Virtual Reality 

User Tips for You: How to Use Virtual Reality Properly

Whenever you use virtual reality, it is easy to get lost in the immersive experience. The well-crafted worlds can hold your interest for hours. However, it is important to use the technology responsibly. Here are a few user tips on how you can utilize virtual reality properly:

Read Up

When you buy your first virtual reality gear, it will come with a manual. It would be in your best interest to read up on all the aspects regarding your VR gear. Pay close attention to how to care for the gear and how to set it up. If you can, have a friend with you to help guide you through the process.

Manuals often come with a frequently asked question section. Utilize this appropriately in order to set yourself up for good immersive experiences.

Set it up Properly

When you buy a VR headset, it is important that everything is in the right order. Is it fitting your head just right? Are there proper safety harnesses to ensure that the thing will not go flying when you start moving?

VR games, particularly those in the horror genre, are made to illicit often violent reactions out of the people that use them. So it is important that you set it up properly in a way that will not end up damaging you, your property, and the unit itself. While virtual reality units are not that expensive, it is still generally good to care for your VR unit if you really want to get the most out of it.

Get Rest

Virtual reality is best experienced when you have sufficient rest. As it is normally a rather immersive experience, you end up pepping your visual and auditory senses with a lot of stimulation. If you are not well-rested, you end up providing yourself with a lackluster experience.

On the same vein, set yourself a limit on how long you are going to use virtual reality. Too much virtual reality use may stress your body—this can also lead to a lackluster experience. We understand that it may be quite tempting to stay in your virtual reality simulation as there is just so much you can do in there.

To close, with all things there must be moderation. Virtual Reality is truly an incomparable experience—provided that you do use it properly. Try to look back on how you utilize virtual reality in your life. What ways have you been neglecting proper usage?

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Technology Virtual Reality 

7 Things To Consider When Running A VR/AR Conference

Two of the most creatively innovative and exciting technology trends of the last decade or so, has undoubtedly been Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (VR and AR for short, respectively).  If you are looking to run a VR/AR event of some kind in the near future, then we are not surprised because of these types of technology work really within an event or conference type environment. 

They can help to make an event that might have otherwise been a little dry or just like all the others being held by your competitors become something more thrilling and exciting. 

Before you get those personalised lanyards from Digital ID sorted and we go any further, it may be worth clearing something up, for anyone who may think they are interchangeable – as the terms mean two completely different concepts. 

  • Virtual Reality – The whole idea behind virtual reality is to create something that seems ‘almost real’.  According to the dictionary, it is, therefore, a computer-generated three-dimensional environment or image that you can interact with in a physical or seemingly real way using special gear like a helmet fitted with a screen on the inside or gloves that have sensors fitted onto them.
  • Augmented Reality – Although it can easily be confused for the above, Augmented Reality differs from Virtual Reality in that rather than creating new objects or environments that ‘seem real’, it adds things to the existing environment.  The most popular and famous example of this would be the mobile game Pokemon Go.

So, now that’s out of the way, let’s look at 7 things you should consider when planning an event using Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. 

Host The Entire Event Virtually

An entirely new world of events and conferences was introduced with the advent of virtual events.  Instead of people needing to actually attend the same location as others to enjoy an event, it is now possible to host one completely using virtual reality.  Absolutely everything from attending to presenting, interacting with networking can all be done virtually.

Use Tech To Encourage A Greater Number Of People To Your Event

Perhaps the above is too much, you can still use this great new technology in great ways to produce a hybrid event.  This means, as well as the normal aspects of a conference or event such as speakers, demonstrations, and physical attendees, there is also a virtual audience of attendees of people who otherwise would not or could not make it to the actual event in person.

Although it sounds a lot like streaming an event or conference on their television or computer screen, not only would a virtual attendee be able to see what was happening at the event, they’d be able to take part and experience it too.

Consider Gamification Of Some Kind

A popular trend nowadays, given the increase of this technology being used at events, is what is known as ‘event gamification’.  If this is the first time you have heard this phrase, where have you been?  Basically, gamification is using recognisable aspects of game-playing, such as rules, competition and point scoring, for example, in other activities and events.

In this case, adding another dimension to your event for promotional purposes by creating a game that attendees can participate in.  It is relatively simple to do, particularly if you are planning to use VR and AR at your event anyway.  VR gaming sets are easy and popular to use and can add an extra degree of excitement to your event to elevate above the norm.  You can score guests points for each person they swapped professional details with to encourage networking or give prizes to people who attend all the different seminars and demonstrations.  Whatever you decide, make it relevant to what the event or conference is about, but most importantly – make it fun and interactive. 

