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Design, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

SketchUp has been the go-to tool for many interior design firms for the last 6+ years. Aside from its simple learning curve, the SketchUp program provides designers with the flexibility and modularity to create spaces that are as simple or complex as they want them to be. For straightforward 3D modelling applications, it comes as an incredibly open and modular platform where plugins can be added that can take projects to a whole new level. 


As the program continues to advance, many transformative technologies – like Virtual Reality – have made it onto the SketchUp software through plugin options. Now, you can take your SketchUp project and see it in an immersive VR experience with just a few clicks. 


Although the process is easier than ever before, many interior design firms have still yet to adopt it into their workflow. Before we address some of the core concerns, let’s first answer the big question: Why VR?


Virtual Reality – What’s the Big Deal?

VR is a powerful tool that allows you to go beyond the 2-dimensional into a new digital reality. Incorporating it into your design workflow can enhance your firm’s process as a whole. 


  1. Stepping into your design helps you get a better understanding of  possible design issues that could be overlooked when viewing it in 2D
  2. Instantly gather better quality feedback quickly between iterations and quickly show alternatives side by side
  3. Cut the constant back-and-forth meetings of comments and redesigning with greater understanding
  4. Experiencing your space in advance leads to happier clients in shorter timeframes

Aside from improving your overall process, using SketchUp for VR also helps your firm create professional and engaging content for presentations, marketing and social media. You no longer have to rely on verbally explaining your design – instead, allow your clients to experience it for themselves. 


While VR can elevate the design process for your business, and lead to faster decisions and more satisfied clients, we understand that you may still have concerns about how complex it is to use VR in your design process. Let’s explore some of the most common core barriers that may stop you from blending VR into your business. 


Cost 

Many SketchUp users prefer the program since it’s less expensive than many other 3D modelling applications. Especially with its wide range of supplementary plugins and extensive 3D asset library, SketchUp is a basic program that can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. 


The good news is that VR doesn’t have to be an expensive addition to your current SketchUp use. When you think of VR, you may be thinking of the complex, tethered experiences such as HTC Vive you’ve seen on TV etc. These are heavy helmet rigs with cables coming out the back etc. Many of these tethered VR applications can set your firm back over $400 per month.. The difficulty with a tethered experience is that it costs far more than a mobile solution, and it affects your firm’s mobility of going to your clients and showing them your design. 


The current price point for the average tethered VR headset alone is about $1000-$2000. In order to support a super-advanced piece of VR hardware, you will need a computer that is powerful enough to run the program which will set you back in the range of an additional $5000. Plus, the better the computer, the better the VR experience. 


In contrast to these tethered experiences with the large price tags, Mobile VR is flexible and removes cost as a barrier to your adoption. 


Mobile-powered VR offers designers flexibility and convenience at a fraction of the cost. Having a smartphone that can support VR applications is the bulk of what you need when using mobile VR – the other part is having the right hardware to view it. Currently, you can get your hands on a pair of decent VR goggles for just $20USD. Plus, if you’re ready to invest in a more advanced piece of mobile VR hardware, the Oculus Go and Quest are one of the most advanced pieces of VR hardware and can be yours as low as $199. 

 


We definitely recommend looking for a good quality headset and a basic VR software program to help you get started. Our personal favourite is using the Oculus Go and our basic Yulio plan to help you get started on your VR journey. Going through the mobile route allows your sales team greater flexibility when showing your designs to your client. And after doing the math, using this solution will just come under the cost of one tethered VR headset alone. 


It’s Time-Consuming to Create Compatible Files

A few years ago, technology had not advanced to support VR for SketchUp. And even if you were ahead of the times and wanted to create VR experiences, rendering each image to fit every face of the necessary cubemap and stitch the images for one scene can become very time intensive. Perhaps for larger design projects, designers would invest the time to go through the whole process. However, for the smaller projects, creating a VR experience from start to finish just wouldn’t be worth it. Often times, designers don’t even have the time to execute such projects, which would lead them to abandon VR altogether. 


But not anymore


We saw the frustration that many SketchUp users interested in VR were experiencing, so we made a free plugin that would combine their many steps into just one. 



Once you’ve prepared your scene for rendering and have connected SketchUp to your Yulio account, head over to select your render engine, scenes, and upload location. Once you have selected Upload to Yulio, hit the Render button, and voila – it’s complete! With a few simple clicks, you have just created your very own VR for SketchUp experience minus any hassle or extra time lost. 


Not only could you now use this plugin for your large projects, but you now have the time to even create VR experiences for your smaller projects too. Showcase your firm’s continual willingness to pursue fresh and immersive ways to deliver the clients vision and to provide extraordinary service and really stand out from your competition. 


To learn more about our Yulio for SketchUp plugin, click here to access our guide.


It’s Going to Further Clutter my Toolbar

We understand how quickly your toolbar can get overwhelmingly cluttered. Many plugins currently are a one task plugin, where you only need it to perform one specific task. Although there’s a wide range of plugins to choose from, using a one task plugin can mean they’re often unregulated, meaning their updates could get delayed or not happen at all. Plus, if you’re trying to create a VR experience, you’d spend your time often waiting for your rendering to finish and then use your string of plugins to stitch the images together. 


Our Yulio for SketchUp plugin has combined two of the most crucial steps from the content creation process. Not only will Yulio render the images for each side of the cube’s face, but it will also stitch the images for you. We understand that extra steps take extra time, and your designers may not have the luxury of having the time to constantly create a VR experience from scratch. So by blending the two steps into one plugin, we have simplified the process of creating a VR experience in a reasonable and time effective manner. 


 

VR is a ‘Nice to Have’ 

Out of all the concerns, this is one that is the most common one at this stage of the VR adoption cycle – after all, your clients may not be expecting you to have VR presentation skills, yet. As technology continues to advance, many businesses run the risk of being too late to the game. It’s no secret that industries have been transitioning into incorporating advanced technologies and have been achieving fantastic results. Plus, there is a reason why design firms are mostly using the technology for their larger projects – it’s because VR works and can set you apart from the crowd.


Instead of thinking about how your firm doesn’t need VR, perhaps the concern you should have is not keeping up the pace with your competitors. VR has become more simple, accessible, and affordable than ever before, leaving little reason to not have it as a part of your workflow. We understand that designers are always strapped for time and looking for new ways to execute a task better and quicker. However, like the concerns we just debunked, there are resources that can enhance, speed up, or eliminate some of the most time-consuming steps and help you get to the finished product quicker. 


We’re aware that VR hardware and software will continue to advance even in 2019 alone. However, it’s also important to note that VR has come a long way since just a few years ago. What used to take a handful of plugins to achieve a result has now been streamlined into a single application to help you get your project in a timely manner. Transforming your SketchUp project into an incredible VR experience has become is as simple, mobile, and affordable than ever before. 


If you’re interested in trying out our VR program for yourself, sign up for our free 30-day trial. Or to get started in creating stereoscopic cubemaps on SketchUp, download our Yulio for SketchUp plugin here


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

Last week, we had the pleasure of attending the 51st annual NeoCon convention in Chicago. Here’s our roundup of some of the top trends from NeoCon 2019.



NeoCon is the largest commercial design industry showcase in North America. Furniture dealers, manufacturers, architects, and interior designers come together once a year to see the latest in design and innovation and tour the stunning showrooms of the major commercial furniture manufacturers.


Every year we attend the event to learn from other industry leaders, and see the creative design trends from industry leaders and see how they’ll influence office design.


With that in mind, let’s jump into the design trends from NeoCon 2019!


Mix-Matched Materials and Designs

Matching contrasting textures is very on trend in 2019. This visual juxtaposition was prevalent throughout the NeoCon 2019 showrooms. Whether it be matching a set of fluffy and chunky pillows with sleek tight-woven cushions, matching mixed textures was a common theme among the different showrooms.


Manufacturers like Geiger, whose pieces are traditionally wood-focused incorporated different materials to make their surfaces more varied and interesting. From natural stone to glass and laminates, their products generated a lot of buzz, and attendees lined up to feel the different surface options in their showroom.



On top of that, Geiger pushed the design envelope by creating pieces that have surprising edge profiles, showcasing the difference in textures. This look gives off a more casual vibe while still being thought-provoking in design.



One reason many manufacturers are heading into the mix-matched direction is its appeal to the Generation Y employees – also known as Millennials. This current trend of clashing textures, finishes, and colors first took the fashion industry by storm a couple of years ago. Many style-focused Millennials have adopted matching mixed materials into their style, transferring their desired aesthetic onto what they are looking for in furnishing options and work environments they consider desirable and forward thinking.


“[Our] intent with the mixed material trend is to make the workplace environment more attractive to millennial employees.”

Brian Fuller, Senior Product Designer for Geiger


Many of the Gen Y and Gen Z cohort have graduated from their post-secondary degrees and are heading into the workforce to begin their careers. With this in mind, the workforce climate is changing, and the workplace environment will be a direct reflection of the direction we’re heading into.


Open Spaces

The traditional workspace environment is starting to fade out as office design is heading into a more residential feel. Most showrooms in NeoCon 2019 played with the concept of space and how they can best beat the feeling of confinement and create a more home-like and comfortable environment.



With the newest generation joining the workforce, their vision for the future of office space is veering away from feeling institutional and into a relaxed and inviting environment. We have seen in the past few years a greater awareness of mindfulness and a focus on creating social spaces in a work environment.


This includes breaking down the structure of cubicles, and opening up the space where you can see your colleague’s face. Plus, reinventing the common areas to encourage and foster the opportunity for creativity and collaboration. We’re heading into a time where collaboration is going to be a key aspect of our everyday work lives, and will drastically challenge the setup of the traditional workspace.


Going Green

Environmental activism has sparked the minds in the commercial design industry. Numerous brands have been approaching their products from the angle of sustainability and focusing on minimal harm to the environment.


It’s no secret that manufacturing a product as well as running a building can use materials that could damage the environment, as well as use up large amounts of energy. As a response, many brands are participating in the Living Product Challenge, spearheaded by The International Living Future Institute.


One showroom that is a participant of the Living Product Challenge were Carnegie Fabrics.


https://www.architectmagazine.com/technology/products/biobased-xorel-carnegie_o


A few years ago, Carnegie Fabrics created their award-winning Biobased Xorel that was of the same quality and performance as traditional Xorel. As a result, their efforts have left a positive handprint on the world, encouraging other brands to support a sustainable goal when designing a space. Seeing the different products in NeoCon 2019 affirm the prediction for a spike in demand for sustainable and eco-friendly pieces.


Adaptable Pieces

With overall space becoming exponentially more expensive, manufacturers have started to create product lines that allow the client to adapt their furniture.


One such product that was Steelcase Education’s new Verb Flip-Top Table.




This adaptable table has a flipping mechanism that allows it to be easily folded up to one side, opening up a larger space. The table also has the capability to store whiteboards and other hangable school supplies. This slim and sleek design is perfect for a classroom that may not have the space for traditional desks and chairs. Plus, it allows students to interact with the piece while creating an active learning space.


This is just one example, but we predict rearrangeable furniture will see increased demand in the coming year. More individuals, partners, and families have moved to living in stationary tiny homes or tiny homes on wheels. They will constantly battle for space, and adaptable furniture could be the ultimate solution.


Technology and Contract Furniture

As we continue to lean into the digital transformation, technology and our mobile devices will continue to have a huge affect on our daily lives. From how we work to how we live, we have and will continue to be shaped by technology.


The last and final trend that we’ll touch upon today is how technology affects the commercial design industry.


The KITS collaborator embraces the use of visualization technology for sales professionals to show off their proposals faster. With digital catalogs from over 60 manufacturers, furniture dealers can quickly craft their client’s vision by configuring furniture pieces and specifying fabrics and finishes. After curating their space, dealers can run a quick render and send the image to their clients as well as a quick sheet that includes product details and estimated pricing.


We also had the privilege of showcasing our Yulio platform to furniture dealers, architects, and interior designers. VR is a piece of disruptive technology that completely transforms the visualization process and helps your team to get to the sale quicker. With VR, rest assured that your client can see your exact vision without any risk of translation errors. Give your clients the opportunity to not only hear about your intentions with your design, but to actually experience it for themselves.

These mobile sales tools are revolutionary for furniture salespeople, as it allows you to tell your story far clearer than before. The KITS collaborator and Yulio are the next phase of visual storytelling, fostering a deeper client relationship than ever before.

NeoCon 2019 – A Step Into the Future

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at NeoCon 2019 and seeing the latest in innovation and design. It as impressive seeing everyone’s end products and having their efforts paying off. a success as every business pushed the bounds of creativity, making this event truly outstanding. We look forward to going back next year and seeing what NeoCon 2020 has in store for us.



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

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Business, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

Businesses of all size have been exploring practical use cases of virtual reality because they recognize the power of this new medium in sales, marketing, training and more. Walmart is currently the world’s largest company by revenue and is implementing the technology enhancing their skills development sector – not a bad endorsement for VR.  

 

As other companies look to how they should be adopting VR, new implementations in training, architecture, interior designer, and engineering are using the tool as a step in their visual storytelling for sales and marketing.


VR Technology is Rapidly Evolving

A few years ago, the only VR headsets available were tethered and relied on external sensors to track movement. Although the headset produced a relatively high-quality VR experience, there were limitations to using the hardware as a practical business tool. The price to purchase the hardware, and have a powerful enough PC to run it was outside what most businesses were willing to spend on an unproven technology at the time, ranging from $1000-$2000 for the headset alone and a $5000 computer to run it.




Besides the steep pricing, tethered headsets drastically limit a client or customer’s mobility. Not only are you limited in the range of movement by the wires and external sensors, but for safety reasons, you needed an employee nearby at all times while someone was using it. And because of the complexity of the computer running it and the sensors, it wasn’t at all practical to move the rig to a client’s office, meaning they had to come to you. –

 

The evolution and hardware that has made VR in Sales and Marketing a practical possibility.  Mobile standalone headsets allow users to experience VR free from any external wires and sensors, letting you take VR with you to immerse your clients with ease no matter where the meeting is held. Among our A&D clients, we hear that about 80% of meetings take place at the client’s office so mobility is critical.




