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Industry News, News and Updates, VR

Since the day Oculus first made their announcement that they will be releasing not just one but two VR headsets by early 2019, devout VR fanatics have been patiently waiting for the arrival of the exciting hardware. Fast-forward to today, the Oculus Quest and Rift S have been available for pre-orders for about 2 weeks. Best Buy, Amazon, and Oculus have been bombarded with purchase orders for these virtual reality headsets, forcing retailers to host multiple waves of shipments. If you have placed a pre-order right when it went live, you could be one of the lucky individuals that may receive their headset from the first wave of shipments set to be released on May 21st. If you’re still stuck on deciding on which VR headset to purchase, we’ve got you covered.


Understandably, most people when making a purchase automatically look at the price first as a determinant of whether they want the item or not. However, when it comes to deciding between the Rift S and the Quest, you won’t be able to use this tactic. Both VR headsets are priced at $399 USD, making your purchase decision based on both the performance and whether it answers your needs. If this seems overwhelming and daunting to you, not to worry. Let’s take a look at both headsets, their features and capabilities.


Oculus Rift S

The Oculus Rift S is a tethered headset, which means you will have to connect it to a compatible PC to use it. If the name rings a bell, you’re not wrong. The first headset Oculus released was named the “Rift”, and as the name suggests, the new release is cut from a similar cloth. The Rift S is the revamped version of their previous model, with improvements on the resolution and functionality.

Pros

Compared to their previous model, the Rift S is much easier to set up as Oculus has removed the need for external tracking stations. The previous Rift model required pole-like external tracking sensors, which could quickly become tripping hazards. Now, since their sensors are directly built into the headset, the Rift S allows you to freely roam without running the risk of breaking a necessary component of the hardware. Plus, the headset now sports 2560×1440 resolution display, allowing users to experience a virtual world in full HD. Not only is the screen experience enjoyable, but the headset itself is quite comfortable. Oculus has installed a halo strap onto the headset that is adjusted by twisting a knob at the back. This allows users to keep wearing the headset for extended periods of time without giving up comfort.


Cons

One of the biggest downsides to the Rift S is the fact that it is tethered. Even though they have upgraded the system to reduce the number of wires needed to run the headset, the wire itself is a huge limitation. Not only does it mean that the device isn’t portable, but it also means you need the necessary supporting hardware to use it. Not every PC can support the hardware, so investing in a computer compatible with the VR headset can add to the cost. In addition to computer compatibility, the Rift S can only connect to a PC via DisplayPort only — there is no HDMI port. This either means you need to have a computer that has a DisplayPort or you will need to invest in an additional external converter. Lastly, although the Rift S still has a decent refresh rate of 80HZ, it’s actually lower than the original Oculus Rift running at 90HZ. For those who may not be familiar with refresh rates, it refers to how often a device changes the image on a screen and it’s measured in frames per second (HZ). A traditional TV runs roughly at 60HZ whereas some modern TV’s can run at 120HZ. The difference between the Rift and Rift S is not huge, but it’s another element to keep in mind.


What the Rift S lacks in mobility, it makes up in a sharper and clearer screen experience. We also predict that Oculus will eventually phase out their older Rift model for the Rift S.


Oculus Quest

The Oculus Quest is the relatively more interesting release, incorporating the strong suits of their two previous headsets: the Rift and the Go. Promising to merge the strength of the Rift and the portability of the Go, the Quest is a standalone VR headset that is completely tetherless.  The Quest is incredibly powerful for being a standalone headset and answers the many barriers their previous headsets faced.


The Oculus Rift was praised for its HD quality, however the fact that the headset is tethered posed a major barrier to specific audiences. On the other end, the Go was the preferred choice for people who valued ease in taking VR on the go. But to allow this kind of freedom came at a cost of having fair quality and losing the ability to walk through a VR experience.


Now, the Quest is going to change the game.


Pros

The Quest has six degrees-of-freedom with inside-out tracking. In layman’s terms, the Quest allows you to move freely in a virtual world that is strikingly similar to movement in real life. Plus, just like the Rift S, there is no need for external tracking stations as it’s all programmed into the headset itself. This tetherless headset is powerful and portable, allowing you to bring VR with you wherever you go. The beauty of a standalone headset is that unlike the Rift series, you don’t need any external hardware to support the headset. Simply turn on the headset, look in, and be whisked away to a whole new world. In regards to comfort, the newly revamped straps are a cloth-like material with rubber straps, making this headset fit snuggly and comfortably over your head.


The Quest sounds really great, doesn’t it? Well, it does also come with its own set of limitations.


Cons

For one, in comparison to the Rift S, the headset is not as powerful. The Quest will use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 mobile processor, which is a step higher than what Oculus used for the Go. Although it is a powerful processor, it doesn’t beat the Rift S. In addition, be prepared that the Quest will not have the same fidelity as the Rift S. Since the Quest is a standalone headset, it won’t get any external support from a powerful PC like the Rift S. With the GPU limitation, textures in the Quest won’t look as sharp compared to the tethered headsets. The last downfall of the Quest will be its limited storage space. With the Rift S, running out of storage is not a problem at all, however, the Quest at its max has 128GB of memory. This could prove to be a limitation for those who need extra space for their files.


Get Ready for a New Wave of VR Headsets

Both the Oculus Rift S and Quest are equally powerful virtual reality headsets and great options if you’re looking to invest in the hardware. The upgrades that Oculus has made to their latest releases really pushes the boundaries of what we thought could be possible with a piece of VR hardware. At the end of the day, between the two headsets, one is not better than the other. Choose the headset that will be the best fit for you.



Both headsets are still available for purchase, however, they will be shipped at a later date (when we last checked, Oculus listed it will ship by May 30th).


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, 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, 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 Virtual Reality – VR Design

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 designing with 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 VR 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 during your VR design process, 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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AR, Industry News, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

5 years ago, the market for AR/VR was quite limited, with little to no content or hardware to support anyone who was interested. Now, in 2019, the market is booming with continued exponential growth and momentum. Some of the biggest names in the tech industry have released their own VR content, software, and hardware. Originally starting on Kickstarter, Oculus has steadily made their name known and establishing themselves among the greats like Samsung, and Microsoft.



However, one of the largest tech giants out there seems to stay relatively silent throughout this collective excitement of AR/VR. What about Apple?

Apple has become one of the most revolutionary tech giants out there, completely altering how we think about computers and hardware. Their products have a loyal international fan base with whatever they touch turning into gold. It seems as when Apple puts their own twist on a type of tech, they enhance it to perfection. They have a reputation for churning out new releases after new releases, and their net worth of $1 trillion reflects their achievements.

 

That begs the question, why haven’t they entered the VR game?

 

Behind the Scenes

Let’s start with what we do know about Apple as a company, and then dive into where they may be at with VR.

 

Along with their reputation of being able to push out new releases efficiently, they also are known to be very secretive with their launches. They stay many steps before their audience, let alone their competitors, which helps build the anticipation for their products. The “wow” factor of Apple is that they develop products that no one has ever seen before, and the element of and desire is one of their most ingenious ways of building a loyal fan base. We’re always kept on our toes about what they are releasing next, and it always seems to be bigger and better than before. However, if they do in fact think a few steps ahead other companies, why haven’t they dabbled with VR yet?

 

The answer is: they have. In fact, Apple has been researching and prototyping for over 20 years. Their research into Stereoscopic displays dates back to as far as 1996 with Apple featuring a VR prototype at a conference on Stereoscopic Displays and Applications VII. Apple was a part of their highlight reel, showcasing their prototype of a wearable computer system with a Virtual I/O head-mounted display. Fast forward 20 years from that conference, Apple welcomed Doug Bowman onto their research team, become the first of many to join Apple for this secretive project. Bowman was the Director of the Center for Human-Computer Interaction at Virginia Tech, spearheading research for VR. His research was primarily centred around 3D interface design, dipping his toes into VR as well. Prior to his onboarding, in 2015, Apple acquired a series of AR/VR start-up companies — Metaio, Faceshift, Emotient, and Flyby Media.