Displaying Products In A Whole New Way

Although displaying a product is usually enough to whet people’s appetite, there are certain products that more is required to really sell them.  For instance, a food production machine with a unique function.  While pictures and pamphlets describing and displaying it are all fine and good; what if you could show your guests the product being made by a machine?  You could use VR to show this, further justifying it.  Even if it’s just a virtual mock-up of what the product will look like when it has been manufactured and finished – a virtual version that guests can look at and virtually touch or feel, might help them to be won over to its potential. 

Improving Networking At Events

If you understand anything about running events of any kind, including those using VR and AR elements, you will know that networking is always incredibly important.  Particularly as it is one of the main reasons why people go to events in the first place.  AR can be used as a way of displaying professional information for each guest, so people can get to know each other a little before they even start talking to them.  Although it might sound a far-fetched step up from personalised lanyards, tech like Google Glass makes it possible.

Virtual Information Booths

Obviously, no conference or event is really complete without some helpful advice and information booths dotted around the venue.  while you may be able to use some elements of Augmented Reality on information booths, via QR codes and other similar methods; there is a way you could use virtual reality to completely fabricate information booths that don’t actually take up floor space, because they are virtual. 

Make sure all the formation is included and your guests will be able to access it in the virtual realm.  This could help make space for a larger capacity audience.

Don’t Overload Or Try To Do Too Much

Although you may want to put on the funkiest, most out there event full of all the latest VR and AR techniques – be careful not to overload your event.  Including too many different elements that have the potential to clash with one another, could make it chaotic and hard to enjoy for your guests.

As you can see there are plenty of different ideas and concepts to consider when it comes to running a Virtual Reality and/or Augmented Reality event or conference.  Even something as simple as the personalised lanyards worn by guests could be implemented to include AR tech. 

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Virtual Reality 

Beyond Entertainment: Top Employment Positions in the Field of VR

As with every new technological leap in our time, employment possibilities take a massive leap too. Today, we take a look at the top employment positions in the field of virtual reality. This industry was not something that people expected to bloom—particularly virtual reality experienced a near death experience in the 90s.

However, with the help of Forbes list companies and some creative YouTube gamers, Virtual Reality is very much alive and once again the darling of the public eye. There is also now a massive demand for people to work in VR. Yes, there are actually jobs that are born because of VR. Here are some of them:

3D Modelers

In order for the immersive world of 3D to be built, the foundation needs to set. The environment, the setting, the imagery—this is what 3D Modelers are responsible for. Otherwise called 3D artists, these talented individuals make use of a variety of software and tools in order to make otherwise flat objects come to life.

They are normally a part of a larger design team. If you have ever seen a computer generated animated movie or even the CG special effects in movies, it is actually 3D modelers that set the ground work happen.

Now visualizing and mapping out the model is one thing, who truly brings it to life?

3D Animators

When you think of video games and how everything seems so lifelike in the way they move, you have 3D animators to thank for that. They take the raw material that 3D modelers provide and push the envelope further.

Also part of their section or departments of the design team, 3D animators rarely work alone. Every animated short you have ever seen has had a team of 3D animators behind it.

Creating the product is fine, how are people going to know about it?

Product Marketing Managers

In order for people to know a product exists, they need to market it. That is where marketing managers shine. While you can argue that is position has been around for a while, the specifics that are needed for a successful VR product marketing campaign is an entirely different thing.

The set of players are different, the demographic that they target is much wider than most products, and the ways in which they should market the product is completely different. So the skills that are required are more than the usual that you would expect from marketing managers.

Software Engineers

Much like the ones that Envelop has, these brilliant people are normally expected to be masters in C++, along with really strong understanding of programming. As Virtual Reality is being used for more than just entertainment, software developers have the task of building new and innovative software.

They think outside the normal sphere of thought. It is the software developers that make it possible for new apps and programs that enhance our day to day lives.

To close, these are only some of a massive selection of employment opportunities in the world of virtual reality. What employment opportunities did you see arise because of virtual reality?

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Virtual Reality 

Envelop VR Solutions: What VR Solutions Can Change Your Work

There is a lot of that Virtual Reality can do for your work or your business. Today, we take a look at some of Envelop’s solutions and how they apply to you. If you are not aware, other than hooking you up with the latest and most relevant VR and AR news, Envelop also has a hand in developing handy software that can revolutionize the way you do things.

We have a hand at revolutionizing the way you present data, process applications from just about any source into a completely new VR product. We sit at the cusp of various platforms which have to do with Virtual Reality hardware! The implications and solutions are simply breathtaking. There is a reason why we are very big believers of how VR can impact lives—we have experienced it for ourselves. Here are a few solutions that you may want to look at:

Data Visualization

Think something akin to Jurassic Park (the first one) where they needed to reboot the whole park. They needed to access the files and data through squares in their computer program. Data visualization is something like that but add decades of graphics improvement. Your database of information needs to be neat and labeled well in order for people to be able to use it intuitively.

