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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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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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