Now, you may be thinking, “VR sounds really great, but it sounds like it’s made for just a handful of industries”.

 

This is not true.

 

Virtual Reality is a tool that fosters a perfect understanding between the presenter and the audience. This could mean a one-on-one basis and can certainly be from one department to another.

 

Let’s dive into how VR could enhance your marketing and sales department.



VR in Sales and Marketing

It seems that the two departments stereotypically don’t get along due to differences in methods and end goals. However, VR could be used as a bridge between the two worlds by encouraging opportunities to collaborate with one another.


1. Captivate your Audience’s Attention

Consumers are still quite fascinated by VR and the notion of being transported into another environment. The advanced tech has moved past merely being a fad and into being a legitimate tool that can be used to drive prospect clients and close the sale faster.

 

Marketing campaigns that utilize VR can attract new leads when VR experiences are part of a landing page, or an in-store event. Not only does this set your business apart by being tech-forward, but the technology itself appeals to customers on a visceral level.. Presenting the same product’s story in an immersive way by showing your clients rather than just telling them about it, and allowing them to see the product in context can earn trust. Incorporating VR into your strategy to encourage lead generation and trial prospects will support the sales team with interested potential clients.



A salesperson can also utilize this tool to engage with their clients as it gives them the opportunity to get as close to the product without it being physically there. Plus, with the latest in VR hardware, bring the experience to your clients with ease. The beauty of VR is that what you see is what you get. This allows you to showcase your products candidly so your client can understand what the product is exactly.


2. Interactivity = Good

One of the winning features of VR is the element of interaction.

 

It can be difficult making a presentation that is both informative and memorable. Utilizing VR in sales and marketing is one tactic that could help with attracting and retaining clients.

 

Research shows that seeing promotes a better memory recall than hearing information. Your brain when seeing a piece of information begins to instantly draw connections from other objects or life experiences you have encountered. Being able to draw connections stimulates the audience, making the experience more enjoyable, leaving a lasting impression. And studies indicate VR experiences activate different areas of the brain and drive even greater recall than 2D images, likely due to the greater comparisons to real-world objects.

 

Presentations can easily become boring, and you can lose your audience’s interest pretty quickly. However, hand your client a VR headset and let them be transported into a whole new way of viewing your products. Not only are you giving your clients the opportunity to interact with the presentation itself, but it also allows them to experience your product for themselves.



3. Connect Better, Connect Smarter

Many criticisms that arise from using VR is that it’s an experience that only one person gets to try out at one time. Although it is fair to say that one headset can only support one user at the time, this doesn’t have to make VR an isolating experience. Instead, it can be a group experience in the store and in showroom locations, generating positive feedback about combining experiences with purchasing. Syncing the headset to a screen allows other customers to see what the person in the headset is experiencing and drive people to want to try the experience.

 

You can also bring this community experience to sales presentations in a boardroom setting with features that allow you and others in the room to see what the headset wearer is seeing. As an example, our Yulio platform includes a Collaborate feature that allows the rest of the room to see what the viewer is looking at. As you continue to pass the headset around, give everyone else a sneak peek as to what they can look forward to when they wear the headset. Despite the limit of one user per headset, we figured out a way to combat the exclusivity so everyone can enjoy a part of VR. It’s also a critical element of your sales pitch for you to understand what your client is looking at when you receive feedback like “it feels too bright/big/small” etc.



It’s great having an element that can engage your audience, however, if you only have the one headset to pass around, be prepared to stall until everyone has had their turn. Not only could this quickly become a distraction, but it could also dilute the purpose of your presentation rather than enhance it. Our collaborate feature allows you to streamline your presentation by keeping the whole group informed until it’s their turn to interact with your product.


Enhance your Teams with VR

Ultimately, VR is a tool that promotes a perfect understanding and is able to take your sales and marketing teams to the next level. It’s time to welcome the new way of acquiring customers and retaining the relationships.


Here at Yulio, we strive for excellence in performance and integrity when it comes to our product, and customer service. If you’re interested in learning how to implement VR into your workflow, sign up for our FREE 5-day email course. Or check out our collection of whitepapers to discover all of our tips, tricks, and considerations for a successful VR implementation.

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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 employees 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 week’s Yulio VR Employee Highlight Reel, we’re chatting with our go-to demo and training guy, Steven Humphries! Steven is our Account Executive and is an absolute essential to our Yulio family. Chances are, if you’re an avid Yulio user, you would have had at least one conversation with Steven. His role consists of helping people get excited about VR, introducing Yulio, and guiding potential clients on how they can easily integrate our program into their workflow. With his client-focused mindset, Steven is successful in providing our users with the support they need for a smooth and easy VR experience.


 

So, Steven, tell me a bit about yourself.

A majority of my work experience is governmental in the US Army and Department of Defense. I started with field work, then worked in supply chain management, and finally as an intelligence analyst. It really shaped who I am today, and I learned a lot from the experience. While stationed in San Diego I attended San Diego State University and majored in Business Administration with a minor in International Business.


How did you find Yulio?

After I left the Department of Defence, I took some time off from work and ended up doing some part-time consulting for Steelcase. That’s how I met Gabe Szriftgiser, who is a managing partner at KiSP, a partner company of Yulio. Back then, he asked me if I wanted to be a part of the back end systems for Yulio and KiSP. At the time, I was living in Brazil and helped out part-time — this was my first introduction to Yulio. After that, when I moved back to the US, I was able to join the team full time.


Tell me a bit about your role at Yulio

My role at Yulio is Account Executive, which basically means my core focus is the client. The biggest part of my job is helping our new clients with the onboarding process to integrate VR into their workflow, as well as maintaining the relationships with our current Yulio users. My area of focus is the contract furniture dealer networks that are associated with a larger manufacturer group. I work closely with our sales & marketing team to strategize how to best support our clients. To support our clients well, I present demonstrations as well as host training sessions to help people realize that VR isn’t scary and our program is really easy to use. It’s a consistent relationship between us and the client – any issues our clients need help with, I’m the person they come to.


I’ve also been in charge of heading special projects like coordinating 360 photo shoots of our client’s spaces and creating a full walkthrough of their shoow rooms. We have even hosted a CEU accredited course at a conference — we definitely like to keep busy!


Tell me a bit about your first experience with VR?

My first VR experience was at a video game arcade. I remember the equipment was really clunky, heavy, but super cool. At the time, VR was still considered the “technology of the future”. Although the graphics were quite underwhelming, the concept itself was amazing. It was a little strange playing with the rig though since you needed to have a specific area to play with it. Lots of people would be staring at you as you’re strapped in.


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

I would like to see something like a VR Google Maps street view but everywhere in the world – and I mean everywhere. Jungles, inside public buildings, icebergs, the whole world. It would be super cool to be able to walk the entire Earth but in VR.


Our world is such a big place, and I think it’s an important experience as much of it as you can. Unfortunately, so many people don’t have the time or money to do it, and VR allows you to get as close to the actual experience in the comfort of your own home.


Outside of your VR job, what are your hobbies?

My main hobby is woodworking, I absolutely love it. I have a little workshop attached to my house where I can build my own furniture or gifts for friends and family. My favourite thing to make is anything with live edge wood. This type of wood still has bark on the sides, and it’s really fun to work with. Plus, I really like the idea that I can make anything that will fit perfectly into my house. Woodworking is usually quite calming for me as well. Outside of woodworking, I really enjoy hiking and camping. And if I have the time, I like playing video games.


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

There’s a ping pong table in the office, and I enjoyed playing a game or two. Also, we have a few hoverboards in our office, and I like to hook it up to the go-kart and ride around.


We’d like to say a big thanks to Steven 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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Industry News, News and Updates, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

After 4 years of research and development, V-Ray Next for SketchUp is now available for purchase.

In even more exciting news, we are pleased to announce that V-Ray Next is compatible with Yulio! We have upgraded our current SketchUp to VR plugin to incorporate V-Ray Next so that you can continue using Yulio with ease.



As one of the most popular 3D design software on the market, SketchUp allows you to build your vision’s foundation before viewing it in VR. Architects and designers are empowered with a tool that allows them to begin creating their visual storytelling experience, primed and ready for VR. Now with V-Ray Next for SketchUp, get ready to experience the next generation of rendering.


V-Ray’s upgraded photorealistic rendering software includes improvements to the speed and simplicity of using SketchUp. Additionally, enjoy creating high-quality ray-traced visuals with just a few clicks.



“With significant workflow optimizations & faster rendering, V-RAY Next is smarter, faster and more powerful than ever”
Chaos Group



Don’t hesitate – equip yourself today with V-Ray Next and tap into the future of rendering.


To learn more about our Yulio SketchUp plugin, access our user guide that outlines the steps you need to follow to create cubemaps from SketchUp. If you’re interested in learning more about V-Ray Next, click here.

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Business, Lifestyle, VR

If you have been following our monthly Yulio VR Employee Highlight Reel, you would know our team is made up of many bright and talented VR experts. This week, we were curious to know when everyone’s first experience with VR was. We went around the office and asked everyone these questions:


When was your first VR experience?

What was the experience?

What is the most notable change/improvements the industry has made thus far?


Let’s explore who in our team had the most recent experience with VR.



2018 – Rachel

I first experienced VR when I joined our Yulio team. I remember Dana passed me the Oculus Go to view one of our sample VR projects, and I was completely shocked – it truly felt I was in a room bigger than the small meeting room we were in. It definitely reminded me of the TARDIS (for all my Dr. Who fans out there) phenomenon.


Although I’ve only been recently introduced to VR, there have already been significant improvements. For one, the hardware upgrades like the Oculus Quest will have huge implications, especially for business. We played around with the headset two days ago, and I must say the experience is really impressive. In addition, it’s really exciting seeing all the businesses arming their workflow with VR.


2018 – Elena

My first VR experience was strapping into the station at the back of the office, and shooting down zombies! It was a really cool experience, but I remember the first thing I tried to do was look down. I couldn’t see my legs which made me scared and numb for a minute, but it was fine afterwards. I thought it was really interesting how seeing something in VR could have an outward effect on your body.


I’m not a gamer, but in a year, I’ve seen how the business sector has changed. Many industries like retail and medicine have been transformed by VR. It’s a great cost-effective way to train people, especially medical staff. Plus, consumers are now expecting more experiences than just the product itself. People are getting tired of traditional marketing methods, and this is a new way to bring a new and memorable experience to your customers.


2017 – Jim

Ian walked me through my first VR experience, and it was absolutely incredible. He showed me the full extent of VR and the different experiences you can have with just one piece of technology. Part of the presentation was a hotspot walkthrough, which is what we do at Yulio, of a VR project and looking around the space. The other was experiencing and manipulating an environment through a video game.


I’d say the most notable changes to VR are happening right now, and it’s happening in two phases. One part of it is the fact that VR now has mobile capabilities, allowing for easier access to the technology. All I need to do is simply attach a Homido to my phone, not to mention the transformational release of the Oculus Quest. The second aspect is that now you have the ability to have a better understanding of where you are relative to a space. It’s absolutely incredible.


 

2017 – Steven

I first experienced VR when Ian brought the rig into the office. I believe we were walking around in a virtual world, something similar to Mario. Back then, the graphics weren’t great and it was quite pixelated. Plus, you needed to hold controllers that didn’t have great tracking. Now, the movement is much more accurate and captures your hand movement very well. The overall quality of the VR experience is much better and more immersive, especially with the emergence of advanced eye and head tracking.


2017 – Oussama

I remember my first VR experience was playing Arizona Sunshine in the office, and I definitely noted that the illusion wasn’t great, especially compared to what we have now. I would say the most notable change since the first time I used VR is the portability of the headset. VR hardware is getting smaller and more accessible for anyone to use. As well, the next evolution of the headsets will include six degrees of freedom, which will make the VR experience even more awesome.


2016 – Dana

I went to school for architecture, and when I started at Yulio, I used our Sketchup Plugin to see my own model in VR. I got chills when I saw it in VR. When you’re in architecture school, and when you’re working on a project for so long, since you’re a student, it will never get build. Now, being able to stand inside of something you worked on for months and months is really cool and rewarding.


Although VR still has a ways to go, the biggest change is the accessibility to the VR headsets. Anyone can now go to Best Buy and purchase a VR headset when previously this would never happen. Plus the overall attitude towards VR has been a huge change. Most people are confronting their fear of trying something new and unfamiliar with to combat being left behind.


2016 – Rob

I was at a tech foncerence when they strapped me into a 20lb+ headset with heavy-duty gloves. Suddenly, I was hanging on for my life about 100 meters up a sheer rock face. I’ve done quite a bit of rock climbing in a previous life, and even though the graphics quality wasn’t great, I felt instantly connected to the experience. It felt real enough to convince me that this technology was going to go beyond gaming and entertainment.


I think the release of the Oculus Quest may be a step into being the big “ground shifting” improvement. The headsets have seen many improvements, however, they have been incremental in nature. To name a few, better head and eye tracking, improved navigation, and greater processing power have all contributed to making the VR experience more immersive. Plus, we have entered an era where there is no longer a dependence on phones for a standalone VR headset. I am also quite excited to see how the introduction of 5G and greater availability of cloud-based, low-cost rendering services could provide the catalyst for the next round of exponential improvements in the VR user’s experience.

2015 – Ilan

I believe my first VR experience was using the Samsung Gear VR looking around a hotel. I definitely liked the stereo effects because it’s not flat, and you can clearly see distance and depth — it’s more than a picture. It’s using real-world units to judge how to scale something that would look real in our reality whereas a normal picture gives no sense of scale.


