problems themselves from home.
  3. More Options for Working Remotely. The workforce is slowly transitioning into offering remote options and VR can aid in this trend. Facebook is already working on creating virtual reality chat rooms and this will help remote workers connect to each other digitally to improve working environments. The possibilities for this are endless! Workers from all over the world can communicate with each other virtually to work on projects. This expands the reach of a business and provides varying perspectives that can increase globalization. Employing workers from other countries can decrease operational costs because many virtual workers will accept less pay for the option to work remotely.
  4. New Avenues for Marketers. Marketing dollars are now being spent more on digital ads than TV ads for the first time ever. The next step is to create virtual reality ads and content. YouTube is already looking into offering VR marketing options to businesses via mobile apps.  
  5. Quicker Product Development. Military contractors are training their employees using VR environments to aid in the idea generation processes by simulating live military scenarios without having to actively deploy employees to combat zones. Virtual reality options could be used by car manufacturers instead of needing to use clay models or scale drawings to convey design concepts in the near future.
  6. Developing Safe Testing Environments. Medical procedures are delicate matters and can mean the difference between life and death. Up until now, the most practical way to practice delicate procedures has been on cadavers (dead bodies). Using virtual reality, doctors and doctors in training could practice their skills on a “live” patient. By practicing more, this increases confidence in their skills and decreases risk for actual patients.
  7. Recreating a “Second Screen” Experience. Many of us focus on more than one screen while we are working, like working on your computer while playing around with your smartphone. Imagine in the near future if you could use virtual reality to have two or more screens in front of your eyes at one time. This could increase productivity and organization while freeing up space in our offices. Offices could be smaller and/or less cluttered. And remote workers would literally be able to work from anywhere and not be tied to their home offices.

In the world of business, those with the edge have a leg up on their competition have the upper hand. Virtual reality options, when implemented well, offer that leg up in any industry from medicine to the military to working remotely. Virtual reality is not the short term fad that many have claimed it to be. It is the next stage technology that will improve the quality of life for people all over the world. Just imagine the endless possibilities and how VR is changing business.




We’d like to thank Instageeked for their thoughtful insight on our blog this week. Visit their website to view more of their work here!


Here at Yulio, we strive for excellence in performance and integrity when it comes to our product, and customer service. To learn more about how VR can enhance your business workflow, sign up for our FREE 5-day email course.  To try our program for yourself, sign up for our free 30-day trial (no strings attached).
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AR, Business, Industry News, VR

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have seen a recent boom of users. When the topic of AR/VR comes up, most people link this technology with gaming. Computer and video games have been extremely popular in this century. Whether a person games by themselves or with others, it has become a popular recreational activity for people of all age groups. Global reports found that the average gamer aged 18-25 spends seven hours a week gaming. Gamers show incredible commitment and consistency within their virtual realms, an experience that is exciting and transformative. With AR and VR technology, that experience is enhanced to the point of full immersion. In 2014, less than a million users were using AR/VR technology, but the number is projected to rise to reach 171 million users by the end of 2018. Of course, on the entertainment front, AR/VR has been extremely successful; but how can corporations use this technology in a practical way to set their businesses apart from their competitors?



In 2016, global law firm Perkins Coie LLP conducted a study with a keen interest on the rise of virtual and augmented reality technology. Over 650 participants (entrepreneurs, technology executives etc.) took part in the survey that assessed the AR/VR industry and highlighted key concerns from users reported back by businesses. Additionally, the survey sought to explore from industry experts how practical of a tool AR/VR technology is, and what the foreseeable future will look like with it. The general consensus in regards to the use and area of investment for AR/VR technology was dominated by the gaming industry (78%) In March 2018, a new survey, coupled with a few questions from the 2016 questionnaire was conducted and produced rather interesting results.



“Not everyone is a gadget freak. The industry needs to appeal to those who aren’t”

– Mixed reality (MR) startup developer



The “Others” in the AR/VR Industry

Despite popular belief, the gaming industry may be evicted from their #1 spot in the coming future. Perkins Coie LLP’s 2018 survey shows that companies are increasingly using advancements in AR/VR as a practical business tool/solution in achieving their goals and overall success.



Referring to the graphic above, 39% of respondents were in the business for making AR/VR content related to video games. However, just 5% shy of first place, the second largest group, at 35%, were those in the “other” section. This group of respondents includes companies that are using this technology to target industries like architecture and engineering. Looking at this trend of tech executives and entrepreneurs investing in industries unrelated to entertainment, we are transitioning into a major shift with the utilization of AR/VR. The survey results show that the market for AR/VR technology is changing, with an increasing number of individuals realizing its value and business potential.


Collaboration to Heal Social Disconnects

A common concern brought up with the use of AR/VR technology is the increased possibility of isolation, and heightened disconnection, of individuals from society. The totally immersive experience could prompt one to spend hours upon hours in a different reality, without much appetite to return back to actual reality. However, advancements in AR/VR have introduced new features in hopes of increasing greater collaboration amongst users to combat this concern.


 

Participants in the survey expressed that in the following year (referring to 2019), technology developers would focus on creating more collaborative features and social experiences in AR/VR. 81% of all respondents voted that they strongly agreed or agreed, and more importantly, 0% of respondents strongly disagreed with this statement. With absolutely none of the respondents strongly disagreeing against this statement, the importance and demand for collaboration within projects become highlighted.

 

Respondents were also expecting that AR/VR developers would be focusing their efforts on innovating more tools and apps for smartphones, enhancing collaboration between parties through one of the most accessible modes. This way of sharing designs and ideas drastically transforms the way we visualize projects. Since AR/VR technology almost rids any miscommunication or translation errors of details within a project, businesses have been more inclined to adopt this into their business model.


Here at Yulio, we thrive to simplify the process of collaboration and make it accessible to all parties. Our Collaborate mode allows everyone to meet in the same virtual space regardless of physical location.


Barriers and Concerns about AR/VR

A key concern with using AR/VR technology is the possibility of being isolating and detaching one from society. We addressed how AR/VR businesses are addressing this issue, but what other uncertainties may potential users have before using this tech?




Tech companies have expressed that potential users have been cautious about the hardware use (48%) and the lack of experience/expertise from businesses who utilize this technology (45%). Understandably, the advancements in this industry make it unwelcoming and inaccessible to seamlessly maneuver effectively and produce better results. Although AR/VR developers are continually making advancements and better adjustments to the technology, keeping up with the changes can prove to be difficult especially navigating through a completely new yet transformative platform. As such, companies must continue to invest time and effort into making their product easy to use and provide adequate support until this issue no longer is a problem. To understand more about this industry, and to receive personal support navigating through this technology, you can use our user guide and directly contact us to schedule a webinar.


AV/VR are Here to Stay

With our society heading into a more technically complex time, it is important to consistently keep up with technological advancements to stay relevant. It’s safe to say that AR/VR are here to stay, and we’ll be seeing it lots more in the future. It is time to become familiar with how the technology works, how to integrate it for your company’s needs and watch it transform the way you visualize your creations. Perkins Coie LLP conclude their findings by quoting a respondent sharing the confidence that this technology “will create significant rewards for both developers and players in the not-too-distant future”.


We would like to extend a special thank you to Perkins Coie LLP for their in-depth and informative surveys. Please click here to view their 2016 and 2018 survey.


At Yulio, we strive for excellence in performance and integrity when it comes to our programs, and customer service. To learn more about us and what we offer, please visit our page or take our product tour. To try our program for yourself, sign up for our free 30-day trial (no strings attached).
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Business, Employee Highlight, Lifestyle, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

Welcome to our Yulio VR Employee Highlight Reel where we introduce to you to an on the team – and the people whose ideas and sense of how VR and AR should work have shaped Yulio from the ground up.

 

The Yulio VR expert team are working in roles that for the most part didn’t exist 5+ years ago, the VR job market was pretty minuscule. So the variety of experiences that led people here have created both expertise and variety in our team. And our history may lead you to the perfect VR job.


On this week’s Yulio VR Employee Highlight Reel, we’re going to learn more about Kan, one of the members of our Development Team. Kan Li is a Senior Developer here at Yulio and one of the original employees of Yulio! Kan works on both the front-end and back-end coding for Yulio, but he also has the responsibility of DevOps. DevOps is an important part of Yulio because it centers around our promise to be fast and future-proof. DevOps enables us to have faster release and deployment cycles, which means that we’re able to offer new and exciting products/features to our clients in a shorter period of time than some of our competitors. Keeping to our promise about being agile, business-ready and future-proof, Kan ensures that we’re constantly moving forward and that everything is operating smoothly and securely.

So Kan, tell me a bit about yourself.

I studied computer science at the University of Toronto. Programming is something that I’ve always passion for ever since I was a kid in school. I was a gamer – so I always found programming elements in those very interesting. When I first got my computer I remember being so excited so I installed a bunch of games and I’d play all day! At the time, I played a lot of popular strategy games! They were my favorite.

What’s your role here at Yulio?

So, I’m a developer like most of the guys on the development team; so I do work mainly on front-end and back-end coding. I’m also responsible for the DevOps, which is at the core of how Yulio operated. Basically, I make sure that the server is always up-and-running and ready to implement anything we’re ready to push to production. We always want to make sure that our product is operating smoothly and that our clients have the tools they need to be successful when working in VR!

How did you find Yulio?

Actually, Yulio found me. I was working at a company called KiSP before starting at Yulio. So, KiSP is essentially where Yulio took off – KiSP is a visualization software and Yulio’s sister company. Our Managing Director and CEO of KiSP, Robert Kendal, had this idea of Yulio Technologies – he wanted to use digital reality (mainly VR at the time) to better present the unpresentable. He understood the gaps in the visualization world from his work with KiSP and asked us to start working on Yulio as a project. One thing led to another, and he decided that it was time to build Yulio out as its own company! At that point, any of the programmers that were involved in Yulio projects had the opportunity to move forward and become the first employees of Yulio Technologies!

Do you find your work at Yulio more enjoyable, interesting, difficult because of the VR aspects?

So when I was at KiSP they already had this product – for one, it was massive – and secondly, it was already an established product, so most of the work that needed to be done was maintenance. The main task was understanding the app well enough so we knew how it worked when it came to investigating things like bug fixes – we needed to know where to find these issues and how to resolve them. There were also feature releases here and there, but most part we worked on understanding and tweaking the product.

 

In comparison, Yulio is brand new – and still is – and working with technology that’s hot-off-the-press. We’re building Yulio basically from scratch, so there’s plenty of opportunities to use new technologies and apply new skills that we didn’t have the chance to work with at KiSP, which as a programmer, is very exciting to do!

 

What was your first experience with virtual reality?

So before I came to Yulio, I didn’t know much about VR, and I had never tried it for myself. So of course on day 1, Ian Hall (CPO) introduced me to VR by strapping me into his first generation Oculus VR setup. It was a tethered rig that streamed from his laptop and the experience, although the name slips my mind, was essentially a dinosaur that was chasing you. In my opinion, it was mind-blowing! I thought it was really really cool.

 

If you got to dream up any VR experience and immerse yourself into it, what would you choose?

I would like to see some kind of fantasy role-playing game – I think that would be cool!

 

Outside of your VR Job, what are your hobbies?

I enjoy gardening in my spare time – I grow all kinds of vegetables! I find gardening very rewarding… Sometimes you can spend a lot of time working on something and you never get to see much or any reward, but with gardening – the more work you put into it, the more reward you reap! So I find it very satisfying. I also like watching horror movies with my wife – I think we’ve watched most horror movies together!

 

What’s your favorite Friday afternoon office game that we’ve played?

One of my favorites is called “Landmine” – where you lead your blindfolded team member through a course with obstacles – it was a very fun game! I also liked a game called “Telestrations” – it’s sort of like pictionary and telephone combined into one game!

Fun fact

Well, maybe because I’m a programmer some people might not expect this, but I used to play a lot of sports! I used to be in the basketball club… I was always the tallest kid in the class, so naturally, they wanted me to join the team – but I played for 2 or 3 years. I’m also surprisingly good at long-distance running! I was first place in my school for the marathon!


