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Architecture, Design, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality has been steadily gaining traction in Enterprise businesses, becoming a go-to marketing, training and presentation solution. As word of its amazing capabilities is starting to spread and the price continually dropping, VR has become widely available, affordable, and enjoyed by many. As a result, VR has been seen in numerous corporate industries, speaking to the flexibility and versatility that is VR. As VR is already revolutionizing businesses and their workflows, the time to start building a library of VR content to share has arrived.


Whether you are a part of the A&D community or the office furniture industry, you can benefit from having an extensive and comprehensive Virtual Reality portfolio. Being able to immerse your clients in your design rather than just settling for telling could be the difference of your client fully seeing and understanding your vision or the unfortunate and all too common feedback of “I’m just not seeing it”.


The Value of Building a VR Portfolio

Using every project as an opportunity to add to your portfolio will help you build an ever-growing library to reference for future projects. Yulio clients who have built a VR portfolio have found it helps them communicate better and more quickly with clients. Its key benefits are to:


  • Help your clients see first hand how you visualize a space, your eye for design, and the process behind it, and communicate the distinctive style your team are experts at creating
  • Showcase your experience in different types of spaces, including different size floorplates, different business types and creative solutions
  • Speed up the sales process by reducing the number of times you would need to meet with your client by having them narrow down their requirements up front – they can point to ‘more like that’ in your portfolio to start the process

VR is a tool that will help speed up areas of your workflow to help you get to the sale in a more efficient manner. Using VR ensures that your vision will be clearly and perfectly communicated with all those involved and get to perfect communication of visual concepts, faster. Tap into the power of showing instead of telling your clients what your vision is with no ambiguity.

It can be tricky knowing where to start or figuring out the most appropriate areas in your workflow to add to your portfolio. Here are 3 tips, tricks, and considerations to help you expand your VR portfolio:


 

1. Do NOT Throw Away your Drafts!

It is completely understandable that you would want to include the most polished 3D images that you have in your arsenal, however, any piece of content that you have created is absolutely qualified to be added to your Virtual Reality portfolio. Whether your design is in its skeleton stages, or the amount of shading hasn’t been adjusted, sharing the beginning process of creating a beautifully rendered scene is just as valuable. In fact, being able to see your vision from its skeletal stage moving on to the black and white stage, and the pièce de résistance that is the finished product gives a greater glimpse into your creative process. It may also help you guide early-stage discussions about space viability without clients becoming distracted by color or finishes. Being able to give a brief yet effective walkthrough of every stage that you are able to execute will help you paint a story that your client can understand and desire to invest in. This leads in to the second point.

2. Add Any Projects Into your Virtual Reality Portfolio

Now, how is this different, and what does this mean? For example, when you have been in constant communication and designing for a client for a particular bid. You may have already gone back and forth five times trying to understand their vision, however, they ended up going with another designer. This situation can be quite disappointing, however, your rendering efforts can still help your portfolio. Although the scene that you have been carefully designing may not have been the best fit for that particular client’s vision, you have spent a considerable amount of time perfecting the scene and the design is still one that showcases your abilities. If you were satisfied enough to present it to a client, you can be confident that it clearly represents your design process. Add this scene into your portfolio to show your clients exactly what you are capable of producing.


 

3. Invest in 3D Rendering Companies with Expertise

We have previously touched on the topic of whether outsourcing or hiring someone in-house is better in regards to 3D rendering services. Whichever route you choose, being able to invest in 3D rendering services is one way to build an extensive VR portfolio. With clear and careful direction, outsourcing projects to add to your library highlights and showcases your eye for design. If you’re tight on time or need another solution to building up your portfolio, outsourcing would be a great option. Keep in mind, people in the 3D rendering service are experts at what they do, so you can rest assured that your vision will do nothing but shine.