I never expected the industry to blow up like this. We mostly work with 3 degrees of freedom, and since our platform is mostly made for mobile VR, the quality of the experience only goes as far as your phone’s performance. Now, headsets are supporting 6 degrees of freedom, giving a greater and more immersive VR experience.


2014 – Dani

It was at the SIGGRAPH conference in 2014 where they set up a contraption that would simulate flying like a bird. The experience was absolutely incredible. I literally felt like I was flying, especially with the added fan blowing in my hair giving a greater immersive effect. I’m amazed at how far VR has come. I knew that VR wasn’t a new thing, but I didn’t know how the industry was going to progress. I really thought VR would only be used in gaming, not training, visualizations, and what we do at Yulio.



The headsets are getting smaller and smaller. Previously, the cables were so heavy that the VR experience required an extra person holding a cable behind the person in the headset. Plus, the headset required a lot of space, often taking up a whole room for the experience. With the headsets available now, the industry has really improved the accessibility of the headsets as well as what is required of the person wanting to use the technology.


2014 – Geoffrey

I first experienced VR at a student showcase at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Students would show off their projects in VR, and I was walking through the booths trying the headsets out. I believe the headset was the Oculus Rift DK1. Although it was really cool, it was a nauseating experience.


I would say the most notable advancement is the release of the Oculus Quest. It’s a more mainstream headset, and you can set it up anywhere just like the Nintendo Switch. The headset doesn’t require any external sensors, and it’s at a relatively affordable price.


2013 – Kan

Ian brought a VR rig to the office, and I experienced a dinosaur screaming and chasing me — it was amazing! The quality, of course, isn’t as good as what we have today. However, at the time, it was a whole new world and was really awesome. The experience made you feel like you were actually there.


I feel like the tracking technology has come a long way. We now have really advanced head and eye tracking, allowing users to have a very immersive experience. I also heard that what’s next on the tracking horizon is finger tracking! There is still a ways to go, but there are definitely a lot of improvements in VR.

2002 – Steven

I first experienced VR at a video game arcade where they had a giant rig that you got strapped into. It was definitely an amazing experience since it was a brand new concept that I’ve never seen before. The graphics at the time were pretty low quality, even by the standard back then for video games. On top of that, the headset itself was quite clunky, and since it was tethered, your movements were pretty restricted due to the cable. Plus, it was kind of a strange experience since everyone was looking at the guy strapped into a huge machine.


The biggest change in the industry has definitely got to be the tie between mobility and accessibility. You have machines like the Oculus Go and Quest where you can pick up the headset at any electronic store for a reasonable price. The feature that is especially useful for me is that you can take the headsets around anywhere. This opens so many doors in terms of how you can get your content out and share it with others. It’s definitely beneficial for sales people as you don’t need to worry about carrying a bunch of equipment like if it was a tethered experience.


1999 – Christine

My first VR experience was at Disney World in their “Technology of the Future” exhibit in EPCOT. I remember it was an hour-long lineup, but it was definitely a super cool experience, kind of like a  TRON environment. I remember the headset was like a giant helmet in a protected circle area, and the experience required 2-3 staff to support the individual user.


 

Today, VR is much more practical where you can slip on a Homido on your phone to access your VR project. It’s been getting easier to adopt VR into business. Back then, VR experiences were mostly centred around fantasy or experiencing something you never could, like visiting the moon. Now, it’s about experiencing something you can see in a picture.  VR has the potential to be a major disruptor in numerous industries like architecture, interior design, and retail to name a few.

1997 – Ian

The first experience I had with VR was the first generation of microdisplays and head tracking, most of which was the very early head mounted tracking display prototypes that never made it to the mass market. Although it was pretty rudimentary, it was indicative of direction VR will take in the future. You saw there was a lot of potential, however, it wasn’t advanced enough to convincingly and completely displace you into another environment.


Accessibility is absolutely the biggest groundbreaker. The early prototypes were millions of dollars to build, which meant that it was prohibitively for the Enterprise R&D class. The Quest and Rift S for going, what, $400? That’s a lot of people’s monthly coffee bill! However, it’s also important to note that hardware without content is nothing. There is a growing ecosystem of inexpensive and accessible camera-based capture, with a high-quality stereoscopic image starting at $420 (previously you’d be looking at $6,000). Content and hardware is absolutely the biggest aspect of blowing up the market.


1996 – Lev

My first VR experience was back in 1996, and I found it was a really awesome idea, but I also expected it to suck. At the time, the quality was at 300×200 per eye, plus you can only rotate and move your head so much. The first experience definitely made me feel nauseous and I couldn’t stay on the rig for very long.


VR has definitely come a long way, but there is still a long way to go. Previously, there was no eye adjustment, which meant you would have to place the headset on your head just right for a mediocre VR experience. Now the headsets are very advanced, and you don’t need to do any external adjustments for a high-quality experience. Although this generation of headsets (referring to the Quest an Rift S) are alright, I’m really excited for the next line of headsets to come.


Were you surprised by who first experienced VR at Yulio? Tell us when you first experienced VR and the biggest improvements you’ve seen to the technology over our social media platforms! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin! For more information on how to integrate VR into your business for maximum ROI, check out our Whitepaper.

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Industry News, News and Updates, VR

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


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


Oculus Rift S

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

Pros

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


Cons

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


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


Oculus Quest

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


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


Now, the Quest is going to change the game.


Pros

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


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


Cons

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


Get Ready for a New Wave of VR Headsets

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



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


Here at Yulio, we strive for excellence in performance and integrity when it comes to our product, and customer service. To learn more about how VR can enhance your business workflow, sign up for our FREE 5-day email course. Want to stay updated with everything or anything Yulio? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin!

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Business, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality has been successful in delivering immersive experiences to an audience bored with brochures, catalogs, and flyers. This is increasingly important for the current generation of consumers who are content-saturated 21st century Millennial and GenZ members. The most successful companies are transitioning from material objects to experiences.  As a result, businesses have started to incorporate advanced experiential technologies like VR to create a whole new way of interacting with their brand. Consequently, VR in retail is gaining significant traction – engaging customers, and driving sales.

How Could VR Enhance My Business?

1. Deepen Client Engagement. Giving customers the opportunity to connect with your products in VR allows them to envision using them in their own life and build an emotional connection with what you’re selling. This not only encourages greater brand awareness and rates of retention but makes for an overall memorable experience with your company. This could be a small but crucial step in generating trial and inserting your products into the lifestyles of your customers.  

2. Try Before you Buy. In today’s market, online reviews can make or break your product – making accuracy crucial in maintaining and growing your client base. Unlike a 2D digital file, by integrating VR into your consumer-product relationship you allow potential clients to interact with the product before buying. VR consumer-product interaction removes the limitations imposed by traditional online profiles and reduces the likelihood of an unsatisfied customer. Your customers are always looking for the product that answers any barriers or inconveniences they may be facing. However, in that search, understanding a product’s specifications and qualities can be difficult when you’re not seeing it in person. Viewing the product in VR may be a simple solution to this situation. Using VR, your shopper can now pick up the product, look at it and review a pop up of all the item’s information. As a result, not only are your customer’s questions answered, but they were also able to connect with the item.  

3. Make Shopping Fun Again. VR is an interactive and enjoyable medium to inform and entertain your customers. Whether you’re looking for a new way to attract prospects or to captivate those already in your store, VR offers new experiences. Enhance your customer’s experience with your brand and make shopping about more than consumption and offer experiences.

“Virtual reality is developing fast and in five to ten years it will be an integrated part of people’s lives. We see that it will play a major role in the future, for instance it could be used to enable people to try out a variety of home furnishing solutions before buying them”

Jesper Brodin, IKEA Range & Supply Manager

Virtual Reality in Retail – Use Cases

The current landscape of VR in retail is extremely diverse, and it’s especially exciting to see all the creative approaches businesses have chosen to integrate the technology into their workflow. Some of the biggest names in retail have jumped head first into the VR pool. Let’s explore how TOMS Shoes and Audi have uniquely integrated VR into their workflow.

TOMS Shoes
In recent years, TOMS Shoes released a short film called “Experience the TOMS Virtual Giving Trip”. Viewers joined the TOMS team in Peru and met some of the children that have been directly impacted by their One for One program. The film allows the viewer to enter into the experience of the distribution trip. By showing the viewer to the reality of their impact, VR allowed the viewer to emotionally connect with the companies campaign and – most importantly- their product.



 

This isn’t the only time that TOMS Shoes invested in a VR experience to communicate their company’s mission. The following year, they teamed up with AT&T to release “A Walk in Their Shoes”, another short film that brought the viewer to a couple of cities in Colombia. TOMS Shoes set up VR stations with the promo video in 100 of their stores, providing their customers with a brand new experience. The video reached over 700,000 views on YouTube, increasing their brand awareness and providing evidence of the impact of their mission to their current clients. TOMS Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie found the VR experience so successful that he hopes to make 5 more films in different locations to share more of their humanitarian story.

“VR is the greatest technology I’ve seen to create empathy… It’s amazing when people experience and see things first-hand. We know this because we’ve seen it when we take people on giving trips over the years. Obviously that’s not scalable, but a VR experience is infinitely scalable.”

Blake Mycoskie, retrieved from: https://www.fastcompany.com/3059526/why-toms-shoes-and-att-are-taking-a-virtual-reality-trip-to-colombia


Audi
Audi German automobile manufacturer giant Audi is a great example of personalizing VR to fit the company. Audi has primarily incorporated VR in their showrooms, allowing their customers to completely customize their car virtually. When strapped into the VR headset, customers are immersed in an extremely realistic and detailed experienced the configured car. By adding a VR element to their arsenal, dealers are now able to showcase the full line of Audi models and all the customization options with ease. In addition, the customer has the option to see their car in different environments, times of day, and light conditions.



“As part of Audi’s comprehensive initiative for digital innovation at dealerships, the VR experience is completely integrated into the brand’s IT system.”
Audi MediaCenter


Audi’s VR experience has proven to be an effective tool to help dealers communicate with their clients. Interested buyers can now configure their vehicle down to the smallest of details in VR. Previously, the most common practice of showing their line’s variety or custom options would be to flip through swatches in a pamphlet. Although this method gives an indication of what the finished product may look like, an impression of a potential product cannot be compared to the experience of reality. With VR, the client sees exactly what they will be getting. With viewing the variants in virtual reality, customers not only have the opportunity to interact with the custom product but to build confidence in their purchase. Audi has been incredibly successful in providing support and engaging with their customers by using VR.

Moving Forward

The retail industry is steadily increasing its use of advanced digital technology as the demand for an immersive purchasing experience increases. 70% of customers are interested in using VR when shopping- a statistic that suggests the expectation that VR is the future of retail. TOMS Shoes and Audi are just a few examples that have creatively and uniquely incorporated VR in retail. Whether it be creating a 360 video experience or a new and refreshing way to present your products, VR has the power to adapt into your company’s workflow where you need it. Bring back the fun in shopping, and begin to engage with your customers like never before.  It’s time to give the people what they want.


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. For more tips and considerations on the right way to integrate VR into your business, check out our Whitepaper.

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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 week’s Yulio VR Employee Highlight Reel, we are sitting down with our resident Pictionary Queen and Director of Marketing, Christine (Chris) Bellefontaine! As the head of marketing, Chris’s main role is to introduce Yulio to you in the most seamless way, and support you on your journey to being the VR champion of your firm. With her knack for creative solutions and continual commitment to putting clients first, Chris is successful in spreading the word about Yulio and its capabilities to numerous industries. She firmly believes that VR is the future of business and will take your portfolio, presentations, and partnerships to the next level. Chris is an integral pillar to Yulio and we are very fortunate to have her as one of our core leaders.


So, Chris, tell me a bit about yourself.

Well, let’s see…among the Yulio crowd I’m a bit of the ‘wise old person’. I grew up in a small 500-person village and when I graduated high school I knew I wanted to go away to school. I studied communications and media at Queen’s University in Kingston and have turned that into a 20-year career spanning traditional and digital marketing. In my different roles, I have learned that I love working with small teams and what kinds of coworkers I like to surround myself with. In my spare time, I’m a mom of two young sons and that means I use my ‘management skills’ at home a lot too, for such critical disputes as “who was sitting there first”.


How did you find Yulio?

Actually, Yulio was on my radar for quite a while before I joined. I worked with Yulio’s CPO, Ian Hall, back in the early-2000s at another company (ironically we were trying to get them to transition from print-based products to web-based). Ian had been telling me about his early user testing in VR and what was going on with Yulio for a while and I always thought it sounded really interesting. As we had gone our separate ways I went through a role at Google Toronto, then working with Search Engine People, a digital agency but I wasn’t sure agency life was for me. Then in late 2016 I got a call telling me that Yulio was ready to focus more on marketing and driving use – I signed up right away as the Director of Marketing.


Tell me a bit about your role at Yulio

I think of marketing as responsible for letting the world know about this amazing product we have – and we do that with all kinds of tools and channels. I head up a 4 person team who focus on different areas from our digital presence to customer success after people have signed up, and everything in between. But I also think of marketing as a bit of an internal consultant for the company. We have a focus on product marketing and thinking about the problems Yulio can solve for design and architecture customers, and the features they will most use in their everyday business. We also work with the business development team to come up with the right solutions, training and case studies to spark the imagination of our customers….then we get to sit back and watch them use Yulio in great new ways.


Tell me a bit about your first experience with VR?

It was at Walt Disney World in 1999 (I told you, I’m the ‘old’ person). They were demonstrating a heavy tethered helmet somewhere in Epcot – the exhibit was about technologies of the future. It was so popular I waited nearly an hour to try it out. I don’t fully remember what the experience was – basically moving around a futuristic TRON type environment – you could reach for doors and things like that. It made me a bit nauseous but I still thought it was really cool. Fast forward to my interview with Ian for the Yulio gig – he made me shoot some zombies in VR and it was terrifying – inevitably, one ate the back of my head because I forgot to turn around.