 

Their current trajectory seems like Apple is laying down the foundation, and ramping up for the right time to release their version of AR/VR.

 

Where They Currently Are

In 2017, Apple announced its new Metal 2 Developer Kit, which opened the opportunity to collaborate and connect with VR. With their partnership with Valve, SteamVR is now supported by Apple, along with Unreal 4 engine, and Unity. Releasing the Metal 2 Developer Kit was the first major step that Apple took to further improve and enhance the ability to maximize the graphics and computing potential of your apps with their software. This was huge in laying down the framework for more AR and VR related technology that is to come and further inspired their newest iOS update.

 

Apple has released their newest version for iOS, introducing to the public ARKit 2. ARKit 2 first made its debut on June 4, 2018, promising the ability to create the “most innovative AR apps for the world’s largest AR platform. With iOS 11, developers now have greater flexibility creating AR-based apps and games with ease, continuing their commitment to being intuitive and user-friendly.

 

Apple VR: Coming Soon

The Apple VR/AR headset is said to be unlike anything else we have seen yet. Currently, multiple sources have said that the VR headset will release in 2020, however that date could come a lot sooner than we think. The headset is said to be able to seamlessly switch from AR to VR and will run on a powerful wireless processor. That means that you can use the headset without a PC or a smartphone. This “dedicated box” uses “high-speed short-range wireless technology called 60GHz WiGig”, which is more powerful than anything on the market currently. Additionally, with the introduction to the box, gone are the days of setting up cameras to read and track your movements. It is said that there will be no need to install cameras in your room to detect one’s location as all that is needed will be built into the box and their VR headset. To make things even better, the headset is said to have 8k resolution for each eye, allowing you to have an incredibly immersive experience. If the headset is said to be able to run untethered and without an external device, Apple will have succeeded in unlocking the future of AR/VR.

 

There is some speculation that Apple is also releasing their interpretation of AR glasses. Their version seems to primarily focus around the idea of “smart glasses”, similar to the Google Glass. Currently, Apple’s projected timeline of finishing the product by 2019, and releasing them to the public by 2020, however, the dates are subject to change. Though both the AR and VR headsets are really exciting releases, there is not much clarity what the biggest differences between the hardware besides the augmented/virtual aspect. We are definitely excited to see their special features when the headsets have been released!

 

Keeping up with Apple’s reputation, we can expect nothing but greatness from their upcoming releases. We at Yulio are really excited an curious to see what the Apple VR end product is like, and how it will shake up the AR/VR industry. It seems after a long time coming, Apple has finally decided to join the AR/VR game.


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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Industry News, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

A few days ago, we said our farewells to 2018, and now get ready to brace ourselves for what’s to come in 2019. 2018 proved to be an exciting year for the VR, with the industry conquering the limitation of being a tethered experience. However, we believe that 2019 will be an unforgettable year for VR.


At this time of year, industry experts are sharing their thoughts and predictions on what we can expect for the new year. We have asked Ian Hall, Yulio’s Cheif Production Officer and Co-founder of Pixel Tours Inc., for his predictions for VR in 2019.


One of the biggest releases to look out for in 2019 is the Oculus Quest. The Quest is like its predecessor the Rift but it will be in mobile form, and this is going to be huge. We will be heading into an era where VR is becoming even more advanced and sophisticated than ever before, and all of it will be available to the public. Technology that was once $3000-4000 will now be $300-400, thus allowing everyone and anyone to be able to use it.
– Ian Hall, CPO of Yulio & Co-founder of Pixel Tours Inc.



Let’s dive a little deeper into what we can expect from VR in 2019.


The Oculus Quest

Set to be released in Spring of 2019, the Oculus Quest is going to be the bridge between our smartphones and the Oculus Rift. With the mobility of a smartphone and the quality of the Rift, the Quest is going to be a total game changer.


 


The Quest comes with two handheld controllers that are tracked by cameras along the outside of the headset. This tracking system is called Insight and allows the Quest to read six fields of motion without the use of external sensors or wires. With the technology being wireless, and the addition of Insight, the Quest has a greater ability to allow the handheld controllers to mimic the motion of your hands more seamlessly. As such, Oculus has unlocked another stage of even greater and immersive experience than ever before. With the ability to have more freedom and mobility to use the Quest wherever this new release is as easy as pick it up and go.


Jesse Schell, CEO of Schell Games, predicts that the Quest will be incredibly popular and see groundbreaking growth in this new year.

The Oculus Quest will sell at least one million units by the end of 2019, proving out the market for wireless 6DoF all-in-one VR systems. It will be one of the hottest items for holiday 2019.
– Jesse Schell, CEO of Schell Games (quote retrieved from: https://arpost.co/2018/12/19/whats-in-store-for-ar-and-vr-in-2019-experts-weigh-in/)

Putting the ‘Real’ in Virtual Reality


Another aspect that Ian touched on was how VR will become even more advanced and sophisticated. With those in the industry constantly making the VR experience more immersive than ever before, 2019 will welcome more advancements in this area. Vaibhav Shah, CEO of Techuz, adds as well that there is great immersive content out there, however, advancements in the User Interfaces we use is needed. Currently, many “games and websites have the same kind of UI that we interact through the screen”, shattering the illusion of VR. Being reminded that you’re in a VR realm completely misses the point of the technology.


However, 2019 is promising changes that will drastically improve VR. We can anticipate in this new year a more smooth and seamless experience where we won’t be reminded we are in a virtual world.


VR for All


In the past, VR headsets could dig a hole in your bank account. When the Oculus Rift was first released, the headset itself cost $599. That price is also based on the assumption that the customer’s PC met the minimum hardware requirements to use the tech. Being able to afford the computer and the headset could cost $1,200 or more. Now, VR headsets are more affordable than ever, especially with the most recent release of the Oculus Go. Prices now start at $269 for a 32GB Oculus Go headset, allowing everyone to be included in all the VR fun. The Oculus Quest is projected to cost around $399 due to quality and how technologically advanced it is. Gone are the days where headsets could cost a person from $1,200-4,000 per headset. We now welcome an era where everyone can enjoy VR at a reasonable price.


Get Ready for VR in 2019

2019 looks to be an awesome year for VR, with new releases, and upgrades that will bring this tech to a whole new level. We hope you all are just as excited as we are for virtual reality in 2019!

 


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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Industry News, News and Updates, VR

There’s a reason why many people refer to December as being the most wonderful time of the year. With buildings decorated from head to toe in twinkle lights and ribbons, it’s truly a magical sight. As the years go by, how we experience this holiday season changes, and 2018 is no exception. Every year, businesses consistently incorporate the newest in technology, hoping to make this festive time better than the last.


From the architectural advancements of the huge Christmas displays inside malls to the recent popularity of blow-up lawn decorations, technology can make this holiday season even more festive. With companies mass adopting VR, it’s no surprise seeing releases related to this immersive adventure. We have picked out our top 3 VR holiday releases that are happening during this festive season, however, let’s take a trip down memory lane.


Past VR Christmas Releases

Every year, Brits all over the country gather around their screens in anticipation for a very special Christmas advert. John Lewis, one of the largest department stores in the world, is known to release a heart-warming short during the festive season encouraging everyone to get into the holiday spirit. 2016 was the start of one of their most innovative years ever. Their Oxford street store had a VR setup, allowing you to step into the shoes of an adorable dog named “Buster the Boxer”. The following year also welcomed yet another VR experience, with “Moz the Monster” pulling at everyone’s heartstrings. With the VR rigs set up in their stores, parents could take a break from holiday shopping to share a new experience with their family.


Now that we’ve had a chance to look back on some examples of using VR during this time of year, let’s dive into what we can expect this year!


For Everyone

As technology continues to advance, the more accessible these products are available. Oculus has made huge steps in making VR technology available to all people. Arguably, one of their biggest and most important releases were the Oculus Go headsets, transforming VR technology forever. These headsets were the first to provide a fully immersive experience without being strapped onto a rig. Stripping down the equipment to its essentials, the Go is not only now mobile, but extremely affordable. The Go is currently going for $325USD, which is almost $200 cheaper than the Oculus Rift. And guess what — this holiday season is about to get even better. Oculus has announced that this holiday season, their headsets are being discounted! This exclusive offer is available until December 30th on Oculus’s website, or through Amazon, Argos, John Lewis and more. Stock up on some awesome VR headsets this year!



