Jessie Lee Is Trying to Rob Your House in VR Bangers’ Virtual Reality!

Have you ever been robbed? No? Good for you but watch out as inside of the latest virtual reality porn fantasy from VR Bangers – one of the premium VR porn videos’ producers known for paying their attention to quality and not quantity of their VR porn experiences – this could actually happen to you easier than you may think! Wait… what? Getting robbed through virtual reality? No way! Hello! Please somebody call the police, now!

Chill out and remember that this is “only” a
VR porn fantasy! On the other hand, though… Sure, this still will be “just” a
VR porn scene and not a real life situation, but since the quality of virtual
reality porn videos is growing with every day of their existence, given certain
circumstances you might actually fell for this VR porn scene and feel like you
have been robbed for real! But why would such a company want to surprise you
with such a course of action? Well, it turns out that it is all Jessie Lee’s
fault…

“Jessie Lee is a badass chick and if you have ever seen one of her sex scenes – regardless if we are talking about these old 2D ones or virtual reality porn – you know exactly what I am talking about,” explains Xander Jones, the Producer of Virtual Reality Bangers. “We asked her to star in our newest VR porn scene, but she was the one supposed to suggest a theme for it – and that is how the idea of Mission: ImpASSible was born inside of her head.”

“According to our talented VR porn star, fucking someone who was trying to steal from you as a punishment is extremely exciting,” Jones continues. “Since we knew that we could trust this professional performer and just wanted to give her a free hand when it comes to the scenario of this latest VR porn experience, we followed her lead and created this entirely new VR porn scene about banging your thief – and we are super happy of the outcome of our cooperation with Jessie!”

6K ultra high definition resolution
introduced by VR Bangers some time ago is already quite lifelike, and sooner or
later the company will only proceed with the realism of their VR porn
experiences – one day hitting the 8K UHD barrier and maybe even further! Naturally,
the studio’s intentions were not to convince you that you have been robbed in
the real life – you are supposed to wear your VR headset and chill out to this
entirely new VR porn scene to emphasize with it as much as you can, but not to
get scared but to enjoy Mrs. Lee’s juicy pussy while punishing her for that foiled
attempt!

Ready to do that? Watching this entirely new VR porn scene in 6K ultra high definition by visiting the company’s main page on VRBangers.com to browse through their all equally immersive VR porn scenes with different themes!

The post Jessie Lee Is Trying to Rob Your House in VR Bangers Movie appeared first on Virtual Reality Reporter by VR Reporter

The mixed reality entertainment attractions franchise ‘The Void’ is coming to San Francisco. The location-based virtual reality startup will open a new franchise that will be located at the Westfield San Francisco Centre Mall which is situated in the city’s busy Market street. ‘The Void’ has not provided any specific launch date but has stated that it will be this summer.

The Void

The startup hasn’t announced an official launch date for its planned San Francisco outpost but posters are already in place at the Westfield food court giving a teaser of its planned launch this summer.

‘The Void’ provides users with a full body virtual reality experience and is currently available in eleven locations including Anaheim, CA; Dubai, UAE; Toronto, ON, Las Vegas, NV; Lindon, UT; Edmonton, AB; West Plano, TX; Glendale, CA; Orlando, FL; Genting, MY; and Santa Monica, CA. After its successful Series A funding in 2018, the startup is also planning to roll out its services in nine new locations including Washington, DC; Hollywood, CA; New York; Austin, TX; Atlanta; Philadelphia; Minneapolis; and Dallas .

The startup provides users with a combination of the state-of-the-art virtual reality technology, multisensory effects including smell and touch, physical stages with IP from some of the top players in interactive entertainment in Hollywood.

‘The Void’ is one of the many startups in the VR space that currently operate ticketed virtual reality experiences in movie theaters and malls around globe.

‘The Void’ has also entered into a partnership with Disney and ILMxLab for various location-based experiences that will include attractions such as Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire and Ralf Breaks VR. On top of the content from these partnerships, The Void has produced its own original content in-house such as the Nicodemus horror experience. All these three games were featured at its teaser posters at its San Francisco location.

‘The Void’ prides itself in offering its viewers ‘hyper-reality’ with a whole-body and fully immersive virtual reality experience that promises users mindboggling surprises at every step of the way as it takes them to worlds previously beyond their reach . The company is one of the trailblazers in the delivery of location-based virtual reality experiences.

Walmart’s tech incubator Store N°8 today launched its next startup, a VR merchandising company called Spatial&. The company offers VR experiences that enable customers to connect with merchandise, and is kicking things off by collaborating with DreamWorks Animation VR tour. At select Walmart locations across the U.S., Spatial& will set up a VR experience in the parking lot, allowing customers to visit DreamWorks’ “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” through VR. Afterwards, customers are directed to a branded, physical gift shop where they can make purchases.

The experience is meant to help DreamWorks market their film ahead of its February 22 release, while Walmart gets to hawk film merchandise to its customers.

It’s not all that different from the “exit through the gift shop” concept found at theme parks.

Upon entering the experience, customers are greeted by the film’s characters Ruffnut and Tuffnut, and are then led into a “dragon’s cave” where they’ll put on VR headsets and get seated in Positron motion VR chairs powered by the HP VR backpack.

The VR story they engage with will take them on a five-minute journey into the movie’s world, where they interact with other characters, including  Astrid, Hiccup, Toothless, Hookfang and more. During this experience, participants will have a multi-sensory encounter, thanks to hand tracking and 6DOF (6 degrees of freedom) in the Voyager VR motion chair.

When the experience wraps, customers are guided into a themed gift shop where they can buy merchandise like plush toys, action figures, DVDs, video games, and more.

Some merchandise from this collection will also be sold across 2,000 Walmart stores – not only those with the VR experience.

On the technology side, Spatial& and DreamWorks leveraged servers and workstations with Intel Xeon Scalable processors to stitch together high-res images and 360-degree VR videos. For the experience itself, the startup uses HP Windows Mixed Reality headsets, Omen by HP Mindframe Headsets, and PCs with Intel Core processors. Outside, parents can follow along with what their children are viewing via Intel-powered Omen by HP Gaming Laptops.

“We have set an extremely high bar for quality and innovation for the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, and our partners at Spatial& exceeded our expectations with their incredible work on this project,” said Abhijay Prakash, chief operating officer of DreamWorks Feature Animation, in a statement about the launch.“This latest Dragon film displays DreamWorks’ best in class creative abilities combined with state of the art advances in animation technology, and we are thrilled that this experience created by Spatial& lives up to that reputation while allowing fans to journey straight to the center of this unique world we’ve created for the film. It’s a truly exhilarating experience,” Prakash added.

Walmart says the experience will go live at 16 stores in the U.S., starting this weekend and continuing through early April.

Those locations include the following:

  • Burbank, California (1301 N Victory Place) – February 15-16
  • Pico Rivera, California (8500 Washington Boulevard) – February 17-19
  • Anaheim, California (440 Euclid Street) – February 22-23
  • San Bernardino, California (4001 Hallmark Parkway) – February 24-26
  • Las Vegas, Nevada (5200 S Fort Apache Road) – March 1-2
  • North Las Vegas, Nevada (6464 N Decatur Boulevard) – March 3-5
  • Glendale, Arizona (5010 N 95th Avenue) – March 8-9
  • Gilbert, Arizona (2501 S Market Street) – March 10-12
  • San Antonio, Texas (8923 W Military Drive) – March 15-16
  • New Braunfels, Texas (1209 S Interstate 35) – March 17-19
  • Grand Prairie, Texas (2225 I-20) – March 22-23
  • Allen, Texas (730 W Exchange Parkway) – March 24-26
  • Sugar Land, Texas (345 Highway 6) – March 29-30
  • Katy, Texas (1313 N Fry Road) – March 31-April 2
  • Rogers, Arkansas (4208 S Pleasant Crossing Boulevard) – April 5-6
  • Bentonville, Arkansas (406 S Walton Boulevard) – April 7-9

Spatial& is one of several tech startups being incubated by Walmart’s Store No. 8, which launched in 2017 to focus on retail innovation. Other businesses being incubated there include conversational commerce startup Jetblack, from Rent the Runway co-founder Jenny Fleiss; stealth startup Franklin from Wim Yogurt founder Bart Stein; and AI lab Project Kepler.

The global augmented and virtual reality market size is expected to reach over 190 billion USD by 2022. This impressive figure highlights how Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have both gone way beyond just gaming.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen the presence of these technologies in medical, real estate, manufacturing, and many other industries. It is no surprise then that we’re expecting them to have a real impact in a world that is traditionally all work and no play.

Imagine walking around in circles at the office? How about being immersed into a virtual workspace where the avatars of your colleagues appear and can engage with you? These are just some ways that VR and AR will influence the workspace in the years to come.

But, before we discuss the specific impacts that have already taken place, let’s dive deep into what these technologies really are and how they complement each other.

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4. Expert View: 3 ways VR is transforming Learning & Development

The Difference between VR and AR

VR shuts out the physical world. Once you put your headset on, you’re immediately immersed into a computer-generated environment that can either be inspired by the real world or be imaginary.

It’s taken a number of years for VR tech to create seamless virtual worlds. Some notable developments in this space have been the Google Cardboard, Oculus Rift, and Samsung Gear VR.

AR, on the other hand, takes the live view of our current reality and adds digital elements to it. Unlike VR, it doesn’t “transport” us into another reality. For AR, think the likes of the IKEA AR place app and Snapchat lenses.

These fundamental differences also mean that each technology can be applied differently in workspaces. For instance, since AR’s focus is more about adding elements to a live view, industries that require physical engagement (i.e. manufacturing) can benefit immensely from the technology.

Now that we understand exactly what these technologies are and how they are used, let’s get into how they will impact our workspaces.

4 Ways VR/AR Will Change the Workspace

1. Conferences and Meetings

This digital age has allowed us to interact and do business with people from all over the world, regardless of geography. Technologies such as Skype have for years offered us the ability to connect and chat.

VR / AR tech will enhance this idea of conducting meetings with people from all over the world. Developments are underway which will allow meeting members to enter a virtual space where they can interact with each other. They will be able to use virtual boards for brainstorming and ideas sharing. Embracing this technology can see a reduction in business travel expenses.

2. Training

Having well-trained staff is invaluable for every organization. What makes this VR/AR training extra special is that as soon as the trainees put their headsets on, they are immersed into a computer-generated world where the circumstances they deal with in the virtual world, will be similar to what they may deal with in real life. The only difference is, if they make a mistake, you can always push the reset button.

Companies such as Wal-Mart and United Parcel Service (UPS) have already embraced this technology for their staff. With UPS, in particular, they’re training their student delivery drivers. The VR headsets simulate road conditions and hazards they are likely to encounter while working and this helps them to be better prepared to handle the situation in real life.

3. On-boarding Programs for New Co-workers

A company that has fully embraced this technology by building an AR-based onboarding program is Beam. They’ve developed this program for new employees to familiarize themselves with the office, the business, and their new co-workers.

As soon as a new employee puts the headset on, they will have office-related information such as who sits where around the office, what their job is, and how they can connect with them. If the new employee wants to know more about a particular co-worker, they can simply click on that person and a video of the employee will pop up that explains who they are.

We’re still far from having this be mainstream. Considering how awkward it can be for a new employee to start work and be thrown into an office space where they don’t know the people they will be spending much of their time with, this is an excellent way to break the ice.

4. Increase in Remote Work

CEOs and managers have over the past few years realized the benefits of having remote workers. Some benefits are that remote work improves efficiency since there are fewer distractions, and employees are more likely to have greater engagements since tools like video calling for meetings and conferences are often used. An increase of VR/AR tech in workspaces will see a reduction of office staff since the required engagement will take place virtually.

Wrap Up

Great developments are taking place in the VR and AR space. Although some of these developments have already infiltrated many industries, this is just the beginning.

When it comes to the workspace, in particular, human beings have always turned to technology to enhance their productivity. Telephones, the Internet, Laptops…these technologies have been used to help us perform better at our jobs.

Without a doubt, VR and AR will add interesting elements to our work environments. Soon, we might all be walking around the office with headsets on, having conversations with avatars, and being in a virtual space with our colleagues. We might even do all this from our home offices. Only time will tell how VR and AR will truly transform our workspaces. Until then, we’ll be keeping up with the latest trends, anticipating what this exciting technology has to offer us.

Don’t forget to give us your 👏 !


How Will VR/AR Tech Change the Workspace? was originally published in AR/VR Journey: Augmented & Virtual Reality Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

HTC’s Upgraded Viveport Video: Powered by Vusr

HTC just announced its upgraded Viveport Video service, available as a free download starting today. Viveport Video is powered by Vusr Publisher, a customizable white-label VR content management and distribution platform. Utilizing Vusr Publisher, content will be delivered to all major platforms that support the Viveport Video service, including Vive and Oculus headsets.

Check out Vusr Publisher here

Please get in touch if you’d like an in-depth look at how Viveport Video will deliver a streamlined experience to users utilizing Vusr Publisher’s backend infrastructure. Secret Location, the team behind Vusr Publisher, is available to walk you through the tech, explain what it takes to bring this service to life, and show how it will support the continuous flow of content. See below for more details on Vusr Publisher.

Fact Sheet – Vusr Publisher

Product Description

Vusr Publisher is a customizable white-label VR content management and distribution platform.

Through Vusr Publisher, creators and publishers can easily publish, distribute and monetize their content from a centralized dashboard and release to their own branded applications on major head-mounted displays, including HTC Vive, Oculus Go, Oculus Rift, Google Daydream and more. Top organizations are already using this innovative solution, with over two million downloads of Vusr Publisher-powered VR apps to date.

Vusr Publisher is now being used to power Viveport Video, serving as the core backend infrastructure that allows the service to deliver a user-friendly management system, and consumer experience, for a growing library of experiences in a native VR environment.