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

I love the idea of VR for travel – for those who are limited by either finances or mobility – to get to be immersed in the amazing places in the world. I’d probably build a multi-stop tour of the world’s great buildings like the Eiffel Tower and the Vatican and get to explore the sites over many days, just continuing my tour whenever I have time. It’s all the more relevant with the sad news about the fire destroying the spire at Notre Dame Cathedral lately – I think VR is a way of preserving our world in a more immersive way than photos could ever achieve. And of giving access to behind the scenes areas that you can’t have thousands of tourists traipsing through.


Outside of your VR job, what are your hobbies?

I still love going to movies in theatres – I like making it more of a formal experience than watching something at home, so I do that as often as I can. I write a few articles every month for Medium to flex my creative brain. And I spend as much time as I can at my parents’ farm – I help them with gardening and get the benefit of home-grown produce later in the year. And we get pretty competitive at my place for board games with my sons.


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

I am the Pictionary queen (at least in my own mind) whether it’s drawing or guessing, I get very competitive on that one. I also love our STEM activities like the egg-drop challenge. I was pretty proud when marketing humiliated development on gingerbread house building. And while I have a bit of a reputation for a win streak that I’d like to maintain – I sincerely just think getting together and socializing with the whole Yulio team is really valuable and contributes a lot to our sense of team. I’ve learned over my career that it’s not so much what you’re doing every day, but who you are doing it with that makes or breaks a workplace culture.



We’d like to say a big thanks to Chris for taking the time to sit with us for a little Q&A about herself! 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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Architecture, Design, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality (VR) has quickly become an asset in the architect’s toolbox, breathing life into their designs. Given the overall rise in popularity and availability, VR has become one of the preferred solutions in answering some of the barriers you may have in your project’s process. As businesses and firms continue to recognize the practicality and functionality that VR for architects provides, this technology continually moves past entertainment and into Enterprise.


How to Use VR in Architecture

In a broad sense, VR builds a bridge between some points of friction you may face during a project’s external and internal process.


External

We have previously covered in our post last week how using VR could aid in external interaction, especially with your clients. One of the key components of a successful designer-client relationship is clear and effective communication. As an architect, you are accustomed to reading and deciphering a floorplan of a space, however, your clients may not even know any of the technical terms commonly used in your field. Immersing your clients in VR allows you to share your vision in a way they can easily understand.


Internal

Your final product that is on display in center stage for your clients to see is the result of hard work behind the scenes. And the beauty of VR is that it’s versatile enough to be applied to all areas of your workflow. Using VR for architecture has many key benefits especially during the internal design development stage.


So how exactly would VR be useful for architects and designers?


“Architects and designers in our worldwide offices are now using VR technology on a daily basis to discover new insights into their design ideas.”

James Vandezande, Director of Design Technology at HOK


The Ultimate Validation Tool

As with any project, there is the limitation of wanting to churn out your client’s vision in a timely manner. Having a fast turnover rate helps you stay competitive, professional, and client-focused. However, there are projects that will be more challenging than others, and having a clear sense of direction not only helpful, but it will be critical in concluding a project efficiently. In order to do so, seeing design information efficiently will be a crucial part of the process of getting from start to finish. Whether the challenge is a limited office area or a huge concert auditorium, VR provides a solution to communicate more efficiently with greater clarity.


“We can get into a challenging space and immediately understand if it feels and works the way we intended. It’s a much faster way to look at design information. I just spent 30 seconds inside this interactive model and saw the amount of information that might have taken 20 different drawings to communicate.”

Eli Hoisington, Design Principal, HOK St. Louis Office



Being able to see your space makes all the difference. Not only does it make it clearer to you, the individual designer, but to the rest of your team. Information that would have been challenging to communicate previously is understood instantly when stepping into your project in VR. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to discuss with your team the feasibility of certain structures your client may have requested. Whether the design or configuration isn’t functional or you’re unsure about what the quality of the end result would be, utilizing VR as a validation tool helps you understand the flaws of your design, and promotes discussions on how to fix it.


Enhance Your Communication

On that same wavelength, the clarity that VR provides is helpful during the revision process amongst your colleagues. As Eli pointed out, stepping into your design in VR helps you immediately understand what the space feels like and if it turned out the way you expected. Although it’s a great feeling when the result is better than you hoped for, using VR in architecture highlights improvements needed in your design.


“Throwing our design into VR would quickly reveal tasks and revisions we needed to accomplish and help us figure it out much more quickly in the design process.”

Andrew Chung, Diamond Schmitt Architects


Like Andrew was saying, viewing your design in VR helps you and your team to catch any errors that may not be necessarily noticeable in drawings. On top of that, it gives the opportunity to brainstorm more ideas for making a certain area or structure more efficient, practical, or aesthetically pleasing to take your design to the next level. Being able to iron out the last remaining creases will be useful in finalizing a design before presenting it to your client for further revisions.


Furthermore, fostering good communication is not only valuable when interacting with your clients, but also amongst the team. Understanding your fellow designer’s struggle with an area of the design or pointing out areas of enhancement is all part of encouraging cohesion in your team. With breaking the visualization barrier, VR promotes clearer collaboration with your design team.


Share Your Design Remotely

VR has become more advanced and readily available, creating a variety of VR business-ready solutions suitable for any company. Many architecture firms have opted to adopt the tetherless VR option as it allows for greater flexibility and mobility of transport. Additionally, it’s a more cost-effective route as tethered VR requires a powerful computer to support the program and the headset. While you can pass along the headset to your colleagues and clients when you meet with them in person, a number of business-ready VR companies have made it possible to share your designs remotely.


Here at Yulio, we have simplified the sharing process and thought about how you really work so you can collaborate with your team or your clients anywhere in the world. Our Collaborate feature is our most used feature and allows you to present your design to your clients, colleagues, and prospects around the world or in the same room. Enjoy the freedom and flexibility of allowing your team to peruse through your design while also having the option to spotlight certain areas for their feedback. Plus, with our gaze indicators, you can always see what your client is looking at and get context for their comments and feedback. Whether your team is in the same room as you or on the other side of the world, remote participants can join in from anywhere on both headset or our browser-based fishtank mode. Your clients and prospects don’t require a headset or Yulio seat to view a Collaborate session in our browser mode, so there are no barriers to sharing your vision.


Being able to share your projects in this way is useful to both small and large firms. Whether you’re working as a freelance architect or your firm has numerous offices worldwide, being able to share your project has never been easier.


“Mobile VR worked better for us because it gave us the opportunity to communicate through everyday, accessible objects like smartphones.”

Andrew Chung, Diamond Schmitt Architects

The Value of VR for Architects

VR is a malleable and versatile platform, allowing architects to implement it into various areas of their project workflow. Primarily in a project’s design development stage, VR is a useful tool to foster greater communication between your design team. As a result, VR can encourage a flow of ideas on how to further improve your design and push you to be the best designer you can be.


Here at Yulio, we strive for excellence in performance and integrity when it comes to our product, and customer service. Check out our Whitepaper on the right way to integrate VR into your business for maximum ROI. To learn more about us and what we offer, please visit our page or take our product tour.

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Architecture, Business, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality (VR) is a piece of advanced technology that has recently become popular across various industries. Although the tech is most commonly associated with the entertainment industry, VR’s flexibility and adaptability have been successful in Enterprise too. From real estate to hospitality, the opportunities for applying VR into your workflow are endless. One such industry that has been greatly affected by VR is the architecture industry.


For those in architecture, being able to visualize a design is one of the most crucial steps in the design process. VR has become an asset in architecture, allowing designers to step into their design and see their vision with clarity. By having a greater understanding of scale, proportion, and texture, using VR in architecture has become a viable business solution.


However, VR is a powerful and adaptable tool that does not only enhance your internal design process. This technology also has the ability to transform all external interactions you may have with your clients.


Create a Perfect Understanding

Diamond Schmitt Architects (DSAI) had recently partnered with Ingenium, Canada’s Museum of Science and Innovation to design an adjacent building to the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa. Designing the new building was a huge project, prompting DSAI to dabble with advanced tools that would help both the designers and clients understand the project better. The VR portion started off as a side project. However, it quickly progressed into an asset promoting better communication between DSAI and their client.


“Before VR, the client understood the concept, but didn’t feel the visceral connection. We noticed a much more emotional response once they viewed our design in VR, in contrast to an almost clinical approach when they looked at plans.”

Andrew Chung, Diamond Schmitt Architects


Using Virtual Reality in architecture allows you to create a perfect understanding between you and your client. Try and think from your client’s perspective. Your design team may be well acquainted with looking at a floorplan but your client may not be as familiar. With the ability to step into the design, your clients will be able to orient themselves with a better understanding of the space. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to carry on the conversation. Andrew found that “the client engaged in a dialogue with [them] much more frequently”. By showing rather than telling, effectively communicate with your clients with greater clarity, and generate more continuous conversation.


Actions Speak Louder than Words

Again, put yourself in your client’s shoes. When teaming up with an architecture firm for a project, what makes for an exceptional experience? What would convince you to not only seek their services in the future but also tell others about it? Sure, one key characteristic is clear communication. However, as a client, being heard and understood is another key component. Receiving timely and accurate changes based on the feedback submitted is arguably the most important for a client-to-business relationship. Not only does this show that you are attentive to your client’s vision, but it also shows that you are committed and active in the design process. Although this may be intuitive, it is always better to remember that when your clients see changes made based on their comments, your actions now become tangible to them.

Nowadays, VR has become even more advanced than ever before. As such, features like recording feedback while in the VR environment is now possible and available. Yulio’s newest feature, Project Markup, allows you to do just that. Launching a Collaborate session allows you to draw directly on your VR project to highlight edits and lets your clients see them applied in real time. By giving your clients the opportunity to see your comments, you show that you actively listening, engaged in the revision process, and committed to achieving their vision. 


Decide Easier, Better, and Quicker

Revisions take time, and the constant back and forth between client and designer is quite costly. However, with VR, you are now able to cut the number of meeting times significantly. There are two main ways that VR is a solution to this inconvenience:


Confidence and Trust

Similar to the previous point, showing your client that you have understood their vision is an important part of building a solid relationship between you and your client. Not only does this establish trust between both parties, but also confidence in your abilities on delivering their vision. The more your client has confidence in your skills, the more they will trust you in the decision making process. This will help both the client decide quicker, but also you as a designer receive the feedback needed in a timely manner.  As a result, both the client and designer greatly benefit.


Seeing is Believing

Being able to see a space with your eyes makes a huge difference. However, it may be more difficult for your client to understand your plan and give insightful feedback based on it.


“Architects and designers often forget they’ve been training for years to understand and interpret design drawings. There is a struggle in ensuring there’s a connection between what we conceive and what the clients perceive. Allowing spaces to be viewed in VR makes our process more streamlined.” – Alex Garrison, Gensler


Whether you are presenting different layout options or wanting your client’s opinion on a specific area, presenting it in VR could reduce the gap between designer and client. Get answers like “I don’t think this captures our vision” or “this is absolutely perfect” by showing your clients rather than just telling.


Experience the Benefits of a Deeper Client Relationship of Using VR in Architecture

So far, we have explored the benefits of implementing VR in architecture by fostering a greater connection with your clients. However, this process actually encourages a symbiotic relationship between both client and designer. As the client is receiving what they need from the designer, the designer is also being pushed out of their comfort zone and challenged to be the best designer they can be. With bigger and more unique projects coming your way, the various opportunities will stretch your repertoire, adding to your already existing and extensive skillset. Begin building a deeper connection with your clients, and set yourself from the others with VR.


Here at Yulio, we strive for excellence in performance and integrity when it comes to our product, and customer service. Want to hear more winning VR stories? Check out these case studies of companies successfully integrating VR into their business here. Check out our Whitepaper on the right way to integrate VR into your business for maximum ROI.

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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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How to, News and Updates, VR

Here at Yulio, we believe that the VR experience should be simple, customizable, and intuitive. As part of our continued commitment to making Yulio the best VR presentation tool for business, we are thrilled to announce our brand new feature: Project Markup!


We value listening to our users and collecting feedback on how to make our platform better. So it only made sense that having a way to record feedback in VR projects was a frequently requested feature.  That’s why we’re excited to launch Project Markup and give you the chance to collect feedback right within the context of the VR Project.f


Project Markup is now available on Enterprise plans, giving you and your clients more opportunities to dialogue right within your Project.


Project Markup allows you to provide feedback on designs all while staying within the VR environment. Launch a Collaborate session and allow your clients to see you draw directly on your project in real time. With a variety of pen and color options, you have the flexibility of providing clear and coordinated feedback to all those involved.


Let’s take a walkthrough on how to use Project Markup. Click here to see Project Markup in action and continue reading for a step-by-step guide on how to use this feature. Stay till the end for an extra tip!


How to Use Project Markup

Anyone with a Yulio seat in your account is able to use Project Markup.


Log in to your Yulio account on any computer, tablet or touchscreen device and select the project you would like to mark up.



In the editing project page, hit the Settings tab and click the Allow Project Markup toggle to enable Project Markup.



After turning on Project Markup, click on the View in 360 icon to start marking up your project.



In browser mode, pick on the pen icon on the top right-hand corner. This is the Project Markup button. The Markup tab has multiple color and pen thickness options for you to explore.



Click on the icon again if you would like to erase, change the color of your pen, the thickness of your pen, move around your project, or delete your edits.



Also, just like any of our other features, your project automatically saves so you will never need to worry about losing your work. Send your project to anyone on your team with a Yulio seat, or share your edits with a client via a Collaborate session.


To delete all your edits in a scene, click the Clear Scene icon in the VR project, or Clear All Markup on the settings page.




Or hide your edits by switching the Allow Project Markup toggle off.


