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How to, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

Knowing a new technology is going to be important for business is one thing, developing a great use case for it, is entirely different.   In the 90s, with a heightened fear of missing out (and that’s before we had an acronym for it), CEO’s rapidly commissioned the creation of company websites to make sure they were keeping up with what was showing itself to be the new ‘must have’. Cut to early 2000s, it was all about having a mobile app. In those early days, with new technologies quickly evolving, business leaders weren’t sure what practical use a website or app was going to have to their business they just knew they needed one and so they made sure they had one. The results were that many of the early websites and mobile apps weren’t all that great. They often weren’t designed to solve a real problem or provide any real and tangible value to users. But the CEO could tell the board of directors they had one.

 

‘How to use VR?’
When it comes to VR, it looks like we’ve all grown up a bit and that says a lot. Jeremy Bailenson, head of Stanford University’s virtual reality lab remarked that “Most things don’t work in VR.” It’s a medium that has considerable strengths but it’s not suited to every application a creative marketing team might want to push it forward for. There are a lot of marketers and executives out there figuring out how to use VR. At Yulio we say that if you use images or video to tell your story today – you can do it better with VR. It has to be done with a clear and considered strategy however and we are seeing this being done brilliantly in a number of industries who have already figured out how to use VR;

Construction, Design & Real Estate – VR makes it real
VR is already enabling real estate professionals to showcase properties to potential buyers from anywhere in the world allowing them to experience clear details of, not only interior layouts and specifications but also property locations, views, and neighborhoods. With Yulio’s own technology architects and designers are able to give clients rich, immersive tours of their designs. Clients viewing unbuilt properties in this way are more able to imagine themselves living in new environments and, as a result, designers are becoming better equipped to create environments clients want and greatly reduce gaps between client expectation and eventual reality.  


 

 
Marketing & Advertising VR Experiences
With its unique ability to go beyond ‘showing’ products or stories and have viewers experience them, VR has delivered an entirely new toolset to marketers and advertisers. Studies have shown VR to deliver a 27% higher emotional engagement and 34% longer engagement than 2D content, so, for those already using images or videos to tell their story, it is a very compelling new option. VR gives consumers more control, allowing them to enter an experience alone, decide where they choose to go, how long they’re there for and what they see. We’ve obviously seen first-hand this dynamic method of idea communication at work in architectural and interior design whereby complex ideas and new environments can be communicated through immersing viewers directly within them. Once immersed, viewers can lead their own experience, progressing through the design story at their own pace and choosing to take their own detours – yet all within parameters set by the designer. Numerous brands including Jaguar, Coke, Etihad Airways, Audi and The New York Times have rolled out experiential marketing campaigns using VR. From enabling people to virtually experience the luxurious surroundings of Etihad’s first class airline cabin, to placing them on Wimbledon’s Centre Court, VR is enabling marketers to interact with their customers in more unique ways than ever before.


 

 Retail – Shop in VR
VR has been shown as a compelling new solution for retailers and one with the potential to help them face the challenges of a rapidly changing digital retail landscape. Startups such as Bold Metrics have been using VR technology to create ‘virtual maps’ of shoppers’ bodies, allowing them to virtually try on clothes or shoes in a 3D environment. With the latest developing technologies, shoppers will also soon be offered opportunities to visit virtual malls where virtual stores can be visited and products viewed in styled, curated, virtual environments. And while shopping may continue to be a social and recreational experience where people enjoy visiting physical environments, retailers are able to put their customers in flagship locations, fashion shows and more regardless of where they’re located.


 

Retail VR also has huge potential to limit the real estate required by major chains – if you can show off thousands of products in a headset, you need far less big box stores.