Key Components

  • End User Apps – Templated apps facilitate distribution of immersive content across every major VR platform from a central CMS.
  • User-friendly CMS – Organizes content and information in an accessible web-based management system so VR publishers can easily upload, organize and publish content to their apps.
  • Vusr Preview App – A companion app that allows partners and stakeholders to review both published and draft content, simplifying workflow inefficiencies for VR publishers.
  • Advertising and Sponsorship – Monetization options include sponsor logo integration, 2D video advertising and in-app purchasing.

Featured Technologies

  • Patented Technology – Its patented technology lets creators share VR content across all major HMDs through a single application.
  • Real-time Interactive Experience – Creators can publish 360° video and real-time rendered experiences into an existing app, without requiring an update.
  • Automatic Transcoding – The CMS transcodes a single master video file to a range of resolutions and bit rates in preparation for streaming across multiple platforms.
  • Dynamic Adaptive Streaming – Transcoded videos feature multiple quality streams to adapt to variable bandwidth, stitched together by the Vusr player in three-second segments.
  • Procedural Rendering – The platform uses custom shader rendering, which removes complex geometry and results in faster and higher quality playback.
  • Spatial Audio – Sound is rotated in space as spherical harmonics, and then is rendered to the listener’s ear, giving a full immersive 3D sound experience.

About Secret Location

Founded in 2009 and acquired by Entertainment One (eOne) in 2016, Secret Location is reshaping the VR industry by combining cutting-edge technology with traditional storytelling. Secret Location created the first original serialized VR narrative and is the first company in the world to win a Primetime Emmy Award for a VR project. Secret Location also in-house developed Vusr’s suite of products, delivering a cloud-based content management system that offers solutions to several challenges in VR distribution such as monetization and management of location-based experiences.

Additional Information

For more about Vusr’s capabilities and future endeavors, visit: https://secretlocation.com/products.

The post HTC’s Upgraded Viveport Video: Powered by Vusr Publisher appeared first on Virtual Reality Reporter by VR Reporter

HTC Gaming, HTC’s gaming and esports division, today announced a new sponsorship of FaZe Clan. FaZe Clan has become one of the most prominent professional gaming teams in the industry, best known for their “trickshot” videos from the “Call of Duty” days. With powerhouse lineups in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Fortnite, Call of Duty, and more, FaZe Clan packs an impressive roster of streamers, esports athletes, and content creators. United Talent Agency (UTA) brokered the deal between HTC and FaZe.

VR is an exciting part of the next frontier in gaming and FaZe Clan couldn’t be more excited to kick off a partnership with HTC as leaders in this space,” says Lee Trink, CEO of FaZe Clan. “We look forward to creating a compelling partnership and welcome HTC as a new sponsor.”

HTC Gaming also announced the continued partnership with professional gaming organization, TSM. Since 2015, this robust partnership has seen the TSM organization enjoy meteoric success and growth as an organization, becoming one of the most recognized teams in gaming and Fortnite. In addition, the company has seen rapid growth and expansion into the digital space with its platform and an impressive roster of influential streamers and content creators.

“HTC and TSM share a vision of building around innovation and new technologies such as VR,” says Brad Sive, Chief Revenue Officer of TSM. “With the support and long-term commitment from HTC, we are able to engage the marketplace in revolutionary new ways. Having such a future-focused partner has been a major factor in TSM’s continued success.”

With the explosive growth of the streaming market, these partnerships present a tremendous opportunity for HTC to connect with the community through live-streamed broadcasts featuring the HTC Vive. Look for exciting upcoming streams on Vive Showcases presented by various HTC-featured live streamers.

With HTC’s foray into the gaming and influencer world, HTC Esports is expanding and evolving to become HTC Gaming. UTA has also been instrumental in advising on HTC’s shift toward Twitch lifestyle and influencers.

“HTC Esports will be expanding its brand to encompass all aspects of gaming,” Says Andrew Wu, Partner Marketing Manager for Gaming at HTC, “Gaming, to us, is a larger umbrella that includes esports. With our team working with more and more gaming influencers, especially on Twitch and YouTube platforms, we’re excited to work together with TSM and FaZe Clan’s amazing members to bring VR into the spotlight.”

To kick off the partnerships, TSM and FaZe Clan team members will participate in only the second ever Vive Summit, a live-streamed showcase of select VR games. The event, scheduled for April 10th, 2019, will be hosted by Alexia Raye, the popular content creator and Twitch streamer. Raye will also serve as the new host of Season 2 of HTC Gaming’s YouTube series, “IRL.”

“I am incredibly excited to be the host for HTC IRL. On top of getting to work with a prestigious brand and an array of amazing esports players, I look forward to the variety of activities and showcasing these players’ lives in real life!” says Raye. “I’ve been a fan of VR and the Vive for quite a while now, and own one at home to play Beat Saber all the time. I’m excited to host the HTC Vive Summit and bring together some of my best friends in the Twitch community to play Vive in person, and show how much fun VR is to everyone at home.”

To check out the Vive Summit and enjoy the VR action, tune in to the live stream at https://twitch.tv/htc at 2 PM on April 10th, 2019.

Make sure to follow HTC Gaming and its partners for updates and details:

https://twitter.com/htcgaming

https://twitter.com/TSM

https://twitter.com/FaZeClan

The post HTC Adds FaZe Clan To Growing Esports and Gaming Division; Continues Strategic Partnership With TSM appeared first on VIVE Blog.

Written by: Ben E. Atzmon, Elyse Blake, & Lea W. Silvert

Edited by: Elliot Hu-Au

Introduction

Recent decades have evidenced tremendous literature in the extraordinary benefits of meditation. Mindfulness meditation is often defined as practicing a nonjudgmental stance towards present moment experiences [1]. Meditation can be thought of as a kind of mental training that strengthens and maintains critical cognitive functions for psychological and physiological well-being [2] . As such, mindfulness meditation has been introduced into spaces of work and learning. Specifically, educators in primary school systems are especially interested in integrating mindfulness meditation into their curriculum.

Similarly, recent years have seen a tremendous upward trend in research using virtual reality (VR) technology to study, to understand, and to advance research in human development, cognition, learning, memory, psychology, and education [3] . VR technology has a unique ability to captivate, immerse, and powerfully engage the user with its contents in the present moment. With the need to focus during meditation and VR’s affordance of simulating a sense of presence and eliciting visceral emotional responses, we hypothesize that VR can be an effective tool that supports the process of practicing meditation.

In 2007, a landmark study [4] was conducted in which they found that ‘relaxing’ versus ‘anxious’ virtual environments produced relaxation or anxiety states, accordingly. More so, the effect of a relaxing environment increased quietness and happiness, and reduced negative affect, such as anger, sadness, and anxiety. Conversely, the effect of an anxious environment increased sadness and anxiety and reduced happiness and positive affect. A neutral environment produced no significant changes. This study is significant, because it suggests the use of VR as an affective medium. An affective medium is defined as a technological medium able to elicit different emotions through the interaction with its contents [5] . Furthermore, the study found that the feeling of ‘presence’ was greater in emotional environments and that people’s emotional state is influenced by the level of presence. This suggests an interaction between presence and emotion—two fundamental constructs in both VR and mindfulness research. 

VR Meditation Technology in the Classroom

In an age that values immersive classroom learning, there is a need for new technology to teach a variety of skills to students. Beyond learning content, students benefit from learning 21st century skills such as emotion regulation, resilience, and mindfulness [6]. Among existing immersive technologies, there are a variety of virtual reality meditation programs that can be used by teachers in the classroom to help teach these ‘soft skills’ to 21st century students. Using different technologies, there are a variety of companies that produce immersive simulations of meditation that teachers can use including: Guided Meditation VR on the Oculus Rift and on the HTC Vive, Guiding Star VR Meditation for Android devices, Serene and Tranquil Reality for iPhone devices.

Guiding Star VR Meditation

In the Guiding Star VR Meditation app (below), users are able to customize their practice based on their current emotional state from very calm to neutral to very anxious. The length of the meditation exercise is also customizable between 3 stages and 5 stages. The auto draw speed refers to the speed at which users may trace a pathway with their gaze from one star to another.

Guided Star Meditation menu

Stars fall across the night sky in a random pattern and the
users are instructed to synchronize their head movement and gaze in order to
create a line between the stars, see below. If at any moment the gaze or head
movements are not aligned, the line stops progressing until the gaze and head
movements are once again lined up. This takes more concentration than it
sounds! Other than feeling a little frustrated in the beginning while I was
coordinating my head movement and gaze, resulting in the line’s progression
stopping and starting, I really found the experience to be immersive and
relaxing by the end of the demonstration. The app requires users to be present
in the moment, focused on the task, which helped a novice meditator like
myself.

Guided Start Meditation

Guided Meditation VR

In other apps where there isn’t a movement-oriented task, the interaction between user and device becomes less clearly defined. For instance, in the Guided Meditation VR application for the Oculus and HTC Vive, the guiding voice tells the user to close their eyes, see below. While this is common in meditative practices, it may seem counterintuitive to users who signed up for a VR meditative experience. The graphics in the Guided Meditation VR app were vivid and required a high powered machine to interact with the application seamlessly.

Guided VR Meditation

Overall, these applications may be useful in classroom
management given that the user sits quietly without any dramatic bodily
movements. Any students that are having a hard time focusing or are off-task
could possibly benefit from a 2 to 5-minute VR meditation experience.
Additionally, there is an auditory component, so it could help muffle or drown
out the noises in the classroom allowing students to focus on the meditative
exercise. The only downside of this app is possibly incentivizing bad behavior
because VR might be novel for some students.

Tranquil Reality

Tranquil Reality

Tranquil
Reality
,
see above, is a VR meditation app for iPhones, allowing users to explore
different environments. With a 360-degree view, users are able to choose from a
variety of scenes to help escape from the real world into a VR world, to better
concentrate on meditation. Users have the option of choosing to explore the
scenes in using a cardboard or full screen mode.

Serene

Serene, a VR meditation app for iPhones,
allows users to choose a nature scene to meditate in with the tap of a finger,
see above. The user has a total of 13 scenes to choose from including a forest,
beach, pond, mountains, and butterfly garden. The app does not include a guided
meditation, but background noise accompanies the visual scene accordingly.
Users can meditate for as long as they want and are encouraged to try out full
screen or cardboard mode.

An Informal Classroom Study of VR Meditation on Student Affect  

In an informal study conducted at a nearby private university, a small sample of students participated in a brief virtual reality meditation activity. While some participants experienced an immersive, high quality VR meditation (the Guided Meditation VR app on the Oculus/HTC Vive), others experienced a more affordable and accessible VR meditation using Google Cardboard (the Guiding Star VR Meditation, Serene, Tranquil Reality apps). Self-reported results indicated that positive and negative affect were neutralized by the VR meditation activity. This means that those who began with negative emotions became less negative but also that those who began with positive emotions became less positive. Also, while there was no significant difference between type of VR, on average, participants that experienced the VR meditation with the Google Cardboard reported higher positive affect and lower negative affect than those in the Oculus/HTC Vive group. Again, this was an informal study so take these results with some caution.

Following the brief VR meditation activity, participants
completed a reflection worksheet. Many participants remarked that the
experience was generally relaxing with a few stating that the experience was
“confusing” and “disorienting”. Some respondents reported feeling “tired” prior
to the experience and reflected that they felt both “energized” and “relaxed”
following the meditation. Despite anecdotal reports of improved affect, there
were a couple participants that felt the experience was lacking. For instance,
some people that experienced the Google Cardboard found the activity made them
physically uncomfortable compared to those that experienced the Oculus/HTC
Vive. Similarly, more of the people from the Oculus/HTC Vivegroup reported feeling confused during
the VR meditation activity.

While the study was conducted on a small sample within one classroom, these mixed results suggest that virtual reality meditation seems to have an influence on students’ affective state. While the exercise was brief, and results varied between participants, experiencing VR meditation seems to have an interesting relationship with the way students think and feel. Although some students found it rewarding others found it challenging. The existing literature strongly suggests that mindfulness meditation exercises are a tool that can improve focus, emotion regulation, and resilience that educators can use in the classroom [7]. In a century where ‘soft skills’ such as these are predictive of success both in learning and work environments, VR meditation has the potential to make a great impact on students inside and outside the classroom. While the results from the classroom study indicate a neutralizing effect on both positive and negative affect, contrary to the results found by Riva et al. (2007), both studies demonstrate that people’s affective state is influenced by VR meditation experiences. Where the field is at now, it is too soon to say whether or not VR can and should replace traditional methods of mindfulness meditation. However, research suggests that there is a change in affect following simulated VR meditation experiences. It would be advantageous for further studies to explore the interaction between VR technology, positive and negative affect, and meditation in the classroom over an extended time.

[1] Tang, Holzel, & Posner (2015)

[2] Tang, Holzel & Posner (2015); Renjen & Chaudhari (2017)

[3]Srivastava, Das, & Chaudhury (2014)

[4]Riva, Mantovani, Capideville, Preziosa, Morganti, Villani, Alcaniz (2007)

[5]Riva et al. (2007)

[6]Urbani, Roshandel, Michaels, & Truesdell (2017); Witte, Gross, & Latham (2015); Zelazo & Lyons (2012)

[7]Renjen & Chaudhari (2017)

The post Meditation in VR: A Review of 4 Apps appeared first on Virtual Reality for Education.

Walmart’s tech incubator Store N°8 today launched its next startup, a VR merchandising company called Spatial&. The company offers VR experiences that enable customers to connect with merchandise, and is kicking things off by collaborating with DreamWorks Animation VR tour. At select Walmart locations across the U.S., Spatial& will set up a VR experience in the parking lot, allowing customers to visit DreamWorks’ “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” through VR. Afterwards, customers are directed to a branded, physical gift shop where they can make purchases.

The experience is meant to help DreamWorks market their film ahead of its February 22 release, while Walmart gets to hawk film merchandise to its customers.

It’s not all that different from the “exit through the gift shop” concept found at theme parks.

Upon entering the experience, customers are greeted by the film’s characters Ruffnut and Tuffnut, and are then led into a “dragon’s cave” where they’ll put on VR headsets and get seated in Positron motion VR chairs powered by the HP VR backpack.