Everyone is tired of the same old boring excel sheet. We understand that visual impact is important especially when you are trying to make a striking impression upon a client. We can help you get that extra impact. When you are trying to share information, it is important that everything be clear, easy to understand, and uncomplicated. Our 3D data visualization can help bring that to life for you.

Product Visualization

When you are trying to sell a product, there are often a lot of costs involved. The sample may need to be mass produced and then comes the logistics of getting it from one place to another safely. Even then, you do not know if the sale will be successful. That means that you end up spending a lot with the risk of little to no return.

If you let it, Envelop can help you build a sample of your product right there on your company website. A 3D product model placed right into your website can and will allow your clients to completely view the product in its every aspect. This helps keep down costs for you while raising consumer engagement for your product.

If you are not quite certain how this works, you can think back to Big Hero 6 wherein Hiro Tanaka was making use of virtual reality to figure out the components to make Baymax’s armor. He was able to map out which parts were needed and which were unnecessary. This is how product visualization works.

To close, the future is here and only those which embrace it get to move on into the future with as little friction as possible. With that in mind, which VR solution do you think will revolutionize the way you do things?

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Augmented Reality Virtual Reality 

Is Virtual eCommerce a Reality?

Virtual reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have been the stuff of dreams since shows like Star Trek first introduced us to the idea of having our very own holodeck. In more recent years that dream has started to materialise, with big players like Samsung, Facebook, Google and HTC all forging ahead with bringing us personal AR and VR technology.

VR’s Rapid Growth

2016 was probably the biggest year for AR and VR with many products either being released into the consumer market or being announced for upcoming release. What happened in 2016 changed the way people thought about technology like this. It was no longer a sci-fi idea, it became a tangible product that every consumer could experience. VR is achieved through a headset that the consumer wears and is then transported to an immersive experience.

AR vs VR

AR is slightly different because digital information is superimposed onto the real world. This can also be achieved via a headset, but is less immersive than a VR headset as the user will still be able to see their real world surroundings. The best part about AR is that most people can experience it right now, as your mobile phone can become the tool to achieve the experience. This makes AR more accessible for most people but companies like Google and Samsung have been developing low cost VR headsets to use in conjunction with your mobile phone to achieve the immersive VR experience.

Once realisation spread that everyone can experience this new technology at a reasonable cost, the buzz around VR and AR grew. Consumers are now poised and ready for the technology to be integrated into their everyday life. This change in behaviour from consumers has forced manufacturers of these devices to deliver high quality, cost effective products and has also made businesses think about how they can incorporate the technology into their strategies to keep up with consumer demand.

VR in eCommerce

Two decades ago when ecommerce really took off, many big companies like Walmart in the U.S. and BHS in the UK, didn’t pay enough attention to the shift in consumer behaviour. As a result, these huge companies lost millions to smaller online businesses like Amazon and EBay, at the same time. What happened back then should be used as a lesson for today as companies need to consider how they can integrate AR and VR into their business.

Already brands like Ikea are leading the way by offering virtual showrooms for their furniture. It’s a simple idea where consumers can put on a VR headset and be amongst their products. Whether that be a kitchen where consumers can open drawers and change colour schemes or a lounge suite where they can rearrange the layout. Other markets are also jumping on the opportunity such as clothing brand Converse, where using AR technology, consumers can try on digital shoes to see if they like the way they look.

B2B Businesses Using VR

The possibilities are endless, all it takes is a little bit of creative thinking to showcase your products through AR and VR. For B2B businesses the possibilities are the same as the consumer market, albeit less glamorous and maybe less exciting, but still just as relevant. For example, a business  such as Reid Brothers UK who sell tools for stainless steel banding or plastic strapping could use AR to showcase the different sizes of the tools. However, a big issue for a lot of companies who use these products is finding tools that can be operated in small spaces in warehouses where the goods are packed. AR could be used to see if a certain tool could be used in a tight space or at an awkward angle. Less fun than trying on a pair of converse but the benefits are exactly the same.

The technology doesn’t stop there. A supermarket in China called Yihaodian opened 1000 digital stores across the country overnight. These digital stores were placed in prime locations like famous tourist landmarks and in front of rival supermarkets. These stores were completely invisible to the naked eye, but open up the Yihaodian ecommerce app on your phone and you can walk around the digital store viewing products like you normally would in a physical shop.

These digital stores added an extra 12% revenue to the supermarkets books. This idea takes the AR concept one step further but is a fantastic way to showcase the power of AR and if nothing else, it creates a whole lot of free advertising because everyone around the world couldn’t stop taking about it.

Yihaodian shows us the power of ecommerce and how the need for having a physical store is becoming less every day. The AR and VR revolution is probably not going to have the same impact the internet did but it will still stir things up. It is so important for businesses to be looking towards the future and start thinking about how they can keep up with what is current and what the consumers demand. The future can either be an exciting opportunity for your business or it can be what drives you out of business. It’s your choice what the future has in store, so choose wisely.