 

VR for Events & Conferences
Virtual Reality is seeing success in the events industry and even has some celebrity credibility. Paul McCartney recently released a 360-degree concert recording through a VR app linked to Google Cardboard. This meant anyone could experience his concert at a fraction of the cost and without the cramped train ride home afterward. In the same vein, conference organizers are using VR technology to power virtual conference attendance and also creating collective experiences among those who do attend; Intel CEO Brian Krzanich took 250 attendees at CES 2017 on a live inspection of a solar power plant in Moapa River Indian Reservation. And smaller event planners are learning how to use VR to attract exhibitors, showing off a virtual representation of the show floor, or showcasing last year’s event.


 

Healthcare
With its unique abilities to immerse viewers in that which is too complex to model using other means or is long distances away, VR has found a clear home in Healthcare. From training surgeons to treating phobias and developing new life-saving techniques, it is allowing professionals to learn new skills – or refresh existing ones – in a safe and adaptable environment. VR is being used as a smart diagnostic tool, enabling doctors to immerse patients in virtual environments, carrying out functional tests for some neurodegenerative disorders in order to come to a diagnosis without invasive surgery or other methods of treatment. Other use cases include helping the elderly in nursing homes ‘travel-by-goggles’ and in treatments for behavioral and mental health issues, using virtual immersion therapy.

Automotive
The automotive industry has adopted VR in a number of unique and intelligent ways, such as taking potential customers through exhilarating experiences in virtual high-performance cars, or checking the specifications and personalizing cars while in the dealership itself. Audi has been offering immersive car tours and virtual test drives and Ford have been working with the Oculus Rift team to design, prototype and evaluate vehicles in a virtual setting. This is already bringing significant change to the dealership experience, as well as saving car manufacturers millions of dollars in testing elements of new cars. Learning how to use VR has been key for an industry that knows its customers dislike interacting with sales teams, and even entering dealerships – offering exciting experiences people can navigate on their own goes a long way to overcome the issue.

Manufacturing
Similarly to the automotive industry, VR has the potential to transform manufacturing by offering major efficiencies through virtual training. While Manufacturing may seem too practical to worry about how to use VR, it falls into a winning pattern of using VR for things that are large and complex or expensive to model. Students can learn engine repairs on large, complex machinery or specialized devices using virtual models rather than the real thing. This type of virtual training has the power to heighten the technical skills of graduates more quickly and efficiently in in-demand trades, such as welding, plumbing, and electrical.


These are just a handful of industries where we see VR being used transformatively. The truth is VR has the potential to bring significant changes to a lot more. What we suggest? Get started today, for free. You can bring VR to your vision with Yulio in a free account.
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Your Business + Virtual Reality
If making sales relies on anything, it’s first impressions. These initial moments are your best opportunity to capitalize on the novelty and cool-factor of VR. From the early stages of attracting prospects, to the final stages of closing a deal, here are three ways you can use VR to pique your prospect’s interest and help you close the deal. SHOWCASE RECENT PROJECTS One major advantage of a mobile VR solution like Yulio is its portability. Your sales representatives can present your portfolio in the most impressive medium, wherever they are. When at events or out and about, a small mobile VR headset and a smartphone means you’ll never again have to say “you can see our portfolio on our website” or “I’ll send you some of our recent work when I’m back in the office.” Impress prospects with your recent work, straight from your pocket. And, as a bonus, a VR headset will always draw a crowd. Get ready for the line-up!   Interested in trying VR for free? Head to www.yulio.com and start your free trial today.
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Your Business + Virtual Reality
In an era with more solutions than problems, there’s no shortage of ways to improve your business. If you’re a conscientious business owner or executive, you’re constantly testing new tools and techniques. Whether it’s social media activity, website optimizations, customer engagement campaigns, or sales workshops, there’s a million ways to do better business. This blog series will focus on Virtual Reality, and how architects and interior designers can use this technology to change the way they work with clients, improving communication and collaboration, and giving clients an entirely new design experience. While Virtual Reality (VR) is easy to dismiss as “just another technology” or digital toy to accessorize your smartphone, it’s so much more than that. At its core, VR is about giving people—your clients, prospects, and even your team—an experience. Its innate humanness makes it the ultimate delivery mechanism that will add value to your exchanges at any stage of the business cycle. Virtual Reality is exciting and attention-grabbing (and this can certainly be an advantage for progressive businesses), but as business owners and executives interested in improving our businesses, we need to look past this noise. This focus will be even more crucial when the industry moves past its currently early adopter phase and VR technology becomes less of a novelty. Architects and interior designers need to leverage VR technology to continually add value, long after that first “wow” moment. This blog series will teach you how to add more value to your clients with VR technology, and ultimately, how to monetize this added value. Though VR won’t necessarily fit into any single area of your business, we’ve segmented this guide to demonstrate how VR can make a difference in:
  1. Sales;
  2. Marketing; and
  3. Client engagement.
Follow along with this blog series to learn more about using VR to improve these areas of your business. Interested in trying VR for free? Head to www.yulio.com and start your free trial today.
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Everything Else, Your Business + Virtual Reality
Most of the attention that today’s Virtual Reality technology gets is focused on its uses in the gaming and entertainment world. But any architect or interior designer who’s half awake knows that the A&D community is in the middle of a VR revolution: and it’s not over yet. Here are three ways VR is changing our industry already. Who knows what’ll be next?  