The VR story they engage with will take them on a five-minute journey into the movie’s world, where they interact with other characters, including  Astrid, Hiccup, Toothless, Hookfang and more. During this experience, participants will have a multi-sensory encounter, thanks to hand tracking and 6DOF (6 degrees of freedom) in the Voyager VR motion chair.

When the experience wraps, customers are guided into a themed gift shop where they can buy merchandise like plush toys, action figures, DVDs, video games, and more.

Some merchandise from this collection will also be sold across 2,000 Walmart stores – not only those with the VR experience.

On the technology side, Spatial& and DreamWorks leveraged servers and workstations with Intel Xeon Scalable processors to stitch together high-res images and 360-degree VR videos. For the experience itself, the startup uses HP Windows Mixed Reality headsets, Omen by HP Mindframe Headsets, and PCs with Intel Core processors. Outside, parents can follow along with what their children are viewing via Intel-powered Omen by HP Gaming Laptops.

“We have set an extremely high bar for quality and innovation for the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, and our partners at Spatial& exceeded our expectations with their incredible work on this project,” said Abhijay Prakash, chief operating officer of DreamWorks Feature Animation, in a statement about the launch.“This latest Dragon film displays DreamWorks’ best in class creative abilities combined with state of the art advances in animation technology, and we are thrilled that this experience created by Spatial& lives up to that reputation while allowing fans to journey straight to the center of this unique world we’ve created for the film. It’s a truly exhilarating experience,” Prakash added.

Walmart says the experience will go live at 16 stores in the U.S., starting this weekend and continuing through early April.

Those locations include the following:

  • Burbank, California (1301 N Victory Place) – February 15-16
  • Pico Rivera, California (8500 Washington Boulevard) – February 17-19
  • Anaheim, California (440 Euclid Street) – February 22-23
  • San Bernardino, California (4001 Hallmark Parkway) – February 24-26
  • Las Vegas, Nevada (5200 S Fort Apache Road) – March 1-2
  • North Las Vegas, Nevada (6464 N Decatur Boulevard) – March 3-5
  • Glendale, Arizona (5010 N 95th Avenue) – March 8-9
  • Gilbert, Arizona (2501 S Market Street) – March 10-12
  • San Antonio, Texas (8923 W Military Drive) – March 15-16
  • New Braunfels, Texas (1209 S Interstate 35) – March 17-19
  • Grand Prairie, Texas (2225 I-20) – March 22-23
  • Allen, Texas (730 W Exchange Parkway) – March 24-26
  • Sugar Land, Texas (345 Highway 6) – March 29-30
  • Katy, Texas (1313 N Fry Road) – March 31-April 2
  • Rogers, Arkansas (4208 S Pleasant Crossing Boulevard) – April 5-6
  • Bentonville, Arkansas (406 S Walton Boulevard) – April 7-9

Spatial& is one of several tech startups being incubated by Walmart’s Store No. 8, which launched in 2017 to focus on retail innovation. Other businesses being incubated there include conversational commerce startup Jetblack, from Rent the Runway co-founder Jenny Fleiss; stealth startup Franklin from Wim Yogurt founder Bart Stein; and AI lab Project Kepler.

A while ago the NMBS, the Belgian train company, released the web app Train Map (https://trainmap.belgiantrain.be/). This app displays a map with the realtime train traffic.

I love this concept and I always wanted to experiment with Android ARCore. So why not create an augmented reality app where you can experience this? That would be a cool idea.

Trending AR VR Articles:

1. Five Augmented Reality Uses That Solve Real-Life Problems

2. Virtual Reality Headsets: What are the Options? Which is Right For You?

3. Expert View: 3 ways VR is transforming Learning & Development

4. Infographic: The Future of Virtual Reality

I don’t have a lot of experience with Android development, so it wasn’t easy at first. But eventually my dedication payed off. In this article I will share how I’ve created this augmented reality app.

Sceneform SDK

The Android Sceneform SDK makes it easy to work with 3D objects, without having to learn OpenGL. It’s quite straightforward, read more here.

I’ve found a 3D model of a Belgian train on the internet. Thank you Arman Y. This saved me a lot of time.

All I had to do was convert the model to OBJ with Blender and import it with the SDK plugin.

Building the map

The Sceneform SDK provides a shapefactory. This factory enables you to create simple shapes like a cube. I’ve used tiles from OpenStreetMap as a texture. My application calculates the tiles it needs and fetches it from the internet. To speed this up, I’ve created a PHP proxy script to cache the images and reduce the calls to OpenStreetMap.

Train map data

The next thing I had to do was implement the realtime data. If you inspect the Train Map website with the Chrome developer tools, you can find out that they are using socket.io to update the dots on the map. In the frame tab of this call (wss://trainmap.belgiantrain.be/socket.io/?EIO=3&transport=websocket) you can see the updates.

The socket.io server is sending JSON data to the clients. So that was awesome. All I had to do was write my own client, let it connect to the server and map the data to my own train object. The server sends an update every 10 seconds.

Animating the trains

The realtime train data contains all the trips (trains) currently active in Belgium. The server returns, among other things, the latitude, longitude, title of the train.

To animate the train I stored the previous location of the train and animated it to the next position. With these two locations I could also point the train in the correct direction.

Android provides an ObjectAnimator, this class takes parameters to define the target object that will be animated in time. In my case I’ve animated the latitude and longitude property of my train objects.

In the update function of my app I’ve set the position of my nodes (train). Only the trains in a specific radius of my center latitude and longitude were positioned on the map.

https://medium.com/media/6166c18ff3bb54353c9fc6db175ddf29/href

It was fun

It was a very good and challenging idea for a first Android AR app, using realtime data in AR. It helped me to understand the basic of Android app development.

The app works, but it’s not completely ready yet. At the moment I don’t have the intention to publish it as a fully functional app yet.

https://medium.com/media/e809589c135d55c5c92b1ae038c91015/href

Don’t forget to give us your 👏 !


Realtime train traffic in augmented reality was originally published in AR/VR Journey: Augmented & Virtual Reality Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Virtual reality (VR) has the power to create empathy for the user. Stanford University recently conducted a study and found that people who used VR to see what it would be like to lose their jobs and become homeless developed longer-lasting compassion towards the homeless compared to those who explore other media versions. VR allows people to take the storyteller’s point-of-view and take them through a day in their life. This discovery creates an important opportunity for us to leverage this power for the good of society.

“[VR] has been shown to increase people’s understanding of one another and to motivate positive social behaviors, such as donating, volunteering or cooperating with other.”[i]

It is important to note that virtual reality is not the only way to make the world a better place, but another platform. While studies have shown people to care more about a certain topic after they have experienced it through VR, the long-term effects of it are still being researched. There are sceptics such as Erik Ramirez, a professor at Barbara University, that argue that “VR might help us to cultivate sympathy, it fails to generate true empathy”[ii].

Trending AR VR Articles:

1. Five Augmented Reality Uses That Solve Real-Life Problems

2. Virtual Reality Headsets: What are the Options? Which is Right For You?

3. Expert View: 3 ways VR is transforming Learning & Development

4. Infographic: The Future of Virtual Reality

In the last decade, we find ourselves in a social, political and economic climate that demands change and transparency. An example of this is the spark of the #MeToo Movement that spread across the world with the power of social media platforms. There was an overwhelming surge of emotions surrounding this movement — some empathetic and supportive and others not as much. Regardless, the conversation evoked emotion, curiosity and willingness for change.

Virtual Reality is an industry that is projected to reach $28.3 billion by 2020[iii], with 37 million users[iv]. Virtual reality has the opportunity to ride this wave of activism and amplify women’s voices by creating content that aligns with the movement and evokes empathy.

VR in: Activism, Education and Art

There is an incredible opportunity to use this for change and showcase diverse experiences through virtual reality in order to evoke empathy in individuals that normally are not able to understand their privilege. Here are some use cases:

Activism

● 360 VR cinematic approach is able to showcase two different perspectives of the same situation. It can show a man’s and a woman’s perspective. In a result of research done by Stanford University they found that:

“the split-sphere 360° video increased the viewers’ feeling of personal responsibility for advancing gender equality in the workplace when the viewers identified themselves with the film’s female character” [v]

● Another example of a 360 VR project is Across the Line[vi] that was created to show the experience women face to get access to an abortion clinic. You step into a patient’s shoes while trying to enter an abortion clinic, where you get harassed by protesters cursing at the user.

● With her project, Complement.[vii] Lucy Bonner was able to showcase a woman’s experience walking down the street being catcalled by men.

Education

● Equal Reality is an Australian startup that is using VR for employee training on gender discrimination. Equal Reality[viii]

● Educating young boys and girls on topics of sex education has also been proven to be space for VR content. By gamifying education about STIs, Pregnancy, Intercourse and Consent, students can learn about these sensitive topics in a fun and engaging way. Read more about it here: Sex Ed in VR can Prepare Young Women for Actual Sex.[ix]

Art and Entertainment

I want to emphasize the importance of diverse voices in the arts and entertainment industry. As we start stepping into this new form of entertainment in Virtual Reality, as a society we need to be cognizant of what kind of worlds and stories we are crafting in this new medium. We have the incredible opportunity to take advantage of this blank slate in order to reinvent the arts, storytelling, games through the female experience.

Bjork

That is not to say that women have not already started making major wins in arts and specifically VR. Close to 50% of VR content participating in major film festivals, such as Sundance and New York Film Festival was created by women, Diane Evans states in her article, In Virtual Reality, Women Run the World[x].

A Call to Action

Virtual reality is a parallel universe that mimics our reality and we have the opportunity to shape what can go into it. It is important to think about the moral fabric and culture of the content that is being created in this parallel virtual world. Let’s harness it for good.

To the content platforms: Consider creating content that reaches wider audiences in order to get more users and at the same time elevating their voices.

Current and future VR users: Don’t be afraid to step into someone else’s shoes and see their point of view. Empathy is good for you.

[i] Shashkevich, Alex. “Virtual Reality Can Help Make People More Empathetic.” Virtual Reality Can Help Make People More Compassionate Compared to Other Media, New Stanford Study Finds, 16 Oct. 2018, news.stanford.edu/2018/10/17/virtual-reality-can-help-make-people-empathetic/.

[ii] Ramirez, Erick. “It’s Dangerous to Think Virtual Reality Is an Empathy Machine — Erick Ramirez | Aeon Ideas.” Aeon, Aeon, 26 Oct. 2018, aeon.co/ideas/its-dangerous-to-think-virtual-reality-is-an-empathy-machine.

[iii] “Virtual Reality Set for Exponential Growth by 2020.” INDVSTRVS, 3 Jan. 2018, indvstrvs.com/virtual-reality-set-for-exponential-growth-by-2020/.

[iv] Gordon, Kyle. “Topic: Virtual Reality (VR).” Statista, Statista, www.statista.com/topics/2532/virtual-reality-vr/.

[v] Aitamurto, Tanja. “The Power of Virtual Reality in Advancing Gender Equality.” Medium, 3 May 2018, medium.com/@tanjaaitamurto/the-power-of-virtual-reality-in-advancing-gender-equality-6bf847df4db4.

[vi] “Across the Line.” Emblematic, emblematicgroup.com/experiences/across-the-line/.

[vii] Bonner, Lucy M. “Compliment.” LMB | Compliment, lucymbonner.com/compliment.html.

[viii] “- Equal Reality Diversity and Inclusion Training.” Equal Reality, 29 Aug. 2018, equalreality.com/.

[ix] https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/bmvgaq/sex-ed-in-vr-can-prepare-young-women-for-actual-sex

[x] Evans, Dayna. “In Virtual Reality, Women Run the World.” The Cut, The Cut, 5 Oct. 2016, www.thecut.com/2016/09/virtual-reality-women-run-the-world-c-v-r.html.

Don’t forget to give us your 👏 !


Striving for Diversity and Gender Equality With Virtual Reality was originally published in AR/VR Journey: Augmented & Virtual Reality Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

One of the most interesting aspects of the Japanese culture is its harmonious blend of the modern and the traditional and of its little quirks and idiosyncrasies. The hostess culture is particularly deeply embedded into the Japanese social fabric and one developer is about to take it a step further by offering a compensated hostess experience through virtual reality.

This is not the first time that a Japanese company has created a compensated VR experience. The previous creations have however relied on delivering the experience through compensated virtual reality romance games.

Given the impersonal nature of the hostess bar experience where there are no “real” feelings involved between the customer and the hostess, it lends itself easily to a virtual rendering of the same experience. In your traditional hostess bar, the male customer gets their ego massaged by pretty young women who shower them with attention and girlish laughter but who aren’t really in love or interested in them. The emotions aren’t really 100% genuine even though some of the women and the men immerse themselves in this experience with such élan that the feelings, and the overall experience, may momentarily appear to be real, even to the participants.

In the latest virtual reality project, a Japanese media company Ichikara has created a virtual café where customers can sit and chat with young ladies while playing games and sipping drinks in the digital space.

Called Yumenographia or Yemenographia, the virtual café enables customers to get compensated companionship via virtual reality. The user puts on a virtual reality headset (Oculus Rift) that immerses them in a store or café where they can choose from a cast of cute anime avatars that they want to talk to or play with. Depending on the time, users can pay a small fee and enjoy spending some quality and fun time with the virtual cast.

Yumenographia

A major difference between Ichikara’s Yumenographia and other Japanese virtual reality dating simulator games is that in this case, the girls that the customers will be spending time with virtually aren’t pre-programmed or controlled by some artificial intelligence engine. Instead, the avatars in the VR creation are actually those of a real Yumenographia employee that will be interacting with the hostess bar customers remotely in real-time.

The developer has also included several games like the rock-paper scissors in its list of available services on Yumenographia that the participants can play together. The list of games is an indication that VR experience will lean more towards the chaste interactions at its virtual café as opposed to the typically innuendo-laden conversations associated with the real hostess bars. The more nuanced and less explicit approach may be designed to appeal to the otaku demographic that the virtual reality experience will likely attract which typically frowns at spending time in a hostess bar.