We’d like to say a big thanks for Kan for taking the time to sit with us for a little Q&A about himself! Stay tuned for some more interviews with the staff that power Yulio, and discover how we’re all learning more every day about our VR job!

 

Looking to learn more about practical VR for business? Sign up for our free 5-day email course and learn all of the key understandings and critical considerations you need to know before adopting a VR solution. Done that and want to give Yulio a try? Sign up for our free 30-day trial and we’ll give you full access to our feature set to see how you like working with Yulio!

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AR, Architecture, Business, VR
You might be noticing, even in your own school or office, that technology is becoming more and more prevalent and useful as time goes on. We’re all slowly adapting to how technology, no matter the kind, can be beneficial for daily tasks when utilized well, and we’re loving it!

The satisfaction is unbelievable when you can walk into a room and own the technology around you without complications during major or routine tasks. *cue mic drop*

 


And shouldn’t that be how you feel all the time when you’re using technology in the workplace? Technology should be something you can rely on to bring your work to that next level – It should be a compliment as opposed to causing friction – and that’s exactly what we’ll see going forward – more technology that compliments our work and daily routines with less roadblocks and inefficiencies to slow you down.

We’re moving into an age of business-ready digital transformation within the A&D space, which means that we’re beginning to adapt technology, and ultimately it’s changing how we work, how we communicate and how we create or maintain our working relationships. Remember when Skype was first introduced, or even MSN Messenger? It was revolutionary because it was an instant way to communicate with someone without picking up a phone, and you could stay at your desk and multitask while collaborating with your peers –  that’s what digital transformation is all about.

The future of VR

Technology is advancing in ways that fit our workflows better, in fact, within the next 5-10 years, we’re going to witness mass VR adoption in the workplace. It’s expected to become the next major computing platform, and it’s even being compared to the rise of the smartphone! (Remember way-back when no one had a smartphone and then suddenly EVERYONE had one? VR technology is expected to be the same!) Even students are learning how to work with virtual reality before they enter the workforce to better prepare themselves for this digital transformation! This crazy change is coming full-force, but it’s not going to affect you and your business, right?

Well, maybe see for yourself. Take a look at this graph from Goldman Sachs Profiles in Innovation report where you see their prediction for where VR/AR is going to be used by-industry – as you can see, it’s drastically different than what’s relevant in today’s workplaces, so it’s extremely plausible that this tidal wave of a technology shift is headed your way too. According to this study, about 35% of architectural firms are already using some form of digital reality in their firms today and have plans to expand in the future, and separate from those, 29% of the firms in the study are looking into adopting the technology within the next 5 years.

 

With that, we’re going to see more and more people adopting virtual reality as it’s coming out – VR/AR tech will provide more opportunities for practicality and usability within the workplace.

In a survey done by Microsoft and RIBA Architecture, a respondent said, “It’s a different way of working, a new process model and [it’s] more agile, where data is produced once, and is used many times for more tasks”… Pretty revolutionary stuff if you ask me!

The key to productivity

 

Digital transformation is not just the adoption of new technology, but rather it’s a fundamental shift in culture supported and based within technology. 56% of survey respondents recognize that the digital transformation is going to create better atmospheres to complete work in while also improving client outcomes in the process, so a lot of employees are going to be looking for this cutting-edge technology in their workplace. You also have to keep in mind that by 2025, millennials will make up 75% of our workforce and a study by Penn Schoen Berland found that 77% of millennials interviewed WANT to use VR/AR because they think it will make their jobs more productive. So if millennials are on-board with it, then we better take initiative and get the tech while it’s ripe and before your competition blows you out of the water with it.

 

The key to survival??

For the architecture and design communities, the VR adoption isn’t really an option. In fact, 55% of survey respondents actually say, whether their firms adopt the technology or not is going to be a HUGE factor for whether or not their business will stay relevant or even thrive going forward. With this being the general opinion, we’re seeing a lot of firms slowly investigating what they need to do to keep up with their competition, and their employees and customers expectations of what they should be delivering.

 

Research shows that many architects see the great potential of digital transformation and how it can bring great improvements in efficiency in particular. I mean, take for instance how architects and designers used to go about their design processes. Originally it was old-school pencil on paper and small-scale replica models, then we started seeing the evolution of the computer and designers were able to achieve more complex iterations like accurately-scaled down floor plans and 3D-models created from CAD programs, and now that digital reality is taking the fore-front, there is so much potential in the realm of virtual, augmented and mixed realities as well that can be applied to designers work. Digital reality technology has the power to bring designs to life, enabling clients to really experience a design before it’s tangible. Team members, clients, and contractors work together as virtual teams, exploring, reviewing and agreeing on design choices – and then they can even put the client into the heart of the design, leaving no room for misinterpretation. This won’t only save time and money in the initial stages – but it’ll ultimately minimize on-site or post-construction design changes that can be extremely costly.

 

More than half of the architects and designers that were surveyed agree that within the last 5 years, there have been huge changes in their workplaces in terms of digital transformation, specifically around how projects are delivered to clients. 41% said their journey has drastically changed the way that their business runs and almost 90% agree that digital reality is transforming how they’re currently working – so why are businesses so hesitant to adopt VR/AR if there’s such a strong demand for customers, employees, AND overall productivity??

 

What if you’re not sure where to start?

Sometimes digital transformation within a firm gets lost. 10% of individuals surveyed don’t know where they fall on their journey, but that’s not because they don’t want change within the workplace – it’s usually because the next steps, technologically, aren’t clear. For instance, VR has commonly been this ‘hyped’ technology that people use for cool roller coaster experiences and the odd video game up until a couple of years ago, so obviously if that’s the common assumption, you wouldn’t invest big bucks either. What a lot of people don’t know is that VR technology has reached a mature point where businesses can find practicality using it. Over ⅔  of architects voice that cost is a huge challenge when it comes to adopting VR for big and small firms alike. Now that the Oculus Go has hit the market as the first stand-alone VR headset ever, there are less friction points for mobile VR versus tethered, but there still has to be significant research into the platform you choose, which means a fairly large time investment from the get-go. Training is also an important consideration – over half of the participants in the study agree that learning curve for the platform, or amount of training required could be a major setback, and could prevent firms from investing.

 

Our tip is to find a VR solution that mends well with working practices you already live by. Whether that means you find something that has a user-friendly interface that’s simple enough that a senior-level exec can use it, one that works with CAD programs you already use and is compatible with content you already own, and one that has the least amount of barriers when it comes to presenting design iterations to clients. The VR solution you choose shouldn’t cause a lot of friction in your business workflow, otherwise you won’t see the ROI you’d expect to see from adopting the technology (and not to brag… but Yulio does all of these things already and you can have 30 days free to test it out for yourself!).



Because there’s finally this reassurance in the market of VR/AR, businesses are finally trusting their instincts to move forward alongside the technology curve. Most of the people who were a part of this research were in the process of some sort of digital transformation journey for their firm. As illustrated in the graph above, 39% said that they were still in the early stages of adoption and 37% had been investigating and adopting the technology for some time now – but in comparison, 10% of their surveyors had not
 even started looking into the tech yet – and this could be fatal to businesses considering how fast the lack of a technological-edge can leave you in the dust. There are very few firms who believed that they completed their digital transformation journey, but that makes sense because a digital transformation does not necessarily have a means to an end – it’s an ongoing process of change and will continue to adapt with time and technological shifts – so there may never be an absolute end to the journey, but there’s definitely a path that you can start going down to make sure that you’re keeping up with the times.




The important takeaway from all of this research is that if you’re not already investigating a VR solution for your practice, now might be the time! Learning about the VR industry and getting started with VR solutions is a lot faster and more user-friendly than you may think.

 



Here at Yulio, we take all of this research and their findings (along with 1000+ hours of our own research and user-testing) to heart, and we try and break down the barriers for you to create the best business-ready VR experience possible for you and your clients! With our guidance, you can get up-and-going in as little as a day, seriously. Check out our guiding steps to getting started with a VR solution for your business here! Want to learn more about VR for business before investing? Read our whitepaper on achieving ROI for your business using virtual reality here.

 

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AR, Architecture, Business, Design, Industry News, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

We know that when it comes to choosing VR solutions that your firm is going to use and heavily rely on in the future, that it’s more than just looking at the product as it is today.



 


When you’re buying software, there’s always an option that offers you the sun and the moon today, but how do you know that this one is going to be the best option in the long-run? It’s important that when you’re looking into the specifics of VR solutions, that you’re choosing the option that is going to work best for your firm now AND that it continues to be the best option in the future.  Dan Monaghan, Co-founder and sought-after speaker on business strategy says, “Being aware of the digital horizon – even if it’s way off in the distance – is one of the best things a business can do for its future”.




Today we’re seeing more and more businesses begin to integrate virtual reality solutions into their existing operations, and it’s really easy to get caught into a trap of which company is offering the most flashy technology now, even though it may not be completely ready for the prime time for business just yet.


To keep up with how quickly technology advances, companies typically complete strategic tech audits to ensure that they’re being agile and keeping up with the rest of the world. According to the 2016 Trends vs. Technologies Report, 78% of decision-makers across all industries agree that keeping up with tech trends is vital or important, and 86% agree that it gives their business competitive advantage. It’s critical, now more than ever with how reliant we are with technology and how integrated technology is becoming in our everyday working routine, that businesses take their time and are selective with what kind of VR solutions they’re implementing into their firms. Being selective and investing time to investigate the best solution can be a huge benefit in the long-run. It will most definitely save you from headaches in the future, but you’ll also be on track to continue staying ahead of your competition because your solution will be dedicated to growing and improving over time in the best interests of your firm.




According to WSI, some key considerations you need to have when you’re choosing a tech solution are:

  1. Scalability: So this means that the solution should be able to withstand demands that are specific to your company. This could be how well it integrates with your current workflows, how it can grow alongside your company and proactively solve business requests in the future. Your solution should show that it’s ready to take on and adapt with your business.
  2. Complexity: This is more surrounding how user-friendly the tech solution is. If it’s not intuitive, has a lot of complicated set-up, or requires a user-manual to be in-hand at all times, then it’s just a slow-sinking ship – this will just frustrate your team who are actually the ones using it, potentially, everyday. Focus on the most important features and requirements and have more frequent release cycles as you expand across functional teams and regions. Solutions that are cloud-based typically support agile methodologies and configurations in order to provide enhanced functionality on an ongoing basis.
  3. ROI: Everyone wants to see that their money is being spent efficiently – that they’re getting consistent positive results, and that the solution can grow and bend toward your business needs over time.

So in the end, you should be seeking something that works with what you already have. This could mean for content you already have, programs you already use, and that it integrates seamlessly to streamline and simplify your workflow, to save valuable time and resources.





Here at Yulio, we’ve always tried to keep things simple and business-ready. Ian Hall, our Chief Product Officer here at Yulio chimed in and said, “There’s always been that temptation to kind of go down and do the next sexy thing in the space… like ‘Hey, we’re gonna do AR before it’s really ready for business’, and we’ve resisted that… ‘Let’s do tethered, let’s do complex HTC Vive full room breaks, because it’s really sexy when you video it’… It is sexy when you video it, but you can maybe do one of those every few months because it’s so cost-prohibitive, whereas our approach has been very pragmatic.”



We maintain a focus on the end-goal for our users without becoming too distracted by fashionable trends and industry developments along the way. Ian adds, “I think what that’s done, is it’s positioned us as a partner that delivers value not hype. So yes, there are a lot of competitors coming in and they’re going down similar paths that we went down in the early stages. They’re kind of focusing on the ‘big shiny bauble’. Whereas we’ve paid our dues, we’ve done the field research, and we’ve spent upwards of a thousand hours of usability testing, in terms of human factors designed for both the content creation and the consumption of this stuff.” And what is the byproduct of those hours spent refining the platform? Getting it simple enough that a 50-year-old CEO of a major corporation deciding whether to spend a few million dollars on this floor plate can go in there, without feeling intimidated, and not feel cut off from their peers when they’re looking at this stuff in this technology.



