New Jersey-based company Pantone has one of the most prominent voices in color. Whether it be a garment presented down a runway, or a house being redecorated, industries touched by color and reliant on visual aesthetics are keen to listen in on Pantone’s annual announcement of their Color of the Year. Every year, “Pantone picks a new color… based on socioeconomic conditions, fashion trends, new technologies, as well as new trends in the realms of lifestyle, art, music, travel, and of course, social media” (retrieved from CNN). Pantone’s process of picking the Color of the Year is much more thoughtful than many may assume. Through careful analysis, Pantone’s color experts meticulously analyze the current state of our society and assign a color that best fits the circumstances.
In December of 2018, Pantone announced that 2019’s Color of the Year would be Living Coral. Accompanying this bright and lively color has a much deeper meaning behind it. Before we dive into the intricacies of Living Coral and how advanced technology like virtual reality can help shape how to best incorporate it into our spaces, let’s explore the psychology of color.
The Psychology of Color
There is no doubt that color, for sighted people, is a powerful tool that can tap into a person’s emotions and convey a positive or negative message. How we receive the message is based on our understanding of what the color culturally means to us — there is no universal definition for each specific color. From the Western perspective, we may view white as the color of purity, simplicity, and innocence. However, in many Eastern countries, white is the color associated with mourning. As humans, we approach color from a personal perspective that is heavily linked with our emotions. When examining your view of color, it is crucial to understand your demographic and the implications behind certain colors to tailor the best experience to them.
Most notably, those in the field of marketing have masterfully used color to their advantage, utilizing it as a vessel to achieve their ultimate goals. Think of the most well known fast food chains and the colors they use in their logo. Many of their colors are bright and eye-catching, helping consumers identify and retain your branding with more ease.
The Meaning Behind Living Coral
From the Western perspective, the color orange is positively associated with physical comfort, food, warmth, and security. As it is also seen as a “fun” color; orange promotes good feelings and jolly vibes. Pantone’s Color of the Year, Living Coral, is a cheerful hue of orange — it’s no wonder that it is said to welcome and encourage lightheartedness.As we continue to dig deeper into digital adoption, the risk of greater disconnect from our surroundings increases significantly. Pantone specifically chooses their annual anthem color based on the current political climate; Living Coral embodies what our society needs at this time. This digital isolation is exactly what Pantone’s Living Coral hopes to lead us out of. Living Coral encourages the masses to be the most authentic versions of themselves. Especially during times of turbulent events and high-strung emotions, Living Coral encourages us to return to the energizing colors found in nature. As the name suggests, Pantone also invites us all to give a standing ovation to the nurturing aspect of coral reefs. Corals play an important role in providing shelter to many species of marine life. With roughly 30% of our coral reefs experiencing devastation and bleaching, Living Coral hopes to inspire greater harmony and human interaction to combat the negative with positive.
View it in Virtual Reality – VR Design
Although Living Coral is a beautiful color with deep meaning, no one can deny that wearing it makes a fashion statement that may not fit with everyone’s aesthetic. This is where designing with VR comes in handy.
“Colour is an equalizing lens through which we experience our natural and digital realities and this is particularly true for Living Coral. With consumers craving human interaction and social connection, the humanizing and heartening qualities displayed by the convivial PANTONE Living Coral hit a responsive chord.” – Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute (Retrieved from here)
Whether you are unsure about the color or trying your best to make it work in a space, for you or a client, VR allows you to get as close to having Living Coral on your walls as possible before having to pick up a paintbrush. While using VR, you can see exactly what you will be getting. Being immersed in VR allows you to have a perfect understanding of whether Living Coral is appropriate for a certain product or space, helping you in your VR design process.
VR lighting studies can be created to understand how it will look at all times of day.
Seeing a swatch of Living Coral may tap into your creative mind where you can fit this color exactly. As a bright, it could quickly turn into a visual distraction. Is it best suited to a different area based on how much attention it grabs? Previewing the feasibility of color is a valuable use during your VR design process, as is trying to get a window on any design that hasn’t yet been executed.
Decrease your likelihood of making costly mistakes by seeing it first in VR. And if you are a designer and you are concerned that your client may not like living with a decision, using VR to preview the option for them will give you both reassurance that the client won’t require costly after-completion changes as they’ll have deeper understanding and buy-in.
Living Coral is a stunning color that reflects what we need in our current political, social and cultural climate. But it may not be the right one for your client to live with day to day. View this color in VR to bring your vision to life, and help ensure you’ve made the best design decisions.
Here at Yulio, we strive for excellence in performance and integrity when it comes to our product, and customer service. To learn more about how VR can enhance your business workflow, sign up for our FREE 5-day email course. Want to stay updated with everything or anything Yulio? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin!
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 someone who has been with Yulio even before Yulio was a company — Dani Spiroska! As the head of Quality Assurance, Dani tests all of our new features and web updates, making sure Yulio works seamlessly with our pre-existing features and on all platforms, VR headsets, and mobile devices. Being our “last line of defense”, her work is absolutely crucial to our team and your experience with Yulio. As she digs through all our use cases and devices, Dani ensures that all of you have the best user experience possible. Thanks to her detail-oriented and patient personality, Dani is successful in executing her role to the highest degree.
So, Dani tell me a bit about yourself.