 

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Virtual Reality 

The More You Know: Fun Facts about Virtual Reality You May Not Know

In the technological race that has been going on, the development of VR has brought a lot in terms of entertainment. Virtual Reality is one of the most welcome technological advancements of our time. What a journey it has had! Today, we discuss some fun facts about VR that you may not know about!

Did you these things about virtual reality:

Virtual Reality is Old

If you are going to talk about virtual reality, it would be important to think back to how they viewed this technology. They wanted an easier way for budding professionals, like pilot trainees, to practice but not put the actual planes in danger. The first ever flight simulator was actually created in 1920.

So you can see that even back then, VR was seen as something that could improve the way things were done in the professional setting. It was not until around forty years later that virtual reality was seen as something that could be used to entertain the masses. The first sketches for a movie virtual reality experience was going around in the 60s.

For something that was to be used by a single person, it was roughly the size of a modern voting booth and required almost no movement from the viewer. So you can imagine how the concept met an intial lukewarm reception.

The 90s Nearly Killed It

While there was a massive interest in the virtual reality movement in the early 90s, the pricing and the faulty equipment did not deliver the experience that was promised. You have to see it from the consumer’s point of view.

Virtual reality was supposed to be something that would allow consumers to see different new worlds in the headsets they put on. However, the graphics of blocks and odd colors were hardly the “new worlds” that were promised. It also did not help that in order to experience these “new worlds” you had to quite figuratively pay an arm and a leg for it.

The odd high prices and lackluster delivery almost made sure that virtual reality was not going to go into the new century.

VR Was Saved by Forbes List Companies

While the 90s saw a disastrous turnover for commercial use virtual reality, this did not deter large companies from investing in it. They saw the limitless potential it held for businesses and the private sector.

The original purpose of VR was to provide a safe and ultimately cost effective way to train professionals. As such, development toward better and more reliable software and graphics became priority. Today, a multitude of official organizations like NASA make use of virtual reality and its simulations to train their people.

To conclude, virtual reality has had quite a journey. From conception, public consumption, and its eventual rise into what we know it today—it has been a real roller coaster of a ride. The next time you take a look at the virtual reality equipment that you use, try to remember the fun fact that you picked up from today’s discussion. Do you know any fun facts about VR?

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Virtual Reality 

Top 3 Ways Virtual Reality is Revolutionizing Healthcare

Virtual Reality is more than just something to impress on your computer screen. In today’s modern application, it has started to revolutionize various fields. Today, we discuss the top 3 ways VR is changing healthcare.

Pain Relief

Virtual Reality is making big waves in helping to relive pain in patients. It works by limiting the activity of the somatosensory cortex along with the insula. Both are highly reactive when a person is experiencing pain. However, if a person is in an immersive environment like what virtual reality provides, it can serve as a pretty effective distraction which helps to relieve pain.

From some of our writer’s personal experiences, whenever the prospect of imminent pain is inbound, they find it easier to escape to other worlds by distracting their thoughts. If you can think back to the movie Fight Club, it is pretty much like Edward Norton’s ice cave mental escapism.

Instead of relying on the mental capabilities of a patient in order to suitably divert their attention, virtual reality provides a more immersive way to distract patients from their current state.

The concept of phantom pain is nothing new. This is often reported as the lingering sensations in limbs that are no longer there. Virtual reality is used in therapy which helps people who experience phantom pain cope with the loss and “pain” better.

Medical Training

It is not just the patients who get to utilize virtual reality. This newly enhanced technology is now getting tapped into to train the future members of the healthcare field. Virtual reality is now used in simulations that medical students and even medical professionals can undergo to enhance their skills.

This is particularly helpful with surgeons. The normal procedure of practice would be to work on cadavers or to sit in when an actual surgeon is performing a procedure or a patient. Healthcare professionals need to be able to practice their craft with a hands-on approach. Virtual reality provides that.

While there were some voices of concern due to the perceived cost of VR simulations, which technology advancing more and more every year, there are now lower cost virtual reality equipment available. Also, the software gets better every year—making the room for error smaller and the simulation more realistic.

After all, we will want medical staff that will be able to do what is necessary when the real thing happens.

Better Physical Therapy

One of the hardest things for patients to do at times is undergo physical therapy. After all, you can beautify a rehab center all you want but it will never be anything more than a place where people force themselves to move.

With virtual reality, patients are immersed into a completely different environment. They can do the movements that are required but in a whole different light. Simulations and software can make it seem like they are catching balls or planting things when they are not actually doing any of that. What results is a more fun workout. Why just focus on getting better when you can have fun doing it as well?

As you can see, virtual reality is having a big hand in revolutionizing healthcare. What do you think?

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