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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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Arts, Culture, Design, Industry News, Your Business + Virtual Reality
New Jersey-based company Pantone has one of the most prominent voices in color. Whether it be a garment presented down a runway, or a house being redecorated, industries touched by color and reliant on visual aesthetics are keen to listen in on Pantone’s annual announcement of their Color of the Year. Every year, “Pantone picks a new color… based on socioeconomic conditions, fashion trends, new technologies, as well as new trends in the realms of lifestyle, art, music, travel, and of course, social media” (retrieved from CNN). Pantone’s process of picking the Color of the Year is much more thoughtful than many may assume. Through careful analysis, Pantone’s color experts meticulously analyze the current state of our society and assign a color that best fits the circumstances.


In December of 2018, Pantone announced that 2019’s Color of the Year would be Living Coral. Accompanying this bright and lively color has a much deeper meaning behind it. Before we dive into the intricacies of Living Coral and how advanced technology like virtual reality can help shape how to best incorporate it into our spaces, let’s explore the psychology of color.


The Psychology of Color

There is no doubt that color, for sighted people, is a powerful tool that can tap into a person’s emotions and convey a positive or negative message. How we receive the message is based on our understanding of what the color culturally means to us — there is no universal definition for each specific color. From the Western perspective, we may view white as the color of purity, simplicity, and innocence. However, in many Eastern countries, white is the color associated with mourning. As humans, we approach color from a personal perspective that is heavily linked with our emotions. When examining your view of color, it is crucial to understand your demographic and the implications behind certain colors to tailor the best experience to them.



Most notably, those in the field of marketing have masterfully used color to their advantage, utilizing it as a vessel to achieve their ultimate goals. Think of the most well known fast food chains and the colors they use in their logo. Many of their colors are bright and eye-catching, helping consumers identify and retain your branding with more ease.


The Meaning Behind Living Coral

From the Western perspective, the color orange is positively associated with physical comfort, food, warmth, and security. As it is also seen as a “fun” color; orange promotes good feelings and jolly vibes. Pantone’s Color of the Year, Living Coral, is a cheerful hue of orange — it’s no wonder that it is said to welcome and encourage lightheartedness. As we continue to dig deeper into digital adoption, the risk of greater disconnect from our surroundings increases significantly. Pantone specifically chooses their annual anthem color based on the current political climate; Living Coral embodies what our society needs at this time. This digital isolation is exactly what Pantone’s Living Coral hopes to lead us out of. Living Coral encourages the masses to be the most authentic versions of themselves. Especially during times of turbulent events and high-strung emotions, Living Coral encourages us to return to the energizing colors found in nature. As the name suggests, Pantone also invites us all to give a standing ovation to the nurturing aspect of coral reefs. Corals play an important role in providing shelter to many species of marine life. With roughly  30% of our coral reefs experiencing devastation and bleaching, Living Coral hopes to inspire greater harmony and human interaction to combat the negative with positive.

View it in VR

Although Living Coral is a beautiful color with deep meaning, no one can deny that wearing it makes a fashion statement that may not fit with everyone’s aesthetic. This is where VR comes in handy.

“Colour is an equalizing lens through which we experience our natural and digital realities and this is particularly true for Living Coral. With consumers craving human interaction and social connection, the humanizing and heartening qualities displayed by the convivial PANTONE Living Coral hit a responsive chord.” – Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute (Retrieved from here

Whether you are unsure about the color or trying your best to make it work in a space, for you or a client, VR allows you to get as close to having Living Coral on your walls as possible before having to pick up a paintbrush. While using VR, you can see exactly what you will be getting. Being immersed in VR allows you to have a perfect understanding of whether Living Coral is appropriate for a certain product or space, helping you in your design process.


  • VR lighting studies can be created to understand how it will look at all times of day.

  • Seeing a swatch of Living Coral may tap into your creative mind where you can fit this color exactly. As a bright, it could quickly turn into a visual distraction. Is it best suited to a different area based on how much attention it grabs? Previewing the feasibility of color is a valuable use of VR, as is trying to get a window on any design that hasn’t yet been executed.