I have a degree in Mathematics from the University of Waterloo. Initially, I worked in the financial sector until I figured out I really didn’t enjoy finance and then went back to school for a second degree in Computer Science from UofT. I enjoy getting into the smallest details, which is probably why I was drawn to quality assurance. I love the outdoors, I really love to run and have competed in over 70 races from 5k to full marathon.
How did you find Yulio?
I was involved in the earliest stages even before Yulio was officially a company – I got to test the very first VR prototypes that eventually formed the basis for the Yulio platform.
Tell me a bit about your role at Yulio
As the head of QA I am responsible for testing and test strategy. That means I get to spend A LOT of time in every type of VR headset under the sun and work with the developers and business team to make sure we are launching the best experiences possible.
Tell me a bit about your first experience with VR?
I have been lucky to have access to every type of VR and AR headset since the introduction of the first Oculus Rift DK. I remember kneeling down in terror in the Brookhaven Experiment while the zombies swarmed me, and I vividly remember ‘flying’ at SIGGRAPH in the first generation of the ‘Birdly VR’ flight simulator. Both times I remember telling myself “That was incredible, this is going to change the world!”
If you got to dream up any VR experience and immerse yourself into it, what would you choose?
I have tried just about every type of VR application and game out there, but the ones I really love are the ones that get me moving. Games like BeatSaber and BoxVR are so much fun you don’t even realize you’re getting a workout until you run out of breath. I’m really looking forward to the next generation of VR exercise apps.
Outside of your VR job, what are your hobbies?
I love to make things. A few years ago, my partner and I renovated our home from top to bottom and we did everything – design, carpentry, drywall, electrical, plumbing, even landscaping – I loved that when we were done we got to live in our creation. Maybe that’s why I’m now an avid sewist – I love that I get to wear what I make.
What’s your favorite Friday afternoon office game that we’ve played?
I like Blind Pictionary, Yulio Feud, and pretty much any game where I get to be on Chris’ team – her team usually wins 🙂
We’d like to say a big thanks to Dani for taking the time to sit with us for a little Q&A about herself! Stay tuned for some more interviews with Yulio VR’s employee, and discover how we’re all learning more every day about our VR job!
VR has quickly established its presence in today’s economy with numerous multi-billion dollar companies recognizing the technology’s value and potential. Many of these companies that have invested in VR have found themselves a part of one of America’s most recognized lists in the world: the Fortune 500 (F500). You may be asking yourself, “What is the Fortune 500, and why is this list of names so important?”.
The Fortune 500
“The Fortune 500” is an annual list that is published by those at Fortune; a multinational media publication focusing on all things business. For 64 years, the list has recognized and ranked the top 500 corporations in the United States by total revenue for their respective fiscal years. Both private and publicly held companies have the opportunity of being a part of Fortune’s 500.
“[The] 500 companies represent two-thirds of the U.S. GDP with 12.8 trillion in revenues, $1.0 trillion in profits, $21.6 trillion in market value, and employ 28.2 million people worldwide.”
It’s safe to say that those on the list are major market influencers that have a direct effect on America’s economy, let alone the world. Many of the companies listed are some of the most powerful and well-known corporations to date — whichever direction they move towards is worth exploring. With many F500 companies stepping into VR, it is time for the rest of the world to catch up.
Let’s examine 5 investments in VR from the top 50 of the Fortune 500, and how they have adopted the tec.
Walmart currently holds the #1 spot on the F500 list, with $500,343 million in revenue under its belt in its 2018 fiscal year. According to Fortune, Walmart has recently been cutting less efficient aspects of its business and allocating the saved resources to other areas of growth. One such area being invested in is their training programs with the application of VR.
Since mid-2018, Walmart has announced that they will be committing more resources to their training program and expanding other methods to better prepare their employees for success. As such, this revenue-powerhouse of a company has committed to shipping four VR headsets to every Walmart Supercenter, and two to every neighbourhood market and discount store. This translates to more than 17,000 Oculus Go headsets by the end of 2018. Around 4,700 US locations have received their VR headsets by now, but Walmart did not stop there. Walmart was already using VR in their 200 Academy training centers, immersing their future and current employees in simulated scenarios to better equip them in real life. Since then, they have updated and revamped their simulations, welcoming their newest addition: the Black Friday shopping simulator. Black Friday is one of the busiest and stressful times in retail, with floods of people looking for the deal they have been eyeing on for months. With using VR, Walmart is projected to train more than 1 million in-store employees, helping them to be more equipped and prepared for every situation.
In 2018, Apple brought in $48 billion in net income, welcoming a 6% annual sales increase compared to their last fiscal year. They have solidified their #4 place on the F500 list with the introduction of three new iPhones, and the exciting development of facial-recognition technology. Apple dominates in being one-step ahead of others, prevailing in staying modern and intuitive, making it easy for all to use and enjoy their products.
Apple has been relatively secretive when it comes to VR. Comparatively, other big named tech giants like Microsoft, Sony, and Samsung have released their own versions of VR, while Apple has seemingly remained dormant releasing nothing related to the tech at all. However, this may not be the case for long. It is true that Apple has not released anything AR/VR related, yet. But, as we dug deeper into the Apple-VR situation in our most recent blog post, it is important to note that Apple has laid out the VR foundation and have started building upon it. Not only have they been researching into VR but have actually been doing so for decades. Keep an eye out in the next couple of years for Apple’s investments in VR and AR!