New client experience

The way your clients experience the collaboration process will be unlike they’ve ever experienced before. Instead of attempting to visualize their project from a piece of paper, they’ll know exactly what you’ve got in mind and exactly what they’re getting prior to construction. This reduces hesitation, improves their decision-making abilities and makes them feel a lot more comfortable about the process–which, for most non-designers, can be an intimidating one. Being able to place your clients in your designs, and guide them through the entire experience with tools like Yulio’s collaboration feature, is a first-class experience they can’t help but love. But with new experiences come new expectations. Once your clients have experienced VR-assisted collaboration, nothing else will compare. Next time around, you can be sure there’s one thing they’ll be asking for.  

New services = new revenue stream

With new technology comes new opportunities for adding value to clients–and, well, making money. Take one of our clients–a major Canadian design firm–who use Yulio to offer a service they’d never been able to offer before. The firm created a new service offering and revenue stream entirely around designing ‘virtual’ designs for empty units for sale by a one of Canada’s top 10 national real estate companies. Before this, the real estate company was spending $50-$60 per square foot to construct a real-life demo unit. So, their new virtual demo arrangement is a win for both parties. And can you guess who the buyers turn to when it’s time for real design work?  
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Everything Else, Your Business + Virtual Reality
To most of us, Virtual Reality is interesting–but intimidating. The most common objections we get from architects and designers usually stem from fear: “I’m not technical–how will I know how to use VR? Will everyone on my team be able to learn this technology? What about my clients?” A mobile-powered VR platform like Yulio solves all of the above, and more.

Converting from CAD to VR

Converting to VR from  your authoring environment is simple with VR CAD plugins, and requires virtually no extra work. Just render your 3D environment with the plugin specific to your CAD tool, and you’ve got everything you need to upload to Yulio.

File Management

Once you’re ready to upload, it gets even easier. Yulio’s file management system is as simple as it gets: if you know how to use Dropbox (or a computer, really), you know how to manage your files in Yulio.  

Viewing in VR

Viewing your VR files is as simple as downloading the free Yulio Viewer app to your smartphone and connecting it to your Yulio account. Any time you want to view a design in VR, just click ‘View in VR’ on yulio.com and it’ll be sent to your phone. This makes the process of handing a headset to a client smooth and painless. Once they’re immersed in VR, you’ll be able to guide them through a space using Yulio’s live-stream Collaborate feature, giving your client an impressive (but not overwhelming) experience.