For the Gamer

This holiday season will be huge for gamers. Square Enix is one of the biggest names in the gaming industry, with an estimated net worth of $1.26 billion. Some of their most well loved and notable games include Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Kingdom Hearts. A few months ago, Square Enix announced that they will be releasing the VR version of one of their most beloved and popular game, Kingdom Hearts. As of the 25th of December, the Kingdom Hearts VR Experience will launch in Japan, featuring their main story’s stages. They will have an updated release on the 18th of January releasing the remainder of their content giving their users all the stages to conquer.



For the Family

The holidays are a time for everyone to enjoy, and ImmotionVR has concocted a fun VR experience that is family-friendly.



In 10 locations all over the UK, experience what it’s like to be one of Santa’s elves with Elf Power Inc. this holiday season! Thanks to ImmotionVR, guests get to experience what it’s like as Santa’s elves in making Christmas a magical time. Step into Santa’s workshop and see with your own eyes what it’s like to pull off Christmas. For those eight and over, this fun-filled VR experience will definitely get you into the holiday mood.


VR and This Holiday Season

The December holiday season is one that many look forward to, and VR is popping up everywhere you look. Whether it be the deals you can score for last minute gifts, new releases to look forward to, or an experience fit for the whole family, VR is blending into how we experience this festive time. As this industry continues to grow and explore more ideas on how to make an experience more immersive, we can expect to see more of VR in the coming years.


Enjoy this merry season more immersed than ever!


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. Get in touch with us to schedule a training webinar for a full walkthrough of Yulio here.

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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.


Watch out for VR in 2019
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. Let’s explore how this technology is revolutionizing processes today, and what we can expect from VR in 2019. 

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 numerous industries already embracing this advanced piece of tech, we are thoroughly excited to see what VR in 2019 will bring. 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, Industry News, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

2018 has proved to be a pretty big year for AR and VR technology. The industry itself has developed one of the most dominant voices in the tech industry. According to VR Vision, the AR/VR market has grown 30% and shows no signs of slowing down. With such a sizable market growth, mass adoption of this technology spans across many different industries. The use of these advancements is no longer limited to just the gaming industry, but also those seeking a different and inventive business solution. Entrepreneurs in the AR/VR industry have reported developing content outside of entertainment. In fact, many have been using these technologies in architecture and engineering firms as a viable business tool.

 

As we move into an era for greater developments and advancements in both hardware and software in AR/VR, we can predict for many more interesting ways of using this technology. Before we move into a time of predicting what will come of the world of AR and VR in 2019, let’s reflect on some of the new inventive releases and uses from VR in 2018.

 

Hardware and Software Updates

Oculus GO

One of the greatest releases to date in the world of VR is the Oculus Go. Marking the new era of VR, this technological advancement was a huge feat for everyone in the industry because it represented the first attempt at a standalone unit. Leaving behind the intricate wires of the tethered headsets, the Oculus Go is very travel-friendly. With the option of wearing the straps or just holding the headset to your face, you can easily and quickly dive into the virtual realm. With such high-quality visuals untethered and without a cumbersome phone to power them it provides an experience that is on par with the Oculus Rift. Additionally, the price tag of VR equipment has become more friendly and the Oculus Go is no exception. For 64GB of storage, a Go costs $329USD in comparison to the $529 price tag for the Oculus Rift.



Collaborate

The biggest concern in the Perkins Coie LLP 2018 survey was how VR could be isolating. With wearing the headsets, as it only works with one headset per person, VR is an experience for the individual. Businesses have been trying to combat this problem by providing more opportunities to collaborate with others. One solution was the ability to have a platform for multiple users to view a project at one time. Yulio’s Collaborate feature is a presentation tool that allows multiple people to view a VR project live. This not only gives off the “wow” factor but is a useful tool to help direct your clients’ attention to areas of special interest. By opening up opportunities for greater interaction, the concern for detachment may be a fear of the past.

 

Education and VR

Ryerson University

Ryerson University is home to one of the best Architecture programs in Toronto. This post-secondary school also hosts a series of Architecture Science camps designed to introduce students aged 9-13 to the world of architecture. After a few years, it became one of the most popular camps Ryerson offered, with using VR to transform the way their students view their projects. Being able to visualize your design is crucial, and “VR becomes a fitting medium to be able to communicate your vision with whoever without any translation errors”. With the ability and freedom to design in 3D, the children were able to also view their creation in VR making them very excited to see their design in familiar places (ex. Toronto’s City Hall). Both children and parents were shocked to see how immersive using VR was in their projects and left a significant impact on the creator, and the audience.


 

Professor Maxwell’s 4D AR Lab

The times are changing when it comes to children’s toys. One certain item that was recently released was Professor Maxwell’s line of 4D interactive toy sets. You have the choice of science, chemistry, or chef that teaches children recipes with step-by-step instruction. With included equipment and some ingredients supplied, children are able to dive into culinary or STEM world through the added bonus of experiencing it in AR/VR. With the app and wearing the hands-free goggles, children are now able to learn on a different level through the enhancement of VR. As one mother puts it, the kits are “kid-friendly” and are “perfect for any curious child”. As the cost of creating AR and VR content comes down and enters the world of kids’ toys we’ll be creating a generation of people who’ve grown up experiencing learning this way as an option.

 

Mainstream Uses of VR in 2018

Walmart’s Training Academy

Walmart has been utilizing VR to not only enhance their workflow but to make it better. With the release of the Oculus Go, Walmart will be using this technology as a part of their training programs. By the end of 2018, approximately 17,000 headsets would have been shipped to US stores for this purpose. Though the Oculus Go released in 2018, Walmart has been using VR in their training centers long before the untethered headset was available. This F500 company already had 45 simulation models that would train, prepare, and equip employees for a deeper level of understanding. Now, employees are able to be taken into the world of a Black Friday sale rush and to be trained on how to adapt to the scenario. As such, employees can now anticipate the chaos, be prepared, and succeed on one of the busiest days for retail. 

 

Charities using VR

Many charities have started implementing AR and VR to give a greater depth to the problem they are trying to solve. Often times, charities may feel there may be a chasm between them and finding supporters of the cause, and VR has been used to bridge this gap. YouTube videos have done a great job portraying the hardships people face, yet it is further enhanced with VR – a tool some charities call an ‘empathy engine’. Organizations like Alzheimers Research UK, The National Autistic Society, and the Resuscitation Council have implemented VR into raising a greater awareness with the causes they’re working for. Royal Trinity Hospice has also created a tour of their facilities to break down and humanize the experience of those living in the hospice.

VR has been a crucial tool to help donors realize the need for donations and to be more generous in giving. With facing the barrier of being detached from the situation, charities have been able to use VR as a bridge, and successfully convey the message they wanted to. By doing so, it hopefully challenges the audience’s views to review their misunderstandings or lack of knowledge to be more informed and head into the direction of a better understanding towards others.



FIFA World Cup

FIFA is the most viewed sporting event in the world, with 3.5 billion people who turn on their screens to cheer on their favourite teams. Aside from the Olympics, FIFA successfully attracts people from different countries and cultures to set aside differences and to come together for these highly anticipated tournaments. In 2018, FIFA was not only being viewed through televised programs and live online streaming but had added streaming in VR as an option. An added bonus was some VR viewing venues like those hosted by Oculus and BBC Sport was available for free with using the Oculus Go and Gear VR. With the added immersive element that VR brings, the already beloved sports event was enhanced into a sensational experience. There is no question as to why the most viewed sporting event jumped on the bandwagon — now you are able to tell your story in a new and transformative way.


As we head into the new year of 2019, we can expect bigger and better things in the world of AR/VR. With the hardware and software advancements we have experienced with VR in 2018, this industry shows no stopping down. We have seen how much this industry can progress in a year, and the next year will be no exception. AR/VR has become a crucial education and business tool, and it definitely is reaching into other industries.