The other challenge with new technology, of course, is the constant changes and refinements to hardware. From cumbersome tethered devices through cardboards and new self-contained headsets like Oculus Go, the viewing hardware is changing constantly and we still don’t know who will win the race. One of the most important founding principles at Yulio was remaining device-agnostic. While we are mobile VR for now, you don’t need to worry about which device or app store you’ve invested in – we will. In fact, we were the first commercial app for architecture and design in the Oculus Go store, within days of the device launch, because we knew that device’s ability to remove friction would be a game changer as business virtual reality solutions.

Our promise is that as long as you’re a client, we’ll worry about – and install – all required tech updates. Sign up once; remain at the head of VR technology forever.



Want to learn more about one aspect of Yulio’s effort for future-proof VR? Check out this Slideshare where we guide you to ask the right questions to implement VR in a way that’s fast, affordable and ready for business. Want to ease your employees into using Yulio? Get some useful tips and tricks for successful business-VR from our Client Success Manager – learn how to adopt the technology to wow your clients and feel confident in every client interaction here.

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AR, Architecture, Business, Design, Employee Highlight, Everything Else, VR

Ian Hall (IH) is the Chief Product Officer of Yulio Technologies. He leads Yulio’s vision of VR as a practical, everyday business tool and the perfect medium for visual storytelling. Ian is also the Co-founder of Pixel Tours Inc., a design consultancy specializing in human factors engineering and development.


We sat down with Ian to talk about his experience in digital visual storytelling, and where VR is going.




Tell us a bit about how you got into the industry.

IH: The founders of Yulio have been doing graphic-powered business applications for the better part of 20 years.

So, graphic-powered applications are all about visual tools and visual storytelling – it really means things like in the “dot.com boom” days, we developed an image server that let you do zooming, spinning and all that kind of stuff, and we were first in the world to do that. It eventually got bought out by Adobe, and powered half of the e-commerce sites being built when e-commerce was just getting off the ground. Then, we built a web-based shelving layout tool for a Fortune 500 company, like one of those BIG brands – the guys who are always laying out their products on grocery store shelves, and of course, you need to do it visually first, so we built them a tool to do that. We did an online classified ads engine, “Trader Media”, which was the Canadian branch of Auto Trader, and they had the biggest network of classified ads in the country at that time. We built an entire imaging platform for them to create online ads where users could spin the car to see all angles and zoom in. We taught them how to capture the photographs and create a web presence for the photos. They ended up getting bought out for over 400 million dollars and the buyer actually cited the implementation of the imaging and their web-presence as their main reasons that they saw that much value in the business.




So how did that bring you to VR?

IH: The imaging software we built was amazing quality. We’ve done 360-degree tours for real estate, and we’ve done 3D renders and pipelines for architecture and commercial furniture. So, all of that has one thing in common, which is that there is a customer who’s trying to understand what it is they’re ultimately going to be getting, while not being in the room with the thing. Every one of those shows you exactly the same underlying root pain for the buyer and a seller who wants to answer that pain with visual storytelling. We’ve been doing this for 20 years – and every one of those solutions had something in common. They’re imperfect.


“We’ve been doing this for 20 years, and every one of those solutions had something in common… They’re imperfect… [but] VR takes it to another level; It takes an imperfect medium and gets it a hell of a lot closer to perfect.” – IH


They’re all attempting to use visual storytelling techniques to convey what it’s like to be in the room with whatever you’re talking about – well you can’t do it. VR takes it to another level – It takes an imperfect medium and gets it a lot closer to perfect – and THAT’S why the moment this kind of thing came to maturity we jumped on it because we have been experiencing this pain on our customers’ behalf and coming up with imperfect solutions for decades. This is the first real massive leap forward in visual storytelling.

So to get to the root of it, VR is the difference between looking at the floorplan of a room and standing in it, and you can apply that same kind of parable to every other one of those points. And it goes back to things like scale, volume, emotional connection – and in every single one of the projects we’ve been involved with, helping people understand those things is exactly what we’ve been trying to achieve. For us, VR was the new way to achieve all of those things, and it has finally become simple enough that it makes sense for business.




So, what’s Yulio’s take on that?

IH: Yulio is turnkey digital reality. It is a platform that designers and marketers, and anyone else who uses visual storytelling to sell their products, can use to present their ideas and products in a way that their customers completely and instantly understand.

Unpacking that a little bit, it’s turnkey, which means end-to-end. So, we’ve got all of the building blocks so you don’t have to go and cobble together a bunch of assets – you can turn us on and you’ve got everything you need. You’ve got content creation, content management, publishing, distribution, you’ve got a way of delivering the experience on every major mobile platform – in other words, the applications on the devices that people actually use for that stuff, the closed loop, the business analytics, the presentation tools, the collaborative tools – it’s all under the same umbrella. So, turnkey, simple, and enterprise scale – this stuff works, it was designed from the ground up to be simple to use, and, it’s not for the consumer market – this is a business-centric product, which means that everything I’ve talked about is enterprise-grade security, performance, reliability, and all those hallmarks that a good CIO is going to be looking for their practice.

In terms of the customers, we created this originally for the architecture and design community, but that’s been evolving. We now have customers in construction, we have customers in real estate, product sales, product marketing – so as the technology is gaining acceptance, getting more exposure, and more winning scenarios are coming forward, it’s moving more and more into a broader business community.




Ok, now pulling you away from the business side of things – What was your first experience with VR?

IH: So, back in the mid-90’s was kind of the first renaissance of VR. There was consumer-grade, arcade-style virtual reality where you put on a big clunky helmet, the tracking was terrible, and it was kind of like vector graphics, but it moved with you and it gave you kind of a sense of immersion, and you could kind of get a taste of what’s coming, but it never made it out of the arcade. It was too expensive, too clunky, and content creation just wasn’t there – and a lot of the hardware building blocks and software building blocks just weren’t there either. Previous to that, I had been actually involved in an industrial design company and we got invited to a private showing of a little display chip, and there were, at the time, two of these ON THE PLANET. They brought it out of the lab – and this is from one of the big silicon valley manufacturers – they literally built this prototype in their lab, it was maybe a centimeter and a half across, and it was a high-definition functional display – the first of its kind on planet Earth – and we got to see it, and that was even before this VR stuff came out. So, I was sitting there, looking at this thing with the mad scientist who had actually created it….and it’s worth millions of dollars because there were only two of them, and you could see the potential even then. You can trace the Oculus Go optics, and the Hololens and the Google Glass – all of those underlying technologies back to this chip which was incredible. It was compressing high-quality visuals and streaming into this tiny little display technology that was ultimately wearable – and that’s gotta be 25 years ago. So, it’s taken a while for all of these little building blocks to form, but they’re finally all coming together.



“So, we were very well positioned to take advantage of this disruptive technology just because we knew what we were looking for – we knew what the blockers were, we knew what success looked like and we knew what imperfection looked like, so we kinda knew what the gaps were in the existing ecosystem.” – IH


My first true exposure to VR was when the Oculus DK1 came out – that was the first legitimately featured consumer headset that came out and we were all over it as soon as it launched.



 




We had prototypes of what became Yulio going within days of it getting out there. So, we were very well positioned to take advantage of this disruptive visual storytelling technology just because we knew what we were looking for – we knew what the blockers were, we knew what success looked like and we knew what imperfection looked like, so we kinda knew what the gaps were in the existing ecosystem.


In the end, all the hardware and technology has to be about visual storytelling or it falls flat. Basically, if you use still images, catalogs or brochures to tell your story today, you can do it better with VR.




We’d like to thank Ian Hall for sitting with us and sharing some of his experiences and knowledge of the industry! Ian recently did a podcast about practical and business-ready virtual reality, and where he sees the visual storytelling market going in the future. You can listen to it here! Interested in learning more about the digital reality industry and how your business can get involved? Ian was also the driver on our free 5-day VR email course! Sign up here to begin your crash-course surrounding practical business-ready VR, industry trends, and budget considerations!

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Architecture, Business, Design, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

When you see a picture of something, and then you see it in real life – it’s quite a different experience, isn’t it? Imagine being in a museum and seeing an image of a dinosaur standing next to a person; you’re probably thinking, “wow, that’s a big dinosaur”, and then shrugging it off. But imagine if you could experience that same dinosaur, but standing in the same room as you, and moving closer and closer. I bet your reaction would be quite different – I know mine was.



 



Scale and engagement are things that VR shows off really well, and actually, they’re some of the major selling points. Virtual reality has this punch of power that shows you exactly what something were to look like as if it were physically in front of you.


When it comes to design, getting a real sense of space and scale for a project is crucial, especially when it comes to seeing what works and what doesn’t. That’s why designing in VR is so critical to saving you time and letting you iterate and play. You could think one design is perfect, but when it’s actually executed you could realize that a window is too small, or a ceiling is much higher than it needs to be. So, large and small-scale projects alike, designing in VR can play a huge role. Dan Sobieraj from Island Life Tiny Homes and his team know the ins and outs of designing for limited space, and how to use VR to do this more efficiently.


Dan shared some of his design tactics to help us better understand his designing in the VR process and how VR improved his project.




How tiny is too tiny?

We did a lot of our designing in VR to visualize the spaces and determine if the critical spaces, such as the loft and the washroom felt “too small”. There was a lot of back and forth to check if the height of the loft was comfortable, and to make sure that the washroom didn’t feel claustrophobic. VR allowed us to quickly make changes and rapidly recreate the visualizations.




See what the lighting will be like before the electrician begins.

VR played an important part in experimenting with lighting. Good lighting is important in making a small space feel bigger than it is. We wanted to maximize the amount of daylight entering the house in order to eliminate the use of artificial light during the day. VR allowed us to ensure that our lighting would work in the real design.




Creative storage was so important!

We used VR extensively to iterate the loft and create options for storage that can be built in later by the client according to their preferences. By visualizing the house in VR we picked up on things such as the obstruction of sight lines. For example, we decided to create a storage solution that also acts as a guardrail on the loft. After realizing it was obstructing a nice view of the living room, we decided to redesign it and make it possible to see through it. There’s no doubt that designing in VR helped us spot problems early, and utilize the space much better.





 


 

 

Know what the materials will look like together ahead of time.

This is probably one of the most important reasons; we were designing in VR to see if our finishes were in-line with our concept of making the space feel larger. We used VR to see how the materials looked in different lighting conditions. Light coloured walls and wood accents were used to maintain a light space, but with an interesting material palette. We even used VR to see how the orientation of the boards on the interior affected the perception of the space. We used a horizontal orientation because it made the space feel wider as opposed to a vertical orientation, which would make a space feel taller but more narrow.




Busy lives means designing remotely.

We were ambitious and thought we could finish the house in 4 months. This did not happen and we were so used to being able to make some design decisions on-site in the real house. Designing in VR was a great solution to be able to continue making design decisions while away from the real house. It was also a great way to share design ideas in a team environment because you would understand the design completely, unlike 2D drawings that can sometimes leave room for misinterpretation.




Sharing designs is easy!

VR proved to be very useful when people would visit the house while passing by or for open houses. It helped potential clients visualize the final design even though the house was still under construction while standing in the house itself but viewing through a VR headset. It also allowed us to share the vision of the house online to anyone. I’ve also used VR to document the house during the construction phases for documentation purposes.




See Dan and his team present their tiny home and how they went about the design process from their renderings to construction here!


 


VR is a great tool if you already use images to convey your projects or design iterations to clients, and Yulio integrates easily with workflows of all kinds. Want to know some of the unique ways you can make your presentations POP with VR? Check out this blog post outlining some of the awesome ways you can improve your design process and impress your clients!


Do you want your clients to have that “wow” VR experience with your projects? Yulio offers a free full-feature 30-day trial for you to test the waters of designing in VR and see if it is right for you or your practice. Or if you want to know more about the power of digital reality, you can check out this blog about what VR shows off best here!