#10 General Motors
One of the companies that have been on the F500 list since the start is General Motors (GM). GM is America’s biggest carmaker, ranking at #10 in the most recent F500 list. In the last fiscal year, GM took in $157,311 million in revenue, heading into the direction of greater strategic refocus. Although GM experienced a 5.5% drop in annual revenue, with a recalibrated sense of direction they hope to catch up for a bigger and better year.
GM has been dabbling with VR for some time, as well as its close sisters AR (augmented reality) and MR (mixed reality). Dating back to 2014, Chevrolet (owned by GM) had dipped their toes by using VR to preview prototypes of products before ordering the physical copies. This process allowed for a much less expensive production process, allowing for a wiser allocation of resources. Two years later, GM had started using VR to help finalize designs for their upcoming vehicles, allowing for greater flexibility and opportunity to perfect their product. Fast forward another two years, Cadillac offered a whole new phase of customer service by introducing its Cadillac Virtual Reality Experience. By giving their existing customers the opportunity to immersively browse through their catalogues, GM also achieved another goal by appealing to a wider audience. Following the success with their VR Cadillac showroom, we can anticipate that Chevrolet may follow the same pattern by providing another layer of excitement through experience.
Through the years, GM has proved to be a loyal and supportive company of VR and it’s powerful capabilities to bridge the gap and build a deeper connection with their audience.
#14 Cardinal Health
Back in 2017, Cardinal Health had a 10% loss in revenue due to a loss of a contract and shaky pricing on certain pharmaceuticals. However, in 2018, Cardinal Health bounced back, rising up by one rank to take the #14 spot. Cardinal Health’s revenue rose by 7% in the most recent fiscal year, coming in with $129,976 million in revenue.
Cardinal Health may be a pharmaceutical and medical products distributor, but they have also recognized that VR has become a viable tool to help them achieve their goals. This health care services company has written a number of informative substantial articles on the value of AR/VR in supporting the patient’s experience. One of their previous posts predicted that the healthcare system in 2017 will move towards a digital solution in order to “win patient business”. In addition, their other pieces have shared how this tech would reform a patient’s experience, as well as how it’s changing medical education for those practicing. Furthermore, their support for VR isn’t skin-deep. Back in 2018, Pulse Design Group announced its partnership with Cardinal Health using VR as a business solution to enhance its sales process.
“This exciting new tool is specifically designed to increase sales, shorten the sales cycle, and further position Cardinal Health as an innovative leader in the healthcare industry.”
Cardinal Health has secured its place in being a forward-thinking business, despite not being commonly associated with such technology. They will be a business you would want to keep an eye on.
As the world’s largest aerospace firm, Boeing is internationally known for their consistent drive for innovation, generating large amounts of revenue. They are currently sitting at #27 on Fortune’s list, bringing in $93,392 million in revenue. Although 2018 had been a tough year, Boeing is still boldly holding their ground, continuing to place themselves in the top 50 range in the Fortune 500 list.
With their keen passion for innovation, Boeing birthed Boeing HorizonX with the sole purpose of investing in the future. Through providing resources to businesses and entrepreneurs, they hope to discover the next big idea. Back in 2017, Boeing HorizonX invested in C360, a VR start-up with a focus on 360 videos. With this new found investment, Boeing HorizonX hopes that this partnership will allow them access to the latest in technological advancements, and bring them to their customers. In addition, their parent company has started to develop an AR/VR simulation to train its pilots. The market has seen a huge spike in demand for pilots, adding to the challenge of providing effective and efficient training. As such, Boeing has started to adopt digital solutions such as VR to help combat this area of friction. Through immersive simulations, pilots are now able to have far more profound training experience. Now, more than ever, pilots are able to equip themselves and learn from their mistakes without costly repercussions.
The Future of Business
Some of the biggest market influencers have started to recognize and adopt VR as a piece of powerful technology. As we continue to embrace the digital transformation, it’s time we stepped into the future of business. Of course, the F500 companies may seize this opportunity at a much larger scale, and their way of adoption is much more costly comparatively. However, VR is more accessible today more than ever before. Our market is shifting, and we are transitioning into technology that is future-proof and provides an out-of-this-world experience. Large corporations have made the change — when will you?
Here at Yulio, we strive for excellence in performance and integrity when it comes to our product, and customer service. To learn more about how VR can enhance your business workflow, sign up for ourFREE 5-day email course. To try our program for yourself, sign up for ourfree 30-day trial (no strings attached).
When thinking about virtual reality, the first thing that may pop into your head may be related to entertainment. The gaming industry is one of the biggest winning cases for VR, with VR tech companies like Oculus becoming synonymous with other big name consuls like Playstation or Xbox. It’s no surprise that there is significant demand, as VR unlocks the opportunity to take a step further into your screen, and into another world. But that makes the power of VR incredibly versatile and its power exceeds just a single industry.
VR has started to become a revolutionary presentation tool, with B-to-B businesses recognizing its potential and value. Industries like real estate rely solely on a client being able to picture the vision of their potential home. Agents have been able to experience greater flexibility by uploading a VR presentation of a particular property online. This not only saves on time and energy by filtering those who are actually interested in the property, but it also provides an added interactive experience, making your customer service more memorable. Additionally, VR has proved to be really useful for those in architecture and design. As being able to visualize a space is the foundation of the industry, VR fits perfectly into their workflow by allowing A&D individuals to step into their creation.