An Extra Tip

Use Color Coordination to your Advantage

Project Markup currently has 5+ colors to choose from. Use this variety to your advantage by organizing your feedback using the different colors. By color coordinating your notes, it creates better clarity for anyone who will be using the feedback for future design decisions. Here is an example:



Our newest Yulio feature release is available for all Yulio Enterprise clients to use. To learn more about the feature and how to use it effectively, visit our knowledge base. If you would like to know more about any of our features or want extra training, contact us at hello@yulio.com.

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

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


Who are Gen Z Consumers?

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



Gen Z Market Influence

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


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



The Experience-Driven Generation

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


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



VR is the Answer to Winning Gen Z Consumers

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


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


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


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


Your Target Audience has Changed, Have You?

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


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

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Arts, Culture, Design, Industry News, Your Business + Virtual Reality
New Jersey-based company Pantone has one of the most prominent voices in color. Whether it be a garment presented down a runway, or a house being redecorated, industries touched by color and reliant on visual aesthetics are keen to listen in on Pantone’s annual announcement of their Color of the Year. Every year, “Pantone picks a new color… based on socioeconomic conditions, fashion trends, new technologies, as well as new trends in the realms of lifestyle, art, music, travel, and of course, social media” (retrieved from CNN). Pantone’s process of picking the Color of the Year is much more thoughtful than many may assume. Through careful analysis, Pantone’s color experts meticulously analyze the current state of our society and assign a color that best fits the circumstances.


In December of 2018, Pantone announced that 2019’s Color of the Year would be Living Coral. Accompanying this bright and lively color has a much deeper meaning behind it. Before we dive into the intricacies of Living Coral and how advanced technology like virtual reality can help shape how to best incorporate it into our spaces, let’s explore the psychology of color.


The Psychology of Color

There is no doubt that color, for sighted people, is a powerful tool that can tap into a person’s emotions and convey a positive or negative message. How we receive the message is based on our understanding of what the color culturally means to us — there is no universal definition for each specific color. From the Western perspective, we may view white as the color of purity, simplicity, and innocence. However, in many Eastern countries, white is the color associated with mourning. As humans, we approach color from a personal perspective that is heavily linked with our emotions. When examining your view of color, it is crucial to understand your demographic and the implications behind certain colors to tailor the best experience to them.



Most notably, those in the field of marketing have masterfully used color to their advantage, utilizing it as a vessel to achieve their ultimate goals. Think of the most well known fast food chains and the colors they use in their logo. Many of their colors are bright and eye-catching, helping consumers identify and retain your branding with more ease.


The Meaning Behind Living Coral

From the Western perspective, the color orange is positively associated with physical comfort, food, warmth, and security. As it is also seen as a “fun” color; orange promotes good feelings and jolly vibes. Pantone’s Color of the Year, Living Coral, is a cheerful hue of orange — it’s no wonder that it is said to welcome and encourage lightheartedness. As we continue to dig deeper into digital adoption, the risk of greater disconnect from our surroundings increases significantly. Pantone specifically chooses their annual anthem color based on the current political climate; Living Coral embodies what our society needs at this time. This digital isolation is exactly what Pantone’s Living Coral hopes to lead us out of. Living Coral encourages the masses to be the most authentic versions of themselves. Especially during times of turbulent events and high-strung emotions, Living Coral encourages us to return to the energizing colors found in nature. As the name suggests, Pantone also invites us all to give a standing ovation to the nurturing aspect of coral reefs. Corals play an important role in providing shelter to many species of marine life. With roughly  30% of our coral reefs experiencing devastation and bleaching, Living Coral hopes to inspire greater harmony and human interaction to combat the negative with positive.

View it in Virtual Reality – VR Design

Although Living Coral is a beautiful color with deep meaning, no one can deny that wearing it makes a fashion statement that may not fit with everyone’s aesthetic. This is where designing with VR comes in handy.

“Colour is an equalizing lens through which we experience our natural and digital realities and this is particularly true for Living Coral. With consumers craving human interaction and social connection, the humanizing and heartening qualities displayed by the convivial PANTONE Living Coral hit a responsive chord.” – Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute (Retrieved from here

Whether you are unsure about the color or trying your best to make it work in a space, for you or a client, VR allows you to get as close to having Living Coral on your walls as possible before having to pick up a paintbrush. While using VR, you can see exactly what you will be getting. Being immersed in VR allows you to have a perfect understanding of whether Living Coral is appropriate for a certain product or space, helping you in your VR design process.


  • VR lighting studies can be created to understand how it will look at all times of day.

  • Seeing a swatch of Living Coral may tap into your creative mind where you can fit this color exactly. As a bright, it could quickly turn into a visual distraction. Is it best suited to a different area based on how much attention it grabs? Previewing the feasibility of color is a valuable use during your VR design process, as is trying to get a window on any design that hasn’t yet been executed.

  • Decrease your likelihood of making costly mistakes by seeing it first in VR. And if you are a designer and you are concerned that your client may not like living with a decision, using VR to preview the option for them will give you both reassurance that the client won’t require costly after-completion changes as they’ll have deeper understanding and buy-in.


Living Coral is a stunning color that reflects what we need in our current political, social and cultural climate. But it may not be the right one for your client to live with day to day. View this color in VR to bring your vision to life, and help ensure you’ve made the best design decisions.


Here at Yulio, we strive for excellence in performance and integrity when it comes to our product, and customer service. To learn more about how VR can enhance your business workflow, sign up for our FREE 5-day email course. Want to stay updated with everything or anything Yulio? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin!

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Business, Employee Highlight, Lifestyle, 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 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!


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, Culture, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

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.”

Fortune 500, retrieved from here



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.


#1 Walmart

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.



#4 Apple

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.


As Steve Biegun writes:


“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.



#27 Boeing

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

When thinking about virtual reality, the first thing that may pop into your head may be related to entertainment. The gaming industry is one of the biggest winning cases for VR, with VR tech companies like Oculus becoming synonymous with other big name consuls like Playstation or Xbox. It’s no surprise that there is significant demand, as VR unlocks the opportunity to take a step further into your screen, and into another world. But that makes the power of VR incredibly versatile and its power exceeds just a single industry.




VR has started to become a revolutionary presentation tool, with B-to-B businesses recognizing its potential and value. Industries like real estate rely solely on a client being able to picture the vision of their potential home. Agents have been able to experience greater flexibility by uploading a VR presentation of a particular property online. This not only saves on time and energy by filtering those who are actually interested in the property, but it also provides an added interactive experience, making your customer service more memorable. Additionally, VR has proved to be really useful for those in architecture and design. As being able to visualize a space is the foundation of the industry, VR fits perfectly into their workflow by allowing A&D individuals to step into their creation.

These two B-to-B industries are just a few examples of VR in Enterprise, however, many businesses that we least expect have started to join the current too.


Mining Industry

One the most unexpected industries that have been turning towards not just VR but also AR has been the mining industry. Arguably, mining is one of the most dangerous occupations known to man, with constant exposure to life-threatening accidents, and lifelong health hazards. Although there have been significant changes to decrease the mortality rate, greater strides in innovation are needed to further improve their working conditions. According to VR Vision, the mining industry has invested about 0.5% of their overall revenue into research and development over the past few years. This has led companies within the mining industry to create thorough training programs on proper safety precautions. Simulated Training Solutions, a South African company, created a VR blast wall for trainees to practice their skills in a safe environment. Instead of making very costly mistakes, areas of improvement are highlighted through markings in the simulation. The virtual simulations provide the extra layer of reality to a situation, yet an effective and low risk means of getting the necessary training. As such, miners will be more equipped to act quickly and safely during high-stress situations.




Furniture Dealers

As a furniture dealer, it could sometimes be challenging communicating your vision to your clients. On the flip side, from your client’s perspective, it can be hard visualizing that piece of furniture in a particular space. This is when VR steps in. VR has become a useful tool for both furniture dealers and their clients, providing a perfect understanding of what space would exactly look like. As VR can showcase something that doesn’t exist yet, the versatility of the technology can allow you to visit a fictional world, or, on a more practical side, envision what your workplace could look like. Additionally, using VR before investing in fully furnishing an office space is a cost-effective solution. VR allows you to try it before you buy it, discouraging the risk of needing to make costly revisions or redo’s. Moreover, furniture dealers can now provide their clients with the flexibility to review their designs in the convenience of their office, and at their own pace. Conversely, furniture dealers have the opportunity as well to allocate their resources more wisely instead of building multiple models for their clients. Although it may seem like this technology is ways away from where we are now, businesses have found success while using VR to accomplish their goals. If you’re curious about how this technology works with this industry, find out for yourself with this case study.




Therapy

VR therapy is quite an unconventional method that has gained more traction in recent years. One type of therapy that has been utilizing the immersive aspect of VR is exposure therapy. But what kind of method is exposure therapy?




“Exposure therapy targets behaviors that people engage in (most often avoidance) in response to situations or thoughts and memories that are viewed as frightening or anxiety-provoking”
– Matthew Tull, Ph.D. (retrieved from Very Well Mind)


It’s important to address the avoidance, as the behavior can cause greater consequences in the future by interfering with a person’s daily life. Virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET) is starting to be used to treat certain anxiety disorders, such as phobias and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD). VRET immerses an individual to come in simulated contact with their fears to allow them to confront them in a realistic yet controlled and safe environment. So far, VRET has been used to examine Vietnam War combat veterans, resulting in soldiers experiencing reduced PTSD symptoms. Hopefully, in the near future, VRET can be used to help all veterans that have served their country by providing them with much-needed support.

 

VR has moved far and beyond just being a fad, infiltrating many industries we would not commonly associate with it. 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).

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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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Industry News, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

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


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


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



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


The Oculus Quest

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


 


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


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

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

Putting the ‘Real’ in Virtual Reality


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


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


VR for All


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


Get Ready for VR in 2019

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

 


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

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Industry News, News and Updates, VR

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


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


Past VR Christmas Releases

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


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


For Everyone

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



For the Gamer

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



For the Family

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



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


VR and This Holiday Season

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


Enjoy this merry season more immersed than ever!


Here at Yulio, we strive for excellence in performance and integrity when it comes to our product, and customer service. To learn more about how VR can enhance your business workflow, sign up for our FREE 5-day email course. Get in touch with us to schedule a training webinar for a full walkthrough of Yulio here.

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

It’s hard to ignore the VR boom that has happened in the past few years. From the tethered experience of the Oculus Rift to this year’s launch of the travel-friendly Oculus Go, VR tech companies have challenged our finite idea of what technology can do for us. Falling into the same category as Samsung and Sony, VR tech powerhouse Oculus has established their presence in the tech industry.


Watch out for VR in 2019
Huge advancements into VR hardware and software have allowed the technology to become more affordable, flexible, and accessible than ever before. With businesses continually finding new and innovative ways to use this technology, VR has become increasingly inclusive, allowing for different industries to utilize VR. Additionally, the hardware and software that allows for the VR experience have never been more affordable. With prices being accessible to all, VR is no longer tech that only large companies can afford. Small businesses now have the opportunity to become a leading expert in the tech industry. Let’s explore how this technology is revolutionizing processes today, and what we can expect from VR in 2019. 

VR is Changing How We Eat

It may sound like a stretch when stating VR is changing how we eat, however, think about what meals you enjoy most. Is it visually enticing? Does it taste better or feel more comforting when you’re back at your family’s house? A study was conducted in Cornell where participants were given the same blue cheese but tasted in three virtual settings, including in the lab, a park bench, and a dairy farm. Participants perceived the cheese was more pungent in the dairy farm setting. This finding supports how consumers could react differently to the same product presented in a different environment. Cornell’s results significantly help companies in regards to time and resources. Now, food companies don’t need to build different sets for taste testing as the VR experience is just as real as a real-world setting. By doing so, they can allocate their resources into other areas.


Aside from VR influencing the way we eat, the technology has been adopted into restaurants overall workflow. With more businesses seeing the value in VR, many have chosen to train their employees in virtual reality. By simulating a busy day, or a difficult customer, VR training provides the practice without real-life mistakes. Along with training, many businesses have made AR/VR the headliner of their dining experience. With adding a touch of entertainment, chefs like John Cox have started to curate a menu that uses VR to enhance the dining experience.



VR and Medicine

The healthcare industry has welcomed VR into much of their workflow. From designing hospitals to new options for therapy, medicine and VR have become very well acquainted. Since VR changes what we see visually, and creates immersive, emotional attachments, the environment we experience can influence whether we perceive a situation as positive or negative.


Administering injections to children is one area where VR has helped physicians. The anticipation and experience of pain is something no one looks forward to, let alone children. Hermes Pardini Laboratories, Ogilvy Brazil and Lobo have teamed up to create a game in VR to help children conquer their fears of shots. VR Vaccine has been successful at warping a stinging needle into a more enjoyable experience. When the child puts on the headset, they are met with a task of taking a “Fire Fruit” through a barrier. What seems to be a jewel being inserted into the arm (the Fire Fruit) is actually the needle administering the vaccine. As one doctor puts it, it was the first time in her 15 year career where “a moment of pain [was] transformed into a moment of entertainment”.



As we have seen, VR helps a physician’s patients, and this technology has also been very helpful in training physicians. Through using 3D models, surgeons are able to visualize their operations better than before. With the added 360-degree graphics, it helps both the physician to understand what needs to be fixed, and allows for better communication with their patients. As VR is the happy medium between the real-world and a simulation/piece of paper, it has become a useful tool in improving training in the medical field.


VR and Dementia

Dementia is a complex condition where many people misunderstand or are just uninformed about what it is. “A Walk Through Dementia” is a project that is backed by the Alzheimer’s Research UK, and is committed to educating others about dementia, and to encourage a greater sense of empathy.