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AR, Business, Industry News, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality
We sat down with Ian Hall, Chief Product Officer and resident expert at Yulio Technologies about his experience with VR, his work within the industry, and where he predicts the digital reality market will lead in the future, and here are his top 9 major takeaways! 


1. Stop calling it VR!
This first thing that I want to note about the future of VR is a bit ironic – and that is to stop calling it VR – or at least recognize that that is a bit of a bucket term for a number of technologies. We’re starting to combine the terms VR, AR, and MR, into this kind of overreaching descriptor of digital reality (DR) – some people call it XR to fill in the gaps, but digital reality seems to be resonating a little bit better. So, we start projecting out 6-12 months.. even a year and we look at it as that collection of visualization technology blending, merging, and working fluidly together in digital reality.




2. Hardware is always going to get better.

As anyone who has tried VR today can attest, it’s powerful, but there are still challenges. Even people who have had an experience in a professional tethered rig, like an HTC Vive, or something like an Oculus Rift – you’ve got this cable running from the back of your head, it gets sweaty, it’s clunky, it can be a little bit off-putting. The mobile devices, while they’re getting more and more powerful – everyone wants it to be higher resolution, lower latency, bigger field of view, longer battery life, less overheating to solve the convergence problem because there are a bunch of things that are all understood and I point to the Oculus Go – it moves forward on five of those things I just mentioned, in a substantive way, while absolutely plummeting the price. Two years ago I would’ve killed for an Oculus GO, and now future of virtual reality is here with it. It’s self-contained, has a long-lasting battery life, great tracking, excellent visuals – that DIDN’T exist two years ago, and now it’s available $200 street – for the cost of a music subscription, you’ve got this powerful new communication medium. To do what the Oculus Go does today by combining a phone with an enclosure, you’re looking at about $1000 street to have something reasonable – meanwhile, the Oculus Go is $200 for exactly the same thing.. I mean, that’s a staggering drop in pricing.


You’ve also got a major player in the space Leap technology. They’re promising full-blown, functional mixed-reality headset with hand-tracking as a reference design for roughly $100 street price. So, that’s what I mean about VR, AR, and MR all kind of blending.. As that hardware comes forward, we will exploit it. So, if $100 AR headset is out there, our AR pipeline (which is obviously in-the-making) will be able to exploit it.





3. We’ve got so much to look forward to for DR technology 

So, we’re seeing the evolution of technology – if anything, we’re actually seeing the technology outstripping everything else. We’re seeing the software ecosystem is getting better, richer, so standards are starting to evolve, things like GLTF which is a 3D data format, optimized for delivering this type of experience, WebVR, and we’ve got the big players working on things like ARKit and ARCore to give you dial tone for doing basic mixed reality behaviours, and you’ve got just MASSIVE research going into data compression, 5G data transport, and we can go on and on. We’ve actually got an entire, what we call, “TechRadar”, where, Yulio as a company – all of our mad scientists and product people are looking at the major trends in all of these relevant areas in software, hardware, standards, in the UX/best practices, and we update that frequently and we use it to inform our thinking – that’s how we skate towards where the puck is going. We’re projecting these things forward, we’re looking at the scientific papers recognizing that those papers are gonna be turned into functionality, and open source, and things that we can use and then we’re figuring out where our opportunities lie through all of that. So a lot of it is having that insight into what those variables are, who the players are, and how rapidly things are adapting.





4. We’re going to see DR technology being used more and more as a standard in the construction industry

That is happening in other industries as well. That’s happening in construction now. Construction is already adopting augmented reality so you’ve got a pipefitter who puts on an augmented reality headset, and they will see, because of the plan, that there’s supposed to be pipes running along the wall – they’ll see where they’re exactly supposed to go in real-time, at-scale, where it’s supposed to be cut-in and cut-out – they can do the work and check their work. Then the inspector comes around – he can put on the same headset – looks at the original drawings and be able to compare workers efforts against the original design -and THAT is utterly transformative for the entire industry for bottom-line costs, maintaining clarity for regulations, quality working effort, at a level of fidelity that we’ve never seen before.





5. VR doesn’t always have to be flashy

Have you ever tried watching something in a headset? For instance, watching Netflix with your peers or something like that. It’s small and simple, and if you’re living in an apartment and you don’t have space for a 60” television, then you can sit there and have an IMAX size theatre screen in front of you in your very own living room and you can watch whatever you want! Entertainment executions like this will continue to help drive the future of VR.





6. DR is the next major gaming platform

So, we’re ahead of the game. The adoption of VR as a way of consuming traditional media in a new way is, frankly, disruptive stuff. If you take a VR mount into a gaming room, (and there are some really good titles out there that are breathtaking and forefront stuff in virtual reality) and you come out with this emotional high that you just don’t get sitting there with other mediums. That’s what’s transformative about future of virtual reality – it’s an evolution of a storytelling medium and it’s the emotional connection that drives it that’s so exciting. You see more and more of these big studios when they do these big quality AAA games with  – and they ain’t doing it unless they can get their money back. So you’ve got the Sony’s and Samsung’s of the world pushing consumer VR but frankly, it’s in the very early days – for instance, instead of 100 hours of play, we’ve got 5 hours of play but it’s a REALLY cool 5 hours. Things like the Oculus Go suddenly become an install base of millions upon millions of content will follow. So, the big leagues for consumer VR are going to be content production – content that has a little bit more awareness, a little more accessible hardware.





7. Consumer adoption of VR will come as fast as we invite it

Technology moves fast, moves strategically, and it’s moving to address fairly well-understood problems… the bigger challenge is when you move into the human side of things –   which is the consumer consumption of digital reality. Now, obviously, Yulio as a company, we’re primarily focused on the business applications of this… that said, the business applications don’t exist in a vacuum. As consumers get exposed to DR and AR, kind of like first harbingers, they will lay the foundation for further investment in the space. Business or not they’ll build the future of VR because as consumers use it, more people will build hardware, more people will build software, so the building blocks that we use to create our products will branch from user adoption of the tech.





8. Digital reality training is coming full force – and it’s working! 

Education is another big one. The best example is Walmart who started dabbling with virtual reality as a way of training employees. They have this massive training program; whether you’re the one greeting at the door, or you’re the one stocking shelves or at the cash, you go through this very rigorous training program that introduces you to the “Walmart way” of doing things – and they will celebrate improving those outcomes all day long. If you can improve testing outcomes and improve customer feedback through that training program it has a huge impact. They introduced VR – and they saw double-digit improvements OVERNIGHT. So, they went from doing this as a trial to rolling out a full training program to every Walmart training center around the world and that was in the course of 12 months. So, again, this is a BIG IMPACT of DR transforming businesses.


So imagine that the same person is stocking the shelves wearing an MR headset and it gives them reinforcement of that training because they’re seeing it  in real-time, and the social stigma of looking funny with a big headset on doesn’t apply if you’re stocking shelves – So, business applications, some of those constraints that are going to slow down consumer adoption, don’t exist in business. If I’m going and doing a ‘pick and place’ in a warehouse – Putting a load into a box to mail to you, I don’t care what I look like. To put on a DR headset to be better at my job to improve efficiency is just something you’re going to do. That is becoming deliberate – this kind of idea where you wear these headsets in warehouses and remote diagnostics is already picking up traction. Microsoft jumping all over the whole platform. They literally just announced that the entire framework that allows you to use their HoloLens platform to do exactly what I just described. Have an expert come in, look virtually over your shoulder, and point to something and say “noo don’t turn that gear turn that gear” and they’ve come up with an entire platform for building applications like this.





9. The A&D community was perfectly primed to use DR technology

Today, in the architectural community in particular and more so the design community, we’re starting to see DR as table stakes – it’s not just a nice to have, but it’s becoming a must-have. When we started doing this over two years ago, we had to explain to our early adopters, “what IS VR?”, and they really just had no frame of reference… but in the last 6 months, I don’t remember the last architectural firm who didn’t have some sort of active VR initiative, and some of the more sophisticated ones have already started dabbling in AR and mixed reality – so that is an entire industry, and we just so happen to be perfectly primed for taking advantage of this. Speaking directly to Yulio, our clients use visualizations to convey design ideas, so visualization is definitely key. So these businesses are primed to use this technology and in a matter of 24 months, we went from getting reactions like, “what the hell is VR” to “we can’t live without VR” and that is absolutely transformative.


So, the implications for business make sense in the areas with the greatest ROI – where you see a ten-fold improvement overnight as opposed to traditional means. But as time establishes, more people try things and they find that it works… it’s substantially better than the alternative – you’re going to continue to grow in the business environment and this is absolutely the center of where Yulio exists. We are addressing those problems, we are working with our customers and trying those scenarios, we’re eliminating the ones that don’t work all that well, we’re focusing on the ones that really do, and we’ve already seen those successes in a repeating pattern. Using Yulio / a VR platform to convey your design ideas – early stage / late stage is correct. And we know that today because we have architects backing us saying, “we’re trying for a year to communicate to a customer why this thing needed to be this big and we finally had the epiphany – we were already using VR for our designers, and we decided to turn it around and put it in front of the customer, and they looked at it and had an ‘Aha’ moment. They looked at it and went ooooh I FINALLY get why it had to be so big .. we didn’t believe you and now we trust you and they finally became a partner in that dialogue.”


Until that moment – using the best methods available to architects today – models, floor plans, renderings, and all that kind of stuff – they weren’t able to convey that in a year, and VR was able to convey it in a split second. And that is transformative.




The Future of VR 

It’s more of that. It’s finding those niches. It’s finding those applications and it’s just transforming how people do business. I think winning business patterns will drive the future of VR.





Ian Hall is Yulio’s Chief Product Officer and has been working in the industry for an eternity in VR terms. He recently attended VRX 2018 and recorded the top trends that he saw. Read about them here. To learn more about VR best practices for business, check out our Whitepaper on the right way to integrate VR into your business for maximum ROI.


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AR, Architecture, Business, Design, How to, News and Updates, Technical, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

Adding to our collection of ways for you to enhance your VR projects, we’d like to introduce you to our latest Yulio feature release: image hotspots! This feature allows you to add a still image to your scene, while not interrupting your immersive experience for your audience.


Use image hotspots to show alternatives to a material, color or shape without having to render an additional scene, or get creative and show before/after shots and more. Image hotspots are another way to enhance your design, and tell your story in the context of the VR scene, without having to flip between VR and catalogs.


Check out an example of image hotspots in our showcase here.


 

 


 


This new feature is part of our continuing commitment to be the best VR presentation tool for business and can be viewed both in both browser-mode fishtank viewing with a button click and in VR by gazing at the hotspot. In Collaborate mode, hotspots are triggered by the presenter.


Some of the winning use cases from our user research:

  • In the context of your VR scene, show alternate arrangements, colors or uses and allow the viewer to easily look between them
  • By providing the image within the VR scene, you avoid breaking the storytelling experience – and let people see the work in context
  • Image hotspots will improve the range of things you can communicate in a single VR scene, save you ample time and space and allow you to easily expand on what is shown without having to fully render (a still image is much faster and cheaper)
  • Portfolio before and after transformations
  • Get creative and use an image to design a text annotation – maybe a quote from a designer


Our newest Yulio feature release is available immediately to all Yulio clients. To learn more and begin using them, visit our knowledge base. Or to find out more about using any of our features or for training, reach us at hello@yulio.com.
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AR, Architecture, Business, Culture, Design, Industry News, News and Updates, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

Yulio Chief Product Officer Ian Hall recently attended VRX 2018 and brought back some key VR trends and winning patterns from the conference. While we’ve expanded on them a bit below, the overwhelming theme is that VR adoption is being led by business adoption and not consumers. As we’ve predicted, waiting for consumer VR headset sales is the wrong adoption indicator – and will leave you flat-footed when it comes to sharing your vision in VR.


VR Trends in Hardware

There have been a number of analyst predictions around headset adoption, which consistently indicated that beginning in 2018 and through 2020 standalone headsets like Oculus Go, HTC Vive Focus etc. will dominate over a console or premium mobile headsets like Samsung’s Gear VR. The Oculus Go has been a game changer in the area, removing much of the friction we’ve seen for our clients of awkwardly trying to put their phone inside a headset etc. Look for the Microsoft Hololens and continue innovation from Oculus to lead in this area, with shipments expected to double between now and 2020.