These two B-to-B industries are just a few examples of VR in Enterprise, however, many businesses that we least expect have started to join the current too.
One the most unexpected industries that have been turning towards not just VR but also AR has been the mining industry. Arguably, mining is one of the most dangerous occupations known to man, with constant exposure to life-threatening accidents, and lifelong health hazards. Although there have been significant changes to decrease the mortality rate, greater strides in innovation are needed to further improve their working conditions. According to VR Vision, the mining industry has invested about 0.5% of their overall revenue into research and development over the past few years. This has led companies within the mining industry to create thorough training programs on proper safety precautions. Simulated Training Solutions, a South African company, created a VR blast wall for trainees to practice their skills in a safe environment. Instead of making very costly mistakes, areas of improvement are highlighted through markings in the simulation. The virtual simulations provide the extra layer of reality to a situation, yet an effective and low risk means of getting the necessary training. As such, miners will be more equipped to act quickly and safely during high-stress situations.
As a furniture dealer, it could sometimes be challenging communicating your vision to your clients. On the flip side, from your client’s perspective, it can be hard visualizing that piece of furniture in a particular space. This is when VR steps in. VR has become a useful tool for both furniture dealers and their clients, providing a perfect understanding of what space would exactly look like. As VR can showcase something that doesn’t exist yet, the versatility of the technology can allow you to visit a fictional world, or, on a more practical side, envision what your workplace could look like. Additionally, using VR before investing in fully furnishing an office space is a cost-effective solution. VR allows you to try it before you buy it, discouraging the risk of needing to make costly revisions or redo’s. Moreover, furniture dealers can now provide their clients with the flexibility to review their designs in the convenience of their office, and at their own pace. Conversely, furniture dealers have the opportunity as well to allocate their resources more wisely instead of building multiple models for their clients. Although it may seem like this technology is ways away from where we are now, businesses have found success while using VR to accomplish their goals. If you’re curious about how this technology works with this industry, find out for yourself with this case study.
VR therapy is quite an unconventional method that has gained more traction in recent years. One type of therapy that has been utilizing the immersive aspect of VR is exposure therapy. But what kind of method is exposure therapy?
“Exposure therapy targets behaviors that people engage in (most often avoidance) in response to situations or thoughts and memories that are viewed as frightening or anxiety-provoking” – Matthew Tull, Ph.D. (retrieved from Very Well Mind)
It’s important to address the avoidance, as the behavior can cause greater consequences in the future by interfering with a person’s daily life. Virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET) is starting to be used to treat certain anxiety disorders, such as phobias and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD). VRET immerses an individual to come in simulated contact with their fears to allow them to confront them in a realistic yet controlled and safe environment. So far, VRET has been used to examine Vietnam War combat veterans, resulting in soldiers experiencing reduced PTSD symptoms. Hopefully, in the near future, VRET can be used to help all veterans that have served their country by providing them with much-needed support.
VR has moved far and beyond just being a fad, infiltrating many industries we would not commonly associate with it. It’s time to disassociate the technology with just entertainment and take VR in Enterprise seriously. As we are coming to the end of the first month of the new year, how do you envision VR effecting your life?
Here at Yulio, we strive for excellence in performance and integrity when it comes to our product, and customer service. To learn more about how VR can enhance your business workflow, sign up for our FREE 5-day email course. To try our program for yourself, sign up for our free 30-day trial (no strings attached).
It’s hard to ignore the VR boom that has happened in the past few years. From the tethered experience of the Oculus Rift to this year’s launch of the travel-friendly Oculus Go, VR tech companies have challenged our finite idea of what technology can do for us. Falling into the same category as Samsung and Sony, VR tech powerhouse Oculus has established their presence in the tech industry.
Watch out for VR in 2019
Huge advancements into VR hardware and software have allowed the technology to become more affordable, flexible, and accessible than ever before. With businesses continually finding new and innovative ways to use this technology, VR has become increasingly inclusive, allowing for different industries to utilize VR. Additionally, the hardware and software that allows for the VR experience have never been more affordable. With prices being accessible to all, VR is no longer tech that only large companies can afford. Small businesses now have the opportunity to become a leading expert in the tech industry. Let’s explore how this technology is revolutionizing processes today, and what we can expect from VR in 2019.
VR is Changing How We Eat
It may sound like a stretch when stating VR is changing how we eat, however, think about what meals you enjoy most. Is it visually enticing? Does it taste better or feel more comforting when you’re back at your family’s house? A study was conducted in Cornell where participants were given the same blue cheese but tasted in three virtual settings, including in the lab, a park bench, and a dairy farm. Participants perceived the cheese was more pungent in the dairy farm setting. This finding supports how consumers could react differently to the same product presented in a different environment. Cornell’s results significantly help companies in regards to time and resources. Now, food companies don’t need to build different sets for taste testing as the VR experience is just as real as a real-world setting. By doing so, they can allocate their resources into other areas.