 

By downloading the app and using a VR headset, you are able to look at everyday life through the eyes of someone with dementia. Walking through the simulations like making a cup of tea or grocery shopping helps those without dementia understand how difficult it may be with those with the condition. Additionally, the app also includes 360 YouTube videos that capture the hardships those with dementia face with an added layer of realism. After each experience, notes and a debrief explain certain symptoms that came up in the simulation.

 

With VR, A Walk Through Dementia captures the difficulties in the most real way we can immediately understand — seeing it with our own eyes. Hopefully, the experience challenges our previously held misconceptions and allows us to have a greater sense of empathy and understanding.

 


As 2019 draws closer, it’s time to think about how VR can transform your business. With numerous industries already embracing this advanced piece of tech, we are thoroughly excited to see what VR in 2019 will bring. It’s time to get on the bandwagon and let VR improve your business.


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

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

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

 

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

 

Hardware and Software Updates

Oculus GO

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



Collaborate

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

 

Education and VR

Ryerson University

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


 

Professor Maxwell’s 4D AR Lab

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

 

Mainstream Uses of VR in 2018

Walmart’s Training Academy

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

 

Charities using VR

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

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



FIFA World Cup

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


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



Here at Yulio, we strive for excellence in performance and integrity when it comes to our product, and customer service. To learn more about how VR can enhance your business workflow, sign up for our FREE 5-day email course. Get in touch with us to schedule a training webinar for a full walkthrough of Yulio here.
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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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Business, Guest Blog, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality (VR) is taking the world of business by storm across many industries like construction/architecture, shopping, clothing, and interior design. Most of us think of entertainment uses for virtual reality like video game simulators. We don’t often look at exactly how VR is changing business.

Some business analysts have claimed that virtual reality will be a short-lived fad but technological improvements in the workplace and in business have already proven that the numerous possible applications available make it a long-term solution.

What defines Virtual Reality (VR)?

Virtual reality is software-based technology that enables users to immerse themselves into an alternate, virtual environment that oftentimes looks and feels real thanks to the level of detail put into the design.

 

How VR Is Changing Business
  1. Helping Employees Become More Empathetic. Non-profits have started to use VR to put their prospective donors into the shoes of the people they are working to help in order to give them a day-to-day experience in order to understand the struggle. Businesses are using VR to train sales employees by immersing them in a customers life to better help them understand their needs in order to become better salespeople for that product or service.
  2. Lower Business Operational Costs. The bottom line is important to every business and each is always looking for ways to improve profit margins or decrease costs. This is how virtual reality is changing business, if a business is able to reduce training costs by employing VR to streamline the process, they may be able to reduce man-hours spent on training and focus on money making activities. Virtual reality may someday reduce the number of mobile technicians needed if customers are able to troubleshoot problems themselves from home.
  3. More Options for Working Remotely. The workforce is slowly transitioning into offering remote options and VR can aid in this trend. Facebook is already working on creating virtual reality chat rooms and this will help remote workers connect to each other digitally to improve working environments. The possibilities for this are endless! Workers from all over the world can communicate with each other virtually to work on projects. This expands the reach of a business and provides varying perspectives that can increase globalization. Employing workers from other countries can decrease operational costs because many virtual workers will accept less pay for the option to work remotely.
  4. New Avenues for Marketers. Marketing dollars are now being spent more on digital ads than TV ads for the first time ever. The next step is to create virtual reality ads and content. YouTube is already looking into offering VR marketing options to businesses via mobile apps.  
  5. Quicker Product Development. Military contractors are training their employees using VR environments to aid in the idea generation processes by simulating live military scenarios without having to actively deploy employees to combat zones. Virtual reality options could be used by car manufacturers instead of needing to use clay models or scale drawings to convey design concepts in the near future.
  6. Developing Safe Testing Environments. Medical procedures are delicate matters and can mean the difference between life and death. Up until now, the most practical way to practice delicate procedures has been on cadavers (dead bodies). Using virtual reality, doctors and doctors in training could practice their skills on a “live” patient. By practicing more, this increases confidence in their skills and decreases risk for actual patients.
  7. Recreating a “Second Screen” Experience. Many of us focus on more than one screen while we are working, like working on your computer while playing around with your smartphone. Imagine in the near future if you could use virtual reality to have two or more screens in front of your eyes at one time. This could increase productivity and organization while freeing up space in our offices. Offices could be smaller and/or less cluttered. And remote workers would literally be able to work from anywhere and not be tied to their home offices.

In the world of business, those with the edge have a leg up on their competition have the upper hand. Virtual reality options, when implemented well, offer that leg up in any industry from medicine to the military to working remotely. Virtual reality is not the short term fad that many have claimed it to be. It is the next stage technology that will improve the quality of life for people all over the world. Just imagine the endless possibilities and how VR is changing business.




We’d like to thank Instageeked for their thoughtful insight on our blog this week. Visit their website to view more of their work here!


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, Business, Industry News, VR

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



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



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

– Mixed reality (MR) startup developer



The “Others” in the AR/VR Industry

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



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


Collaboration to Heal Social Disconnects

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


 

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

 

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


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


Barriers and Concerns about AR/VR

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




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


AV/VR are Here to Stay

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


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


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

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

 

The Psychology Behind Fear/Horror

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

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

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


The Popularity of Horror Games – Explained

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

Why Play VR Horror Games Then?

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

 

VR Horror Games Are Here to Stay

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


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

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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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How to, News and Updates, VR
We’re happy to introduce our Yulio feature release Explore mode as a part of Yulio’s Collaborate feature.
With Collaborate you have the ability to see what other people are seeing, guide them to a spotlighted area and have everyone meet in the same virtual space. Now with Explore Mode, you can start your presentation with an auto pan throughout a VR scene and let all participants explore the full VR project at their own pace.

Any headsets you have at your meeting or tradeshow booth will be in the Collaborate session, and participants can explore the scene, but not leave the project you have chosen to present. People you’re meeting with in-person will all be in the same session on headsets, and remote participants can join from anywhere, in a headset or our browser-based fishtank mode.

As a presenter, you can benefit from this new feature in many ways. One of the most effective use cases is engaging your visitors at the trade shows. Virtual reality has changed the entire trade show landscape by providing the opportunity to have an infinite floor space within the limited booth area. Bringing a VR experience to the booth attracts a higher volume of visitors and during peak times you don’t always have time to accommodate guided tours. But you won’t miss a moment if you can let booth visitors explore your scene on their own while you’re interacting with other clients.

Plus, you can always give your audience the chance to establish a deeper emotional connection by inspecting the area of their most interest in detail right after the presentation or tour.


How do I Launch Explore Mode?


Start out by launching a Collaborate Session. To launch Explore Mode, hit the Explore button at the top of the Participant Panel.
During explore mode, as the host of the Collaborate Session, your screen will pan throughout the selected scene. Don’t worry you can still interact with your screen at any time.

Yulio feature release, explore mode

All other participants will have the ability to go off and explore the VR project you have selected for the Collaborate Session. They will be able to switch scenes and activate text/image/audio hotspots (if you have this ability turned on in Collaborate Settings).

To end explore mode and bring all participants back to the desired scene, click the Present button in the Participant Panel.

Some of the winning use cases from our user research:
  • Use Explore Mode to show off your VR portfolio in your lobby or office, with a constantly panning VR scene.
  • Trade show operation of VR is easier than ever, so visitors to your booth can play and explore a chosen VR project, even when you aren’t able to guide them.
  • Allow your clients to explore the VR scene on their own and form emotional attachment before or after your guided experience.


Allowing your meeting participants to explore on their own will let them become more fully engaged with the project, and you can take control to provide a guided tour at any time.

This Yulio feature release is available immediately to all Yulio clients. To learn more visit our knowledge base.  Or to try it out for yourself, sign up for our free 30-day trial (no strings attached!).

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AR, Arts, Design, Technical, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

We’ve previously talked about how you should approach designing in VR. But when you’re breaking a sweat to truly try to create this awesome visual experience, there are a host of factors to consider when trying to map out the VR reactions to the space. You’ll be looking at things like: what sounds are going to make them look a certain way, what visual cues are going to push them in a certain direction, deciding if there are items lying around that hint towards a next step or bring on an emotional cue, is the user going to be comfortable enough to keep the headset on? Every. Detail. Matters.



Today, we’re unpacking the specifics for your audience’s VR reactions. Understanding this will significantly improve your VR storytelling and design, and allow you to better tailor your VR content to have a closer connection to your target demographic! Our summary today is based on the learning we’ve done with our many hours of user testing and other research in the field. So, let’s dive in!


First things first… 

First, let’s get something out of the way; no, this blog isn’t going to teach you how you can use ‘the force’ to magically engage with all of your users…(wouldn’t that be cool though??!)





 

Everyone experiences things differently, and to be totally blunt, there is no way to precisely predict the VR reactions of every person on the face of the Earth when they put on a VR headset; it’s simply impossible. That’s why it’s really about finding ways to let people live and experience the story in their own time.


That being said, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways to make educated guesses based on proven scientific and statistical facts that work in your favour when it comes to designing for a specific demographic.




Let’s take a look at some of the biology behind VR Reactions

In a study done by a UCLA College Professor of physics, neurology, and neurobiology, Dr. Maynak Mehta found that “The pattern of activity in a brain region involved in spatial learning in the virtual world is completely different than when it processes activity in the real world.”


Makes sense – we all have a good understanding that when we’re immersed in VR, we have the knowledge that everything around us is virtual, regardless of how ‘real’ it looks.


Digging a little deeper – what makes the VR experience in your head is the hippocampus. This portion of the brain plays a crucial role when it comes to experiencing VR, but it’s actually  more well-known for its involvement when it comes to diseases such as Alzheimer’s, stroke, and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). The hippocampus helps your brain form new memories and create mental maps of space. So for example, when you put on a VR headset for the first time or you’re viewing a new VR experience, your hippocampal neurons become selectively active and start building a “cognitive map” of your surroundings. The neurons not only compose this map, but they even compute estimate distances based on ‘landmarks’ that you see in the space that stay in your memories. Remember, they’re just estimates.





 


How else do you think your uncle remembers how big that fish was that he caught that one time? Don’t worry… he’s either exaggerating a bit or his spatial memory in his hippocampus is slightly off.


Scientists measured the neural activity in the brains of rats when they were exploring real spaces versus virtual spaces that were designed to be a reflection of the real space, and the results concluded that the rats had LESS THAN HALF of the neural activity from the virtual world in comparison to the real world.



So, what does this have to do with predicting human interaction with spaces?

Well, now we understand that there is no comparison, microscopically, to the real world and that people will always be able to subconsciously know when they’re in a virtual environment as opposed to being in a real space because the neurons in your brain just aren’t as active when they’re looking at something virtual. Nonetheless, as you may have seen before, VR experiences can get pretty close to the real deal, which is one of the huge selling points behind it. In fact, VR content is commonly produced by 360 cameras of real space as opposed to renderings, which is why VR is so great for industries like travel and real estate. You get that near-real experience that you just can’t get from anything else, which is why things like VR roller coasters are such a thrill (even if you look like a dork who’s about to fall out of a chair in the middle of your kitchen – it’s FUN). The visceral virtual reality reactions videos you’ll find on YouTube, of people jumping and screaming point to just how real the emotions are, even when the space isn’t real.





 


The first glance in VR

Here at Yulio, based on over 1000 hours of user testing, we’ve learned that the majority of people will look up and to the right when they enter VR.


Now, don’t fret – it makes a lot of sense.  Consider that only about 10% of the world’s population are left-handed, meanwhile the remaining 90% are right-handed, so based on which hand or side is more dominant for the user, i.e. more comfortable for you to turn towards, will determine which way they look – (of course, this is assuming that there are no other distractions that interrupt the natural navigation when they first enter your experience).


Next, because you’re in VR, your first instinct is to break the barrier for yourself and explore your environment. A lot of people when they’re looking around in virtual reality forget that they can look directly above, below and behind them; therefore, their first instinct will be to aim their eyes at where the seam of a screen would typically lie and push past it. So continuing with the direction they look based on their dominant hand/side, the user will continue this motion and look beyond a point that a typical 2D medium would cut off. We use common sense to understand that if we look down, we’ll most likely see the ground, so this is why the natural instinct is to look upwards.. we don’t usually expect to see a ceiling depending on the experience; the sky’s the limit! Plus, anything is better than staring at the floor.

With these two natural instincts combined, we can come to the conclusion that the first move for the user (based on the statistical majority of users) will be up and to the right.


*Keep in mind that this is only true if the virtual environment they’re immersed in is distraction free… If there is a monkey on a unicycle blowing a french horn to the left of the user, then obviously the user is going to change their scope of navigation to look at the monkey.. We’re only human, and who could resist looking if that WAS the case.


Now that we have a general idea of where (the majority of) our users are going to be looking, we can delve right into how our audiences consume VR.



What’s the natural reaction for kids?

When kids play, their imagination takes over. That one box that was thrown into the corner is now a time machine that’s also a fancy sports car. Kids have this stunning ability to entertain themselves, while also blocking out the rest of the world. In their minds, this time machine/car is the only thing existing when they play. Now, bring this same child into VR and they’re going to be astonished by the immersive experience. Research suggests that since kids have such active and imaginative minds, that they’re able to believe in the VR content in front of them as if it’s actually happening, and they’re able to ‘fill in the gaps’ where VR content may be less believable.





 



Next, kids respond to adrenalistic moments MUCH MORE than adults do. In fact, studies show that adults learn the ability to control their emotions to an extent using a ‘self-reserved’ technique. For instance, think of a time where you were watching a scary movie – this technique, where you’re trying not to flinch or react when there’s a scary pop-out coming is a variation of this. It gives you some breathing room or some ‘distance’ between yourself and the experience in front of you. Kids simply haven’t had enough experience in their lifetime to distance themselves from what’s in front of them, and at this age, being as curious and imaginative as they are, they probably wouldn’t want to!