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. Get in touch with us to schedule a training webinar for a full walkthrough of Yulio here.
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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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Industry News, Lifestyle, VR

The horror genre has always been very popular. Timeless classics in the entertainment industry include the most iconic horror film the 1931 adaptation of Frankenstein. Films like The Conjuring, The Exorcist, and Get Out are some of the most watched films by horror film enthusiasts. The movie IT alone made $327.48 million dollars in the box office, making it the highest grossing horror movie of all time. But why is that? Is there a reason for this trend? Why would people pay their hard-earned money to experience a kind of entertainment designed to make them uncomfortable? We will unpack this phenomenon by looking at the psychological research conducted in this area.

 

The Psychology Behind Fear/Horror

Have you ever asked yourself why you think the horror genre is scary? Can you point out exactly what makes unrealistic characters like zombies and vampires so frightening? The reasoning behind this phenomena could be found in the field of study known as Evolutionary psychology. Evolutionary psychology theories that humans are continually adapt to their surroundings in order to survive by investigating how our intricate code of DNA is reflected in our behaviour. An example of this in action is seen in the usefulness and value of one of our primal instincts: fear. Comparatively to the state we live in, our ancestors were under constant danger from predators, diseases, or other humans. Gradually, our ancestors developed a fear system that would keep them vigilant to immediate dangers, keeping them alive.

According to Mathias Clasen, an associate professor in Aarhus University, the horror genre masterfully “exploit[s] [our] evolved ancient biological defence mechanisms” by intentionally transporting the users into imaginary virtual worlds of danger. Clasen points out that our heightened level of fear is not new, and our hyper-vigilance and hyper fearfulness is what kept our ancestors alive. Now taking Clasen’s example of zombies, why can they make us feel uncomfortable to look at them? The character premise of a zombie is that an infectious disease has taken over which causes the individual to decay, and to prey on other living humans. Clasen points out that this character represents targets our fear system through contagion and predation. Incorporating Evolutionary psychology, our constant fight for survival also projects our fear of death. Not only are zombies are visibly decomposing, but the fear of being infected or being preyed on revolve around our primal fear of mortality.

Now knowing all of this, why on earth do humans enjoy the horror genre so much that haunted houses or video games are enticing?


The Popularity of Horror Games – Explained

Teresa Lynch and Nicole Martins from Indiana University conducted a study in 2014 looking to observe undergraduate students’ fright experiences caused by horror video games. Students were tasked with playing survival horror games and to later answer questions like how sound influenced the fear they felt. The researchers found that over half of their study population reported the video games caused fear, and an incredible 40% of participants said they enjoyed this fear. What is the reason behind such a high statistic? Clasen states that his research “suggests that humans evolved to find pleasure in situations that allow us to experience negative emotions in a safe context”. These horror games give us the opportunity to be truly afraid, yet also allows us to evaluate our responses in a safe environment (at home or in a gaming cafe). As we evaluate our reactions to negative stimuli, we are able to maintain or refine our coping skills and strategies which could be later applied into real life. By continuing to practice, we can build a sense of “mastery” and expand our limits of what we can handle.

Why Play VR Horror Games Then?

Taking what we have learned from Clasen, Lynch and Martin’s study, and the evolutionary framework, why would an individual choose to play these games in virtual reality? With further advancements in technology, video game designers and developers continuously push the boundaries in hopes of making the experience as real and immersive as possible. When in a fearful situation, everyone has their own defence mechanisms that may include covering their eyes or plugging their ears. However, when putting on the headsets and headphones playing a VR horror game, your ability to hide is taken away from you. Additionally, video game designers ingeniously psychologically convince you that you are physically in the game. Personalization of your character (skin colour, gender etc.), and speaking to the characters are a few minute ways of creating a deeper connection between user and game. With added hardware like a biometric monitor and eye-tracking technology, users can have a more personal and catered experience. The monitor measures a person’s heart rate as they are playing the game, and if it is too low, the game will intensify in hopes to scare the user more. With eye-tracking, not only does it provide a more accurate experience for the user, but it also helps with the development side of it. Traditionally, a developer may spend a long time choreographing a scripted sequence. However, developers run the risk of the user missing their “money shot” scare if the user was not looking at the right corner at the right time. Now with eye-tracking, this technology could be used to “trigger the event only at the precise moment … for the maximum scare”. Thanks to the constant innovation of video game designers, horror games are now more immersive and real, allowing individuals to push their limits on coping with negative stimuli.

 

VR Horror Games Are Here to Stay

There seems to be no slowing down for virtual reality horror games. So now that you know the allure of horror video games and how it can promote a positive change in you, give yourself a fear system a good workout this Halloween season. Perhaps you may be able to handle your fear better with a little bit of practice. A good start could be something more mild and tame, however, if you’re interested in something more hardcore, here is a list of 10 VR games to play this Halloween. Happy Halloween from all of us at Yulio!


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, Industry News, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

Last year, Japanese company FOVE released the world’s first VR headset with built-in eye tracking — the technology showed a lot of promise, and in the months that followed, Facebook, Apple & Google all acquired eye-tracking startups to incorporate the technology into their respective XR devices.

So what’s the big deal with AR/VR eye tracking, and how can it affect the advance technology industry?


Better Performance & Natural Focus

Eye tracking allows developers to optimize the performance of VR/AR experiences by focusing system resources specifically where the user is currently looking. This not only lowers VR’s high barrier to entry but also gives creators the ability to create breathtaking visuals by using their processing resources wisely.

 

Another major visual improvement comes from the fact that eye-tracking technology can simulate natural focus realistically — a feature that has remained thoroughly absent from VR headsets so far.

 

A New Way to Design User Interfaces and UX

With the screen-based devices we use today, whenever we want to perform any action we need to tell our device what we want it to do. Usually, we do this by touching a certain area of the screen (touch screen interactions), or by pointing at things with a cursor (using a mouse).

Before doing any of those things, however, we always look at what we’re about to interact with, and this is where eye-tracking comes in.

 

It cuts out the middleman, allowing us to engage with content by simply looking at it. This will give rise to new ways of building User Interfaces that feel natural and are incredibly accurate, completely replacing the need for cursors and most touch based interactions altogether. Eye-tracking interactivity is also discrete by nature, and may allow us to use immersive computers in small public spaces — possibly answering one of the biggest design questions in VR/AR today.

 

An Analytics Oasis

Eye-tracking will allow VR/MR creators to have access to an unprecedented level of usage analytics — not only they’ll know exactly what users have looked at or ignored throughout an experience, they’ll also be able to accurately measure engagement through pupil tracking.

You may have heard that human pupils dilate on physical attraction: but it goes much further than that. Pupil expansion betrays not only physical attraction

but also mental strain and emotional engagement. It can even go as far as to predict the actions of a user seconds before they do it (explored and explained in detail in my article about the future of immersive education).

 

All of this will be immensely powerful for developers and will allow them to combine these bits of data to create immersive software that’s 100% reactive to a user’s emotions and truly understands what’s going through their mind as they go further into the experience.

 

New Gameplay Mechanics and Interactions

Eye-tracking will also give way to a number of new interactions and game-play mechanics that were never possible before — virtual characters will now be aware of when you’re looking at them, even going as far as to cross-examine what you’re looking at and why.

 

Users will be able to aim with their eyes, make narrative choices by simply gazing at an object, and meaningfully change the world around them with almost subconscious gestures, opening up a number of new opportunities for creative storytelling and interaction design.

 



We’d like to thank Lucas Rizzotto for his contribution to our blog from his collection of work. See more of his articles here!

 

Here at Yulio, we take advantage of our heatmap feature to track our user’s gaze duration, and where their attention truly lies on within a scene. Want to try this feature out? Sign up for a free Yulio account and get full access to our feature set for your first 30 days!

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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, 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, 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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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, 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.





Are you one of the first to get an Oculus Go headset? 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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AR, Guest Blog, Industry News, VR

Charlie Fink is a former Disney, AOL and American Greetings executive. In the 90s, he ran VR pioneer Virtual World. Today he is a consultant, professional speaker, columnist for Forbes and author of Charlie Fink’s Metaverse, An AR Enabled Guide to VR and AR.