Yulio tip:

Like our Yulio Clients, Perkins+Will noted during their panel at the conference that Oculus Go is a slam dunk, and that their sales team love it. We bet they love it because it removes so much friction from installing an app on your phone, putting your phone in a headset etc. etc. You can get Oculus Go from any electronics retailer, or right from the Oculus store – download our Yulio app and you’ll be all set. Removing friction is the most important of the VR trends, as we’ve learned from our 1000+ hours of user testing.


VR Trends by Business Vertical

We’ve looked at a number of verticals using VR successfully, and we’ve always agreed with the comment made by Iffat Mai of Perkins + Will architecture -that “VR ROI (in architecture) is a no-brainer, our job is to sell you something that doesn’t exist”. But the opportunities in some other sectors are interesting too. Showrooms and Retail sectors are slightly ahead of A&D in terms of demand, with the major players all figuring out how to use digital reality to create meaningful retail experiences.

Beyond retail and architecture, experts see significant potential in Education and Healthcare – but both are challenging to services due to extensive regulation and barriers to changing the current process (whether rolling out a new curriculum in education or extensive health testing).

Likely the biggest ‘bet’ will be in the training field, with experiential learning, fewer physical meetings, and more self-guided learning all being keys to the value of VR.



Yulio tip:

Our clients who work in commercial furniture have found that early adoption of VR has allowed them to differentiate from their competitors by offering an immersive experience. Moreover, the experience helps people make faster decisions with a better sense of size and scale – and gives clients the tools they need to ‘sell’ upward in their organizations and achieve final sign off. Read more in our client showcase with HBI in Calgary.


 

VR Trends from Early Adopters   

One of the most valuable elements from any conference is hearing and learning from those who have really set the virtual reality trends and are repeating useful patterns. You can leap-frog some learning by keeping key adoption learnings in mind:

  • If you’re responsible for rolling technology out to your sales or dealership/showroom teams, you need to look for something that’s as fail-proof as possible and operationalize the learning. Your benchmark should be that if it’s harder than powerpoint, or web-ex, you need a training webinar or session around resolving and scripting the issue
  • As the presenter, it can be challenging to manage the technology, tell your story, and ensure people don’t become isolated in VR. That’s why we recommend having no more than 2-3 headsets even in large presentations. If your software allows you to project what’s being seen in the headsets on a screen, you can see what people are looking at and create a social experience around it
  • The script is still critical to a VR supported presentation – VR trends in tech and even content don’t hide good design – so be sure you have the content, and the story you want to tell before immersing your clients in your scene


Yulio tip:

The most important VR trends aren’t about technology or complicated gadgets – they’re about storytelling. We recommend to all our clients who are looking to get started that they pick a target project – a pitch or presentation that’s upcoming, and use it as an area of focus to implement VR. One Oculus Go headset and a few software seats on Yulio will have you up and running for your presentation in no time. The key is to quit waiting for perfection….but rather to pick something simple and start your learning process.   




Our advice? Don’t be alarmed. Fortunately, it’s not too late to get in on the VR game. It is, however, high time to get started. For the perfect way to get yourself up to speed on virtual reality trends, try our Yulio 5-day course and wow your colleagues with this pre-packed presentation full of our VR research on the state of the industry.

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AR, Architecture, Business, Design, Everything Else, News and Updates, Technical, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

Today we’re pleased to announce our newest Yulio feature release: Text Hotspots! This feature lets you share more information right within your VR presentation!

Hotspots have always been the Yulio method of linking scenes in your VR designs. Previously, we’ve introduced Navigational Hotspots to allow you to virtually navigate your way through your scenes; then we released Audio Hotspots, where you can bring in the ambiance of an atmosphere or descriptions of design details to your scenes; now we’re launching Text Hotspots. Text Hotspots can be used for a number of functions such as describing design choices, offering answers to questions, or providing information about products used to create a design, all while still providing the most seamless VR experience possible for your clients.


Text Hotspots are made up of 2 elements:

  • Title (max. 140 characters) and visible at the top of the hotspot bubble
  • Body Text (max. 140 characters)

Hotspots are triggered in both browser-mode (also called ‘fishtank’ mode) with the click of a button, or if you’re viewing in VR, you can simply trigger the hotspot by gazing at the hotspot icon placed within your scene. In Collaborate mode, hotspots are triggered by the presenter.


You can still make adjustments to the depth of the hotspot in the scene to make it appear closer or further away in 3D space just like our Navigational and Audio Hotspots, however, the text itself will adjust for readability depending on screen resolution.



Check out an example of text hotspots on our showcase here.



 

 

 

 


Some of the winning use cases from our user research:

  • Consistent presentations, even when you’re not there. Including text hotspots in your design makes them part of the VR project and ensures the information will be consistent every time the design is viewed.
  • Respond to feedback during iteration. Place a hotspot over an area a client had questions about, or where they requested changes, and call attention to exactly how you addressed their concerns
  • Product Information in context. Annotate products within a design to showcase what makes them unique, all in visual context.


Beyond architecture and design related use cases, Yulio’s VR technology with text inside the experience also heralds the ability for product marketers to create next-generation virtual catalogs. Using their own mobile devices and a simple VR headset, buyers will be able to browse curated virtual environments triggering descriptions attached to products they’re interested in.




Text Hotspots are a part of the new wave of features that can truly enhance your scene and push your VR story forward to be told with consistency and precision without disrupting the immersive experience you’re providing for your clients.

This Yulio feature release is available immediately to all Yulio clients. To learn more and begin using them, visit our knowledge base.  Or to try them out for yourself, sign up for our free 30-day trial with no obligation

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Architecture, Business, Design, News and Updates, Technical, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

At Yulio, we’re always thinking about friction points you may have in your business for using VR. That’s why we are so excited to share our latest Yulio feature release with you – floor plan navigation – the easier way to explore large VR spaces!

Floorplan navigation integrates a traditional way of viewing designs, the 2D “dollhouse” view with VR for simpler navigation and presentation of VR projects.


The new feature lets you add a ‘dollhouse view’, ‘floorplan’ or exterior image to your project, and link your scenes to the appropriate spot on the floorplan. This allows you to more easily provide context and flow to your viewer, and organize complex projects with multiple hotspots. Tell your design story more easily by showing an overview of how the elements all fit together.


This new feature is part of our continuing commitment to be the best VR presentation tool for business and can be viewed both in browser mode or in VR headsets. It allows viewers to better understand how the different scenes in your project fit together and is a more flexible way of presenting a space. Rather than scrolling through each hotspot or photo in order, pop out to the floorplan view at any time to jump around the design. This flexibility allows you to have more fluid design presentations as you jump to areas of interest, and lets your clients explore links you send in the manner that most makes sense to them.



Our latest Yulio feature release is available immediately to all Yulio clients. To learn more and begin using it, visit our knowledge base. Or to create a free, 30-day trial account and design your own project!

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Architecture, Business, Design, Everything Else, How to, Technical, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

VR for architecture is often looked at as a key presentation tool to benefit your clients. Don’t get me wrong, that’s definitely something that VR does best over all other presentation tools in the industry – VR has the power to illustrate the unknown… it generates long-lasting, memorable experiences for clients that are much more tangible and impactful than anything they’ve seen before. Plus, VR provides a window on reality instead of what could be a hard-to-imagine mock-up, so there’s less guessing and more understanding when it comes to the details.



 



So, since VR is so successful for presenting designs to clients, we often lose sight of the other uses VR for architecture has that can amp up your VR game. We’ve compiled a list of other fun and useful features that VR can do that most people forget about (plus, these features don’t require you do to any extra work – so there’s that too!)


Get buddy-buddy with your contractor

Yes, ok, this is still using VR as a presentation tool – guilty – But like we said, VR is the best tool to use to show someone a design in the clearest, most precise way possible – so why not show everyone?

Consider sharing your virtual reality for Architecture project with the construction group that will be executing your design. Having a better idea of the expectations behind a project is never a bad thing – in the end, you’ll feel more confident about getting your design constructed perfectly, and your client will be relieved that the folks building their project know exactly what you want to be built. Plus, you’ll end up growing your relationship with your contractor. Forming a bond over the work you two share will strengthen the quality of communication and heighten the understanding around a design so the execution is a more flawless experience.  






 


Show some options

We find good use of navigational hotspots to show the same space but with different finishes or design details. Take, for instance, if you’re redoing a kitchen – having the ability to change between options such as a backsplash, countertop,  cabinet materials, placement of a kitchen island, or even just seeing the options in different times of the day could drastically help with quick decision-making.




 



Or look beyond VR for architecture and see how it can help interior designers see what the room will look like for guests and make adjustments to the space has better flow for when it’s lived-in. This could mean making small improvements here and there such as “what would it look like if we took out that wall” or “let’s try adding a separation there – it would be nice to define the spaces”. Seeing these small adjustments in true-scale could make a huge difference when it comes to how it all looks when everything is said and done.





Too busy? Dial it down

Sometimes when you first show a client a design, the details can be distracting – so rather than looking at the layout of a space, they may be more focused on the color of the brick, or the landscape. We see that by changing the resolution or material of the scene, the space is much less distracting, and you can focus on what really matters, which is the design at-large during the appropriate phase of the project.








 



Don’t sweat it – just see it

You also don’t have to sweat the labor of moving pieces around or staging the day before an open house. With virtual reality for architecture and design, you can show different configurations of furniture or decor in the same space to see which version works best. So whether that means staging your living room with different furniture and decor arrangements, reconfiguring a furniture showroom to show all of the unique ways you can use the pieces, or seeing what fits where best inside a museum – the aim of the game is show the best configurations of the same space as possible – and it’d be a lot harder to do without VR.



 




Asking for opinions can only make your designs better

VR collaboration is not just useful for communication between clients and designers, but it helps gain quality feedback from all kinds of parties involved with a design. Collaboration is the difference between finding aspects of a design that don’t make sense when you see them in true-scale, versus what could very well be “textbook” for a design. VR collaborations help you find the issues with your peers so you can make the necessary improvements to save yourself more time, money (and sanity) in the process.




 




Breathe some life into your design

Interior designers may want to add design details in their VR projects such as vignettes to add some presence to the space. There’s nothing more chilling than experiencing an empty design (hello, zombie apocalypse), so designers add touches like vignettes to make the space feel more ‘lived-in’ – it gives you a better idea of what it would look like if it were built and open to the public. This will make the person viewing the project feel less isolated in the space, and have a better ability to read into a visual story that’s being told through the design (e.g. a doctors office design with vignettes sitting in the waiting chairs makes the space feel more inviting than one that shows an empty room).  



 




Display your portfolio in VR

Having the novelty of VR for your design portfolio is an awesome way to show off your design skills, while also endorsing that you have experience with some of the latest tech in the industry. The idea of having aVR for architecture portfolio means that you can take it with you anywhere without lugging around heavy equipment, folders, or bags/briefcases – you can simply pull out your phone and a pair of Homido mini VR glasses (which can actually fold to fit in your pocket) and you’re set to present! Plus, if you’re a business – you can handout branded goggles (the Google Cardboard and Homido Mini glasses are probably the cheapest options that offer the best experience, while also having options to add your personal branding! – talk about adding to the portfolio experience!)



 

 



Throw it up on your website or share it with your network

Add a little something-something to your website and seduce some of your visitors. Showing that you have and use VR tells people that you know your stuff, you’re up-to-date with the latest and greatest tech in the industry, and of course, if the novelty doesn’t w-o-w them, then your design certainly will! Each VR project comes with its own unique embed code to post to your site – or you have the option to share the project with a link through a tweet, a text, an email, or other social media channels.




 



Show off your stuff!