We also understand the concern and hesitancy since it’s not built and crafted with your own two hands. Allow us to provide a different perspective. The scene would not be able to look the same without your direction in where items should go. In fact, without the vision from the designer is what makes the scene unique to the specific designer. The work is still yours as it is the vision that will drive the ultimate result. Plus, when outsourcing projects to 3D rendering companies, their sole focus is the project you gave them. It can be expected that the quality will reflect the extra attention they can provide.


If you are looking for help outsourcing rendering and VR content for visualizations, check out KiSP’s portfolio here.  They specialize in low-cost solutions that can be done in tight turnaround times to help you share your vision for any project.


Here at Yulio, we strive for excellence in performance and integrity when it comes to our product, and customer service. To learn more about us and what we offer, please visit our page or take our product tour. To discover how VR can enhance your business workflow, sign up for our FREE 5-day email course.

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

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


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


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




 

So, Geoffrey, tell me a bit about yourself.

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

 

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

 

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

 

How did you find Yulio?

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

 

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

 

Tell me a bit about your role at Yulio

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

 

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

 

Tell me a bit about your first experience with VR?

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

Outside of your VR job, what are your hobbies?

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

 

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

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


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


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

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Business, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

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


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





Enhance your Projects to a Whole New Level

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


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

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


Hotspots

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


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




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


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


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


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


Floorplan

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




Default Starting View

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


Enhancement is Key

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


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

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

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


Who are Gen Z Consumers?

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



Gen Z Market Influence

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


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



The Experience-Driven Generation

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


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



VR is the Answer to Winning Gen Z Consumers

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


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


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


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


Your Target Audience has Changed, Have You?

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


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

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Business, Lifestyle, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

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


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


So what even is VR?

VR = Visual Storytelling

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


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





How Can You Use VR in Furniture? 

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

1. Say Goodbye to Translation Errors

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


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

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

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


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

3. Build an Emotional Connection

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

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


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

4. Become More Strategic with your Resources

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


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


5. Speed Up Your Sales Cycle

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


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

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


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

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

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

 

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


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


So, Lev tell me a bit about yourself.

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


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


How did you find Yulio?

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


Tell me a bit about your role at Yulio

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

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

Tell me a bit about your first experience with VR?

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


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

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


Outside of your VR job, what are your hobbies?

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


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

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


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


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

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

 

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


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

So, Jim tell me a bit about yourself.

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

How did you find Yulio?

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

Tell me a bit about your role at Yulio

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

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

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

Tell me a bit about your first experience with VR?

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

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

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

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

Outside of your VR job, what are your hobbies?

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

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

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



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


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

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

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

 

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



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


So, Oussama tell me a bit about yourself.

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

 

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



How did you find Yulio?

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



Tell me a bit about your role at Yulio

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



Tell me a bit about your first experience with VR?

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



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

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

 

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



Outside of your VR job, what are your hobbies?

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



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

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



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

 


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

 

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AR, Business, Industry News, VR

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



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



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

– Mixed reality (MR) startup developer



The “Others” in the AR/VR Industry

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



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


Collaboration to Heal Social Disconnects

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


 

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

 

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


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


Barriers and Concerns about AR/VR

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




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


AV/VR are Here to Stay

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


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


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

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

 

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


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

So Kan, tell me a bit about yourself.

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

What’s your role here at Yulio?

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

How did you find Yulio?

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

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

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

 

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

 

What was your first experience with virtual reality?

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

 

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

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

 

Outside of your VR Job, what are your hobbies?

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

 

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

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

Fun fact

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


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

 

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

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

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

 


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

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

The future of VR

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

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

 

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

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

The key to productivity

 

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

 

The key to survival??

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

 

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

 

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

 

What if you’re not sure where to start?

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

 

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



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




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

 



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

 

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

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



 


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




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


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




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

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

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





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



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



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

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



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

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

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



 



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


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


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




How tiny is too tiny?

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




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

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




Creative storage was so important!

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





 


 

 

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

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




Busy lives means designing remotely.

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




Sharing designs is easy!

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




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


 


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


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

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