The developer has not yet revealed the launch date for Yumenographia although it has scheduled various pre-open preview dates on April 19th, 20th, 29th and 30th which will be held at the Kanda neighborhood in Tokyo.

Walmart’s tech incubator Store N°8 today launched its next startup, a VR merchandising company called Spatial&. The company offers VR experiences that enable customers to connect with merchandise, and is kicking things off by collaborating with DreamWorks Animation VR tour. At select Walmart locations across the U.S., Spatial& will set up a VR experience in the parking lot, allowing customers to visit DreamWorks’ “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” through VR. Afterwards, customers are directed to a branded, physical gift shop where they can make purchases.

The experience is meant to help DreamWorks market their film ahead of its February 22 release, while Walmart gets to hawk film merchandise to its customers.

It’s not all that different from the “exit through the gift shop” concept found at theme parks.

Upon entering the experience, customers are greeted by the film’s characters Ruffnut and Tuffnut, and are then led into a “dragon’s cave” where they’ll put on VR headsets and get seated in Positron motion VR chairs powered by the HP VR backpack.

The VR story they engage with will take them on a five-minute journey into the movie’s world, where they interact with other characters, including  Astrid, Hiccup, Toothless, Hookfang and more. During this experience, participants will have a multi-sensory encounter, thanks to hand tracking and 6DOF (6 degrees of freedom) in the Voyager VR motion chair.

When the experience wraps, customers are guided into a themed gift shop where they can buy merchandise like plush toys, action figures, DVDs, video games, and more.

Some merchandise from this collection will also be sold across 2,000 Walmart stores – not only those with the VR experience.

On the technology side, Spatial& and DreamWorks leveraged servers and workstations with Intel Xeon Scalable processors to stitch together high-res images and 360-degree VR videos. For the experience itself, the startup uses HP Windows Mixed Reality headsets, Omen by HP Mindframe Headsets, and PCs with Intel Core processors. Outside, parents can follow along with what their children are viewing via Intel-powered Omen by HP Gaming Laptops.

“We have set an extremely high bar for quality and innovation for the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, and our partners at Spatial& exceeded our expectations with their incredible work on this project,” said Abhijay Prakash, chief operating officer of DreamWorks Feature Animation, in a statement about the launch.“This latest Dragon film displays DreamWorks’ best in class creative abilities combined with state of the art advances in animation technology, and we are thrilled that this experience created by Spatial& lives up to that reputation while allowing fans to journey straight to the center of this unique world we’ve created for the film. It’s a truly exhilarating experience,” Prakash added.

Walmart says the experience will go live at 16 stores in the U.S., starting this weekend and continuing through early April.

Those locations include the following:

  • Burbank, California (1301 N Victory Place) – February 15-16
  • Pico Rivera, California (8500 Washington Boulevard) – February 17-19
  • Anaheim, California (440 Euclid Street) – February 22-23
  • San Bernardino, California (4001 Hallmark Parkway) – February 24-26
  • Las Vegas, Nevada (5200 S Fort Apache Road) – March 1-2
  • North Las Vegas, Nevada (6464 N Decatur Boulevard) – March 3-5
  • Glendale, Arizona (5010 N 95th Avenue) – March 8-9
  • Gilbert, Arizona (2501 S Market Street) – March 10-12
  • San Antonio, Texas (8923 W Military Drive) – March 15-16
  • New Braunfels, Texas (1209 S Interstate 35) – March 17-19
  • Grand Prairie, Texas (2225 I-20) – March 22-23
  • Allen, Texas (730 W Exchange Parkway) – March 24-26
  • Sugar Land, Texas (345 Highway 6) – March 29-30
  • Katy, Texas (1313 N Fry Road) – March 31-April 2
  • Rogers, Arkansas (4208 S Pleasant Crossing Boulevard) – April 5-6
  • Bentonville, Arkansas (406 S Walton Boulevard) – April 7-9

Spatial& is one of several tech startups being incubated by Walmart’s Store No. 8, which launched in 2017 to focus on retail innovation. Other businesses being incubated there include conversational commerce startup Jetblack, from Rent the Runway co-founder Jenny Fleiss; stealth startup Franklin from Wim Yogurt founder Bart Stein; and AI lab Project Kepler.

Walmart’s tech incubator Store N°8 today launched its next startup, a VR merchandising company called Spatial&. The company offers VR experiences that enable customers to connect with merchandise, and is kicking things off by collaborating with DreamWorks Animation VR tour. At select Walmart locations across the U.S., Spatial& will set up a VR experience in the parking lot, allowing customers to visit DreamWorks’ “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” through VR. Afterwards, customers are directed to a branded, physical gift shop where they can make purchases.

The experience is meant to help DreamWorks market their film ahead of its February 22 release, while Walmart gets to hawk film merchandise to its customers.

It’s not all that different from the “exit through the gift shop” concept found at theme parks.

Upon entering the experience, customers are greeted by the film’s characters Ruffnut and Tuffnut, and are then led into a “dragon’s cave” where they’ll put on VR headsets and get seated in Positron motion VR chairs powered by the HP VR backpack.

The VR story they engage with will take them on a five-minute journey into the movie’s world, where they interact with other characters, including  Astrid, Hiccup, Toothless, Hookfang and more. During this experience, participants will have a multi-sensory encounter, thanks to hand tracking and 6DOF (6 degrees of freedom) in the Voyager VR motion chair.

When the experience wraps, customers are guided into a themed gift shop where they can buy merchandise like plush toys, action figures, DVDs, video games, and more.

Some merchandise from this collection will also be sold across 2,000 Walmart stores – not only those with the VR experience.

On the technology side, Spatial& and DreamWorks leveraged servers and workstations with Intel Xeon Scalable processors to stitch together high-res images and 360-degree VR videos. For the experience itself, the startup uses HP Windows Mixed Reality headsets, Omen by HP Mindframe Headsets, and PCs with Intel Core processors. Outside, parents can follow along with what their children are viewing via Intel-powered Omen by HP Gaming Laptops.

“We have set an extremely high bar for quality and innovation for the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, and our partners at Spatial& exceeded our expectations with their incredible work on this project,” said Abhijay Prakash, chief operating officer of DreamWorks Feature Animation, in a statement about the launch.“This latest Dragon film displays DreamWorks’ best in class creative abilities combined with state of the art advances in animation technology, and we are thrilled that this experience created by Spatial& lives up to that reputation while allowing fans to journey straight to the center of this unique world we’ve created for the film. It’s a truly exhilarating experience,” Prakash added.

Walmart says the experience will go live at 16 stores in the U.S., starting this weekend and continuing through early April.

Those locations include the following:

  • Burbank, California (1301 N Victory Place) – February 15-16
  • Pico Rivera, California (8500 Washington Boulevard) – February 17-19
  • Anaheim, California (440 Euclid Street) – February 22-23
  • San Bernardino, California (4001 Hallmark Parkway) – February 24-26
  • Las Vegas, Nevada (5200 S Fort Apache Road) – March 1-2
  • North Las Vegas, Nevada (6464 N Decatur Boulevard) – March 3-5
  • Glendale, Arizona (5010 N 95th Avenue) – March 8-9
  • Gilbert, Arizona (2501 S Market Street) – March 10-12
  • San Antonio, Texas (8923 W Military Drive) – March 15-16
  • New Braunfels, Texas (1209 S Interstate 35) – March 17-19
  • Grand Prairie, Texas (2225 I-20) – March 22-23
  • Allen, Texas (730 W Exchange Parkway) – March 24-26
  • Sugar Land, Texas (345 Highway 6) – March 29-30
  • Katy, Texas (1313 N Fry Road) – March 31-April 2
  • Rogers, Arkansas (4208 S Pleasant Crossing Boulevard) – April 5-6
  • Bentonville, Arkansas (406 S Walton Boulevard) – April 7-9

Spatial& is one of several tech startups being incubated by Walmart’s Store No. 8, which launched in 2017 to focus on retail innovation. Other businesses being incubated there include conversational commerce startup Jetblack, from Rent the Runway co-founder Jenny Fleiss; stealth startup Franklin from Wim Yogurt founder Bart Stein; and AI lab Project Kepler.

The perspective of VR & AR in retail according to my friends (and I guess by the majority of Super Bowl audience as well)

The subject that I‘d like to bring here is a consequence of a presentation and discussion that I did and took place last week at Laval Virtual, in France.

Talking about immersive and interactive experiences in the largest trade floor dedicated to VR/AR worldwide, in Laval Virtual. How did I reach there? Let me contextualize it. There are some months that I’ve been immersing in the world of virtual and augmented reality. That started to go deeper when I met Max, Massimiliano Minissale, founder of Lab XR and Blumenlab. Thanks to Max, my knowledge and vision related to VR/AR has amplified strongly. 1 month ago Max asked me if I could replace him in a conference and panel in Laval Virtual which would have as the main theme: Immersive Retail. Well, to talk about a topic that I’m still learning and to participate in a debate with its specialists, it’s a challenge. I decided to accept the challenge with the condition of having Max‘s support. As everything went well, this article intends to share the inputs that I presented in the conference.

The subject

“The challenges involved in the Extended Reality spectrum for reshaping the Retail & E-commerce landscape” as a subject, was defined to be a complement discussion for the industry. Besides the importance to see what the market is actually doing with case studies and, besides the need to analyze the performance, results, investments, and projections related to VR/AR, it’s fundamental to point out what are the XR’s dares related to its moment/future.

Before I start the research for the presentation, I asked to some friends their thoughts about virtual / augmented reality in retail. Their vision: the convenience of shopping in their home — preferable from their living room, into a department store in anywhere in the world. The facility to try the products virtually and paying for it directly without pulling out their credit card.

Trending AR VR Articles:

1. Mario Kart in a real vehicle with VR!

2. How XR Can Unleash Cognition

3. Oculus Go, the Nintendo Switch of VR

4. Expert View: 3 ways VR is transforming Learning & Development

Well, that reality is not so far away. So, going straight to the point, what are the implications for achieving that?

Extended Reality education — understanding its solutions and technologies

What is exactly a virtual reality ? And an augmented reality ? What is the difference between them ? Mixed reality, another concept ?! Well, in order to move forward and mainstream those immersive & interactive technologies for the retail industry stakeholders — shoppers, retailers, marketers, it’s crucial to explain the XR spectrum and clarify its nuances.

Extended Reality spectrum

For facilitating, let’s see an overview of what is the Extended Reality (XR) spectrum and its technology solutions.

  • Augmented Reality (AR): overlays digital information onto the physical (real) world of the user through a mobile application or a social network app (currently, many filters AR are been used on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat).
  • WEBAR: it’s the same concept but its usability is directly through a web browser (Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox).
  • Virtual Reality (VR): immerse the user in a virtual world through a head-mounted display (HMD), a headset. Some example of VR headsets: Oculus Rift (Facebook’s VR headset), Vive (HTC’s product), PlayStation VR and Daydream (Google’s VR headset).
  • WEBVR: the user can interact and watch a 360º video using a browser but its experience will be not complete and rich as experiencing the VR using a headset.
  • Mixed Reality (MR): a hybrid reality which merges the real and virtual worlds. There, physical and digital objects co-exist and interact. It requires a headset for experiencing it. Some of examples of MR headsets: Microsoft HoloLens and Magic Leap (its has Google and Alibaba as investors).
Overview: extended reality spectrum and its tech solutions

Imagine that each of those solutions requires a specific development based on the platform, system or device involved. For developing an XR project in an effective way it must know and meet the specification of the technology adopted respecting its limitations without impact the final end result. So the same concept of a project can be experienced differently depending on the device or mobile operating system of the costumer for example. That context is going to be even harder if you think in how many other players have been working in new devices and platforms now. The ideal, from the perspective of the complexity for developing an XR project, would be standardize the tech development of each solution — but let’s consider that task as hard level difficulty to gain considering the dynamic and competition of the industry.

We should, therefore, count with multiple tech experts as a solution for carrying out an immersive project a medium/long term. The concept of “test and learn” should be applied to those emerging tech solutions taking into that scenario. Or picking just one solution to invest and hope it will be assertive.

Market professional restructuration for providing immersive technologies

The key driver for getting an effective extended reality project is to develop it REALISTIC and EASY TO USE software. Provide a high-quality content, encourage a well-done interaction and provide powerful usability. Those drivers will put you halfway advanced for reaching the goals of a retail player: to increase sales conversion and reduce return rate (for e-commerce).

Same consumers’ questions, different answers’ formats.

What will this t-shirt look like on me? What will this couch look like in my home? I’d like to know more information about this tennis.

The costumer’s question are the same, what it has changed is the possibilities to reach and approach them.

Even from the retailer perspective, the data for understanding its customers interests can be answered through technology more effectively.

But for attending those issues through immersive and interactive technologies is demands a change in the market. From now, new skills are demanded to the companies which want to include VR/AR in their strategy.

Overview: VR/AR technology involvement

Take look again in how many technologies are involved in that environment. Believe me, there are just a few presented in the picture.

When it comes to Retail and E-commerce industries besides the technology aspect there are also other needs, such as the 3D animation of the products. For a VR project it can involve a 360º video production, the voice over for complementing the narrative, its translation according to the markets desired by the retailer, an adaptation of the gestures based on the regional culture etc. All those tasks can be a challenge if the company is not structured /planned.

Outsourcing or making it In-House ?

Well, that is a key question for those who intend to integrate an immersive experience strategy on its operation. Should I avoid part of the headache then outsource that development or, should I internalize it in order to save cost? From my point of view, it depends. It’s not always that internalizing resources will save costs. The same for the opposite, outsourcing can give many headaches, mainly if you don’t pick the correct partner/vendor. Let’s pick up as an example an e-commerce company which intends to integrate Augmented Reality in its strategy. If we analyze its process flow, to include 3D images production of its products could be a step to be internalized taking in mind that today there are many tools to facilitate that kind of production. Training or hiring a professional for covering that task and integrate it into the process flow can be doable. But internalizing the technology development can be an issue due to the strong dynamic in the XR landscape, its technology requirements/specifications by the system, platforms, devices, and all its variation. It would require having developer experts according to the adopted XR technology and also making the efforts to keep them frequently update with the market changes.