The transition to VR adoption faces significant barriers. Unlike the smartphone, this requires big changes in consumer behavior. Head-mounted displays (HMDs) are a new idea. In order to get people to buy Pepsi, they have to know what soda is. For this reason, adoption may look more like personal computers, which took fifteen years, than smartphones, which took two years.





 


During the Internet explosion in the early 1990s, we often looked at a graph which showed rates of consumer technology adoption. The data suggested that the speed of adoption would continue to accelerate, which proved to be true for smartphones and tablets, but those devices took what we were already doing and made it much better.


It took fifty years to electrify the country. It took thirty years to wire landline phones. It took radio twenty years. Television, ten. The Internet took less than five years. AR and VR cannot be conflated with these technologies. Instead, it is like the personal computer, which took fifteen years to hit an inflection point. Personal computers came into our lives very slowly.





 


Throughout the 80s, personal computers were considered first adopter novelty items for nerds and rich people. It wasn’t until the end of the decade that PCs were common in most offices. They were expensive. They ran expensive CD-ROMs, which were either games or educational in nature. If the computer had a modem (it was considered a peripheral, like speakers), you had to open it with a separate program. I remember in 1993 I needed to open several programs to get onto the Internet. One for TCP/IP. One for the modem itself. One for my sleek new Netscape Navigator web browser, and yet another for IRC (chat).




 

However, once the PC met online services, the PC hit an immediate inflection point. This happened within months. The advent of online services like AOL and Prodigy, with their all-in-one discs that brought all the disparate Internet software together into one simple (sort of) plug and play program, pushed the PC to an inflection point. By 1996, everyone had to have one, because at that point, the value proposition was so clear and substantial.


In the early 2000s, many people were given their first smartphone at work, the BlackBerry, which allowed users to send email on the go. Soon, consumer cellphones had those features, and people received remarkable upgrades for free as part of their normal cellphone replacement cycle. The wireless providers and handset makers took what we were already doing and made it much, much better. Yes, please!


Mobile AR, which turns the camera into the window through which we see the world, has been available on Android phones since 2015 and on iPhones since the fall of 2017. Because of Apple’s scale, within a few days, hundreds of thousands of people could do much more with the phone. There were just two problems. The first was apps. They’re novelties and game enhancements. Second, holding one’s arm out to view the world through the camera may be the worst form factor accidentally invented by man.






 


Augmented reality works exceptionally well for enterprises (as computers did in the 80s), but they largely aren’t for consumers, although there are some nifty AR-enabled toys and books. For consumers, AR headsets are in a protean state. There are basic problems with optics and field of view. Costs are still going up, not down. Interface solutions are not obvious. Speculation swirls around the big companies and some stealthy startups (most notably Magic Leap).


Ironically, the really big utility problems are outside the smartphone. They’re in the cloud and pertain to unsolved issues of bandwidth, compression, artificial intelligence, and the lack of a geospatial social “AR Cloud” that would make the glasses contextually aware. In regards to VR adoption, the problems are simpler and more profound. Navigating with hand controllers is extremely awkward and people still get motion sickness. The optics are terrible. At current resolutions, the pixels are visible, creating a “screen door” effect. Even advanced headsets only have a 110-degree field of view.



Rapid advances in smartphones have spoiled us. VR and AR aren’t going to be like that.


This is an excerpt from my book Charlie Fink’s Metaverse, a continuously updated, AR-enabled guide to VR & AR, published January 9, 2018, by Cool Blue Press.



 




We’d like to thank Charlie Fink for joining us as a guest author on our blog! Check out more of his work here – and if you’re ready to adopt VR for your own business, sign up for a free Yulio account!




This post was originally featured on Forbes.com on December 13, 2017

Used with permission. c. 2017 Charlie Fink, all rights reserved

Charlie Fink’s Metaverse, An AR-Enabled Guide to VR & AR

@charliefink l Charlie Fink.com l Wikipedia I LinkedIn

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

If you’re feeling skeptical about whether or not 2018 is going to be the year of VR, you come by that skepticism honestly. VR has been plagued with over-hype, both from the press and headset makers. But, over the last 18 months, VR has ridden the hype cycle and we believe, come out the other side. Yulio clients have integrated VR into their practices and are on their way to it being an indispensable tool.


VR may not change your life yet – but it will change your business.


If you are still thinking VR is a transient fad and you can wait for it to pass…start thinking about it as a compelling technology that’s found it’s perfect time to shine. To help you get your head around the possibilities, here are a few stats we’ve rounded up from recent VR research we think you should see.



5 Years

Although in some form or other, VR has existed for several decades, the current boom in the technology was spawned by the Kickstarter campaign initiated just 5 short years ago by a little-known startup Oculus Rift. Oculus only ever sold (via Kickstarter) headsets as developer kits, but it still shifted 100,000.

A $2 billion acquisition later, and VR found its mojo, winning an ever-growing number of hearts, minds and new users across the globe.



11 Million+

Approximately 11 million virtual reality headsets were shipped in 2016, increasing to over 13 million in 2017.



51%

Over half of the U.S. population is aware of virtual reality devices and 22.4 million Americans are already VR users.



171 Million

Globally, right now, as I write, there are an estimated 171 million VR users.



$12.1 Billion

According to Statista, this very year, the virtual reality market is estimated to reach a value of 12.1 billion U.S. dollars. You think that’s a large number? You should see the next one.



$40.4 Billion

The projected VR software and hardware market is expected to reach $40.4 billion by 2020. That’s a lot of people using a lot of VR technology for a lot of different applications. By ‘a lot’, I mean …



1 Billion +

… Over one billion people will regularly access VR and AR content by 2020.
Yes, that’s a ‘billion’ people. IDC predicted last year that the compelling combination of virtual reality and augmented reality content will have a global audience that tops this crazy number by the turn of the next decade. Mental note – this must mean VR is no fad.



41%

Those still on the fence don’t plan to be for long. According to Google’s Consumer Survey conducted last year, more than a third of the adults said that they would give virtual reality a try if they had the chance to. Consumer interest is set to continue pursuing VR as one of the most emerging technologies.



44%

Who will make up the next wave of buyers? Millennials … and lots of them. According to Nielson, 44 percent of people interested in purchasing VR devices are between the ages of 18 and 34. This generation is one heavily motivated by innovative devices and will play a major role in defining what ‘sticks’.



250

To satiate that desire to get involved in VR, there are currently 250 VR headsets styles available for purchase on Amazon.com.



82 million

By all accounts, they’re selling well as, according to Statistic Brain, there are expected to be 82 million headsets in use by 2020.



90%

Of all those headsets sold worldwide, approximately 90% are mobile phone based. What does this tell you? Best to make all of your VR applications and content very mobile friendly.



So what can be garnered from all the big numbers in our virtual reality research? VR is here to stay. It might not have always mirrored the hype, but it is unquestionably a growing force to be reckoned with.


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. To try VR for yourself, sign up for our 30-day free trial and wow your colleagues with this pre-packed presentation full of our VR research on the state of the industry.


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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 virtual reality 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 virtual reality to lure people into the environment as a pathway into the sales funnel.


 

Get to Selling with VR

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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Business, Design, How to, Industry News, Lifestyle, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

We recently launched a free VR course that summarizes our key learnings from 1000 hours of user testing, and from partnering with our clients who have been early adopters. They’ve been through the friction of adopting VR in their businesses, and learning from them can help you get there faster.

Our free VR course only requires you to invest about 10 minutes a day for 5 days – and you’ll get access to a bunch of great resources, too. But, if you don’t quite have enough time….or if you’re summarizing the state of VR for your colleagues later today….here are the most important things you need to know about VR this year:

 1. Stop Waiting for things to Settle. VR is here

You may have Played with VR in the 90’s, and it may have disappointed you. That’s because clearly, VR requires head tracking so the virtual images track where the user is looking and while simple in concept that technology is quite complex. But we’re there now. The advent of inexpensive gyroscopes, displays, and graphics processing in mobile phones have brought the costs down and the quality up, making it practical at scale. And the industry has responded huge investments by Facebook, Google, and Apple through 2016-2017 indicate VR is here to stay. Add to that the exponential growth in the availability of inexpensive VR headsets and the ability to run VR from any smartphone and you have a storytelling medium that has arrived.