Aside from VR influencing the way we eat, the technology has been adopted into restaurants overall workflow. With more businesses seeing the value in VR, many have chosen to train their employees in virtual reality. By simulating a busy day, or a difficult customer, VR training provides the practice without real-life mistakes. Along with training, many businesses have made AR/VR the headliner of their dining experience. With adding a touch of entertainment, chefs like John Cox have started to curate a menu that uses VR to enhance the dining experience.
VR and Medicine
The healthcare industry has welcomed VR into much of their workflow. From designing hospitals to new options for therapy, medicine and VR have become very well acquainted. Since VR changes what we see visually, and creates immersive, emotional attachments, the environment we experience can influence whether we perceive a situation as positive or negative.
Administering injections to children is one area where VR has helped physicians. The anticipation and experience of pain is something no one looks forward to, let alone children. Hermes Pardini Laboratories, Ogilvy Brazil and Lobo have teamed up to create a game in VR to help children conquer their fears of shots. VR Vaccine has been successful at warping a stinging needle into a more enjoyable experience. When the child puts on the headset, they are met with a task of taking a “Fire Fruit” through a barrier. What seems to be a jewel being inserted into the arm (the Fire Fruit) is actually the needle administering the vaccine. As one doctor puts it, it was the first time in her 15 year career where “a moment of pain [was] transformed into a moment of entertainment”.
As we have seen, VR helps a physician’s patients, and this technology has also been very helpful in training physicians. Through using 3D models, surgeons are able to visualize their operations better than before. With the added 360-degree graphics, it helps both the physician to understand what needs to be fixed, and allows for better communication with their patients. As VR is the happy medium between the real-world and a simulation/piece of paper, it has become a useful tool in improving training in the medical field.
VR and Dementia
Dementia is a complex condition where many people misunderstand or are just uninformed about what it is. “A Walk Through Dementia” is a project that is backed by the Alzheimer’s Research UK, and is committed to educating others about dementia, and to encourage a greater sense of empathy.
By downloading the app and using a VR headset, you are able to look at everyday life through the eyes of someone with dementia. Walking through the simulations like making a cup of tea or grocery shopping helps those without dementia understand how difficult it may be with those with the condition. Additionally, the app also includes 360 YouTube videos that capture the hardships those with dementia face with an added layer of realism. After each experience, notes and a debrief explain certain symptoms that came up in the simulation.
With VR, A Walk Through Dementia captures the difficulties in the most real way we can immediately understand — seeing it with our own eyes. Hopefully, the experience challenges our previously held misconceptions and allows us to have a greater sense of empathy and understanding.
As 2019 draws closer, it’s time to think about how VR can transform your business. With numerous industries already embracing this advanced piece of tech, we are thoroughly excited to see what VR in 2019 will bring. It’s time to get on the bandwagon and let VR improve your business.
Here at Yulio, we strive for excellence in performance and integrity when it comes to our product, and customer service. To learn more about how VR can enhance your business workflow, sign up for our FREE 5-day email course. To try our program for yourself, sign up for our free 30-day trial (no strings attached).
We sat down with Ian Hall, Chief Product Officer and resident expert at Yulio Technologies about his experience with VR, his work within the industry, and where he predicts the digital reality market will lead in the future, and here are his top 9 major takeaways!
1. Stop calling it VR!
This first thing that I want to note about the future of VR is a bit ironic – and that is to stop calling it VR – or at least recognize that that is a bit of a bucket term for a number of technologies. We’re starting to combine the terms VR, AR, and MR, into this kind of overreaching descriptor of digital reality (DR) – some people call it XR to fill in the gaps, but digital reality seems to be resonating a little bit better. So, we start projecting out 6-12 months.. even a year and we look at it as that collection of visualization technology blending, merging, and working fluidly together in digital reality.
2. Hardware is always going to get better.
As anyone who has tried VR today can attest, it’s powerful, but there are still challenges. Even people who have had an experience in a professional tethered rig, like an HTC Vive, or something like an Oculus Rift – you’ve got this cable running from the back of your head, it gets sweaty, it’s clunky, it can be a little bit off-putting. The mobile devices, while they’re getting more and more powerful – everyone wants it to be higher resolution, lower latency, bigger field of view, longer battery life, less overheating to solve the convergence problem because there are a bunch of things that are all understood and I point to the Oculus Go – it moves forward on five of those things I just mentioned, in a substantive way, while absolutely plummeting the price. Two years ago I would’ve killed for an Oculus GO, and now future of virtual reality is here with it. It’s self-contained, has a long-lasting battery life, great tracking, excellent visuals – that DIDN’T exist two years ago, and now it’s available $200 street – for the cost of a music subscription, you’ve got this powerful new communication medium. To do what the Oculus Go does today by combining a phone with an enclosure, you’re looking at about $1000 street to have something reasonable – meanwhile, the Oculus Go is $200 for exactly the same thing.. I mean, that’s a staggering drop in pricing.
You’ve also got a major player in the space Leap technology. They’re promising full-blown, functional mixed-reality headset with hand-tracking as a reference design for roughly $100 street price. So, that’s what I mean about VR, AR, and MR all kind of blending.. As that hardware comes forward, we will exploit it. So, if $100 AR headset is out there, our AR pipeline (which is obviously in-the-making) will be able to exploit it.