  • Decrease your likelihood of making costly mistakes by seeing it first in VR. And if you are a designer and you are concerned that your client may not like living with a decision, using VR to preview the option for them will give you both reassurance that the client won’t require costly after-completion changes as they’ll have deeper understanding and buy-in.


Living Coral is a stunning color that reflects what we need in our current political, social and cultural climate. But it may not be the right one for your client to live with day to day. View this color in VR to bring your vision to life, and help ensure you’ve made the best design decisions.


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. Want to stay updated with everything or anything Yulio? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin!

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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 who have started to adopt VR into their workflow 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 companies from the top 50 of the Fortune 500, and how they have adopted VR.


#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 a possible Apple VR release!


#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, 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 beginning a 4th industrial wave, 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. 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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Culture, Industry News, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

It’s hard to ignore the VR boom that has happened in the past few years. From the tethered experience of the Oculus Rift to this year’s launch of the travel-friendly Oculus Go, VR tech companies have challenged our finite idea of what technology can do for us. Falling into the same category as Samsung and Sony, VR tech powerhouse Oculus has established their presence in the tech industry.


Huge advancements into VR hardware and software have allowed the technology to become more affordable, flexible, and accessible than ever before. With businesses continually finding new and innovative ways to use this technology, VR has become increasingly inclusive, allowing for different industries to utilize VR. Additionally, the hardware and software that allows for the VR experience have never been more affordable. With prices being accessible to all, VR is no longer tech that only large companies can afford. Small businesses now have the opportunity to become a leading expert in the tech industry.


VR is Changing How We Eat

It may sound like a stretch when stating VR is changing how we eat, however, think about what meals you enjoy most. Is it visually enticing? Does it taste better or feel more comforting when you’re back at your family’s house? A study was conducted in Cornell where participants were given the same blue cheese but tasted in three virtual settings, including in the lab, a park bench, and a dairy farm. Participants perceived the cheese was more pungent in the dairy farm setting. This finding supports how consumers could react differently to the same product presented in a different environment. Cornell’s results significantly help companies in regards to time and resources. Now, food companies don’t need to build different sets for taste testing as the VR experience is just as real as a real-world setting. By doing so, they can allocate their resources into other areas.


Aside from VR influencing the way we eat, the technology has been adopted into restaurants overall workflow. With more businesses seeing the value in VR, many have chosen to train their employees in virtual reality. By simulating a busy day, or a difficult customer, VR training provides the practice without real-life mistakes. Along with training, many businesses have made AR/VR the headliner of their dining experience. With adding a touch of entertainment, chefs like John Cox have started to curate a menu that uses VR to enhance the dining experience.



VR and Medicine

The healthcare industry has welcomed VR into much of their workflow. From designing hospitals to new options for therapy, medicine and VR have become very well acquainted. Since VR changes what we see visually, and creates immersive, emotional attachments, the environment we experience can influence whether we perceive a situation as positive or negative.


Administering injections to children is one area where VR has helped physicians. The anticipation and experience of pain is something no one looks forward to, let alone children. Hermes Pardini Laboratories, Ogilvy Brazil and Lobo have teamed up to create a game in VR to help children conquer their fears of shots. VR Vaccine has been successful at warping a stinging needle into a more enjoyable experience. When the child puts on the headset, they are met with a task of taking a “Fire Fruit” through a barrier. What seems to be a jewel being inserted into the arm (the Fire Fruit) is actually the needle administering the vaccine. As one doctor puts it, it was the first time in her 15 year career where “a moment of pain [was] transformed into a moment of entertainment”.



As we have seen, VR helps a physician’s patients, and this technology has also been very helpful in training physicians. Through using 3D models, surgeons are able to visualize their operations better than before. With the added 360-degree graphics, it helps both the physician to understand what needs to be fixed, and allows for better communication with their patients. As VR is the happy medium between the real-world and a simulation/piece of paper, it has become a useful tool in improving training in the medical field.


VR and Dementia

Dementia is a complex condition where many people misunderstand or are just uninformed about what it is. “A Walk Through Dementia” is a project that is backed by the Alzheimer’s Research UK, and is committed to educating others about dementia, and to encourage a greater sense of empathy.