Another benefit several of our clients use VR for is for marketing. Using VR is a great way to show off your work to your audience. VR excites people – in fact, 81% of people who see something in VR, tell their friends about it – so if you’re looking to get a reach with the content you’re showing – VR is certainly the way to do it. VR content can help aid a brand story and immerse users into a storyliving experience. Join your following and bask in the excitement your content brings! Having a memorable experience is what VR is all about.



 






These are just a few examples of the hundreds upon hundreds of ways you can customize your VR project and utilize the many features that VR can do! And with these tips, which require minimal to no extra effort, they’re easy ways to amp up your designs and your skills working with VR technology.


Want to try out some of these awesome features? Sign up for a free 30-day Yulio account for full access to our feature set. We’ve built Yulio from the ground up to be the ideal VR for architecture tool. Need a hand getting started? Grab a seat at our bi-weekly Yulio training webinar hosted by our own Client Success Manager for some insider tips and tricks, and full walkthroughs of everything you need to know to be successful with Yulio!


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Architecture, Business, Design, Industry News, Your Business + Virtual Reality

Last week, Yulio attended the fiftieth anniversary of NeoCon, the most important event of the year for the commercial design industry. Here, we got the pleasure to speak to some amazing industry leaders and see some spectacular showrooms in the process.


NeoCon 50 was all about the up-and-coming trends to hit the commercial design industry for 2018 and 2019 – and now, we want to share the major office design trends that we saw there with you!



Comfort and Durability were Key Players

The main trend that seemed consistent throughout NeoCon was the push towards how aspects of a home can be shared with commercial and hospitality spaces as well. This concept invites a more warm and welcoming atmosphere by inviting comfortability and durability within the same space.




 


 


To give you an idea of what we’re talking about, think about how offices are beginning to have a more comfortable collaborative-type feel such as including a plush sofa made of a light but durable material to stand the test of time but also being able to facilitate strong conversation. This would make what was intended for relaxation and comfort to transition into a more functional and social space for ideas and productivity to spark.




Bringing the Outdoors in

Another huge office design trend we saw is the idea of bringing elements of nature and organic materials into indoor spaces. You’ll see the incorporation of plants, greens, wood grain, furs, stones, and similar materials being used in a way that enhances the contrast within textures in opposing materials, while also adding a more acoustic experience for the room.




 


 


You’ll not only see this with materials used for furniture, but in wall coverings, room embellishments, and accents for a sense of freshness and life, and to bring our human instincts back to their roots wherever we may be.


 


The addition of natural embellishments within space design adds a luxurious feeling towards what used to be stagnant materials used in commercial and hospitality all around the world. The natural and polished look appears much more contemporary and visually interesting. Who wouldn’t want to brainstorm around this kind of boardroom table?!




Rich Layered Textures

Textured layers are another large trend that were fairly consistent throughout NeoCon. Following the use of natural materials, by incorporating contrasting textures allows for a lot more visual stimulation within a space.



 

 


You can focus a lot more on the detail of individual pieces with contrasting textures, but you’re also able to see comfort regardless of what materials you favor over others.



 


Again, here you see designers using wood, a natural material as an inspiration for many looks. These chairs look almost hand-carved, the partitioned wall has an appearance of a deteriorated birch, and the plaques on the wall appear like they’re tree rings, but in fact, are made of a brushed metal.


Think about complementary colors – if you want a color to pop, you’re going to put it against the opposing color to make the largest contrast. Having rich layered textures not only makes a space more visually appealing, but it allows for a combination of sleek materials to shine their brightest.




Repurposed Materials and Concepts Shine Bright

This one might not be a brand new concept for commercial design, but reviving the old and turning it back into something new is always a breath of fresh air when it comes to designing a space. Again, it’s the contrast of materials and what technology can do with the materials now that makes this look so stunning.




 



Notice the different textures from leather to iron to metal to plush to woodgrain to velvet – this room has it all. Even the candlesticks on either end table – an older concept that has been revived to be something new with light bulbs inserted into the base of the design. This design is a refreshed look on an old country living room but in the modern era.





 


Here we see one more example of how NeoCon was reviving the old and turning it into something completely new and different. These rugs were inspired by the beauty in imperfections – They embrace a rustic, old, and deteriorating look and feel, while also being natural, organic and with an unstructured pattern to complete the design.




Let’s talk patterns

In terms of colours and patterns that were popular, we see a lot of this rose gold colour that has erupted in the last few years make an appearance in the commercial design industry, as well as deep green colours to pair with the natural accents around the spaces, and we also see a lot of warm greys in many of the office spaces.




 


The patterns that made a forefront at NeoCon are driving from what used to be more neutral and conservative trend back to a more mid-century modern and vibrant look and feel. These designs have a blocked pattern, but you’ll notice that they don’t have any sort of vertical pattern or design repetition, which makes it have more of a natural effect because there is no distinct line where a pattern repeats.




Unique Wall Coverings

Now, diving into wallcovering trends that were spotted at NeoCon, we’re embracing this same natural organic texture and pattern but throwing it on the walls. Again, as we saw with the color and patterns this year, we see this same concept again in wall coverings. The designs have no distinct line or clear repetition which creates a more natural look and feel which is just so visually stunning in a space.


 


They seem to be playing with the organic patterns and metallic embellishments which creates this interesting and reflective look that appears very naturalistic but modernistic as well.




 


You’ll also notice small details like what look to be kitchen or bathroom tiles but in a completely inflated and deconstructed pattern. This is an interesting design choice to be an accent towards specific pieces in the room, for instance, in the image above, the wall tiles are accenting the stainless steel lamp shade with a woven metal base. This wall covering design seems to be coming from an older design trend of ‘ombre’, or the transition from one stark colour or texture to the next (so this would be the transition from protruding and metallic to a more matte finish) and also creates this balance on this wall with how the furniture is placed.



There you have it! Some of the stunning office design trends that we took away from the one and only NeoCon! We look forward to what NeoCon has in store for us for next year, but in the meantime,  we’d love to share some of our fun experiences with you. Check out some of our memories from the show here.



VR is a great tool for showing off your products, which includes furniture, wall and floor coverings and much much more. Interested in virtual reality? Learn more about VR for business through our fast 5-day email course here and kickstart your learning today!

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Architecture, Business, Design, News and Updates, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

We’re excited to announce that Yulio technologies has launched its new website this morning.

The updated site includes changes to navigation, to make it easier for current users to find the tools they need to create stunning, simple VR design.


Our decision to refresh our website came from some big ideas about what Yulio is great at, and how to help our clients use the tool for simple VR design, and providing a home for our most important content so that people just beginning to investigate VR could take advantage of all that we’ve learned from our 1000+ hours of user testing in VR.

 

“A lot of our architecture and design clients came to VR with a sense that they needed to start thinking about how VR is changing their industry”, said Rob Kendal, Managing Director of Yulio. “But they were blocking themselves from getting started because the felt there was so much to consider about VR design, choosing the right tech and the right software. Yulio makes it so much simpler than that, and the new site reflects that commitment to simple VR design. We want to democratize VR, to help push its adoption in architecture and design forward, and to do that, we need to prove that it’s easy to get started”.


We’ve made some important style updates to simplify the process to get started using Yulio, added some great demo resources, and of course, the blog and other resources are still available, and only a single click away.

Simpler Navigation

Yulio’s new layout puts the features our clients use most at the forefront for easier day to day integration into their business. You can create, present share and analyze your VR experiences from the same interface and get internal collaboration with virtually no learning curve with the new intuitive layout and walkthrough guidance.

Better Access to Resources

Yulio’s new site feature a re-vamped blog, knowledge base, and direct access to our whitepapers and 5-day course. Accelerate your learning curve in VR with access to the resources we’ve built and discover how simple VR design can be. Plus, we’ve integrated live chat so our clients can reach out with questions and get support help right away.

Simple VR Design Trial

We’re now showing off the full magic of simple VR design in Yulio with a 30-day trial with full access to all of Yulio’s features. Free users can use navigation and audio hotspots to enhance their scenes, understand what’s drawing viewer attention with heatmaps. Free users can also take advantage of Collaborate, Yulio’s most popular feature, which allows you to share VR with clients in a presentation mode, either remotely or in-person. Use Collaborate to engage your clients in the next level of conversation by immersing them in your proposal – you’ll show off your use of VR and get to decisions and agreement faster. And you won’t believe how simple it is to create your first design.

 

We’ll be continuing to share our learnings on the blog in weekly posts and updating our showcase with new simple vr design inspirations. Follow our quest to bring simple VR design to every design firm and help them share their vision. And get started yourself with a full trial of all of our features for 30 days.

 

We hope you like the changes, and if you have any feedback, please let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin.

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AR, Architecture, Business, Design, How to, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

VR is changing industries of all kinds, and it’s playing a major role in the transformation of the architecture and design industry. VR and architectural visualization are such a natural match when it comes to the need to create a shared vision, and the ability to immerse a client or prospect into what’s in the designer’s mind. Imagine being able, not just to show your clients the plans for the building, floor or remodel they’ve commissioned, but place them inside it. It’s a new world of presenting with VR to your client, which is critical to architects and firms trying to build trust and earn client buy-in.





 


Plainly put, presenting with virtual reality is the simplest and most compelling way to share CAD models with anyone. It is the clearest way to present your design vision to clients, suppliers, contractors, engineers, prospects, and other designers. So what does that look like? If you’ve never given one before, giving an architectural presentation in VR can seem daunting. Change is hard. It’s hard to divert from something you’ve done for so long, but rest assured, the way to ease into the technology is much simpler than you think!


When you use VR, make sure it has purpose

The simplest way to create a presentation that uses VR is to first determine what your purpose is. Make VR work for you and your objective, rather than try and shoehorn what it is your presenting into VR. That may sound obvious, but with shiny new technologies, there’s sometimes a temptation to let the technology do the heavy-lifting (anyone remember the slew of useless apps available in the mid-2000s?). VR highlights great design – but may do the same for bad design. So make sure you have a clear vision of what you want to share.



Start small!

Start small. Think of introducing VR into your presentation in a small way – until you’re more comfortable with using the technology for presentations.

For your first time presenting with VR, you may even wish to still bring your traditional renderings, whether they be on paper or a screen. Start small by presenting as you would normally. Don’t feel VR has to be the entire presentation. Begin with a simple few minutes immersed in VR, rather than making it the bulk. When starting out people sometimes make the error of assuming clients will be enamored with VR and spend a long time in its immersive detail. Our early adopter clients have discovered that this isn’t true – and it’s to their advantage. At Yulio we advocate a ‘pop-in and out’ experience, where you present a design element in VR and your client takes a look – then you put the technology aside and have a discussion. VR is a tool to foster great discussion, not a replacement for it. Using mobile VR makes this possible, as it requires virtually no set up or training to navigate and can be referenced several times during your presentation.

For the record, we also remove all the straps from our headsets at Yulio – which removes client fears of feeling foolish or nauseous trapped inside the technology and helps enable this idea of popping in and out.





 

Presenting with VR: Don’t let the technology do the talking

When you take your clients into VR, there’s a good chance they won’t have experienced it before, so let them revel in the novelty of it – how they can turn around and see what’s behind them.

But remember that it can be an isolating experience, so you’ll want to guide their gaze either with software tools in the VR presentation (like Yulio’s Collaborate feature) or with recorded voice if you’re not present (like our audio hotspot features). Another valuable way to create a social experience is to ensure the VR experience is also on a screen in the room so any participants not in the headset can see what’s going on.






Your client may be more vocal about their opinion, and that’s ok!

While you’re walking your client through the VR experience, it’s likely you’ll start to see the benefits of presenting with virtual reality early on. One key indicator is that you may get immediate feedback about the project you’re presenting. Your client may have opinions on the spot about what you’re presenting. Early adopter firms have told us they find clients have much more to say when they’re presented with VR designs vs. other formats, primarily because they have a greater understanding of where they are in your design, and its size and scale. They also report clients having a greater emotional attachment.


For more on this, see our case study with Diamond Schmitt architects and what happened when they started presenting with VR.