If you want to make a lasting impact and your primary audience is largely kids then you’re looking to add some imagination and adrenaline to your experience! Kids minds run 1000 miles a minute and are still very much floating in the clouds when it comes to playing – so you want to base some of your design around events that are ‘out-of-this-world’, adventurous, and full of life. Even leading them on hunts with obvious next steps might be ideal for them. Think about beloved adventure TV shows like Dora the Explorer. The fun of the show is that the kids can follow along and yell about Dora’s next step based on what they see and what kind of a situation Dora falls into. For example, if kids see Swiper the Fox on the screen, the kids know to yell that he’s there and, “Swiper, no swiping!”. Or if Dora needs to find out which way she’s going, and they open her backpack, they’ll know to reach for the map.

Simple concepts and exciting experiences can go a long way with kids, so grasp your adventure concept, keep it simple and straightforward, and you’re on track to impressing the youngins.



Does gender affect how you consume VR?

Yes! Generally, males and females consumer VR differently!



 


Now, obviously this research can’t speak for every individual out there because it will vary based on the person and a hundred other factors in the mix, but this is what studies found generally:


Women are more emotionally connected to VR content

A few studies suggest that females (on average) experience a greater level of presence in VR. One of the explanations suggests that because females empathize more easily than men, so they’re more likely to connect to the content. Therefore, they have more immersive and connected virtual reality reactions in comparison, and this is true for empathizing toward both real people and virtual figures. VR is well-known for tapping into the emotions of users, which is why it’s such a thrilling medium; you just can’t get the same emotional experience when you’re watching a video of a roller coaster on your laptop versus watching it in a VR headset. The emotional connection that people experience while immersed in VR is a huge factor in how ‘convincing’ the experience is for them. In fact, studies show that VR delivers a 27% higher emotional engagement and 34% longer engagement than 2D content, and with graphic or emotional content, we can obviously assume that the statistics much higher than just 27%.


Charities and nonprofits find good success leveraging VR reactions when it comes to raising awareness and funds for their causes. Take for instance, Charity: Water, who arranged a black-tie gala to show a VR movie which took place in a small village in Ethiopia, and followed the story of a girl and her family and their day-to-day lives, including their long travels to get water – and not clean water by any means.





 


The state of the water alone is a shock factor, but you also see the state of the family’s home, their school conditions and what their daily chores are, which are vastly different than what we experience here. The film ends with a truck full of workers installing a clean water well, and the impact and enthusiasm that was brought to this community, and how much this will change these individuals lives. Because of the strong VR reactions, this gala raised over 2.4 million dollars in donations by the end of the evening which exceeded beyond the organization’s expectations.


This just goes to show that VR’s ability to engage the emotions of users is incredible and can have a huge impact when it comes to events such as these.


If you’re designing for an experience that has a target audience of mostly women, then adding aspects where women may be more emotionally vulnerable could make a more hooking experience. Keep your audience on the edge!


Men enjoy mapping out virtual spaces

Another difference between genders when it comes to experiencing VR content is spatial reasoning skills! According to researchers, men (on average) have better spatial skills than women, so they’re better able to digest a 3D virtual environment in their head as opposed to women, and apparently, they actually enjoy mentally mapping VR too! This means that if you throw a man and a woman into a complex space, then take them out of it – the man (on average) should have a better memory of the space as opposed to the woman.


Men are big for strategy games – even look at the user-base for games such as Civilization. Men like to seek and conquer, so when it comes to learning spaces and strategizing the next move – men are all for it. If your audience base is primarily men, then keep them on their toes and give them room to learn, explore, then strategize how they’re going to keep moving forward.



Everything in-between

Veering away from the differences between genders, now we’re going to look at the more general factors that can have an impact for how well an individual reacts to a virtual experience.


Cognition is a factor in experiencing VR!

Things like general intelligence and attention span have huge impacts on how well someone perceives a virtual experience and the specifics of their VR reactions.  According to research, people who are have higher attention levels have a better capacity to focus on the virtual world and are better able at ‘shutting off’ the real world. This increased level of focus lets them experience their virtual environment in the moment, which leads to a more immersed and engaged VR experience.


Based on your personality, you may have drastically different experiences than others

There are a bunch of personality traits that could determine whether or not VR is suitable for you. For instance, if you’ve ever gone to see a magician and you’ve volunteered to be hypnotized, then VR is most likely thrilling for that individual; however, in a scenario where the individual is chosen from a crowd and is unable to be hypnotized says a different story… Just like how some people take a bit more time to be comfortable (maybe if they’re more prone to nervous or anxious behaviour) in certain scenarios follows the same general premise for whether or not they’ll enjoy being immersed in VR. The more willing a person is to give in to an experience, the better reaction they’ll ultimately have to the content in front of them. This is also true for introverts as opposed to extroverts; the more willing a person is to participate in the experience and suspend any sort of disbelief in their mindset, the greater the immersion and overall feeling of presence they’ll have when they’re in VR and the stronger their VR reactions will be.



Keep in mind that the research beyond VR and user experiences is still pretty new, (and consumers are turtles when it comes to worldwide-adoption) so with time we’ll have a better grasp on how people react to a lot more virtual situations, but for the time being, this is a pretty good start. This information does, however, help us understand the difference in designing for certain audiences, which includes people who don’t feel quite as immersed as others when they put on their VR headset for the first time.




Just getting started with virtual reality and want a hand getting things off the ground? We run a free introductory training webinar every other Thursday at 1 PM EST by our Client Success Manager to teach you everything there is to know about Yulio’s functions, features, and the nitty-gritty tips to help you effortlessly become successful with Yulio! Grab your seat here. Still looking into VR solutions? We’ve got a 30-day free trial with full access to all of Yulio’s fabulous features to give you a true taste of our product and how easy is it to start showing your designs in stunning virtual reality. Sign up for your free account here!

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AR, Business, Industry News, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality
We sat down with Ian Hall, Chief Product Officer and resident expert at Yulio Technologies about his experience with VR, his work within the industry, and where he predicts the digital reality market will lead in the future, and here are his top 9 major takeaways! 


1. Stop calling it VR!
This first thing that I want to note about the future of VR is a bit ironic – and that is to stop calling it VR – or at least recognize that that is a bit of a bucket term for a number of technologies. We’re starting to combine the terms VR, AR, and MR, into this kind of overreaching descriptor of digital reality (DR) – some people call it XR to fill in the gaps, but digital reality seems to be resonating a little bit better. So, we start projecting out 6-12 months.. even a year and we look at it as that collection of visualization technology blending, merging, and working fluidly together in digital reality.




2. Hardware is always going to get better.

As anyone who has tried VR today can attest, it’s powerful, but there are still challenges. Even people who have had an experience in a professional tethered rig, like an HTC Vive, or something like an Oculus Rift – you’ve got this cable running from the back of your head, it gets sweaty, it’s clunky, it can be a little bit off-putting. The mobile devices, while they’re getting more and more powerful – everyone wants it to be higher resolution, lower latency, bigger field of view, longer battery life, less overheating to solve the convergence problem because there are a bunch of things that are all understood and I point to the Oculus Go – it moves forward on five of those things I just mentioned, in a substantive way, while absolutely plummeting the price. Two years ago I would’ve killed for an Oculus GO, and now future of virtual reality is here with it. It’s self-contained, has a long-lasting battery life, great tracking, excellent visuals – that DIDN’T exist two years ago, and now it’s available $200 street – for the cost of a music subscription, you’ve got this powerful new communication medium. To do what the Oculus Go does today by combining a phone with an enclosure, you’re looking at about $1000 street to have something reasonable – meanwhile, the Oculus Go is $200 for exactly the same thing.. I mean, that’s a staggering drop in pricing.


You’ve also got a major player in the space Leap technology. They’re promising full-blown, functional mixed-reality headset with hand-tracking as a reference design for roughly $100 street price. So, that’s what I mean about VR, AR, and MR all kind of blending.. As that hardware comes forward, we will exploit it. So, if $100 AR headset is out there, our AR pipeline (which is obviously in-the-making) will be able to exploit it.





3. We’ve got so much to look forward to for DR technology 

So, we’re seeing the evolution of technology – if anything, we’re actually seeing the technology outstripping everything else. We’re seeing the software ecosystem is getting better, richer, so standards are starting to evolve, things like GLTF which is a 3D data format, optimized for delivering this type of experience, WebVR, and we’ve got the big players working on things like ARKit and ARCore to give you dial tone for doing basic mixed reality behaviours, and you’ve got just MASSIVE research going into data compression, 5G data transport, and we can go on and on. We’ve actually got an entire, what we call, “TechRadar”, where, Yulio as a company – all of our mad scientists and product people are looking at the major trends in all of these relevant areas in software, hardware, standards, in the UX/best practices, and we update that frequently and we use it to inform our thinking – that’s how we skate towards where the puck is going. We’re projecting these things forward, we’re looking at the scientific papers recognizing that those papers are gonna be turned into functionality, and open source, and things that we can use and then we’re figuring out where our opportunities lie through all of that. So a lot of it is having that insight into what those variables are, who the players are, and how rapidly things are adapting.





4. We’re going to see DR technology being used more and more as a standard in the construction industry

That is happening in other industries as well. That’s happening in construction now. Construction is already adopting augmented reality so you’ve got a pipefitter who puts on an augmented reality headset, and they will see, because of the plan, that there’s supposed to be pipes running along the wall – they’ll see where they’re exactly supposed to go in real-time, at-scale, where it’s supposed to be cut-in and cut-out – they can do the work and check their work. Then the inspector comes around – he can put on the same headset – looks at the original drawings and be able to compare workers efforts against the original design -and THAT is utterly transformative for the entire industry for bottom-line costs, maintaining clarity for regulations, quality working effort, at a level of fidelity that we’ve never seen before.





5. VR doesn’t always have to be flashy

Have you ever tried watching something in a headset? For instance, watching Netflix with your peers or something like that. It’s small and simple, and if you’re living in an apartment and you don’t have space for a 60” television, then you can sit there and have an IMAX size theatre screen in front of you in your very own living room and you can watch whatever you want! Entertainment executions like this will continue to help drive the future of VR.





6. DR is the next major gaming platform

So, we’re ahead of the game. The adoption of VR as a way of consuming traditional media in a new way is, frankly, disruptive stuff. If you take a VR mount into a gaming room, (and there are some really good titles out there that are breathtaking and forefront stuff in virtual reality) and you come out with this emotional high that you just don’t get sitting there with other mediums. That’s what’s transformative about future of virtual reality – it’s an evolution of a storytelling medium and it’s the emotional connection that drives it that’s so exciting. You see more and more of these big studios when they do these big quality AAA games with  – and they ain’t doing it unless they can get their money back. So you’ve got the Sony’s and Samsung’s of the world pushing consumer VR but frankly, it’s in the very early days – for instance, instead of 100 hours of play, we’ve got 5 hours of play but it’s a REALLY cool 5 hours. Things like the Oculus Go suddenly become an install base of millions upon millions of content will follow. So, the big leagues for consumer VR are going to be content production – content that has a little bit more awareness, a little more accessible hardware.





7. Consumer adoption of VR will come as fast as we invite it

Technology moves fast, moves strategically, and it’s moving to address fairly well-understood problems… the bigger challenge is when you move into the human side of things –   which is the consumer consumption of digital reality. Now, obviously, Yulio as a company, we’re primarily focused on the business applications of this… that said, the business applications don’t exist in a vacuum. As consumers get exposed to DR and AR, kind of like first harbingers, they will lay the foundation for further investment in the space. Business or not they’ll build the future of VR because as consumers use it, more people will build hardware, more people will build software, so the building blocks that we use to create our products will branch from user adoption of the tech.





8. Digital reality training is coming full force – and it’s working! 

Education is another big one. The best example is Walmart who started dabbling with virtual reality as a way of training employees. They have this massive training program; whether you’re the one greeting at the door, or you’re the one stocking shelves or at the cash, you go through this very rigorous training program that introduces you to the “Walmart way” of doing things – and they will celebrate improving those outcomes all day long. If you can improve testing outcomes and improve customer feedback through that training program it has a huge impact. They introduced VR – and they saw double-digit improvements OVERNIGHT. So, they went from doing this as a trial to rolling out a full training program to every Walmart training center around the world and that was in the course of 12 months. So, again, this is a BIG IMPACT of DR transforming businesses.


So imagine that the same person is stocking the shelves wearing an MR headset and it gives them reinforcement of that training because they’re seeing it  in real-time, and the social stigma of looking funny with a big headset on doesn’t apply if you’re stocking shelves – So, business applications, some of those constraints that are going to slow down consumer adoption, don’t exist in business. If I’m going and doing a ‘pick and place’ in a warehouse – Putting a load into a box to mail to you, I don’t care what I look like. To put on a DR headset to be better at my job to improve efficiency is just something you’re going to do. That is becoming deliberate – this kind of idea where you wear these headsets in warehouses and remote diagnostics is already picking up traction. Microsoft jumping all over the whole platform. They literally just announced that the entire framework that allows you to use their HoloLens platform to do exactly what I just described. Have an expert come in, look virtually over your shoulder, and point to something and say “noo don’t turn that gear turn that gear” and they’ve come up with an entire platform for building applications like this.





9. The A&D community was perfectly primed to use DR technology

Today, in the architectural community in particular and more so the design community, we’re starting to see DR as table stakes – it’s not just a nice to have, but it’s becoming a must-have. When we started doing this over two years ago, we had to explain to our early adopters, “what IS VR?”, and they really just had no frame of reference… but in the last 6 months, I don’t remember the last architectural firm who didn’t have some sort of active VR initiative, and some of the more sophisticated ones have already started dabbling in AR and mixed reality – so that is an entire industry, and we just so happen to be perfectly primed for taking advantage of this. Speaking directly to Yulio, our clients use visualizations to convey design ideas, so visualization is definitely key. So these businesses are primed to use this technology and in a matter of 24 months, we went from getting reactions like, “what the hell is VR” to “we can’t live without VR” and that is absolutely transformative.