3. We’ve got so much to look forward to for DR technology
So, we’re seeing the evolution of technology – if anything, we’re actually seeing the technology outstripping everything else. We’re seeing the software ecosystem is getting better, richer, so standards are starting to evolve, things like GLTF which is a 3D data format, optimized for delivering this type of experience, WebVR, and we’ve got the big players working on things like ARKit and ARCore to give you dial tone for doing basic mixed reality behaviours, and you’ve got just MASSIVE research going into data compression, 5G data transport, and we can go on and on. We’ve actually got an entire, what we call, “TechRadar”, where, Yulio as a company – all of our mad scientists and product people are looking at the major trends in all of these relevant areas in software, hardware, standards, in the UX/best practices, and we update that frequently and we use it to inform our thinking – that’s how we skate towards where the puck is going. We’re projecting these things forward, we’re looking at the scientific papers recognizing that those papers are gonna be turned into functionality, and open source, and things that we can use and then we’re figuring out where our opportunities lie through all of that. So a lot of it is having that insight into what those variables are, who the players are, and how rapidly things are adapting.
4. We’re going to see DR technology being used more and more as a standard in the construction industry
That is happening in other industries as well. That’s happening in construction now. Construction is already adopting augmented reality so you’ve got a pipefitter who puts on an augmented reality headset, and they will see, because of the plan, that there’s supposed to be pipes running along the wall – they’ll see where they’re exactly supposed to go in real-time, at-scale, where it’s supposed to be cut-in and cut-out – they can do the work and check their work. Then the inspector comes around – he can put on the same headset – looks at the original drawings and be able to compare workers efforts against the original design -and THAT is utterly transformative for the entire industry for bottom-line costs, maintaining clarity for regulations, quality working effort, at a level of fidelity that we’ve never seen before.
5. VR doesn’t always have to be flashy
Have you ever tried watching something in a headset? For instance, watching Netflix with your peers or something like that. It’s small and simple, and if you’re living in an apartment and you don’t have space for a 60” television, then you can sit there and have an IMAX size theatre screen in front of you in your very own living room and you can watch whatever you want! Entertainment executions like this will continue to help drive the future of VR.
6. DR is the next major gaming platform
So, we’re ahead of the game. The adoption of VR as a way of consuming traditional media in a new way is, frankly, disruptive stuff. If you take a VR mount into a gaming room, (and there are some really good titles out there that are breathtaking and forefront stuff in virtual reality) and you come out with this emotional high that you just don’t get sitting there with other mediums. That’s what’s transformative about future of virtual reality – it’s an evolution of a storytelling medium and it’s the emotional connection that drives it that’s so exciting. You see more and more of these big studios when they do these big quality AAA games with – and they ain’t doing it unless they can get their money back. So you’ve got the Sony’s and Samsung’s of the world pushing consumer VR but frankly, it’s in the very early days – for instance, instead of 100 hours of play, we’ve got 5 hours of play but it’s a REALLY cool 5 hours. Things like the Oculus Go suddenly become an install base of millions upon millions of content will follow. So, the big leagues for consumer VR are going to be content production – content that has a little bit more awareness, a little more accessible hardware.
7. Consumer adoption of VR will come as fast as we invite it
Technology moves fast, moves strategically, and it’s moving to address fairly well-understood problems… the bigger challenge is when you move into the human side of things – which is the consumer consumption of digital reality. Now, obviously, Yulio as a company, we’re primarily focused on the business applications of this… that said, the business applications don’t exist in a vacuum. As consumers get exposed to DR and AR, kind of like first harbingers, they will lay the foundation for further investment in the space. Business or not they’ll build the future of VR because as consumers use it, more people will build hardware, more people will build software, so the building blocks that we use to create our products will branch from user adoption of the tech.
8. Digital reality training is coming full force – and it’s working!
Education is another big one. The best example is Walmart who started dabbling with virtual reality as a way of training employees. They have this massive training program; whether you’re the one greeting at the door, or you’re the one stocking shelves or at the cash, you go through this very rigorous training program that introduces you to the “Walmart way” of doing things – and they will celebrate improving those outcomes all day long. If you can improve testing outcomes and improve customer feedback through that training program it has a huge impact. They introduced VR – and they saw double-digit improvements OVERNIGHT. So, they went from doing this as a trial to rolling out a full training program to every Walmart training center around the world and that was in the course of 12 months. So, again, this is a BIG IMPACT of DR transforming businesses.
So imagine that the same person is stocking the shelves wearing an MR headset and it gives them reinforcement of that training because they’re seeing it in real-time, and the social stigma of looking funny with a big headset on doesn’t apply if you’re stocking shelves – So, business applications, some of those constraints that are going to slow down consumer adoption, don’t exist in business. If I’m going and doing a ‘pick and place’ in a warehouse – Putting a load into a box to mail to you, I don’t care what I look like. To put on a DR headset to be better at my job to improve efficiency is just something you’re going to do. That is becoming deliberate – this kind of idea where you wear these headsets in warehouses and remote diagnostics is already picking up traction. Microsoft jumping all over the whole platform. They literally just announced that the entire framework that allows you to use their HoloLens platform to do exactly what I just described. Have an expert come in, look virtually over your shoulder, and point to something and say “noo don’t turn that gear turn that gear” and they’ve come up with an entire platform for building applications like this.