 

By downloading the app and using a VR headset, you are able to look at everyday life through the eyes of someone with dementia. Walking through the simulations like making a cup of tea or grocery shopping helps those without dementia understand how difficult it may be with those with the condition. Additionally, the app also includes 360 YouTube videos that capture the hardships those with dementia face with an added layer of realism. After each experience, notes and a debrief explain certain symptoms that came up in the simulation.

 

With VR, A Walk Through Dementia captures the difficulties in the most real way we can immediately understand — seeing it with our own eyes. Hopefully, the experience challenges our previously held misconceptions and allows us to have a greater sense of empathy and understanding.

 


As 2019 draws closer, it’s time to think about how VR can transform your business. With VR already being embraced by so many industries, it shows no signs of slowing down. It’s time to get on the bandwagon and let VR improve your business.


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, 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.




Globally, standalone vr headset shipments are expected to move from 5 million in 2018 to 15 million by 2023. Standalones will lead VR trends.


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 VR 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 VR 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, Culture, Lifestyle, Travel, VR

Anyone who has booked a vacation has experienced that uncertainty about value for your money because there is so much ambiguity when it comes to what your amenities are, the quality of the resort, what your actual hotel room will look like, and even what some of the sights are at the destination. Enter VR Travel, and watch as VR disrupts yet another industry.

Before VR, consumers have had to trust in reviews from other travellers, what could be false or misleading ratings from travel agencies, and the authenticity of experiences, photographs, and videos of the destination to drive the decision-making vehicle when investing in a trip; however, with the power of VR travel, this doesn’t have to be an issue anymore. Now, we have the power to show consumers exactly what they should expect to experience when they arrive at their destination. It’s true try-before-you-buy experience, and it’s a winning pitch for travel marketers.

VR can be used a couple different ways when it comes to traveling such as,


Marketing travel destinations

VR travel experiences can be used to promote and sell seats for travel destinations. Businesses such as resorts, airlines, travel agencies, and online travel e-commerce platforms can now show consumers popular destinations, destinations that they should consider traveling to, or destinations with deals on flights or accommodations by immersing them in VR.

By allowing consumers to have a detailed experience of the location in virtual reality, they can get a sense of presence in the destination and decide if it’s right for them, and if they should book or not.





 


Previewing destinations with VR travel allows booking agents to create an emotional connection that helps consumers see value and complete their bookings. Thomas Cook, for example, found there was a 190% uplift in New York excursions for people coming from the UK after people tried a 5 minute version of the holiday in VR.

“Thanks to working with Visualise [VR] Thomas Cook was the first travel company to deliver in-store virtual reality to customers, we’ve been nominated for numerous innovation awards, and we’ve seen a good conversion rate for bookings made after viewing the VR content.”


Lynne Slowey, Head of Digital Content, Thomas Cook

Carnival Cruises have also been early adopters of VR travel marketing – their 360-video tours and VR travel experiences are designed to provide the experience of an “instant Caribbean vacation” and entice emotional connections and aspirational bookings.



 



“We know that many first time cruisers find it difficult to understand what the cruising experience will be like until they’ve experienced it firsthand, so we decided to use 360 video technology to help get consumers closer to the spaces that make Carnival special.”



Stephanie Leavitt Esposito, Director of Social Media and Branded Content for Carnival

VR Travel takes away the hesitation to book by helping consumers better understand what they’re getting into. For a relatively small one-time investment, travel marketers can leverage the emotional connections of VR both in their physical locations and online to generate interest.



Confidence in booking

VR travel also allows you to see exactly what you’d be investing in before you buy. This could mean previewing what your room will look like in real-scale, ‘touring’ the resort or living accommodations before you arrive, or experiencing some of the views in the area you’re looking to travel to. Travelers can also decide if they want to upgrade their package if they want a more premium hotel or resort, or change their travel plans based on what they see.

The consumer will be able to have a taste of the destination, explore excursions that are available, view living accommodations, amenities, and more without any of the guesswork that typically comes with booking vacations and interpreting room upgrades and tiers.  With this, travelers gain the power to change their bookings if it’s not exactly what they were looking for and travel at ease to their destination knowing exactly what they should expect when they arrive. And travel agents have an easier time explaining and selling premium experiences.