 2. There are Established, Winning Content Patterns

Each new medium is challenged by content creation – and we typically try using old patterns in new media. When TV was first introduced, the early shows were just pointing a camera at people doing a radio show. BlackBerry was sure you needed a tactile keyboard to type emails on a smartphone. We have learned over the last few years that winning use cases for VR content typically fall into one of three categories and we’ll share examples in our free VR course:

  • Something that doesn’t exist yet

  • Something that exists but is a long distance away

  • Something that is too large, impractical or expensive to model


 3. Movement – Mobile vs. Tethered

When we talk about Yulio being mobile and fast VR, we often get asked about movement, and it seems to be on everyone’s mind. So, to clarify, Tethered VR, like Vive and Oculus allow you to walk around in VR, in what we call 6 degrees of freedom. Mobile VR, like Yulio, tracks only head movement, so you can look around in 3 degrees of freedom, but not walk. Yulio uses navigation hotspots to change the scene and allow the illusion of movement. Tethered and mobile each have their pros and cons, but considerations on what to choose are mostly around the trade-off of immersion for the viewer and flexibility of viewing. Tethered VR is definitely the most immersive – It takes a dedicated space of about 3m square, and some hefty computing power to make it run. And, it usually takes what we call a cable monkey – someone monitoring the user and making sure they don’t trip or get tangled. Obviously, this is the least flexible format – you have to have someone come into your office, or (but it might be great at a tradeshow booth), and you can’t share the experience remotely It also has the most barriers when it comes to being motion sick – we’ve certainly seen a lot of installs of this where there really is a ‘sick bucket’ off to the side. Additionally, we’ve heard reports from clients of ours who tried tethered VR that in spite of the increased level of immersion, their end clients aren’t engaged enough in the experience to come in repeatedly. The tradeoff hasn’t been worth it. By contrast, mobile VR can be operated on any smartphone so you can send some goggles to a client for them to experience VR anywhere – especially valuable if you work with clients at a distance. And since there are no cables or headstraps, mobile is fast VR – something you can pop in and out of while discussing design in a social experience – it’s less isolating and easier to use as the discussion calls for since you don’t have to get into a rig each time you want to check something.

Finally, don’t forget that goggles aren’t ubiquitous. Look for a solution where you can share VR work on social media or your website, and not assume everyone has a headset – for Yulio we call this ‘fishtank’ viewing – a browser experience you can use to get some interaction with the design. It’s obviously not a true VR experience, but it rounds out the viewing options and is great for very motion sensitive people.

 4. Budget
We can also give you a very quick primer on budget. If you’re talking about Tethered VR, Oculus Rift is around $500-$700 depending on some tracking options and you’ll need a computer of about $1000 to run it. Mobile VR headsets range from $10 for a decent quality cardboard or plastic viewer to about $100 for an experience like the Samsung Gear VR, or the Noon. But of course there’s also the need for a smartphone to display the images – and some hardware only works with certain phones, especially as new headsets enter the market. For example, At its launch, the Google DayDream only worked with 3 or 4 phones. While it will increase the cost significantly, consider dedicated phones to avoid interruption in viewing – if the presenter uses their personal phone, there is the possibility that incoming calls or text alerts will interrupt the viewer. You can certainly save some money by having a pool of devices, but if you can afford it, I recommend you give each salesperson or presenter a headset and phone That will stop disrupted viewing experiences but possibly, more importantly, it stops the potential for sharing the wrong file with a client and protects you from any issues around non-disclosure agreements. It’s absolutely possible to run VR without these things, but you will want to think through procedures to minimize any issues if you go the shared route.

 5. Implement for Success

The most successful VR implementations are the ones that choose software and hardware for the jobs they need to get done – not for the highest fidelity visuals, most immersive experiences etc. Consider how you want to use VR inside your organization, and with your clients. Do you want team members to collaborate on low fidelity versions of your design? Do you want to bring clients into the office, or to present remotely? Or do you want to share finished designs on your website or portfolio to generate leads? Thinking through your workflow from how you create designs, collaborate, present and build your portfolio will guide you in making important decisions like choosing mobile or tethered solutions, which authoring is supported and which qualities you will prioritize – like the ease of jumping in and out of VR versus more immersive experiences.

That’s a quick review of some of the key things to consider when you’re investigating VR this year.
Be sure to get up to speed quickly with our
free VR course, and download our state of the industry presentation. You’ll have a jump start on your Q1 goals in no time.

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Design, Industry News, VR

A conversation with Jonathon Anderson, Assistant Professor Interior Design, Ryerson University
For over a year, Yulio has been working with senior faculty members at Toronto’s Ryerson University to bring VR interior design software to the curriculum. In 2016, the Yulio VR platform was introduced to all students within Ryerson’s Architectural program – a story widely covered in the Canadian media – and a few months later, was also successfully integrated into the University’s Interior Design program, led by its Assistant Professor of Interior Design, Jonathon Anderson (JA). With the Interior Design students having completed their first semester with VR as a component, we sat down with Jonathon to hear what the response had been to using VR interior design software in the classroom and where he saw VR within the future of his industry.  


 

Thanks for talking with us Jonathon. Could you start by giving us a quick overview of exactly how VR interior design software is being used in the classroom?
JA – VR was a natural fit for our curriculum and was introduced to our second-year students that had working knowledge of 3D modeling.  The Yulio technology integrates easily with the 3D modeling tool, such as Rhino and Vray, that I already use and teach my students. It was a perfect marriage and allowed students to use the same design technology they were familiar with and easily transfer the models that they were creating into VR. By using VRAY to create a still rendering and using that same camera to produce the virtual reality experience (VRE) students were able to understand the power of looking at a 2D image in front of them and then, through turning it into a VRE, be able to appreciate the entire space in a way that’s far more closely aligned with how people really experience spaces. With this being the first year the students were introduced to VR, many are still pressing the button once at the end of a design to turn their work into a VRE and experience it that way. A portion of the students are starting to go beyond this – which is what I’d really like them to do. They are building a design, using Yulio to generate the VRE, experiencing the design in virtual reality and then going back to the computer to modify or refine their design based on that improved spatial understanding VR interior design software gives them.

How did you come to the decision that VR wasn’t a fad but was something that would impact A&D in a significant way in both the short and long-term?
JA – I think VR and AR is the way of the future within A&D. I don’t see this as a fad that’s going to disappear anytime soon. The technology has become far more accessible and VR is something every firm can now have as part of their toolkit, without the need to hire any kind of specialist. This is especially true when platforms like Yulio have completely removed the technical complexity and made it solely about delivering the best possible user experience for designer and viewer, I think that it will soon become ‘the new normal’ in A&D. With VR, I see my students immediately ‘get’ the space. What I mean by that is that they understand scale and proportion in a completely different way through the VR experience when comparing it to the spaces they view on a screen. It allows my students to understand space far better and far more quickly. Students don’t naturally understand how to design for those who would eventually build something. With the spatial awareness that comes with seeing designs in VR, they are far better equipped to design with contractors in mind.

Was there anything about the use of VR in the classroom that was unexpected?
JA – I didn’t expect the students to be so in awe of the experience and that was exciting to see. My students have grown up with access to incredible technology within their own lives and certainly within the university. It’s everywhere they turn and they’ve known nothing else.  It was, therefore, amazing to see them so wowed by VR. It’s hard to keep 100 students excited but I saw VR do that. I think as more of our students are exposed to the technology over the coming year, I see it becoming the natural way that the students will design and present their work.