Providing shopping experience everywhere: physically, digital and social

The customer journey has changed with new technologies adoption. The possibility for the retail and e-commerce brands to offer an immersive and interactive experience physically, digital and social is redesigning the way how they connect with their customers.

Customer’s journey being adapted according to technology advance

Immerse the costumer in a virtual fitting/dressing room. Offer a virtual test drive. Overlay digital information onto the physical world: furniture, a clothing, a shoe, any other information for supporting the product’s sales.

Identify the key information to digitalize, provide good usability to experience, offer a powerful interface to attract, as consequence: higher sales conversion, strong brand awareness, reduction of e-commerce return rate.

According to BRP consulting:

32% of consumers say are likely to shop at a store with AR experience but only 9% of retailers offer the technology. 29% of them plan to offer AR in the next 3 years.

29% of consumers are likely to shop at a store with VR experience but only 7% of retailers offer the technology. 23% of them plan to offer AR in the next 3 years.

Automative industry

  • According to McKinsey & Company, the average of visits in an auto dealership by a car buyer is 1.6 today. 10 years ago, its average was 5.
  • An Ebay’s a study show that 63% of consumers were likely or even extremely likely to buy a car online in the future.

The consumers talk, the industry advances.

Engineers adopting AR tech for car design

Volvo & Microsoft HoloLens

Volvo has internalized the augmented reality technology for its engineers designing cars. Also allows the customers to see car features, colors, alternative options of the Volvo car through AR technology.

Possibility to verify with more details the car structure and features

Audi & Holoride

Audi has created a Virtual Reality startup for providing immersive experience inside the car. Their glasses count with a special feature: it combines XR with vehicle movement and navigation data in real time. Audi announced during the CES 2019 also a partnership with Disney for offering thematic VR experiences, like “The Avengers”.

https://medium.com/media/6c667fa6e3d8bddf0266fe5626e118d1/href

Fashion retail industry

  • According to NOSTO (company specialized in shopping experience based in Helsinki), 76% of large fashion retailer traffic comes from mobile devices, compared to 61% for their smaller counterparts.
  • A study realized by Yes Marketing, indicates that 57% of consumers said they have used a retailer’s mobile app while in stores, often to redeem or find coupons or discover items on sale.

If we analyze those insights we can see a clear augmented reality opportunity. See what some brands are already doing:

Nike & Facebook Messenger filtre AR

“The secret knock” — project AR realized by Nike

Nike explored augmented reality and gamification strategies for revealing to users a secret sneaker: limited edition shoe branded by basketball star Kyrie Irving. This project using camera effects platform to employ augmented reality (AR) with Messenger bots was very successful: sold out of all sneakers’ edition in less than one hour.

Nike is investing heavily in Augmented Reality strategies

Sephora’s Virtual Artist

Sephora’s app — has been improved with the advance of AR technology

Sephora developed an AR beauty app which allows users to “virtually try on” various products that could be purchased from Sephora stores. Through face recognition the app mobile follows the user face movement in real-time with the selected makeup applied.

Several brands testing the AR and VR technologies

VIRTUAL FITTING ROOM: Pulsion’s “magic mirror” and Zara AR app
BALMAIN PARIS: Mobile App with Augmented Reality + Virtual Reality in store

BALMAIN PARIS “First-Of-Its-Kind VR Experience”: the brand provides a brand experience through a virtual journey to the brand fan where he can see the creative process designed to trigger the feelings of Balmain’s creator during the genesis of his collections: “everything from risk and doubt to elation”.

Home Improvements & Furniture industries

Enables shoppers to virtually place home furniture, decor and remodeling products, from sofas to bathroom vanities, where they want them in their homes, true to scale.

https://medium.com/media/fb0f25c435aa3f7b9a4c56dddec9dcd3/href

Following that concept, Houzz developed the app My Room 3D tool which had over 2 million users in 2018 and contributed to an 11x sales uplift.

IKEA followed the same way with its Place ARKit app.

IKEA Place ARKit app: avoid mistakes and returns by allowing for 3D at-home furniture preview.

Lowe’s as well invested in augmented and virtual reality for offering to its clients immersive experiences related to daily needs.

The Measured app: the app turns a phone into a digital tape measure and provides instant measurements. Holoroom How To: VR in-store clinic where customers can learn basic Do It Yourself skills, including supplies needed and steps to completion.

E-commerce industry

Last but not least some inputs regarding the e-commerce industry, possibly the industry most influenced by the augmented reality.

According to ThinkMobiles:

  • 70% of e-shoppers are interested to use VR when shopping for clothes and accessories.
  • Every third online purchase is being returned. Virtual commerce app can reduce return by 23%.

https://medium.com/media/efb2c573c4aa2639dc8f1ecc43271c63/href

Amazon & Oculus Rift

Amazon has invested in virtual reality. During its “Amazon Prime Day” there were produced VR kiosks: users stick on an Oculus Rift headset and are transported to a city filled with Prime Day products where they can walk through different rooms for different sections of a store — from bath and beauty, to technology and then toys.

Alibaba is using AR to change the shopping experience.

Alibaba’s Platform Taobao Buy, expected to be released soon

Alibaba has been investing heavily in new technologies, and AR/VR are part of them.

VR shopping for Singles Days with Buy+ by Alibaba in 2016

Fresh news: Alibaba just acquired the Israeli startup InfinityAR: its technology can turn any device into a powerful content augmentation platform, using basic and affordable hardware: simple stereoscopic cameras.

However, its tests and investments in immersive technology have started years ago, some of Alibaba’s initiatives:

  • The first complete VR shopping experience, Buy+, aimed to let customers buy things in virtual reality. The platform was promoted strongly during the Single’s Day in 2016.

https://medium.com/media/0f91b3b5a3379ba87f362b29a39f2e61/hrefhttps://medium.com/media/86aa007f3fcac6149b4c08160247d103/href

  • AR livestream for the Taobao Maker Festival: customers standing in the front of a big screen can interact with others in the screen. It was more like a marketing strategy for attracting more customers, which is one of the most important use cases for AR.
  • In partnership with Microsoft HoloLens, Alibaba is going to launch Taobao Buy, shopping experience that uses AR technology to bring 3D versions of products into the real world. To bring this experience to life, a 3,200-square-feet ‘futuristic shopping district’ will be assembled in Hangzhou.

The new marketplaces

Wannaby: an AR commerce company

A startup from Minsk, Belarus developed a mobile AR platform & tech so consumers can Try-On shoes, jewellery and apparel before making a purchase. A real AR commerce company.

Positive scenario: stay tuned with time to market

Virtual and Augmented Reality is potentially considered to be the next big computing platform. We’ve faced it with the mobile era.

In 2018, it was estimated 24 million of VR devices sold globally. The AR smart glasses worths $ 1.2 billion. (according to CCS Insight)

Goldman Sachs forecasts in 2020 for VR/AR softwares industry in retail $ 0.5 billion of revenue and 9.5 million estimated users. That amount will triplicate in 2025.

Virtual and Augmented Reality is already Business Reality

  • Reduce Marketing costs
  • Reduce Product returns
  • Offer efficient Analytics and data
  • Increase Sales conversion
  • Make strong Brand awareness

« Many retailers are still struggling with integrating mobile into their strategies even as the pace of technological innovation speeds up. As a result, many retailers will be unprepared for the shift to virtual reality. » Retail Innovation: U.S. Retail Technology Insights and Analysis

Scenario of a not planned immersive experience

The XR race in the Retail and E-commerce industries already started. Main players took the initiative and now mid-level ones start to play.

It’s time to get your VR/AR headsite. Or an AR app. Or just a webAR but take the initiative.

I’d like to thanks Grégory MAUBON for the opportunity to share some insights related to VR/AR techonolgies. Also thanks Nadia Mandich, Philippe Bornstein, Charlotte Landry and Frederic Purgal for the rich and constructive debate promoted regarding to this topic at Laval Virtual.

One more time, thanks Massimiliano Minissale for rely on me for presenting that.

Don’t forget to give us your 👏 !


Challenges in the VR/AR spectrum for reshaping the Retail & E-commerce landscapes was originally published in AR/VR Journey: Augmented & Virtual Reality Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Fun augmented reality with AI-powered body tracking filters in real time

There is a new Apple app in town that has all the makings of a potential Pokemon-esque social media craze around the world. Posemoji offers users a new way of expressing themselves via movement with body tracking filters and effects and is available for free download on iOS.

It looks like something that meet soon pick up a Pokemon-like crazy thanks to the creative ways in which it generates natural body pose augmented reality filters.

In various images shared via Twitter, follow the Twitter hashtag #Posemoji, people move and lines of lights, effects or emojis move in concert with their performances thereby generating a mesmerizing visual effect.

You don’t need some sophisticated AR smartglasses to experience Posemoji. All that you will need is an Apple iOS device. The app is freely downloadable on the iStore. The app enables a user to record videos where the augmented reality content tracks the user’s hand and body movements to create various kinds of special effects. Blow a kiss, for example, and watch a cute pink kiss symbol blow off from the mouth or make some spontaneous hand movements to draw a line in space.

One effect shows a London street dancer dancing to some a hit song while juggling what appears to be a electric current or streak of wavy light that shifts color from red to blue:

In yet another creative Posemoji video, a young lady performs dance moves to the sound of some background music while spreading their hands out to roll out and contract a virtual X-ray style block that they can move around their face, torso and other parts of the body in a very entertaining manner:

One Posemoji video by user @SarahMidMO describes a “Slow clap…with my virtual hand sanitizer” in which she appears to clap with red hot (electro)static flames flaming in her hands:-

In another video shared by Twitter user @tomemrich, he performs various  special effects on Posemoji including one where he spreads his arms out to unveil a colorful arch of rainbow and much more:-

The Posemoji app does pose estimation and accurate body tracking through machine learning that is based on Viro’s proprietary AR/VR engine. The app then generates 60 frames-per-second visuals on virtually any iOS device which supports ArKit.

The app comes with a fairly good selection of free special effects. However, if you want unroll more special effects, you will have to enable them via in-app purchases where a single effect goes for $0.99. To unlock the complete bundle of special effects available via in-app purchases, you will pay $7.99

You can have a friend record your moves and special effects or simply reverse the camera view, put your iOS device in an upright position and start recording your Posemoji video using the app’s 5 second countdown timer. After recording the footage, you can share it with your friends and the larger Posemoji community on social media or simply save it to your camera roll.

The app also offers the option to record a background sound with the Posemoji videos or you can choose to mute all sounds while still having the freedom to add separate music to your videos at a later date.

The visuals may not be as slick and seamless as they appear in the videos we shared but they are still pretty good and will probably be more refined as Posemoji improves the app over time.

The HBO sci-fi blockbuster Westworld has been an inspiring look into what humanlike robots can do for us in the meatspace. While current technologies are not quite advanced enough to make Westworld a reality, startups are attempting to replicate the sort of human-robot interaction it presents in virtual space.

Rct studio, which just graduated from Y Combinator and ranked among TechCrunch’s nine favorite picks from the batch, is one of them. The “Westworld” in the TV series, a far-future theme park staffed by highly convincing androids, lets visitors live out their heroic and sadistic fantasies free of consequences.

There are a few reasons why rct studio, which is keeping mum about the meaning of its deliberately lower-cased name for later revelation, is going for the computer-generated world. Besides the technical challenge, playing a fictional universe out virtually does away the geographic constraint. The Westworld experience, in contrast, happens within a confined, meticulously built park.

“Westworld is built in a physical world. I think in this age and time, that’s not what we want to get into,” Xinjie Ma, who heads up marketing for rct, told TechCrunch. “Doing it in the physical environment is too hard, but we can build a virtual world that’s completely under control.”

Rct studio wants to build the Westworld experience in virtual worlds. / Image: rct studio

The startup appears suitable to undertake the task. The eight-people team is led by Cheng Lyu, the 29-year-old entrepreneur who goes by Jesse and helped Baidu build up its smart speaker unit from scratch after the Chinese search giant acquired his voice startup Raven in 2017. Along with several of Raven’s core members, Lyu left Baidu in 2018 to start rct.

“We appreciate a lot the support and opportunities given by Baidu and during the years we have grown up dramatically,” said Ma, who previously oversaw marketing at Raven.

Let AI write the script

Immersive films, or games, depending on how one wants to classify the emerging field, are already available with pre-written scripts for users to pick from. Rct wants to take the experience to the next level by recruiting artificial intelligence for screenwriting.

At the center of the project is the company’s proprietary engine, Morpheus. Rct feeds it mountains of data based on human-written storylines so the characters it powers know how to adapt to situations in real time. When the codes are sophisticated enough, rct hopes the engine can self-learn and formulate its own ideas.

“It takes an enormous amount of time and effort for humans to come up with a story logic. With machines, we can quickly produce an infinite number of narrative choices,” said Ma.

To venture through rct’s immersive worlds, users wear a virtual reality headset and control their simulated self via voice. The choice of audio came as a natural step given the team’s experience with natural language processing, but the startup also welcomes the chance to develop new devices for more lifelike journeys.

“It’s sort of like how the film Ready Player One built its own gadgets for the virtual world. Or Apple, which designs its own devices to carry out superior software experience,” explained Ma.

On the creative front, rct believes Morpheus could be a productivity tool for filmmakers as it can take a story arc and dissect it into a decision-making tree within seconds. The engine can also render text to 3D images, so when a filmmaker inputs the text “the man throws the cup to the desk behind the sofa,” the computer can instantly produce the corresponding animation.

Path to monetization

Investors are buying into rct’s offering. The startup is about to close its Series A funding round just months after banking seed money from Y Combinator and Chinese venture capital firm Skysaga, it told TechCrunch.

The company has a few imminent tasks before achieving its Westworld dream. For one, it needs a lot of technical talent to train Morpheus with screenplay data. No one on the team had experience in filmmaking, so it’s on the lookout for a creative head who appreciates AI’s application in films.