 


Drive Booking Rates with VR Travel Previews

Separately, VR travel can help promote less popular destinations. There are amazing places travel agents know about but have a hard time selling to customers who don’t know someone who has been before – again, they’re looking for some assurance that they won’t have wasted their travel budget, and won’t end up somewhere they don’t want to be. VR travel options let them preview the location and get a sense for what it will be like to travel there in a way that brochures and still images cannot. VR travel lets people experience a locale on their own – they control the exploration of the experience and end up with a greater sense that it is authentic.


And we’re primed to respond to the sense of having a true preview of the experience, according to a study by YouVisit, a VR travel company, 13% of people who experience a vacation in virtual reality go on to either book a vacation or get in contact with lodging or transportation companies.



Allowing those who can’t travel to see new things

Of course, not everyone is physically capable of traveling or has a budget to allow them to travel often or at all. But now, anyone with a smartphone can experience a travel destination in virtual reality. The beauty of mobile VR, especially, means that anyone can slip on a headset and be immersed, which means that even those who aren’t mobile anymore can experience a paradise setting in the comfort of their own home. Some findings from a study found that 80% of the people who tried VR for traveling felt they were really taken to the destination.


VR travel has been the focus of health and wellness campaigns for those unable to travel – a recent experiment in a senior’s living center in Brazil allowed residents to use headsets to visit a destination they had never been to, or revisit past favorites. Residents reported feeling excited, and often nostalgic.



 

 

VR is the closest you can get to the real deal, and with the help of ambient audio and pristine image and video quality, the consumer can feel as if they’re actually there (without investing the time or money) which makes this the best selling and experiential medium for consumers looking to travel.

Marriott hotels have taken this a step further, with VRoom Service, which creates travel within travel. Guests at some locations can borrow a VR headset and tour Marriott VR Postcards, experiences in Chile, Rwanda or Beijing.

“Travel expands our minds and helps push our imagination – VRoom combines storytelling with technology, two things that are important to next generation travelers.”


Matthew Carroll, Vice President of Marriott Hotels

Marriott is on to something here, With 65% of 18-34-year-olds seeking to buy experiences over material things, the ‘experience economy’ is booming. VR travel is the key to ‘try before you buy’ and provides enough of a demo for VR travel marketers to sell experiences with an emotional connection.

If you’re looking to take a trip without breaking the bank, CN traveler identified some experiences recently that was almost as good as the real thing, so check them out and escape the winter blahs with VR travel.


To find out more about creating your own VR experiences, check out our free 5-day course, or create a VR experience for free with a Yulio account.

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Business, Culture, Design, How to, Industry News, Lifestyle, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality
There’s not a lot that hasn’t been tried when it comes to sales. Humans have been doing it forever, in a multitude of forms. From wide-smiled salesmen going door to door to charm their way to an impulsive purchase, all the way to personalized digital ads being delivered to shoppers at the optimal moment of weakness in their day. Delivering the right product, in the right way, at the right time, is a pot-of-gold-process that’s under constant scrutiny and being constantly disrupted and refined.    Now companies are selling with VR, throwing a virtual hat (or headset) into the ring. We’ve looked previously at the ways VR is being used brilliantly by marketers, designers, and retailers. It’s time now for those in sales to grab a headset and pay attention. We have a few tips for selling with VR that could just be worth their weight in golf clubs. Yes, golf clubs.

Make it personal & shareable
Rather than relying solely on a passive advertising campaign to influence through repetition, when promoting its PSi irons, TaylorMade used VR video to appeal to the dreams of every up and coming golf pro and get them involved. The VR campaign they created enabled people to virtually experience the world’s greatest courses in an entirely different way than they’d ever witnessed on television, as well as to stand alongside tour pros as they test and fit new products.


 

Created to appeal specifically to experienced golfers, known to have a high level of interest in the technology of the game, the campaign let viewers feel they were accessing the inner circle of the sport and being treated to an exclusive experience that they were able to participate in. TaylorMade took selling with VR to a hyper custom, nich audience place with this execution. Does it work? The answer is yes. VR research firm Greenlight analyzed the performance of 360-video content and found that this type of branded VR content generated 15-20 times the number of views on platforms such as YouTube.