9. The A&D community was perfectly primed to use DR technology
Today, in the architectural community in particular and more so the design community, we’re starting to see DR as table stakes – it’s not just a nice to have, but it’s becoming a must-have. When we started doing this over two years ago, we had to explain to our early adopters, “what IS VR?”, and they really just had no frame of reference… but in the last 6 months, I don’t remember the last architectural firm who didn’t have some sort of active VR initiative, and some of the more sophisticated ones have already started dabbling in AR and mixed reality – so that is an entire industry, and we just so happen to be perfectly primed for taking advantage of this. Speaking directly to Yulio, our clients use visualizations to convey design ideas, so visualization is definitely key. So these businesses are primed to use this technology and in a matter of 24 months, we went from getting reactions like, “what the hell is VR” to “we can’t live without VR” and that is absolutely transformative.
So, the implications for business make sense in the areas with the greatest ROI – where you see a ten-fold improvement overnight as opposed to traditional means. But as time establishes, more people try things and they find that it works… it’s substantially better than the alternative – you’re going to continue to grow in the business environment and this is absolutely the center of where Yulio exists. We are addressing those problems, we are working with our customers and trying those scenarios, we’re eliminating the ones that don’t work all that well, we’re focusing on the ones that really do, and we’ve already seen those successes in a repeating pattern. Using Yulio / a VR platform to convey your design ideas – early stage / late stage is correct. And we know that today because we have architects backing us saying, “we’re trying for a year to communicate to a customer why this thing needed to be this big and we finally had the epiphany – we were already using VR for our designers, and we decided to turn it around and put it in front of the customer, and they looked at it and had an ‘Aha’ moment. They looked at it and went ooooh I FINALLY get why it had to be so big .. we didn’t believe you and now we trust you and they finally became a partner in that dialogue.”
Until that moment – using the best methods available to architects today – models, floor plans, renderings, and all that kind of stuff – they weren’t able to convey that in a year, and VR was able to convey it in a split second. And that is transformative.
The Future of VR
It’s more of that. It’s finding those niches. It’s finding those applications and it’s just transforming how people do business. I think winning business patterns will drive the future of VR.
Ian Hall is Yulio’s Chief Product Officer and has been working in the industry for an eternity in VR terms. He recently attended VRX 2018 and recorded the top trends that he saw. Read about them here. To learn more about VR best practices for business, check out our Whitepaper on the right way to integrate VR into your business for maximum ROI.
Think about what you would do if you walked into a building that you’ve never been in before. Your sense of how to navigate it is a core part of what we want to impart today about VR design principles.
Human Instinct is Key
Going back in time, humans have learned to navigate spaces differently, so to design in virtual reality, you have to understand how people think.
Back in the early days of a human-populated Earth, people relied on their natural instincts and honing in on their senses to survive. So things like having a good vision for long distance was really great to have for them and looking for irregularities in their environment that would be a red flag.
Fast-forward to a more modern era of thinking, we rely on a much shorter distance of sight. We’re not hunting for food or always keeping an eye out for predators, but rather we’re looking for signs, whether that be something like a road sign, a digital sign, or something like a natural instinct kind of sign.
Our generation of humans has seen the transition from items being physical objects into the digital (two-dimensional). Think of apps on your phone like calendar, notebook, and timer – we’ve adapted to this new interaction model that makes multitasking much easier, but decision-making much more difficult.
Consider looking at a landscape in VR… you come across a dark forest to your left and a bright clear path on your right, and you must choose between the two – The majority of us will recognize that the dark forest is filled with a lot of uncertainties and that triggers a sense of danger, whereas you can probably see that the path is lit up and you can see that there is no danger, so you’re safe to continue on. Now let’s say that there are signs for what is to your left and what is to your right… it takes some time to digest what the signs say, and what they mean. The real difference between the two is that people now have experience with reading signs and identifying cues based on the icon, the text font, the shape of the sign, and minuscule details like that. So, deciding which path to take in the second scenario is less intuitive, and ultimately takes some more time.
So one thing you can do when you approach applying VR design principles is insert hints that will cause your users to pick up on their natural instinct of wayfinding and cues that can push them in the direction you want them to go without physically inserting a sign that says “go this way”. When people view scenes in virtual reality, they’re looking for that staple immersive experience that leaves them wanting more, so make your experience explorative and intuitive, and see how much of a difference it makes for your narrative!
You Can Control Perspective!
Picture yourself standing in a large empty room with only a chair across from you (let’s say 10 feet away). If you walk towards the chair, it will appear to be getting larger – Now picture the same scenario, but when you walk towards the chair, it doesn’t budge, you’re not any closer to the chair than you were before you started walking towards it. Controlling this is a core part of VR design principles.
You have options for where you want your content to sit in your virtual space. It could be like the first scenario, where, like a normal day at home, your perspective is normal. Sizes and angles change based on your proximity to the object and your head position. OR, you could make it more similar to the second scenario. The content is locked in a certain position, and there is no way of changing that. There is no such thing as closer or farther away because you’re locked from seeing it any differently. One other scenario would be locking the content to the environment you’re immersed in. For this, think about a hologram – it’s floating in free space, but its locked to the environment you’re in.
Place content with purpose. Make sure that if something is sitting in your virtual environment, it has some sort of meaning for the user. There should be intentions behind the placement of items. We recommend a camera height of about 64” to replicate ‘eye height’ for most viewers – paying attention to these kinds of VR design principles will ensure your viewer experiences a scene with standard heights of things like doorframes etc. and standard sized. Failing to consider this can create a disorientation that makes users less engaged with your scene.