Your Clients

At the end of the day, clients are your top priority. You’ll no doubt want to make sure their VR experience is enjoyable and hassle-free. That’s why Yulio is designed for you and your clients. If your client wants to view VR designs in their own smartphone, all they’ll need is the app and your design’s special URL, which you can share with them in seconds. The best part about the simplicity of mobile-powered VR is that it comes at no cost to sophistication–or power. Even with a simple smartphone and a pocket-sized headset, the reactions VR elicits are one of a kind. Give it a try–you’ll be surprised how easy it is.  
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Everything Else, News and Updates, Your Business + Virtual Reality
We’ve got something exciting to announce: you can now view 360 photos in Yulio! If you’re a Yulio user, check out our Knowledge Base article for more technical information and a guide on using the feature. Why should you use 360 photos? In the same way that a 2D image of an architectural rendering is nothing like experiencing that same rendering in Virtual Reality, viewing a 360 photograph is an entirely new experience: it’s captivating, fully immersive, and communicates better than anything how it really feels to be in a space. Your only competitor? Brick and mortar. Our clients use Yulio’s 360 photo capabilities in a number of ways:
  • Showcasing before and after photos in portfolios
  • Showcasing before photos with ‘after’ renderings
  • Presenting spaces off-site, without the need to for either party to travel
It’s early days, but 360 photography–and the entire Virtual Reality industry–is proving itself to be incredibly valuable for the A&D community (and their clients!). Ready to give it a go? Sign up for a free 30-day trial of Yulio’s Virtual Reality software today.
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Everything Else, News and Updates, Your Business + Virtual Reality
There’s no denying it: the world is getting smaller. The technology we use on a daily basis is getting smaller as it gets better. With the wearable revolution, the rise of the tablet and the increasing preference for phones over computers, our world is going micro. keep reading
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Everything Else, Your Business + Virtual Reality

Though virtual reality is a new tool for many, Yulio’s easy-to-use technology is designed for use by the whole team–from VPs, to designers, to the sales team.

“Conference room, now!”

It’s a good idea to introduce your new VR technology to the whole company before you begin. Explain why you’re using it, and the benefits it will bring to the entire team.

Outline how it will be used within the company, and assign roles and responsibilities to various team members.

Above all, make sure they know that this is designed to make their jobs easier, not harder. It’s hard to argue with that.

Side note: If they haven’t tried it until now, make sure you put a headset on them! If there’s one way to get people excited about VR, it’s letting them try it.

Use Yulio’s user management capabilities

It’s easy to set up your team in Yulio. You’ll need a Standard or Plus account, and admin rights to invite, delete and assign roles to users.

You can assign a user to one of three roles: admin, author, and presenter.

Give admin rights to your in-house VR champion–this gives them full capabilities within Yulio, including the ability to manage users.

For your architects, designers and 3D modellers, author rights are your best bet. This gives them control over file management, but not user management.

For your salespeople or team members who’ll only need to select and present VR experiences for viewing, presenter rights are what you need. They’ll be able to navigate through your files, and view the files they need, without making any changes within the system.

With your team’s roles designated within Yulio, we think  you’ll find working with Yulio a lot smoother.

For a detailed explanation on assigning user roles, check out our article on the Yulio Knowledge Base about this.

Get them comfortable

Don’t throw your team into the deep end. Although Yulio is designed with grandma-tested simplicity, it’s still new technology, and your team will inevitably have their inhibitions about it.

Make sure they’re comfortable with how it works before they start using it (this is particularly important for client-facing team members).

Let them know that any problems they have can be directed to our friendly support staff at support@yulio.com and 416-499-2227. Of course, there’s always our trusty Knowledge Base if you’re looking for some quick self-help.

 
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Everything Else, Your Business + Virtual Reality

So you’ve just stepped into the world of virtual reality, and you’re quickly discovering what an amazing business tool it can be. Oh, and how straightup cool it is. But if you’re wondering how to make virtual reality a more integrated part of your brand and service offering, here’s a few tips to get you started. keep reading

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Everything Else, Your Business + Virtual Reality

Ultimately, there are two things you’ll need to consider when buying a virtual reality (VR) headset for the first time: cost, and quality.

While there are dozens of headsets out there, and more joining the market every day (a quick Google search will leave you feeling more than a little overwhelmed), here are a few classics we recommend for first-timers.*

keep reading
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