 

Once people have had a great experience they want to share it, so, for great VR content, it’s wise to make sure this is as simple as possible. A lot of 360° content – including everything created with Yulio – can be shared via a simple web link or embedded directly into a website for web viewing via a snippet of code. The easier it can be shared, the bigger its audience will be, so make sure it can easily go beyond the eyes of the person wearing the headset.

Build just the world you want
Selling winter coats capable of withstanding the harsh climate of Antarctica? How about you put your buyers there on the snowy ground. Selling the latest innovation that’s going to change the future? Send customers to the future to see it. Selling with VR is about putting your products and experiences in context. Like no other medium, VR allows for environments to be created that perfectly support the values of a product. From testing football cleats in the middle of an NFL game to virtually driving performance cars on the Nurburgring, creating a rich and immersive world around a new product and allowing customers to experience it, is immensely powerful in grabbing their attention and prompting them to buy. Giving their products context while also providing experiences associated with their brands that consumers will share has served adventure brands like The North Face and Merrell well, but the concept can be easily adapted to less exciting locales. Consider letting shoppers view everything from a bedside lamp to a wedding tent in context to better paint the picture for consumers and move them along the purchase funnel by speeding up their ability to picture the item in their lives.



 
Show don’t tell
Imagine trying to explain your house to a potential buyer over the phone. Where would you even start? “It’s white and has a set of big windows at the front, near the door …” Are you ready to buy? No, of course, you aren’t. For those, such as real estate developers, who spend their time selling things which don’t yet exist or are far away from the buyer, the emergence of virtual reality won’t have come a day too soon. Highly detailed virtual environments, structures, and interiors are able to provide buyers with a clear sense of what they will eventually own. Hard to visualize elements such as size, space, light, and finish can be viewed three-dimensionally and ensure that expectations match with the eventual reality. Finishes can also be changed on the fly. Don’t like the kitchen color or the bathroom tiles? Show an alternative or two triggered via a simple, directed gaze from a user.  


 


Extrapolate this concept to showing anyone, anywhere, any item, and your list of available prospects has grown significantly. Sotheby’s real estate have experimented with VR for high-end properties so that prospects can get a better sense of the space before deciding if their level of interest warrants traveling to the property. The same could be true for rare vehicles, art, antiques, and collectibles. But also for more staid articles like timeshares, event tickets, and anything where physical space is a key element of the sale.

Take it with you
Much like the iPod did away with the need to carry around a stack of CDs, mobile VR is a game changer for those in the business of selling things that are too big or complex to easily replicate, don’t yet exist or are a long way away. For those in the A&D field, holding a portfolio in your pocket means the end of cumbersome folders full of images. With a lightweight homido or cardboard viewer and a mobile device, designers, wherever they are, can go beyond simply showing their work and instead allow a prospective client to take a virtual tour within it. For those prototyping complex new products, using VR these can be studied, shared and viewed in three dimensions, at any time and anywhere. With VR designs stored on a mobile, physical products no longer need to be transported or even, in many cases, created at all until in more advanced stages of development.

Get in early
At this point in its evolution, even beyond the creativity of a use case, VR has some inherent pulling power and crowd appeal. According to research from Sonar (J. Walter Thompson’s proprietary research unit), 80% of Generation Z are more likely to visit a store offering VR and AR technology. Although VR is popping up in an increasing number of business environments, it’s still a new and exciting technology that a relatively small number of people have actually tried. Brands can, therefore, take advantage of the extra novelty points they gain from providing people with that first ‘wow’ immersive VR experience. Time to get creative. Much has been written about the millennial generation valuing experiences over material goods, and retailers working to appeal to them like TopShop are selling with VR to lure people into the environment as a pathway into the sales funnel.


 


With the hardware and software associated with VR becoming ever cheaper, more prevalent and more accessible, the technology has now become democratized to a point where the only barriers left to businesses are how creative they can get with it. Dive in early to create customer experiences that leverage the VR medium and its ability to show off things that are far away, too large to model every permutation or don’t even exist yet. 
For some more thoughts on how selling with VR is shaping the future and impacting of all kinds of industries, download our industry overview on SlideShare.
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