Rct studio’s software takes a story arc and dissects it into a decision-making tree within seconds. / Image: rct studio

“Not all filmmakers we approach like what we do, which is understandable because it’s a very mature industry, while others get excited about tech’s possibility,” said Ma.

The startup’s entry into the fictional world was less about a passion for films than an imperative to shake up a traditional space with AI. Smart speakers were its first foray, but making changes to tangible objects that people are already accustomed to proved challenging. There has been some interest in voice-controlled speakers, but they are far from achieving ubiquity. Then movies crossed the team’s mind.

“There are two main routes to make use of AI. One is to target a vertical sector, like cars and speakers, but these things have physical constraints. The other application, like Alpha Go, largely exists in the lab. We wanted something that’s both free of physical limitation and holds commercial potential.”

The Beijing and Los Angeles-based startup isn’t content with just making the software. Eventually, it wants to release its own films. The company has inked a long-term partnership with Future Affairs Administration, a Chinese sci-fi publisher representing about 200 writers, including the Hugo award-winning Cixin Liu. The pair is expected to start co-producing interactive films within a year.

Rct’s path is reminiscent of a giant that precedes it: Pixar Animation Studios . The Chinese company didn’t exactly look to the California-based studio for inspiration, but the analog was a useful shortcut to pitch to investors.

“A confident company doesn’t really draw parallels with others, but we do share similarities to Pixar, which also started as a tech company, publishes its own films, and has built its own engine,” said Ma. “A lot of studios are asking how much we price our engine at, but we are targeting the consumer market. Making our own films carry so many more possibilities than simply selling a piece of software.”

The perspective of VR & AR in retail according to my friends (and I guess by the majority of Super Bowl audience as well)

The subject that I‘d like to bring here is a consequence of a presentation and discussion that I did and took place last week at Laval Virtual, in France.

Talking about immersive and interactive experiences in the largest trade floor dedicated to VR/AR worldwide, in Laval Virtual. How did I reach there? Let me contextualize it. There are some months that I’ve been immersing in the world of virtual and augmented reality. That started to go deeper when I met Max, Massimiliano Minissale, founder of Lab XR and Blumenlab. Thanks to Max, my knowledge and vision related to VR/AR has amplified strongly. 1 month ago Max asked me if I could replace him in a conference and panel in Laval Virtual which would have as the main theme: Immersive Retail. Well, to talk about a topic that I’m still learning and to participate in a debate with its specialists, it’s a challenge. I decided to accept the challenge with the condition of having Max‘s support. As everything went well, this article intends to share the inputs that I presented in the conference.

The subject

“The challenges involved in the Extended Reality spectrum for reshaping the Retail & E-commerce landscape” as a subject, was defined to be a complement discussion for the industry. Besides the importance to see what the market is actually doing with case studies and, besides the need to analyze the performance, results, investments, and projections related to VR/AR, it’s fundamental to point out what are the XR’s dares related to its moment/future.

Before I start the research for the presentation, I asked to some friends their thoughts about virtual / augmented reality in retail. Their vision: the convenience of shopping in their home — preferable from their living room, into a department store in anywhere in the world. The facility to try the products virtually and paying for it directly without pulling out their credit card.

Trending AR VR Articles:

1. Mario Kart in a real vehicle with VR!

2. How XR Can Unleash Cognition

3. Oculus Go, the Nintendo Switch of VR

4. Expert View: 3 ways VR is transforming Learning & Development

Well, that reality is not so far away. So, going straight to the point, what are the implications for achieving that?

Extended Reality education — understanding its solutions and technologies

What is exactly a virtual reality ? And an augmented reality ? What is the difference between them ? Mixed reality, another concept ?! Well, in order to move forward and mainstream those immersive & interactive technologies for the retail industry stakeholders — shoppers, retailers, marketers, it’s crucial to explain the XR spectrum and clarify its nuances.

Extended Reality spectrum

For facilitating, let’s see an overview of what is the Extended Reality (XR) spectrum and its technology solutions.

  • Augmented Reality (AR): overlays digital information onto the physical (real) world of the user through a mobile application or a social network app (currently, many filters AR are been used on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat).
  • WEBAR: it’s the same concept but its usability is directly through a web browser (Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox).
  • Virtual Reality (VR): immerse the user in a virtual world through a head-mounted display (HMD), a headset. Some example of VR headsets: Oculus Rift (Facebook’s VR headset), Vive (HTC’s product), PlayStation VR and Daydream (Google’s VR headset).
  • WEBVR: the user can interact and watch a 360º video using a browser but its experience will be not complete and rich as experiencing the VR using a headset.
  • Mixed Reality (MR): a hybrid reality which merges the real and virtual worlds. There, physical and digital objects co-exist and interact. It requires a headset for experiencing it. Some of examples of MR headsets: Microsoft HoloLens and Magic Leap (its has Google and Alibaba as investors).
Overview: extended reality spectrum and its tech solutions

Imagine that each of those solutions requires a specific development based on the platform, system or device involved. For developing an XR project in an effective way it must know and meet the specification of the technology adopted respecting its limitations without impact the final end result. So the same concept of a project can be experienced differently depending on the device or mobile operating system of the costumer for example. That context is going to be even harder if you think in how many other players have been working in new devices and platforms now. The ideal, from the perspective of the complexity for developing an XR project, would be standardize the tech development of each solution — but let’s consider that task as hard level difficulty to gain considering the dynamic and competition of the industry.

We should, therefore, count with multiple tech experts as a solution for carrying out an immersive project a medium/long term. The concept of “test and learn” should be applied to those emerging tech solutions taking into that scenario. Or picking just one solution to invest and hope it will be assertive.

Market professional restructuration for providing immersive technologies

The key driver for getting an effective extended reality project is to develop it REALISTIC and EASY TO USE software. Provide a high-quality content, encourage a well-done interaction and provide powerful usability. Those drivers will put you halfway advanced for reaching the goals of a retail player: to increase sales conversion and reduce return rate (for e-commerce).

Same consumers’ questions, different answers’ formats.

What will this t-shirt look like on me? What will this couch look like in my home? I’d like to know more information about this tennis.

The costumer’s question are the same, what it has changed is the possibilities to reach and approach them.

Even from the retailer perspective, the data for understanding its customers interests can be answered through technology more effectively.

But for attending those issues through immersive and interactive technologies is demands a change in the market. From now, new skills are demanded to the companies which want to include VR/AR in their strategy.

Overview: VR/AR technology involvement

Take look again in how many technologies are involved in that environment. Believe me, there are just a few presented in the picture.

When it comes to Retail and E-commerce industries besides the technology aspect there are also other needs, such as the 3D animation of the products. For a VR project it can involve a 360º video production, the voice over for complementing the narrative, its translation according to the markets desired by the retailer, an adaptation of the gestures based on the regional culture etc. All those tasks can be a challenge if the company is not structured /planned.

Outsourcing or making it In-House ?

Well, that is a key question for those who intend to integrate an immersive experience strategy on its operation. Should I avoid part of the headache then outsource that development or, should I internalize it in order to save cost? From my point of view, it depends. It’s not always that internalizing resources will save costs. The same for the opposite, outsourcing can give many headaches, mainly if you don’t pick the correct partner/vendor. Let’s pick up as an example an e-commerce company which intends to integrate Augmented Reality in its strategy. If we analyze its process flow, to include 3D images production of its products could be a step to be internalized taking in mind that today there are many tools to facilitate that kind of production. Training or hiring a professional for covering that task and integrate it into the process flow can be doable. But internalizing the technology development can be an issue due to the strong dynamic in the XR landscape, its technology requirements/specifications by the system, platforms, devices, and all its variation. It would require having developer experts according to the adopted XR technology and also making the efforts to keep them frequently update with the market changes.

Providing shopping experience everywhere: physically, digital and social

The customer journey has changed with new technologies adoption. The possibility for the retail and e-commerce brands to offer an immersive and interactive experience physically, digital and social is redesigning the way how they connect with their customers.

Customer’s journey being adapted according to technology advance

Immerse the costumer in a virtual fitting/dressing room. Offer a virtual test drive. Overlay digital information onto the physical world: furniture, a clothing, a shoe, any other information for supporting the product’s sales.

Identify the key information to digitalize, provide good usability to experience, offer a powerful interface to attract, as consequence: higher sales conversion, strong brand awareness, reduction of e-commerce return rate.

According to BRP consulting:

32% of consumers say are likely to shop at a store with AR experience but only 9% of retailers offer the technology. 29% of them plan to offer AR in the next 3 years.

29% of consumers are likely to shop at a store with VR experience but only 7% of retailers offer the technology. 23% of them plan to offer AR in the next 3 years.

Automative industry

  • According to McKinsey & Company, the average of visits in an auto dealership by a car buyer is 1.6 today. 10 years ago, its average was 5.
  • An Ebay’s a study show that 63% of consumers were likely or even extremely likely to buy a car online in the future.

The consumers talk, the industry advances.

Engineers adopting AR tech for car design

Volvo & Microsoft HoloLens

Volvo has internalized the augmented reality technology for its engineers designing cars. Also allows the customers to see car features, colors, alternative options of the Volvo car through AR technology.

Possibility to verify with more details the car structure and features

Audi & Holoride

Audi has created a Virtual Reality startup for providing immersive experience inside the car. Their glasses count with a special feature: it combines XR with vehicle movement and navigation data in real time. Audi announced during the CES 2019 also a partnership with Disney for offering thematic VR experiences, like “The Avengers”.

https://medium.com/media/6c667fa6e3d8bddf0266fe5626e118d1/href

Fashion retail industry

  • According to NOSTO (company specialized in shopping experience based in Helsinki), 76% of large fashion retailer traffic comes from mobile devices, compared to 61% for their smaller counterparts.
  • A study realized by Yes Marketing, indicates that 57% of consumers said they have used a retailer’s mobile app while in stores, often to redeem or find coupons or discover items on sale.

If we analyze those insights we can see a clear augmented reality opportunity. See what some brands are already doing:

Nike & Facebook Messenger filtre AR

“The secret knock” — project AR realized by Nike

Nike explored augmented reality and gamification strategies for revealing to users a secret sneaker: limited edition shoe branded by basketball star Kyrie Irving. This project using camera effects platform to employ augmented reality (AR) with Messenger bots was very successful: sold out of all sneakers’ edition in less than one hour.

Nike is investing heavily in Augmented Reality strategies

Sephora’s Virtual Artist

Sephora’s app — has been improved with the advance of AR technology

Sephora developed an AR beauty app which allows users to “virtually try on” various products that could be purchased from Sephora stores. Through face recognition the app mobile follows the user face movement in real-time with the selected makeup applied.

Several brands testing the AR and VR technologies

VIRTUAL FITTING ROOM: Pulsion’s “magic mirror” and Zara AR app
BALMAIN PARIS: Mobile App with Augmented Reality + Virtual Reality in store

BALMAIN PARIS “First-Of-Its-Kind VR Experience”: the brand provides a brand experience through a virtual journey to the brand fan where he can see the creative process designed to trigger the feelings of Balmain’s creator during the genesis of his collections: “everything from risk and doubt to elation”.

Home Improvements & Furniture industries

Enables shoppers to virtually place home furniture, decor and remodeling products, from sofas to bathroom vanities, where they want them in their homes, true to scale.

https://medium.com/media/fb0f25c435aa3f7b9a4c56dddec9dcd3/href

Following that concept, Houzz developed the app My Room 3D tool which had over 2 million users in 2018 and contributed to an 11x sales uplift.

IKEA followed the same way with its Place ARKit app.

IKEA Place ARKit app: avoid mistakes and returns by allowing for 3D at-home furniture preview.

Lowe’s as well invested in augmented and virtual reality for offering to its clients immersive experiences related to daily needs.

The Measured app: the app turns a phone into a digital tape measure and provides instant measurements. Holoroom How To: VR in-store clinic where customers can learn basic Do It Yourself skills, including supplies needed and steps to completion.

E-commerce industry

Last but not least some inputs regarding the e-commerce industry, possibly the industry most influenced by the augmented reality.

According to ThinkMobiles:

  • 70% of e-shoppers are interested to use VR when shopping for clothes and accessories.
  • Every third online purchase is being returned. Virtual commerce app can reduce return by 23%.

https://medium.com/media/efb2c573c4aa2639dc8f1ecc43271c63/href

Amazon & Oculus Rift

Amazon has invested in virtual reality. During its “Amazon Prime Day” there were produced VR kiosks: users stick on an Oculus Rift headset and are transported to a city filled with Prime Day products where they can walk through different rooms for different sections of a store — from bath and beauty, to technology and then toys.

Alibaba is using AR to change the shopping experience.

Alibaba’s Platform Taobao Buy, expected to be released soon

Alibaba has been investing heavily in new technologies, and AR/VR are part of them.

VR shopping for Singles Days with Buy+ by Alibaba in 2016

Fresh news: Alibaba just acquired the Israeli startup InfinityAR: its technology can turn any device into a powerful content augmentation platform, using basic and affordable hardware: simple stereoscopic cameras.

However, its tests and investments in immersive technology have started years ago, some of Alibaba’s initiatives:

  • The first complete VR shopping experience, Buy+, aimed to let customers buy things in virtual reality. The platform was promoted strongly during the Single’s Day in 2016.

https://medium.com/media/0f91b3b5a3379ba87f362b29a39f2e61/hrefhttps://medium.com/media/86aa007f3fcac6149b4c08160247d103/href

  • AR livestream for the Taobao Maker Festival: customers standing in the front of a big screen can interact with others in the screen. It was more like a marketing strategy for attracting more customers, which is one of the most important use cases for AR.
  • In partnership with Microsoft HoloLens, Alibaba is going to launch Taobao Buy, shopping experience that uses AR technology to bring 3D versions of products into the real world. To bring this experience to life, a 3,200-square-feet ‘futuristic shopping district’ will be assembled in Hangzhou.

The new marketplaces

Wannaby: an AR commerce company

A startup from Minsk, Belarus developed a mobile AR platform & tech so consumers can Try-On shoes, jewellery and apparel before making a purchase. A real AR commerce company.