Be patient, and let the meeting happen naturally

After you’ve presented in VR a few times, you’ll also likely start to form your own pattern for which questions to ask. Will you let them roam around the space a bit? In our experience, the best presentations are those where you comfortable enough to let your time together roll out organically. They may want more time in VR than you’ve expected, and that’s ok. What’s exciting is that you will have a greater context to the feedback, understanding what your client was looking at when they expressed dislike for ‘that blue thing’ or wondered if the space felt “too big”.


Be prepared at the time to take notes for revisions to address. VR accelerates the decision-making process because people can react to it on the spot. You may no longer have to wait until the next meeting or email to move a design story forward.



With these tips, you can feel confident taking the steps towards presenting with VR. Just remember, like learning or using anything new, getting warmed up to it might take some time, and rehearsal and backups will make you better. Just know that you’re taking the necessary steps towards the future of design, and that’s an exciting step to take! So be proud of the progress you’ve had so far, and get excited about the work you’ll do in the future with the many possibilities that presenting with VR has.





Interested in VR? Sign up for our FREE 5-day email course to learn about the VR industry, or join us for a free training webinar, hosted every other Thursday at 1 PM EST by our Client Success Manager, Dana Warren – Grab your seat here.

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Architecture, Business, Design, Industry News, News and Updates, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

We are so excited and so proud to announce that our app, the Yulio Viewer, is the first Business VR Viewer app to be released in the Oculus Go Store as of yesterday afternoon (May 9, 2018)! 


The very much anticipated Oculus Go headset (OGO) hit the shelves on May 1st, and you better believe that we jumped at the opportunity to get our hands on it!


Not only is the OGO the first stand-alone headset to hit the market (ever!), but this is a HUGE step towards democratizing VR – in fact, this headsets launch is being sprouted as the first true consumer-focused VR system – and for good reasons. This headset is the best option on the market for anyone that wants to start exploring mobile VR without relying on your smartphone. There’s no phone required, no awkwardly fitting your phone inside the goggles and hoping it’s secure, no worrying about the headset draining your phone’s battery, no cables to entangle you. Just…..go. It’s that easy.



The release of this headset means that the barriers that were causing friction with mobile VR in the past – are virtually gone!


OGO embodies everything that Yulio has been built from the ground up to support, which is Fast VR. Having the ability to be mobile, simple, and affordable can transform how VR is used for your business. Fast VR is a principle, a habit, a way of bringing virtual reality into business situations and workflows at precise moments when it can do what it does best – quickly communicate the complex and without obstacles to get you there. This completely self-contained headset will make it easy for anyone to preload their designs, then simply pop in-and-out for a seamless, stunning and compelling virtual reality presentation.





See our Yulio App on the Oculus Go for your self! You can download our app in the Oculus Go Store to start exploring your stunning VR designs here. Our app is also available in the App Store, Google Play and Samsung’s Oculus Store for Cardboard and Gear VR. And if you haven’t already, hop on the train to experience Fast VR for yourself! Sign up for a free Yulio account to start impressing your clients.

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AR, Architecture, Business, Design, Industry News, News and Updates, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

If you follow the VR space at all, you’ve probably heard about Oculus Go VR – the much anticipated ‘all-in-one’ headset set to revolutionize mobile VR. No phone required, no awkwardly fitting your phone inside the goggles and hoping it’s secure, no cables to entangle you. Just…..go.


And that’s the intended magic of VR, isn’t it? Put on this headset and go anywhere. The Oculus Go is started being available to order  May 1 2018, (many of us at Yulio just bought one) so probably in our hands and hitting retailers soon for about  $200. That’s pretty exciting when you consider that a Gear VR from Samsung, the current best in class mobile experience is around $100 but requires a high-end smartphone to make the magic happen.


There have been plenty of articles discussing the consumer benefits but what about the benefits for those who can see immediate ROI? Let’s look at the four reasons why Oculus Go Virtual Reality is going to be the key to making your business a VR success.




You get the emotional connection of VR without all the hassle of preloading

VR’s power to forge emotional connections has always been why it is so interesting. The problem to date has been that it sometimes gets lost in cumbersome technology – what I would call ‘friction’. In the past several years of experimenting with VR technology, and more than 1000 hours of user testing, we’ve seen small things like an unwillingness to mess up hair and makeup with headsets, concern about looking foolish and concern about feeling nauseous all limit VR’s reach. And we’ve seen the current multi-step process –  download an app, put content on your phone, put the phone in a headset – impede business adoption.




The headset is powerful enough to stand on its own (and not draining your own phone battery)

The ‘smartphone as engine’ model has some inherent problems in current mobile VR that Oculus Go VR takes care of nicely. Right now, if your sales team is using VR in the field with their own phones, the experience can be interrupted by incoming calls or text alerts. And if their phone battery is at low because of this morning’s conference call, is an interior designer going to risk using it in VR at a client presentation? Standalone, purpose-built devices not only take away the friction of loading the right app and getting it going before placing it in a headset, but also take care of these small but very real inconveniences.




It makes fast VR, even faster –  and more personal

For VR to be a practical, everyday tool, I maintain that it has to be fast. It’s a tool to facilitate discussion, and I advocate a ‘pop in and out’ experience. Look inside the headset at a design problem or issue to be resolved with your client or prospect, and then have a discussion. Oculus Go is going to contribute to that ‘fast VR’ use case that I think is critical to business-ready VR. Simpler, pre-loaded VR experiences on the headset make the designer, marketer or even retailer the narrator of a story, and not someone facilitating technology like phones and apps. It helps you get into VR faster, and I’ve seen, many times, how transformative that is. It’s the difference between seeing something and being immersed inside it.



You don’t need to blow the rest of your pay cheque on the device that powers your headset

Another obstacle to business VR is perceived cost. You’ll see articles all the time explaining that the Gear VR or the Google Daydream is just $100. But they need phones which are $550+ to power them. As a business owner trying to arm salespeople with VR portfolios or installing these devices in retail environments, there’s a lot of risk for breakage, damage, and loss. But with Oculus GO virtual reality, marketers and sales manager will be able to get 3-4 devices for the same budget.


Get Started with Oculus Go VR

It’s a cornerstone of our approach to VR for business that the technology should never be a burden to a business user. You should be able to use the tools and processes you’re already using to bring your story into the VR medium. Oculus GO VR is another step toward making that seamless and has the potential to propel VR storytelling for business in late 2018.





Interested in learning about virtual reality? Sign up for our FREE 5-day email course, or sign up for a free Yulio account and take part in our free bi-weekly training webinars where we can walk you through getting started with your account to set you up for success!

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AR, Business, Industry News, VR

We talk with architects, designers, construction planners, BIM executives and many more, every day who know VR is going to be disruptive to their industry. But they are sometimes uncertain about whether VR is more than a tech novelty – they want to know how to spot a trend vs. a fad.  That makes sense to us! If businesses are going to invest in implementing VR, or the wider category of digital reality they want to know if it’s a passing fad, or if it’s here for good. And how to get the best ROI from it. We definitely think that digital reality is here to stay.


The first thing to understand about the VR market is the significant difference between consumer and business markets. The less than juggernaut sales of headsets for consumers led some analysts to call VR a disappointment. But there is a difference in personal investment for things like gaming and entertainment, vs business needs for designers to communicate their vision where the costs are amortized over many users, and the potential to win business.


Digital Reality?

Digital reality is a term that IDC has coined, and is meant to be used as an umbrella term that virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR) (a mixture of augmented and virtual reality) 360 degree, and immersive technologies can all fall under. It’s a recognition that new immersive visual technologies all have different uses, and the specific mechanics aren’t important in the larger trend of Digital Reality. A lot of people anticipate mixed reality being the big winner in the space because it makes use of physical and virtual space to create captivating scenes for any industry-use, but for now, VR and AR are the primary focus in the market. We anticipate those labels falling away as we adopt a larger view of Digital Reality, with the different categories becoming tools in the toolbox with different strengths.


What’s the Market Like?

Goldman Sachs released a Profile of Innovation surrounding virtual and augmented reality, and it describes the tech as “hav[ing] the potential to become the next big computing platform”, comparing the rise of investment and market disruption of digital reality as similar to when the PC and smartphone were released.


The report notes that, “[they] believe that VR/AR has the potential to spawn a multi-billion dollar industry, and possibly be as game-changing as the advent of the PC”, and that, “[they] see qualities in VR/AR technology that can take this from niche use cases to a device as ubiquitous as the smartphone” – Pretty powerful statements, if you ask me.



In 2016, the VR software and hardware market size worldwide reached 3.7 million, and 6.4 million in 2017 – now in 2018, it’s estimated to reach 12.1 million. The market trend forecast predicts that it will continue to double until 2020, which is similar to the original rise of the PC, but it’ll take a bit more time to get there. Think about the quality of video games – we’ve moved from what used to be expensive games that were very pixelated and with significant lag time, to insanely fast and photo-realistic image quality, and reduced costs that consumers are willing to pay to play. There are certainly parallels where VR/AR consumers may find that there isn’t enough high-quality content to justify the expense for individuals, but that is poised to change in the coming months. And in the meantime, businesses are finding that their ability to amortize those costs over marketing campaigns make the technology more viable for them than the average consumer.  


We can expect some pretty big innovations being released in the next couple of years – Goldman Sachs predicts that the market should reach $80 billion by 2025.






There will be integrations into current technology that will allow for VR/AR capabilities, as well as standalone devices similar to the Daydream Standalone VR headsets, which are targeted to begin shipping spring of this year. This VR headset doesn’t require a phone, PC or cables, which makes it the first of its kind in terms of mobile digital reality power.


Another barrier for consumer VR/AR right now is that there isn’t much content, but in the future, there are huge indicators for the amount of content that will be widely available, which will make digital reality much more attractive and useful for consumers.



 

Next, Goldman Sachs provided a by-industry breakdown of the market for the forecasted 2025 market prediction, showing the various levels of use for 9 different industries.  

Here, you can see the division of the digital reality market software-use into 9 industries:

  1. Video games ($11.6B)
  2. Healthcare ($5.1B)
  3. Engineering ($4.7B)
  4. Live events ($4.1B)
  5. Video entertainment ($3.2B)
  6. Real estate ($2.6B)
  7. Retail ($1.6B)
  8. Military ($1.4B)
  9. Education ($0.7B)

With real estate, engineering, and entertainment being the large industries at-play with digital reality technology at the moment, we can see that there’s still a lot of potential for the medium that hasn’t been discovered just yet.



Who are the Major Players Investing in Digital Reality?

Companies wouldn’t be all in unless they saw something with the potential to stay a long time. You know something is here to stay when the largest consumer tech companies in the world are investing heavily in it. Let’s take a look at some of the major technology moguls, and what they’ve been up to involving digital reality:



Google

They had already released their augmented reality glasses, called ‘Google Glass’, back in 2012, but unfortunately, it didn’t take off quite as expected. The idea was revolutionary, and I’m sure it’ll come back with a vengeance, but at the time, it wasn’t something that consumers could justify needing, and felt alien and cumbersome.


Since then, Google has invested $542 million dollars in 2014 to kick-off the ‘Magic Leap’, one of the first-to-market mixed reality headsets. Google also pioneered the Cardboard, an inexpensive VR headset that really democratized access to digital reality. When Google moves to get something into the hands of tens of thousands of customers, you can anticipate they are looking to make a major play in providing content services.


Sony

In 2014, Sony launched ‘Project Morpheus’, later renamed to be the PlayStation VR. In 2017, they shipped 429,000 PSVR’s in their first quarter, giving the company a 21.5% market share, and sold a total of 700,000 PS4 consoles, so the potential for their VR segment to grow is very much a possibility… and being the most affordable tethered VR option in the market right now definitely gives them a leg-up on their competition


HP

In 2014, they bought Aurasma 3.0, an augmented reality application which they acquired through autonomy.


Facebook

Famous for buying Oculus in 2014 for $2 billion, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at a conference in 2017 that he is setting a goal of getting 1 billion people using VR, which is about 13% of the world’s population –  that target number of VR users is estimated to be reached by 2020.