 

 

Where do you see VR’s place in the future of interior design?
JA – I think on a very fundamental level VR will change the way that clients or potential buyers make decisions. I think developers will use it as a sales tool and be able to demonstrate to clients a full palette of different interior finishes. The role of the interior designer will change in line with that. Rather than working with each individual client, they will be responsible for providing a catalog of options that they know will look good and work well together and that will be what is pushed into the VR experience for clients to choose from. By being able to show clients options before anything is real and have them choose their exact preference means they are then able to walk into the finished property and have it be exactly what they were expecting.

Do you believe VR will be a critical skill for new designers to have?
JA – Yes. I believe understanding and using VR interior design software will have to be a critical element of design training for careers in A&D. Several of my students are already changing the presentation of their portfolio from the physical walking through of drawings that are typically expected in the architecture and design field. They have gone into internship interviews with only their cell phone and a pair of VR glasses and asked potential employers to view their work in virtual reality. Notably, by doing this, they secured the placements they wanted and I think this is due to the fact that they set themselves apart from the hundreds of other candidates. They believed this could change something for them and it was relatively easy. They already had the 3D models and the VRAY renderings. All they had to do is click a button and they had everything they needed to be stored right there on their cell phone.


So much of what interior designers do is about connection and human experience. It is about creating living environments and there’s no other technology that can offer people a spatial experience or communicate living environments before they’re real, better than VR. Our thanks to Jonathon for sharing his insight to into the next generation of VR designers with us. Try creating your own VR experiences, or your own portfolio for free with Yulio.
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Architecture, Business, Industry News, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality
Since 1978, Diamond Schmitt Architects have been designing award-winning buildings across the world, consistently looking at sustainability in design and innovative new technologies to further user satisfaction and supply modern building operations. Recently, they’ve been working with VR architecture software solutions.

Diamond Schmitt Architects Logo. DSAI is featured in this blog for their use of architecture VR
In a recent partnership with Ingenium, Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation, they have designed an enormous adjacent building to the  Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa called the Collection and Conservation Centre. The key problem they were solving was a way to house the Science and Technology collection in one building, with objects ranging in size from hand tools to actual trains. We sat down with Andrew Chung, (AC) an Architect at DSAI to discuss the Ottawa building and how VR architecture helped him communicate with his clients.
 






I’ll start by asking you to describe the architectural problem you were working to solve for Ingenium?
AC: Ingenium’s existing museum facilities weren’t going to meet their future needs, and there was a need to renovate the existing Science and Technology Museum. In doing so, there was an opportunity to create a secondary building to the museum to house the collections for all 3 Science and Innovation museums. The collection is currently separated from the museums, spread across multiple warehouses.  We recognized the opportunity to join the collection into one building and give an opportunity to link the collection spaces to the exhibition spaces. Our building houses these amazing historical artifacts and major parts of Canadian scientific and engineering achievements, and offers the potential to preserve and maintain this important history into the future, and offer new generations better visibility to the richness of the Canadian achievements in science and technology throughout history.

So, what role did VR play in this project?
AC: The use of VR architecture fit very much into the architectural problem we were solving because we found out very quickly that the task of consolidating the museum collection from 3 scattered, separate spaces into one building created a unique architectural problem: the scale was hard to conceive. We’re talking about artifacts ranging from a wide range of sources; from the early agricultural hand tools,  the very first Bombardier Snowmobile, Canadian space probes, to the Governor General’s train, which itself is around 9m long. These items are really interesting aspects of Canadian history, and we really felt the need to house them properly and preserve them for the future. But because they are huge artifacts, the spaces had to be very large, and it quickly meant that the building couldn’t be person scale, and instead had to be tailored much larger. The collection exponentially increased the size of the building quickly. When you’re designing objects of this size, it drastically changes how you approach the design problem. And so to really understand the scale, we introduced VR architecture scenes to the project. We needed to see how big these items were for our own understanding. And then when we saw that we could get really detailed images from Yulio, it helped us propose design solutions to the client. It allowed us to talk about things in a perspectival manner that captures scale in a much better way than solely using a 2D drawing. People who see our 2D drawings or blueprints still don’t really comprehend the scale until they view the VR architecture design experience. We were trying to find solutions to help communicate that spatial understanding to the client, and VR came into play for that.

 

 

Had DSAI worked with VR before?
AC: DSAI was using smaller VR architecture experiences of one scene or a perspective in a performing arts center from one vantage point. What Yulio let us do was create multiple scenes and spatial cohesion by stringing together multiple scenes with hotspots. That way, someone not used to looking at our plans can understand and orient themselves much more clearly. That’s when we were able to much more efficiently communicate just how big this building would be, and how everything would coalesce together. It helped clients understand why spaces had to be designed so large, and understand how we were able to solve the organization of this massive collection, to fulfill the goal of preserving this Canadian history. This is why working on this project has been a great pleasure, as it presents many unique design and communication challenges, among which we’re solving with products like Yulio.

Why did you decide to go with a mobile VR solution?
AC: We know VR architecture design  is currently a hot trend, but when we were looking at available platforms, the ‘high end’ VR experience required a powerful computer and tethered experience. In addition,  you had to have the client present in our office in person, which presented a challenge as the client is located in Ottawa while we were in Toronto. The high-end approach to VR  meant that overall, the communication reach would be pretty low. Mobile VR worked better for us because it gave us the opportunity to communicate through everyday, accessible objects like smartphones. For our design and review process, we would simply send a web link through Yulio, and we were able to share the content with our client easily. The aspect of communicating effectively at a  distance as very important,  and we were able to send things quickly and update the content seamlessly, much like a web platform. Yulio became like a content management system for us.


How did your client respond to the VR experience?
AC:  That’s actually a funny story. Originally, the VR portion was actually a side project. We are of course focused on the best, most workable design first. But VR was an opportunity to explain the space better, to really get a much deeper client comprehension. 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. So once they had that emotional connection to the space, they bought into more of our ideas around space planning later in the project. The client’s understanding of our design just grew exponentially after exposure to VR.

 

 

And how did that VR engagement change the project going forward?
AC: Our engagement with our client grew exponentially when we introduced VR. Now they’re getting into what we’ve proposed and are much more excited. We have found the client has engaged in a dialogue with us much more frequently. It’s not just a relationship of us describing the project to our clients, but also seeing how they’ve shared more of this material with their staff. As an example, the client asked us to add views of conservation labs so they could share their conservationist staff. The plan would show a series of rooms, which graphically would show up as boxes in these labs, but in VR they could see how tall the units are and how the spaces were stacked. It’s a greater level of excitement at many levels of the organization.

 

 

Did working in VR change your process as well?
AC:  We actually started using VR as an internal design tool, and it has been a fantastic tool amongst our team. Since we were working with multiple designs iterations in Revit, connecting everyone on the same level was extremely important. Throwing our design into VR would quickly reveal tasks and revisions we needed to accomplish and figure it out much more quickly in the design process. It gave us better opportunities to figure out solutions to the design problems earlier on. You would get more time to play creatively and explore solutions because fundamentally, you would get to the core of the design focus earlier as a result of this added understanding and resolution. Since the depth of exploration goes further, and our design gets better because we’re able to visualize problems earlier than waiting for issues to arise.

How do you envision using Yulio on future projects?
AC: Our design process has changed for the better with VR. From our staff who have a drafting history to those who think in 3D programs, everyone is excited by the sense of scale they can see in VR. It’s generating a lot of excitement within the firm because people get to see their vision sooner. It’s changing the way we talk about things too – in internal meetings, we’ll pull up the Yulio VRE and solve a detail or design challenge and it creates better understanding among the design teams. In the future with our clients, I see VR as part of a robust feedback loop, going beyond the show and tell to getting client feedback in context, and build two-way communication in VR to increase collaboration between the team and our clients.

Anything else you’d like to share about the success of the project?
AC:  We’ve had a great dialogue with Yulio around VR architecture practices. While we’ve had a two party relationship with our client, we’ve found it has become more of a three-party relationship with the Yulio on a technology level. This whole process has proven that our feedback can help with design – whether it’s our design or the Yulio platform. So it’s not one way at all, it’s a dialogue that creates three happy parties with us, our client and the Yulio team. The building project itself is moving quickly, the first floor is being poured right now, and we’re interested to see how well the VR design that showed the intent of the building aligns with the completed building. Did we predict things accurately? VR lets us see into the future, and when construction is done we’ll see how close we were.