Positive scenario: stay tuned with time to market

Virtual and Augmented Reality is potentially considered to be the next big computing platform. We’ve faced it with the mobile era.

In 2018, it was estimated 24 million of VR devices sold globally. The AR smart glasses worths $ 1.2 billion. (according to CCS Insight)

Goldman Sachs forecasts in 2020 for VR/AR softwares industry in retail $ 0.5 billion of revenue and 9.5 million estimated users. That amount will triplicate in 2025.

Virtual and Augmented Reality is already Business Reality

  • Reduce Marketing costs
  • Reduce Product returns
  • Offer efficient Analytics and data
  • Increase Sales conversion
  • Make strong Brand awareness

« Many retailers are still struggling with integrating mobile into their strategies even as the pace of technological innovation speeds up. As a result, many retailers will be unprepared for the shift to virtual reality. » Retail Innovation: U.S. Retail Technology Insights and Analysis

Scenario of a not planned immersive experience

The XR race in the Retail and E-commerce industries already started. Main players took the initiative and now mid-level ones start to play.

It’s time to get your VR/AR headsite. Or an AR app. Or just a webAR but take the initiative.

I’d like to thanks Grégory MAUBON for the opportunity to share some insights related to VR/AR techonolgies. Also thanks Nadia Mandich, Philippe Bornstein, Charlotte Landry and Frederic Purgal for the rich and constructive debate promoted regarding to this topic at Laval Virtual.

One more time, thanks Massimiliano Minissale for rely on me for presenting that.

Don’t forget to give us your 👏 !


Challenges in the VR/AR spectrum for reshaping the Retail & E-commerce landscapes was originally published in AR/VR Journey: Augmented & Virtual Reality Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

August Taylor Is a Huge Fan of Playing With Balls in Virtual Reality!

VR Bangers has just launched a new video! Even though it is always nice to go to the pub with your friends and play a round of pool while drinking beers and checking out on local sluts, sometimes it is better to stay at the comfort of your very own house and just chill away from all these people – after all, only in such surroundings you can truly be yourself and your deepest hidden needs and urges might finally come true. But what about finding a compromise between these two scenarios? Like, for example, playing snooker in virtual reality…?

As you may probably already know, VR games are becoming more and more popular and it is no wonder that these days you can do a lot of cool stuff while being inside of immersive virtual reality – starting from waving your light saber all around the place, through having some dancing lessons and even playing some cool real-life games like the aforementioned pool for example. Yet even though the experiences of playing a round of this game could be somewhat comparable, what about that one-of-a-kind pub feeling and all these hot girls passing by the table from time to time? Well, it turns out that you can actually get that in virtual reality, too…

One of the premium VR porn movies producers, VR Bangers – the company known for being the first studio on the virtual reality porn market to introduce the VR porn scenes in full 6K ultra high definition – has decided to create their latest VR porn scene with August Taylor in exactly the aforementioned surroundings, not only letting their members to play a match of VR snooker, but also giving them probably one of the hottest opponents in the entire world – or, if August is not in your type, the one with a pair of boobs literally out of this world!

“Hungry for a match of snooker inside of our virtual reality? Well, this game could actually go sideways…,” comments Xander Jones, the Producer of Virtual Reality Bangers. “I am not saying that you can’t play pool – hell no! I would just like to remind you that while playing against such a sexy VR porn star like August, your attention can be easily lost and you might lose your focus from the game table – with a pair of such an enormous titties, it could get extremely complicated to think about anything on a competitive level…”

August Taylor is known for being an owner of breasts
that are one of the biggest ones all over the adult business – fortunately, in
the VR Bangers’ 6K UHD VR there is enough pixels to show them in their full
glory and you will not have to lower your quality to make them fit on your VR
headset’s display! Maybe you started watching the 69-Ball VR porn movie to play
a round of pool, but we are sure that with August’s “talents” your target
inside
of this VR porn experience will sooner or later change…

If you are ready to play this sexy game and check your strong will, make sure to go visit the VRB’s main page to browse through their other VR porn movies.

The post Porn Star August Taylor Is a Fan of Playing With Balls in VR! appeared first on Virtual Reality Reporter by VR Reporter

Walmart’s tech incubator Store N°8 today launched its next startup, a VR merchandising company called Spatial&. The company offers VR experiences that enable customers to connect with merchandise, and is kicking things off by collaborating with DreamWorks Animation VR tour. At select Walmart locations across the U.S., Spatial& will set up a VR experience in the parking lot, allowing customers to visit DreamWorks’ “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” through VR. Afterwards, customers are directed to a branded, physical gift shop where they can make purchases.

The experience is meant to help DreamWorks market their film ahead of its February 22 release, while Walmart gets to hawk film merchandise to its customers.

It’s not all that different from the “exit through the gift shop” concept found at theme parks.

Upon entering the experience, customers are greeted by the film’s characters Ruffnut and Tuffnut, and are then led into a “dragon’s cave” where they’ll put on VR headsets and get seated in Positron motion VR chairs powered by the HP VR backpack.

The VR story they engage with will take them on a five-minute journey into the movie’s world, where they interact with other characters, including  Astrid, Hiccup, Toothless, Hookfang and more. During this experience, participants will have a multi-sensory encounter, thanks to hand tracking and 6DOF (6 degrees of freedom) in the Voyager VR motion chair.

When the experience wraps, customers are guided into a themed gift shop where they can buy merchandise like plush toys, action figures, DVDs, video games, and more.

Some merchandise from this collection will also be sold across 2,000 Walmart stores – not only those with the VR experience.

On the technology side, Spatial& and DreamWorks leveraged servers and workstations with Intel Xeon Scalable processors to stitch together high-res images and 360-degree VR videos. For the experience itself, the startup uses HP Windows Mixed Reality headsets, Omen by HP Mindframe Headsets, and PCs with Intel Core processors. Outside, parents can follow along with what their children are viewing via Intel-powered Omen by HP Gaming Laptops.

“We have set an extremely high bar for quality and innovation for the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, and our partners at Spatial& exceeded our expectations with their incredible work on this project,” said Abhijay Prakash, chief operating officer of DreamWorks Feature Animation, in a statement about the launch.“This latest Dragon film displays DreamWorks’ best in class creative abilities combined with state of the art advances in animation technology, and we are thrilled that this experience created by Spatial& lives up to that reputation while allowing fans to journey straight to the center of this unique world we’ve created for the film. It’s a truly exhilarating experience,” Prakash added.

Walmart says the experience will go live at 16 stores in the U.S., starting this weekend and continuing through early April.

Those locations include the following:

  • Burbank, California (1301 N Victory Place) – February 15-16
  • Pico Rivera, California (8500 Washington Boulevard) – February 17-19
  • Anaheim, California (440 Euclid Street) – February 22-23
  • San Bernardino, California (4001 Hallmark Parkway) – February 24-26
  • Las Vegas, Nevada (5200 S Fort Apache Road) – March 1-2
  • North Las Vegas, Nevada (6464 N Decatur Boulevard) – March 3-5
  • Glendale, Arizona (5010 N 95th Avenue) – March 8-9
  • Gilbert, Arizona (2501 S Market Street) – March 10-12
  • San Antonio, Texas (8923 W Military Drive) – March 15-16
  • New Braunfels, Texas (1209 S Interstate 35) – March 17-19
  • Grand Prairie, Texas (2225 I-20) – March 22-23
  • Allen, Texas (730 W Exchange Parkway) – March 24-26
  • Sugar Land, Texas (345 Highway 6) – March 29-30
  • Katy, Texas (1313 N Fry Road) – March 31-April 2
  • Rogers, Arkansas (4208 S Pleasant Crossing Boulevard) – April 5-6
  • Bentonville, Arkansas (406 S Walton Boulevard) – April 7-9

Spatial& is one of several tech startups being incubated by Walmart’s Store No. 8, which launched in 2017 to focus on retail innovation. Other businesses being incubated there include conversational commerce startup Jetblack, from Rent the Runway co-founder Jenny Fleiss; stealth startup Franklin from Wim Yogurt founder Bart Stein; and AI lab Project Kepler.

Walmart’s tech incubator Store N°8 today launched its next startup, a VR merchandising company called Spatial&. The company offers VR experiences that enable customers to connect with merchandise, and is kicking things off by collaborating with DreamWorks Animation VR tour. At select Walmart locations across the U.S., Spatial& will set up a VR experience in the parking lot, allowing customers to visit DreamWorks’ “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” through VR. Afterwards, customers are directed to a branded, physical gift shop where they can make purchases.

The experience is meant to help DreamWorks market their film ahead of its February 22 release, while Walmart gets to hawk film merchandise to its customers.

It’s not all that different from the “exit through the gift shop” concept found at theme parks.

Upon entering the experience, customers are greeted by the film’s characters Ruffnut and Tuffnut, and are then led into a “dragon’s cave” where they’ll put on VR headsets and get seated in Positron motion VR chairs powered by the HP VR backpack.

The VR story they engage with will take them on a five-minute journey into the movie’s world, where they interact with other characters, including  Astrid, Hiccup, Toothless, Hookfang and more. During this experience, participants will have a multi-sensory encounter, thanks to hand tracking and 6DOF (6 degrees of freedom) in the Voyager VR motion chair.

When the experience wraps, customers are guided into a themed gift shop where they can buy merchandise like plush toys, action figures, DVDs, video games, and more.

Some merchandise from this collection will also be sold across 2,000 Walmart stores – not only those with the VR experience.

On the technology side, Spatial& and DreamWorks leveraged servers and workstations with Intel Xeon Scalable processors to stitch together high-res images and 360-degree VR videos. For the experience itself, the startup uses HP Windows Mixed Reality headsets, Omen by HP Mindframe Headsets, and PCs with Intel Core processors. Outside, parents can follow along with what their children are viewing via Intel-powered Omen by HP Gaming Laptops.

“We have set an extremely high bar for quality and innovation for the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, and our partners at Spatial& exceeded our expectations with their incredible work on this project,” said Abhijay Prakash, chief operating officer of DreamWorks Feature Animation, in a statement about the launch.“This latest Dragon film displays DreamWorks’ best in class creative abilities combined with state of the art advances in animation technology, and we are thrilled that this experience created by Spatial& lives up to that reputation while allowing fans to journey straight to the center of this unique world we’ve created for the film. It’s a truly exhilarating experience,” Prakash added.

Walmart says the experience will go live at 16 stores in the U.S., starting this weekend and continuing through early April.

Those locations include the following:

  • Burbank, California (1301 N Victory Place) – February 15-16
  • Pico Rivera, California (8500 Washington Boulevard) – February 17-19
  • Anaheim, California (440 Euclid Street) – February 22-23
  • San Bernardino, California (4001 Hallmark Parkway) – February 24-26
  • Las Vegas, Nevada (5200 S Fort Apache Road) – March 1-2
  • North Las Vegas, Nevada (6464 N Decatur Boulevard) – March 3-5
  • Glendale, Arizona (5010 N 95th Avenue) – March 8-9
  • Gilbert, Arizona (2501 S Market Street) – March 10-12
  • San Antonio, Texas (8923 W Military Drive) – March 15-16
  • New Braunfels, Texas (1209 S Interstate 35) – March 17-19
  • Grand Prairie, Texas (2225 I-20) – March 22-23
  • Allen, Texas (730 W Exchange Parkway) – March 24-26
  • Sugar Land, Texas (345 Highway 6) – March 29-30
  • Katy, Texas (1313 N Fry Road) – March 31-April 2
  • Rogers, Arkansas (4208 S Pleasant Crossing Boulevard) – April 5-6
  • Bentonville, Arkansas (406 S Walton Boulevard) – April 7-9

Spatial& is one of several tech startups being incubated by Walmart’s Store No. 8, which launched in 2017 to focus on retail innovation. Other businesses being incubated there include conversational commerce startup Jetblack, from Rent the Runway co-founder Jenny Fleiss; stealth startup Franklin from Wim Yogurt founder Bart Stein; and AI lab Project Kepler.

The perspective of VR & AR in retail according to my friends (and I guess by the majority of Super Bowl audience as well)

The subject that I‘d like to bring here is a consequence of a presentation and discussion that I did and took place last week at Laval Virtual, in France.

Talking about immersive and interactive experiences in the largest trade floor dedicated to VR/AR worldwide, in Laval Virtual. How did I reach there? Let me contextualize it. There are some months that I’ve been immersing in the world of virtual and augmented reality. That started to go deeper when I met Max, Massimiliano Minissale, founder of Lab XR and Blumenlab. Thanks to Max, my knowledge and vision related to VR/AR has amplified strongly. 1 month ago Max asked me if I could replace him in a conference and panel in Laval Virtual which would have as the main theme: Immersive Retail. Well, to talk about a topic that I’m still learning and to participate in a debate with its specialists, it’s a challenge. I decided to accept the challenge with the condition of having Max‘s support. As everything went well, this article intends to share the inputs that I presented in the conference.

The subject

“The challenges involved in the Extended Reality spectrum for reshaping the Retail & E-commerce landscape” as a subject, was defined to be a complement discussion for the industry. Besides the importance to see what the market is actually doing with case studies and, besides the need to analyze the performance, results, investments, and projections related to VR/AR, it’s fundamental to point out what are the XR’s dares related to its moment/future.

Before I start the research for the presentation, I asked to some friends their thoughts about virtual / augmented reality in retail. Their vision: the convenience of shopping in their home — preferable from their living room, into a department store in anywhere in the world. The facility to try the products virtually and paying for it directly without pulling out their credit card.

Trending AR VR Articles:

1. Mario Kart in a real vehicle with VR!

2. How XR Can Unleash Cognition

3. Oculus Go, the Nintendo Switch of VR

4. Expert View: 3 ways VR is transforming Learning & Development

Well, that reality is not so far away. So, going straight to the point, what are the implications for achieving that?

Extended Reality education — understanding its solutions and technologies

What is exactly a virtual reality ? And an augmented reality ? What is the difference between them ? Mixed reality, another concept ?! Well, in order to move forward and mainstream those immersive & interactive technologies for the retail industry stakeholders — shoppers, retailers, marketers, it’s crucial to explain the XR spectrum and clarify its nuances.