They’ve also recently shared that the Facebook platform now supports gITF2.0 file format, allowing for textures, lighting and realistic rendering through posts. Brands such as Clash of Clans, LEGO, Jurassic Park, and Wayfair are already ramping themselves up to use this feature to their advantage.






Another exciting possibility for the platform is their use as  VR social spaces for friends to interact and play games. Check out the live demo of the feature here!


Samsung

In 2014, Samsung revealed (in partnership with Oculus) their Samsung Gear VR, one of the most popular mobile VR headsets to hit the market. Selling almost 5 million headsets in 2017, they’re expecting to more than double their in 2018 to 10 million units shipped!


In 2017, they also acquired a company called VRB, who specialize in VR content creation, PLUS unveiled their 360-degree camera, which is one of the big content drivers for VR. We expect to see more developments from Samsung as the VR market grows.


Intel

In 2015, Intel had invested over $60 million in 15 VR/AR startup companies, raising to be $566 million by the end of 2017. Also, in September of 2017, Intel announced that they’ve invested over $1 billion in AI companies so we can prepare ourselves to witness some pretty cool technology coming from them sometime in the future.


Apple

Reportedly acquired Metaio, an AR software maker, and are now beginning to launch their platform, ARKit, which is an integration piece for apps that allow for augmented reality to best perform on their hardware.

Apple also got onboard with the same kind of software that made Snapchat so popular -They’ve acquired Faceshift, a facial recognition and animation company. Check out their ad here!



Disney

Led $65 million to be funded towards a VR content creating a startup called Jaunt.


Microsoft

Bought a company called Havok, which is a 3D physics engine used for video games.


Comcast and Time Warner

Participated in $30.5 million funding for NextVR, which captures live events in VR.





These companies are, as they say, “all in” on digital reality – which means that some huge developments are in the making, and coming to consumer shelves sooner than you think.

With this much activity in the market, do you still think that digital reality is just hype? We think not – we think digital reality is here to stay. 


To learn more about how VR can enhance your business workflow, sign up for our FREE 5-day email course – or try VR on-for-size by signing up for a free Yulio account!


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Architecture, Business, Design, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

Have you ever drafted a design, presented it to a client, and had them tell you that they’re “just not seeing it”?


Being able to create a perfect understanding is a huge benefit of using VR for designers.

The design process can be daunting for many due to the many variables and project details that get conflated early in the design process. To clarify those, designers spend time and money trying to draft better visualizations of designs for clients to remove their worries and frustrations. The longer it takes to represent a design to a client and have a mutual understanding, the more time and money that is spent before the next phase can even begin.


Isn’t there an easier way? With over 200,000 views of Yulio VREs for our clients, we’ve identified the 4 ways that virtual reality for designers can simplify the design process.



(1) VR for designers allows for better client-designer communication
Having clear and effective communication between yourself and your client is essential during the design process. Many people struggle to imagine concepts without a real tangible experience to pair with it. In the past, the dominant mediums used to create visualizations included sketching, both on paper and a computer-generated version, or a small-scale replica. These options, although previously effective in most cases, lack a real sense of scale, and are prone to misinterpretations which could lead to a longer design process for the project which is not time or cost efficient.

You can get on the same page with VR because it removes all ambiguity.  With virtual reality, you can show your design in true scale and detail directly to your client, which will leave no room for confusion. It’s a greater alignment of what you meant when you said “light and airy” and what the client thought that meant than still images or other tools. It helps give clients greater confidence that they understand your vision and helps them move to the next phase of decision making.





(2) The client will connect more with your design

Studies have shown that VR can deliver a 27% higher emotional engagement and 34% longer engagement than 2D content, so, by virtually transporting your client into your design, they will have a better sense of presence within the space and a stronger emotional response to the design. A study from Google Zoo also noted that “for study participants with busy personal or professional lives, [being in VR] offered a sensory-rich space to experience solitude and connect with a specific set of emotions.”


In addition, the stronger emotional connection that the client has with the design can also allow the designer to gauge the client’s reactions and feedback better than without the immersive experience. So the designer will have a sense of how satisfied the client is with the design right from the get-go through VR for designers.




(3) You’ll get immediate quality feedback

Clients will often want to see the end-product, meaning that they want to see as much detail as possible packed into the design so they can get an idea of what they’ll be receiving post-construction.


Although sketching, CAD programs, and small-scale models all show examples of the end-product, they’re limited because the client cannot picture the design details in a unified space and with actual scale for the project. VR creates a 1:1 scale representation of the clients investment, making it much simpler for them to provide genuine feedback right upon viewing. This leads to less reworking of the design drafts as well as less back and forth between the client and the designer.


In addition, following our last point, because the client will also be more emotionally engaged with the design, you will receive more honest and immediate feedback on what they love or hate, and what they want/need to be improved before continuing to the next phase of the project.



(4) Overall, it’s just more cost, time and ergonomically efficient

Previously, to be able to achieve the same, or similar effect of understanding for both parties, it would require a 1:1 scale replica build of the project – which is an extremely costly addition to a project (and just not logical depending on the project) – plus, if any changes needed to be made it would certainly lengthen this stage of the process. This option just doesn’t make sense to do in most cases anymore, especially when we have the practical technology ready to replace this practice.





Ok, let’s go over some facts. VR for designers:

  • Makes communication easy between both parties – If the client can see the exact design in real scale and detail, then they can discuss the design in more depth much easier than through other mediums.
  • Emotionally connects the client to the design more so than to something small-scale, 2D, or purely computer-generated – so feedback will be better and more meaningful towards the project
  • VR allows you to see exactly what is going to be built – VR representations show the client exactly what they’d be getting – there’s no room for misinterpretation, which leads to faster decision making (or a faster rework of the design for any alterations that need to be made).
  • VR is just straight up cooler than other mediums – Ok, we’re a little biased on this one – but you know what we mean… technology excites clients. In fact, 53% of people would prefer to buy from a company that uses VR over one that doesn’t.


Virtual reality for designers can save clients and artists a lot of back and forth, which can add up to be a lot of time (and money!) depending on the scale of the project. Designers that use VR from the get-go can test and weigh different options and design details while they’re developing the whole project while also being able to relay designs to their clients much sooner than conventional practices.




Ready to learn more about VR for designers? Sign up for our FREE 5-day email course to learn how VR can enhance your business workflow. And, if you’re ready to test out the problem-solving capabilities of VR, sign up for a free Yulio account.

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Architecture, Business, Design, Resource, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

People are naturally resistant to change not only because of the discomfort but also because of legitimate fears about losing efficiency. When deadlines are pressing, people don’t want to take additional time to try new software or build render time into their workflow.  


With a little education, you can overcome this hesitation and lead VR adoption for your business. Take a look at some of the key insights from our Client Success Manager, Dana Warren (DW), as she discusses working with VR. We’ll help you learn how to adopt the technology to wow your clients and feel confident in every client interaction.




What do you think are the biggest hesitations people have when they start working with virtual reality?

DW – The biggest hurdle I find users have trouble with is figuring out how they want to adopt VR into their workflow. Designing in a CAD program is already time-consuming, so they feel like adding a new step to the workflow is daunting; but it honestly comes down to the rendering stage. You can render VR-compatible scenes with our CAD plugins, which means all you’ll need to do is upload your files to Yulio and click ‘View in VR’ to send them to the Yulio Viewer app on your phone.


New technology can seem intimidating, but Yulio was designed to be used by anyone. Things like our CAD plugins and authoring within Yulio may seem complicated, but we can assure you that the workflow process for you is not changing much, and anything you’re unfamiliar with is a small learning curve in the scheme of things. We’re here to make sure you have success with your clients so anything you run into we can help you overcome.



What are the most common questions you get from users who are just starting out?

DW –The main question I get is surrounding where the VR content comes from. Once users sign-up, they find that they’re inside our interface, but they aren’t sure how to get started working with virtual reality as they may not know how to create content.

Here is where our CAD plugins come in. If you install the plugin that matches the CAD program in your workflow, you can make any 3D CAD design into a VR design. Click on the Yulio plugin button in your CAD program, and once the project is done rendering, you can upload the cubemap file to Yulio, and there you go – a virtual reality experience you can share with your clients. You can start working with VR in this way in minutes.


We also get a lot of inquiries from new users asking about what kind of headset they should use or buy. When people think about VR, they picture tethered VR, which isn’t as easy to use in business – you have to have someone on site for every meeting, you have to watch for safety and clients have a greater chance of experiencing nausea.

Yulio focuses solely on a mobile virtual reality experience because of the simplicity, mobility, and how intuitive it is for all kinds of users. We typically recommend the Samsung Gear VR (about $100 and widely available on Amazon) for a higher-end mobile experience, or there’s also the Homido mini or Google Cardboard which still provide great viewing experiences, but with a smaller price tag of $10-$15.  


Another common question we get is around how to share a virtual reality project with clients or coworkers. This is where Yulio shines – it’s all about making you look good in front of your clients, and is a simple presentation tool for working with VR. Yulio has two ways of sharing; link, and embed.

If you want to privately share your VR project, then sharing a link would be the way to go. Every VR project has a unique URL associated with it, and you have the freedom to share this link with the audience of your choosing. If you and your clients know how to work with a URL, it’s just the same.

You can also embed any VR experience on your website – you can find the embed code for your website under the sharing link, but just like a video or other resources, you just use the code to add to the site.




What’s the best way for new users to start working with VR?

DW – If I could recommend one thing it would be to just dive in. Give yourself an hour or so and just explore the features and functions, maybe read through some our resources – once you spend time learning the technology, I can promise you that you’re going to become an expert. And that one-hour investment is going to do amazing things for your business – VR adopters find they:


  • Are perceived as leaders in their industry for having adopted new technology
  • Have better, more engaging conversations with clients who better understand their design presentations
  • Get to decision making faster, with fewer meetings since VR brings clarity
  • Have fewer late-stage changes as their clients are in sync with the design from the beginning


Some resources we have on-hand include, ‘‘how-to” video walkthroughs on our Youtube channel, we have our knowledge base and FAQ’s to answer some of your questions, a live chat on our website which I answer within hours, so if you can’t find an answer you can definitely reach out to me there.


Finally, we just started hosting weekly training webinars to introduce new users to Yulio, and help you with getting started with virtual reality. Grab a spot any week, here.




Do you have any tips or tricks for users who are just starting to use VR?

DW – Some tips that I find helpful and useful when working with VR are:


  • In your CAD program, set the camera height to 5’6” – This is the average height of people in North America. It’ll give you a good perspective height when you’re viewing the VR project. And think about the camera position your client will see at the start of the experience – you don’t want them facing a blank wall, so you have to consider that starting spot
  • Depending on the headset that you’re using, VR can be isolating; which is why we remove head straps on our headsets. This makes it easier to pop in and out of virtual reality to keep the discussion with clients flowing.
  • Next, really think about what you’re designing for. When you’re designing for virtual reality, you have to keep in mind that the user can look all around them as opposed to in one single direction. So remember to design for above, behind, and below your client as well as key areas that you want to showcase.
  • Finally, think about the story you’re trying to tell, and how you can get that across with features like audio and navigational hotspots. You want to paint more than just a pretty picture, you want to captivate your client and truly allow them to see your vision come to life in front of their eyes.





A big thank you to Dana for sharing her knowledge and insights, and for providing so much ongoing support. She will be continuing to host our weekly training webinars for new users every Thursday at 1 pm EST. At these webinars, Dana will equip you with everything you need to know to start creating awesome VR presentations for your clients using Yulio.


She’ll take you through things like:


  • Business use-cases and real examples of VR projects from our clients,
  • How to create a VR project from rendering to authoring
  • Customizing and enhancing your VR project to be the best it can be
  • Go through CAD plugins within the actual programs themselves

On top of all of that, the webinar is completely live so you can feel free to stop and ask questions at every step of the process and she’ll do her best to address all of your comments, questions, and concerns.



If you’re interested in joining one of our weekly webinar training sessions, you can sign up here. Or if you want to give Yulio a try you can sign up here and get access to a Yulio account and test our all our features for free.

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