So, the implications for business make sense in the areas with the greatest ROI – where you see a ten-fold improvement overnight as opposed to traditional means. But as time establishes, more people try things and they find that it works… it’s substantially better than the alternative – you’re going to continue to grow in the business environment and this is absolutely the center of where Yulio exists. We are addressing those problems, we are working with our customers and trying those scenarios, we’re eliminating the ones that don’t work all that well, we’re focusing on the ones that really do, and we’ve already seen those successes in a repeating pattern. Using Yulio / a VR platform to convey your design ideas – early stage / late stage is correct. And we know that today because we have architects backing us saying, “we’re trying for a year to communicate to a customer why this thing needed to be this big and we finally had the epiphany – we were already using VR for our designers, and we decided to turn it around and put it in front of the customer, and they looked at it and had an ‘Aha’ moment. They looked at it and went ooooh I FINALLY get why it had to be so big .. we didn’t believe you and now we trust you and they finally became a partner in that dialogue.”


Until that moment – using the best methods available to architects today – models, floor plans, renderings, and all that kind of stuff – they weren’t able to convey that in a year, and VR was able to convey it in a split second. And that is transformative.




The Future of VR 

It’s more of that. It’s finding those niches. It’s finding those applications and it’s just transforming how people do business. I think winning business patterns will drive the future of VR.





Ian Hall is Yulio’s Chief Product Officer and has been working in the industry for an eternity in VR terms. He recently attended VRX 2018 and recorded the top trends that he saw. Read about them here. To learn more about VR best practices for business, check out our Whitepaper on the right way to integrate VR into your business for maximum ROI.


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

Yulio Chief Product Officer Ian Hall recently attended VRX 2018 and brought back some key VR trends and winning patterns from the conference. While we’ve expanded on them a bit below, the overwhelming theme is that VR adoption is being led by business adoption and not consumers. As we’ve predicted, waiting for consumer VR headset sales is the wrong adoption indicator – and will leave you flat-footed when it comes to sharing your vision in VR.


VR Trends in Hardware

There have been a number of analyst predictions around headset adoption, which consistently indicated that beginning in 2018 and through 2020 standalone headsets like Oculus Go, HTC Vive Focus etc. will dominate over a console or premium mobile headsets like Samsung’s Gear VR. The Oculus Go has been a game changer in the area, removing much of the friction we’ve seen for our clients of awkwardly trying to put their phone inside a headset etc. Look for the Microsoft Hololens and continue innovation from Oculus to lead in this area, with shipments expected to double between now and 2020.







Yulio tip:

Like our Yulio Clients, Perkins+Will noted during their panel at the conference that Oculus Go is a slam dunk, and that their sales team love it. We bet they love it because it removes so much friction from installing an app on your phone, putting your phone in a headset etc. etc. You can get Oculus Go from any electronics retailer, or right from the Oculus store – download our Yulio app and you’ll be all set. Removing friction is the most important of the VR trends, as we’ve learned from our 1000+ hours of user testing.


VR Trends by Business Vertical

We’ve looked at a number of verticals using VR successfully, and we’ve always agreed with the comment made by Iffat Mai of Perkins + Will architecture -that “VR ROI (in architecture) is a no-brainer, our job is to sell you something that doesn’t exist”. But the opportunities in some other sectors are interesting too. Showrooms and Retail sectors are slightly ahead of A&D in terms of demand, with the major players all figuring out how to use digital reality to create meaningful retail experiences.

Beyond retail and architecture, experts see significant potential in Education and Healthcare – but both are challenging to services due to extensive regulation and barriers to changing the current process (whether rolling out a new curriculum in education or extensive health testing).

Likely the biggest ‘bet’ will be in the training field, with experiential learning, fewer physical meetings, and more self-guided learning all being keys to the value of VR.



Yulio tip:

Our clients who work in commercial furniture have found that early adoption of VR has allowed them to differentiate from their competitors by offering an immersive experience. Moreover, the experience helps people make faster decisions with a better sense of size and scale – and gives clients the tools they need to ‘sell’ upward in their organizations and achieve final sign off. Read more in our client showcase with HBI in Calgary.


 

VR Trends from Early Adopters   

One of the most valuable elements from any conference is hearing and learning from those who have really set the virtual reality trends and are repeating useful patterns. You can leap-frog some learning by keeping key adoption learnings in mind:

  • If you’re responsible for rolling technology out to your sales or dealership/showroom teams, you need to look for something that’s as fail-proof as possible and operationalize the learning. Your benchmark should be that if it’s harder than powerpoint, or web-ex, you need a training webinar or session around resolving and scripting the issue
  • As the presenter, it can be challenging to manage the technology, tell your story, and ensure people don’t become isolated in VR. That’s why we recommend having no more than 2-3 headsets even in large presentations. If your software allows you to project what’s being seen in the headsets on a screen, you can see what people are looking at and create a social experience around it
  • The script is still critical to a VR supported presentation – VR trends in tech and even content don’t hide good design – so be sure you have the content, and the story you want to tell before immersing your clients in your scene


Yulio tip:

The most important VR trends aren’t about technology or complicated gadgets – they’re about storytelling. We recommend to all our clients who are looking to get started that they pick a target project – a pitch or presentation that’s upcoming, and use it as an area of focus to implement VR. One Oculus Go headset and a few software seats on Yulio will have you up and running for your presentation in no time. The key is to quit waiting for perfection….but rather to pick something simple and start your learning process.   




Our advice? Don’t be alarmed. Fortunately, it’s not too late to get in on the VR game. It is, however, high time to get started. For the perfect way to get yourself up to speed on virtual reality trends, try our Yulio 5-day course and wow your colleagues with this pre-packed presentation full of our VR research on the state of the industry.

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AR, Architecture, Business, Design, Everything Else, News and Updates, Technical, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

Today we’re pleased to announce our newest Yulio feature release: Text Hotspots! This feature lets you share more information right within your VR presentation!

Hotspots have always been the Yulio method of linking scenes in your VR designs. Previously, we’ve introduced Navigational Hotspots to allow you to virtually navigate your way through your scenes; then we released Audio Hotspots, where you can bring in the ambiance of an atmosphere or descriptions of design details to your scenes; now we’re launching Text Hotspots. Text Hotspots can be used for a number of functions such as describing design choices, offering answers to questions, or providing information about products used to create a design, all while still providing the most seamless VR experience possible for your clients.


Text Hotspots are made up of 2 elements:

  • Title (max. 140 characters) and visible at the top of the hotspot bubble
  • Body Text (max. 140 characters)

Hotspots are triggered in both browser-mode (also called ‘fishtank’ mode) with the click of a button, or if you’re viewing in VR, you can simply trigger the hotspot by gazing at the hotspot icon placed within your scene. In Collaborate mode, hotspots are triggered by the presenter.


You can still make adjustments to the depth of the hotspot in the scene to make it appear closer or further away in 3D space just like our Navigational and Audio Hotspots, however, the text itself will adjust for readability depending on screen resolution.



Check out an example of text hotspots on our showcase here.



 

 

 

 


Some of the winning use cases from our user research:

  • Consistent presentations, even when you’re not there. Including text hotspots in your design makes them part of the VR project and ensures the information will be consistent every time the design is viewed.
  • Respond to feedback during iteration. Place a hotspot over an area a client had questions about, or where they requested changes, and call attention to exactly how you addressed their concerns
  • Product Information in context. Annotate products within a design to showcase what makes them unique, all in visual context.


Beyond architecture and design related use cases, Yulio’s VR technology with text inside the experience also heralds the ability for product marketers to create next-generation virtual catalogs. Using their own mobile devices and a simple VR headset, buyers will be able to browse curated virtual environments triggering descriptions attached to products they’re interested in.




Text Hotspots are a part of the new wave of features that can truly enhance your scene and push your VR story forward to be told with consistency and precision without disrupting the immersive experience you’re providing for your clients.

This Yulio feature release is available immediately to all Yulio clients. To learn more and begin using them, visit our knowledge base.  Or to try them out for yourself, sign up for our free 30-day trial with no obligation

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Architecture, Business, Design, Everything Else, How to, Technical, VR, Your Business + Virtual Reality

VR for architecture is often looked at as a key presentation tool to benefit your clients. Don’t get me wrong, that’s definitely something that VR does best over all other presentation tools in the industry – VR has the power to illustrate the unknown… it generates long-lasting, memorable experiences for clients that are much more tangible and impactful than anything they’ve seen before. Plus, VR provides a window on reality instead of what could be a hard-to-imagine mock-up, so there’s less guessing and more understanding when it comes to the details.



 



So, since VR is so successful for presenting designs to clients, we often lose sight of the other uses VR for architecture has that can amp up your VR game. We’ve compiled a list of other fun and useful features that VR can do that most people forget about (plus, these features don’t require you do to any extra work – so there’s that too!)


Get buddy-buddy with your contractor

Yes, ok, this is still using VR as a presentation tool – guilty – But like we said, VR is the best tool to use to show someone a design in the clearest, most precise way possible – so why not show everyone?

Consider sharing your virtual reality for Architecture project with the construction group that will be executing your design. Having a better idea of the expectations behind a project is never a bad thing – in the end, you’ll feel more confident about getting your design constructed perfectly, and your client will be relieved that the folks building their project know exactly what you want to be built. Plus, you’ll end up growing your relationship with your contractor. Forming a bond over the work you two share will strengthen the quality of communication and heighten the understanding around a design so the execution is a more flawless experience.  






 


Show some options

We find good use of navigational hotspots to show the same space but with different finishes or design details. Take, for instance, if you’re redoing a kitchen – having the ability to change between options such as a backsplash, countertop,  cabinet materials, placement of a kitchen island, or even just seeing the options in different times of the day could drastically help with quick decision-making.




 



Or look beyond VR for architecture and see how it can help interior designers see what the room will look like for guests and make adjustments to the space has better flow for when it’s lived-in. This could mean making small improvements here and there such as “what would it look like if we took out that wall” or “let’s try adding a separation there – it would be nice to define the spaces”. Seeing these small adjustments in true-scale could make a huge difference when it comes to how it all looks when everything is said and done.





Too busy? Dial it down

Sometimes when you first show a client a design, the details can be distracting – so rather than looking at the layout of a space, they may be more focused on the color of the brick, or the landscape. We see that by changing the resolution or material of the scene, the space is much less distracting, and you can focus on what really matters, which is the design at-large during the appropriate phase of the project.








 



Don’t sweat it – just see it

You also don’t have to sweat the labor of moving pieces around or staging the day before an open house. With virtual reality for architecture and design, you can show different configurations of furniture or decor in the same space to see which version works best. So whether that means staging your living room with different furniture and decor arrangements, reconfiguring a furniture showroom to show all of the unique ways you can use the pieces, or seeing what fits where best inside a museum – the aim of the game is show the best configurations of the same space as possible – and it’d be a lot harder to do without VR.



 




Asking for opinions can only make your designs better

VR collaboration is not just useful for communication between clients and designers, but it helps gain quality feedback from all kinds of parties involved with a design. Collaboration is the difference between finding aspects of a design that don’t make sense when you see them in true-scale, versus what could very well be “textbook” for a design. VR collaborations help you find the issues with your peers so you can make the necessary improvements to save yourself more time, money (and sanity) in the process.




 




Breathe some life into your design

Interior designers may want to add design details in their VR projects such as vignettes to add some presence to the space. There’s nothing more chilling than experiencing an empty design (hello, zombie apocalypse), so designers add touches like vignettes to make the space feel more ‘lived-in’ – it gives you a better idea of what it would look like if it were built and open to the public. This will make the person viewing the project feel less isolated in the space, and have a better ability to read into a visual story that’s being told through the design (e.g. a doctors office design with vignettes sitting in the waiting chairs makes the space feel more inviting than one that shows an empty room).  



 




Display your portfolio in VR

Having the novelty of VR for your design portfolio is an awesome way to show off your design skills, while also endorsing that you have experience with some of the latest tech in the industry. The idea of having aVR for architecture portfolio means that you can take it with you anywhere without lugging around heavy equipment, folders, or bags/briefcases – you can simply pull out your phone and a pair of Homido mini VR glasses (which can actually fold to fit in your pocket) and you’re set to present! Plus, if you’re a business – you can handout branded goggles (the Google Cardboard and Homido Mini glasses are probably the cheapest options that offer the best experience, while also having options to add your personal branding! – talk about adding to the portfolio experience!)



 

 



Throw it up on your website or share it with your network

Add a little something-something to your website and seduce some of your visitors. Showing that you have and use VR tells people that you know your stuff, you’re up-to-date with the latest and greatest tech in the industry, and of course, if the novelty doesn’t w-o-w them, then your design certainly will! Each VR project comes with its own unique embed code to post to your site – or you have the option to share the project with a link through a tweet, a text, an email, or other social media channels.




 



Show off your stuff!

Another benefit several of our clients use VR for is for marketing. Using VR is a great way to show off your work to your audience. VR excites people – in fact, 81% of people who see something in VR, tell their friends about it – so if you’re looking to get a reach with the content you’re showing – VR is certainly the way to do it. VR content can help aid a brand story and immerse users into a storyliving experience. Join your following and bask in the excitement your content brings! Having a memorable experience is what VR is all about.



 






These are just a few examples of the hundreds upon hundreds of ways you can customize your VR project and utilize the many features that VR can do! And with these tips, which require minimal to no extra effort, they’re easy ways to amp up your designs and your skills working with VR technology.


Want to try out some of these awesome features? Sign up for a free 30-day Yulio account for full access to our feature set. We’ve built Yulio from the ground up to be the ideal VR for architecture tool. Need a hand getting started? Grab a seat at our bi-weekly Yulio training webinar hosted by our own Client Success Manager for some insider tips and tricks, and full walkthroughs of everything you need to know to be successful with Yulio!


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