Our thanks to Andrew Chung of DSAI for sharing their success in deepening client engagement through VR. For more information about creating your own VR designs, sign up here to schedule a training webinar with a full walkthrough of Yulio. 
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Architecture, Business, How to, Industry News, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

From the moment Mark Zuckerberg handed over $2billion for Oculus Rift, the starting gun sounded for the latest trip around the VR hype cycle. VR is not a new technology. The earliest incarnations have been traced all the way back to around 1860 in the form of panoramic paintings. By 1930, the first flight simulator using a version of the technology was sold to the US military to improve pilot skills. The first head mounted display was developed in 1960, first VR goggles hit the shelves in 1987,  Lawnmower Man was released in 1992, and in 1995, Nintendo Virtual Boy. It’s a list that illustrates just how long we’ve been flirting with the emergence of virtual reality and waiting for it plant some roots, to move beyond VR hype and become part of our lives. In its most recent incarnations, both in hardware and software, VR has undoubtedly taken a major leap beyond anything that’s gone before. This momentum is due to several of the undisputed heavyweights of technology and innovation, Google, Facebook and Samsung throwing their weight behind it. From the newest, top-of-the-line headsets, which offer flawless visuals and precision motion capture, to $15 headsets such as Google cardboard which open the virtual field to anyone with a smartphone, VR has never been more accessible or its hype more pronounced.

So why does VR not yet touch the lives of every person, every day?
Doubts about the viability of VR to be part of the consumer mainstream are based on lagging headset sales vs. projections. Data Analysts SuperData predicted more than 2.5M PlayStation VR sales, 600K Oculus Rift sales. But 2016 sales fell short:


 

There was so much VR hype 18 months ago from electronics manufacturers and retailers alike that anything less than ubiquitous headset ownership seems like a failure. But there are some extremely logical reasons for that which we’ll outline below. But bear in mind, almost none of these barriers have an impact on business use cases, where consumers or clients may use VR occasionally, and for very specific jobs. Beyond the gaming chair, VR has practical uses in healthcare, retail, architecture, design, real estate and manufacturing. Equating consumer disillusionment to a failure of the VR medium is a shortsighted error for businesses. Businesses who fail to spot the trend and the jobs they can accomplish with VR storytelling may be left behind if they only look at consumer disillusionment. The consumer barriers to VR are pretty easily overcome by businesses, and explain why the use cases may diverge.

Cost
43% of people surveyed by Thrive Analytics cited expense as the key barrier. There’s no doubt that with A-list headsets such as the Oculus Rift, starting at $5-600 (which is about $100 less than the original cost – there was a price drop as of May 2017) – before you buy and set up the high-powered computer necessary to run them – jumping into the top end of the VR market is not for the faint-hearted and is expensive enough to challenge even the most indulgent of impulse buyers. For an emerging technology that is looking to prove itself and hasn’t yet earned its place among consumer ‘must haves’, the price is undoubtedly playing a role in maintaining VR’s position as a boutique technology. But for businesses, it makes a splash at trade shows and is increasingly a fixture in the offices of architects and designers and in retail experiences. The difference is that with a single headset, businesses can reach dozens of potential clients in the office or hundreds at a trade show. At potentially $2 per user at a tradeshow booth, and less each time the rig is used, the value is easier to find in a one to many scenarios than in a single consumer’s personal monetary outlay. There are, of course, cheaper alternatives. Samsung Gear and Noon VR  headsets cost around $100, and Homido Minis and Cardboards are $15. Each relies on a smartphone for its computing power and delivers different levels of immersive experience. They can be used by businesses or consumers and offer a solid VR experience.

Mobile headsets range from $15 to $100+ showing multiple types


Comfort & Practicality
VR’s propensity to cause nausea – which we looked at in detail in a previous post remains a key concern for new users -14% of users surveyed by Thrive Analytics.  Through our own extensive user testing, we found that the ability to pop in and out of the headset reduces sickness significantly – those who may not want to wear a headset for hours of gameplay because they fear illness, will find they can glance at a business application for a few minutes with no issues. But there are other factors to comfort than nausea: Isolation Although tethered headsets offer the richest visual experience, some felt a discomfort with the blindfolding sensation of full immersion and having no access to real touch points to steady themselves. Again, when you’re wearing a headset to do a specific job, like review a color scheme in your new bathroom….this isn’t as much of an issue.

Using VR to select finish options in a condo bathroom


Appearance
Some of those testing became self-conscious, not only imagine how they might look to those around them while wearing a large (and some would say ‘brick-like’) headset but also how the apparatus would affect their personal appearance, their hair, makeup, etc. This unease was felt by both male and female users. For our business users, we combat this by removing straps and facilitating in and out experiences, which we predict is the winning pattern for business VR. While acknowledging that these barriers remain an impediment to VR gaining its mass consumer foothold, at least in the short term, the technology is undoubtedly taking root in the enterprise.

Tailored VR Applications for Business
The current state of consumer vs. business VR demonstrates the different places they are at in the hype cycle. Early business adopters have moved past inflated expectations, have worked through some solutions that don’t fit and have moved on to the next phase, finding productive uses for VR storytelling and achieving ROI. It’s because, in business applications, specific combinations of VR hardware and software can be tailored to suit different environments and address areas users are concerned about. We remove the straps and ensure navigation is simple with no controllers in all our demos. These subtle changes help users avoid feeling self-conscious and avoid nausea. And are more appealing in an office setting than in buying a new headset at home and cutting the strap off. And businesses are typically putting their clients in VR for short periods to accomplish specific goals. Not trying to entice them to wear the rig for hours of recreation time. According to Animation1 (2015) prospects who virtually engage with content become personally attached to the offering within the first thirty seconds. That’s some serious speed to sale.

Business users of VR in a design presentation


Business Leaders Moving Beyond VR Hype
  • Yulio clients are experimenting with VR to make spaces that are too complex to model more realistic. They have virtually reinvented blank warehouse spaces to show realtors the possibilities. They have modeled massive parks and public spaces in new home developments, and they are experimenting with audio and other creative plans to make VR design come to life.


 

  • Transporting customers to alternate realities is a natural fit for travel and tourism. Thomas Cook locations in the UK previewed a Manhattan vacation. They saw a 190% increase in sales of that package with people who used the VR preview.


 

  • The auto industry is innovating in both design and sales. Ford has used Virtual Reality to test design elements and solve engineering problems, while Audi is putting buyers in VR cars and letting them have virtual driving experiences. Toyota provided a public service by creating a VR experience about the dangers of distracted driving. “In our experience, new technologies that allow consumers to interact with virtual vehicles actually enhance the in-person test drive,” Cooper Ericksen, VP-vehicle and marketing communications told AdAge. “Guests arrive at a test drive more informed about the vehicle. They know the questions they want to ask, creating a much more satisfying experience.”


 

  • Retail giants are creating in-store experiences that speed time to sale. Lowes has their Holoroom, a design experience that lets people preview their design choices in-store, and take them home to share. Lowes was one of the first to use the technology from Marxent, whose CMO Sonia Schecter told PWC that waiting for fully realized ROI models can get you left behind in business: “The other edge of that sword for retailers and manufacturers is that if they wait to get started, they’ll be behind when a traditional ROI recipe does kick in. Emerging technologies are tricky that way.”


 

  • Charity:Water and other charitable foundations are starting to call VR ‘the empathy machine’ as it drives up their donation rates and amounts to be able to transport a donor to a refugee camp, or see the promised future their donation can help create. The UN has a VR film called “Clouds over Sidra”, and the donation rate for viewers is double that of people who haven’t viewed the film.


 

So while VR hype continues to do battle with the real experiences of consumers, a growing number of businesses are finding that the technology is critical to creating an immersive product and design experiences. They are successfully applying VR technology to their operations and leveraging its unique capacity to engage, to educate, to communicate and to enthrall. To learn more about how VR can enhance your business workflow, sign up for our FREE 5-day email course.
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