Think about designing a virtual escape room (where every detail matters!) For the most part, you want your users to be able to see all the angles and perspectives of content in the room; however, you’ll also want to lock some content in place, and maybe allow for floating text/voice prompts to appear for them. The focus will be making details, no matter how small, count.
Hey VR designers – you’re not just designing for one screen, but an entire world! You have a full scope of vision to design for – so keep in mind every head turn and remember – design for behind you too! We touched on some helpful tips in a writing piece before, as well as a past blog which you can read here.
This one seems like the obvious tip but it’s honestly one that is easily forgotten. We’re so used to a flat-screen 2D digital experience where you can see everything- where you’re looking at a screen and you have a fixed set of commands and you seem to know more or less what’s all around you with the help of strategic camera angles and zoom.
The difference is, that in VR you have a small cone-of-focus, similar to our range of sight, but even smaller. With actual sight, we have the advantage of having a blurred peripheral vision, but in VR this range of vision isn’t quite as large. When you’re gazing into a VR headset like a Gear VR, you’re actually looking into a split-screen smartphone which not only divides the image but the resolution as well. Your eye will focus on the center of each of these lenses, which leaves the rest of the scene blurry. Don’t let this scare you when it comes to design though because there are ways to solve for this small cone-of-focus!
We have 4 core VR design principles that can help improve your experience for our small cones-of-sight.
Design for a flat surface – yeah yeah, VR is meant to be immersive and offer 360 degrees of intriguing content, but if you’re trying to get your user to focus on one thing in particular, show it to them as if it were a fly on a wall. There’s no sense trying to put crucial information in a VR scene if your user is never going to find it, nonetheless be able to read it!
Design on the curve – If you use this method, the information will always face your user, and be on enough of a curve that is it clear and readable.
Put the important information closer to the users cone-of-focus, and less important information behind that – This hierarchy will let the information stay accessible, but it keeps it organized and out of the way for other content to take the spotlight.
Keep in mind how your user is viewing your experience – The cone-of-focus and range of vision is going to be smaller in something like a Google Cardboard or Homido Mini because they don’t offer any peripheral viewing, however something like a Gear VR or an Oculus Go do allow you to have a wider range of vision. So when you’re wondering which approach is best for you (where to place important content in a scene) keeping in mind the vehicle that is driving your experience can make a serious difference!
Build around what we already recognize
Think about your smartphone, and how you went about learning your newest upgrade. No, not from that sweet promo at your local mobile store, but how you went about learning how to use a new phone again. Technology follows the same path most of the time because the way it is is how everyone understands it to be. Virtual reality design principles aren’t new and alien just because of the technology -they follow a shared understanding of storytelling. We understand what a Wifi icon looks like, or what a calendar app might look like – and I bet we can even recognize the less popular icons within our phone. Our first instinct as humans is to relate back to information we already understand, which is why we can pick up new technology so fast. There is this book of well-known language and symbols that we can immediately pick up, and therefore have become an industry standard.
Where this becomes more complex is where VR intersects with this universal world of symbols and language. Take into consideration how we identify a link from regular text when you’re on your laptop. Usually, the text is a different colour, underlined, maybe italicized, may be enlarged, maybe bolded or all of the above, but sometimes you rely on your mouse to hover over the text to see if the link will pop up indicating that if you click it, you’re going to be taken to a different web-page. Now in VR, only certain headsets come with hand-held remotes which makes applying this same concept more difficult.
If you’re thinking of designing a space, use symbols and language that people already understand, and in the case of VR, use gazes and gestures that are already well-known, and make sure to highlight them as instructions to your viewers before the experience begins (if necessary)
Focus on Experience
Virtual reality is simply an experience. You want to immerse your audience into a scene and to do that, you need to keep a few core VR design principles in mind when you’re designing. These will not only improve the quality of experience, but it will also improve the comfort level of those experiencing it:
The less movement the better. Some people get sick when they’re in VR (it only takes milliseconds from what your eyes see and what your brain perceives to get that woozy feeling)
If there’s a line that details a horizon, keep it still. Similar to the last point, it only takes a second to get a user sick
Ease your user into scenes slowly. There’s nothing more disorienting than moving from one space to another in one abrupt motion. Make sure to include scene transitions that will ease the user in.
Aim to keep your user comfortable. Try not to make your environment too complicated by avoiding constant movement of their head or body. Not only can this bring on sickness or disorientation, but you also want to take into consideration the user’s comfort level. Are they sitting or standing? Where? In an office or on a place? Are they using tethered VR (a.k.a have limited mobility?) These aspects are all important so think of who your main audience is.
Be mindful of what in your scene is meant to be 2D versus 3D. The change between the two can be disorienting.
Keep the information in front of your user simple. There’s nothing worse than when you’re on a screen and you have a million pop-ups in your face. Users in VR want to explore, so let them find details as they go.
Don’t make your scenes too bright – bright lights on your eyes can cause fatigue and it can just be too straining for many to look into for too long.
What you do with these virtual reality design principles is up to you. Exercise your creative virtual freedom and create lasting immersive experiences that will tell your story in the most interactive and unique way possible!