Extended Reality spectrum

For facilitating, let’s see an overview of what is the Extended Reality (XR) spectrum and its technology solutions.

  • Augmented Reality (AR): overlays digital information onto the physical (real) world of the user through a mobile application or a social network app (currently, many filters AR are been used on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat).
  • WEBAR: it’s the same concept but its usability is directly through a web browser (Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox).
  • Virtual Reality (VR): immerse the user in a virtual world through a head-mounted display (HMD), a headset. Some example of VR headsets: Oculus Rift (Facebook’s VR headset), Vive (HTC’s product), PlayStation VR and Daydream (Google’s VR headset).
  • WEBVR: the user can interact and watch a 360º video using a browser but its experience will be not complete and rich as experiencing the VR using a headset.
  • Mixed Reality (MR): a hybrid reality which merges the real and virtual worlds. There, physical and digital objects co-exist and interact. It requires a headset for experiencing it. Some of examples of MR headsets: Microsoft HoloLens and Magic Leap (its has Google and Alibaba as investors).
Overview: extended reality spectrum and its tech solutions

Imagine that each of those solutions requires a specific development based on the platform, system or device involved. For developing an XR project in an effective way it must know and meet the specification of the technology adopted respecting its limitations without impact the final end result. So the same concept of a project can be experienced differently depending on the device or mobile operating system of the costumer for example. That context is going to be even harder if you think in how many other players have been working in new devices and platforms now. The ideal, from the perspective of the complexity for developing an XR project, would be standardize the tech development of each solution — but let’s consider that task as hard level difficulty to gain considering the dynamic and competition of the industry.

We should, therefore, count with multiple tech experts as a solution for carrying out an immersive project a medium/long term. The concept of “test and learn” should be applied to those emerging tech solutions taking into that scenario. Or picking just one solution to invest and hope it will be assertive.

Market professional restructuration for providing immersive technologies

The key driver for getting an effective extended reality project is to develop it REALISTIC and EASY TO USE software. Provide a high-quality content, encourage a well-done interaction and provide powerful usability. Those drivers will put you halfway advanced for reaching the goals of a retail player: to increase sales conversion and reduce return rate (for e-commerce).

Same consumers’ questions, different answers’ formats.

What will this t-shirt look like on me? What will this couch look like in my home? I’d like to know more information about this tennis.

The costumer’s question are the same, what it has changed is the possibilities to reach and approach them.

Even from the retailer perspective, the data for understanding its customers interests can be answered through technology more effectively.

But for attending those issues through immersive and interactive technologies is demands a change in the market. From now, new skills are demanded to the companies which want to include VR/AR in their strategy.

Overview: VR/AR technology involvement

Take look again in how many technologies are involved in that environment. Believe me, there are just a few presented in the picture.

When it comes to Retail and E-commerce industries besides the technology aspect there are also other needs, such as the 3D animation of the products. For a VR project it can involve a 360º video production, the voice over for complementing the narrative, its translation according to the markets desired by the retailer, an adaptation of the gestures based on the regional culture etc. All those tasks can be a challenge if the company is not structured /planned.

Outsourcing or making it In-House ?

Well, that is a key question for those who intend to integrate an immersive experience strategy on its operation. Should I avoid part of the headache then outsource that development or, should I internalize it in order to save cost? From my point of view, it depends. It’s not always that internalizing resources will save costs. The same for the opposite, outsourcing can give many headaches, mainly if you don’t pick the correct partner/vendor. Let’s pick up as an example an e-commerce company which intends to integrate Augmented Reality in its strategy. If we analyze its process flow, to include 3D images production of its products could be a step to be internalized taking in mind that today there are many tools to facilitate that kind of production. Training or hiring a professional for covering that task and integrate it into the process flow can be doable. But internalizing the technology development can be an issue due to the strong dynamic in the XR landscape, its technology requirements/specifications by the system, platforms, devices, and all its variation. It would require having developer experts according to the adopted XR technology and also making the efforts to keep them frequently update with the market changes.

Providing shopping experience everywhere: physically, digital and social

The customer journey has changed with new technologies adoption. The possibility for the retail and e-commerce brands to offer an immersive and interactive experience physically, digital and social is redesigning the way how they connect with their customers.

Customer’s journey being adapted according to technology advance

Immerse the costumer in a virtual fitting/dressing room. Offer a virtual test drive. Overlay digital information onto the physical world: furniture, a clothing, a shoe, any other information for supporting the product’s sales.

Identify the key information to digitalize, provide good usability to experience, offer a powerful interface to attract, as consequence: higher sales conversion, strong brand awareness, reduction of e-commerce return rate.

According to BRP consulting:

32% of consumers say are likely to shop at a store with AR experience but only 9% of retailers offer the technology. 29% of them plan to offer AR in the next 3 years.

29% of consumers are likely to shop at a store with VR experience but only 7% of retailers offer the technology. 23% of them plan to offer AR in the next 3 years.

Automative industry

  • According to McKinsey & Company, the average of visits in an auto dealership by a car buyer is 1.6 today. 10 years ago, its average was 5.
  • An Ebay’s a study show that 63% of consumers were likely or even extremely likely to buy a car online in the future.

The consumers talk, the industry advances.

Engineers adopting AR tech for car design

Volvo & Microsoft HoloLens

Volvo has internalized the augmented reality technology for its engineers designing cars. Also allows the customers to see car features, colors, alternative options of the Volvo car through AR technology.

Possibility to verify with more details the car structure and features

Audi & Holoride

Audi has created a Virtual Reality startup for providing immersive experience inside the car. Their glasses count with a special feature: it combines XR with vehicle movement and navigation data in real time. Audi announced during the CES 2019 also a partnership with Disney for offering thematic VR experiences, like “The Avengers”.

https://medium.com/media/6c667fa6e3d8bddf0266fe5626e118d1/href

Fashion retail industry

  • According to NOSTO (company specialized in shopping experience based in Helsinki), 76% of large fashion retailer traffic comes from mobile devices, compared to 61% for their smaller counterparts.
  • A study realized by Yes Marketing, indicates that 57% of consumers said they have used a retailer’s mobile app while in stores, often to redeem or find coupons or discover items on sale.

If we analyze those insights we can see a clear augmented reality opportunity. See what some brands are already doing:

Nike & Facebook Messenger filtre AR

“The secret knock” — project AR realized by Nike

Nike explored augmented reality and gamification strategies for revealing to users a secret sneaker: limited edition shoe branded by basketball star Kyrie Irving. This project using camera effects platform to employ augmented reality (AR) with Messenger bots was very successful: sold out of all sneakers’ edition in less than one hour.

Nike is investing heavily in Augmented Reality strategies

Sephora’s Virtual Artist

Sephora’s app — has been improved with the advance of AR technology

Sephora developed an AR beauty app which allows users to “virtually try on” various products that could be purchased from Sephora stores. Through face recognition the app mobile follows the user face movement in real-time with the selected makeup applied.

Several brands testing the AR and VR technologies

VIRTUAL FITTING ROOM: Pulsion’s “magic mirror” and Zara AR app
BALMAIN PARIS: Mobile App with Augmented Reality + Virtual Reality in store

BALMAIN PARIS “First-Of-Its-Kind VR Experience”: the brand provides a brand experience through a virtual journey to the brand fan where he can see the creative process designed to trigger the feelings of Balmain’s creator during the genesis of his collections: “everything from risk and doubt to elation”.

Home Improvements & Furniture industries

Enables shoppers to virtually place home furniture, decor and remodeling products, from sofas to bathroom vanities, where they want them in their homes, true to scale.

https://medium.com/media/fb0f25c435aa3f7b9a4c56dddec9dcd3/href

Following that concept, Houzz developed the app My Room 3D tool which had over 2 million users in 2018 and contributed to an 11x sales uplift.

IKEA followed the same way with its Place ARKit app.

IKEA Place ARKit app: avoid mistakes and returns by allowing for 3D at-home furniture preview.

Lowe’s as well invested in augmented and virtual reality for offering to its clients immersive experiences related to daily needs.

The Measured app: the app turns a phone into a digital tape measure and provides instant measurements. Holoroom How To: VR in-store clinic where customers can learn basic Do It Yourself skills, including supplies needed and steps to completion.

E-commerce industry

Last but not least some inputs regarding the e-commerce industry, possibly the industry most influenced by the augmented reality.

According to ThinkMobiles:

  • 70% of e-shoppers are interested to use VR when shopping for clothes and accessories.
  • Every third online purchase is being returned. Virtual commerce app can reduce return by 23%.

https://medium.com/media/efb2c573c4aa2639dc8f1ecc43271c63/href

Amazon & Oculus Rift

Amazon has invested in virtual reality. During its “Amazon Prime Day” there were produced VR kiosks: users stick on an Oculus Rift headset and are transported to a city filled with Prime Day products where they can walk through different rooms for different sections of a store — from bath and beauty, to technology and then toys.

Alibaba is using AR to change the shopping experience.

Alibaba’s Platform Taobao Buy, expected to be released soon

Alibaba has been investing heavily in new technologies, and AR/VR are part of them.

VR shopping for Singles Days with Buy+ by Alibaba in 2016

Fresh news: Alibaba just acquired the Israeli startup InfinityAR: its technology can turn any device into a powerful content augmentation platform, using basic and affordable hardware: simple stereoscopic cameras.

However, its tests and investments in immersive technology have started years ago, some of Alibaba’s initiatives:

  • The first complete VR shopping experience, Buy+, aimed to let customers buy things in virtual reality. The platform was promoted strongly during the Single’s Day in 2016.

https://medium.com/media/0f91b3b5a3379ba87f362b29a39f2e61/hrefhttps://medium.com/media/86aa007f3fcac6149b4c08160247d103/href

  • AR livestream for the Taobao Maker Festival: customers standing in the front of a big screen can interact with others in the screen. It was more like a marketing strategy for attracting more customers, which is one of the most important use cases for AR.
  • In partnership with Microsoft HoloLens, Alibaba is going to launch Taobao Buy, shopping experience that uses AR technology to bring 3D versions of products into the real world. To bring this experience to life, a 3,200-square-feet ‘futuristic shopping district’ will be assembled in Hangzhou.

The new marketplaces

Wannaby: an AR commerce company

A startup from Minsk, Belarus developed a mobile AR platform & tech so consumers can Try-On shoes, jewellery and apparel before making a purchase. A real AR commerce company.

Positive scenario: stay tuned with time to market

Virtual and Augmented Reality is potentially considered to be the next big computing platform. We’ve faced it with the mobile era.

In 2018, it was estimated 24 million of VR devices sold globally. The AR smart glasses worths $ 1.2 billion. (according to CCS Insight)

Goldman Sachs forecasts in 2020 for VR/AR softwares industry in retail $ 0.5 billion of revenue and 9.5 million estimated users. That amount will triplicate in 2025.

Virtual and Augmented Reality is already Business Reality

  • Reduce Marketing costs
  • Reduce Product returns
  • Offer efficient Analytics and data
  • Increase Sales conversion
  • Make strong Brand awareness

« Many retailers are still struggling with integrating mobile into their strategies even as the pace of technological innovation speeds up. As a result, many retailers will be unprepared for the shift to virtual reality. » Retail Innovation: U.S. Retail Technology Insights and Analysis

Scenario of a not planned immersive experience

The XR race in the Retail and E-commerce industries already started. Main players took the initiative and now mid-level ones start to play.

It’s time to get your VR/AR headsite. Or an AR app. Or just a webAR but take the initiative.

I’d like to thanks Grégory MAUBON for the opportunity to share some insights related to VR/AR techonolgies. Also thanks Nadia Mandich, Philippe Bornstein, Charlotte Landry and Frederic Purgal for the rich and constructive debate promoted regarding to this topic at Laval Virtual.

One more time, thanks Massimiliano Minissale for rely on me for presenting that.

Don’t forget to give us your 👏 !


Challenges in the VR/AR spectrum for reshaping the Retail & E-commerce landscapes was originally published in AR/VR Journey: Augmented & Virtual Reality Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Nintendo has announced that two of its biggest Switch games will be updated to work with the cardboard Labo VR headset that’s releasing next week. Super Mario Odyssey will get a bonus mode with new “mini-missions” designed for VR, while The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild appears to be playable in its entirety except for the cutscenes.

It’s not immediately clear how either of these modes will work in practice — the Labo kit doesn’t have a head strap, so settling in for a multi-hour session of Breath of the Wild might prove challenging. But at the very least, these are probably going to drive a lot more interest in the VR kit than there was for previous Labo releases.

The modes will arrive in free updates to each game on April 25th, while the headset is coming out on April 12th priced at $39.99 for the base kit.

Walmart’s tech incubator Store N°8 today launched its next startup, a VR merchandising company called Spatial&. The company offers VR experiences that enable customers to connect with merchandise, and is kicking things off by collaborating with DreamWorks Animation VR tour. At select Walmart locations across the U.S., Spatial& will set up a VR experience in the parking lot, allowing customers to visit DreamWorks’ “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” through VR. Afterwards, customers are directed to a branded, physical gift shop where they can make purchases.

The experience is meant to help DreamWorks market their film ahead of its February 22 release, while Walmart gets to hawk film merchandise to its customers.

It’s not all that different from the “exit through the gift shop” concept found at theme parks.

Upon entering the experience, customers are greeted by the film’s characters Ruffnut and Tuffnut, and are then led into a “dragon’s cave” where they’ll put on VR headsets and get seated in Positron motion VR chairs powered by the HP VR backpack.

The VR story they engage with will take them on a five-minute journey into the movie’s world, where they interact with other characters, including  Astrid, Hiccup, Toothless, Hookfang and more. During this experience, participants will have a multi-sensory encounter, thanks to hand tracking and 6DOF (6 degrees of freedom) in the Voyager VR motion chair.

When the experience wraps, customers are guided into a themed gift shop where they can buy merchandise like plush toys, action figures, DVDs, video games, and more.

Some merchandise from this collection will also be sold across 2,000 Walmart stores – not only those with the VR experience.

On the technology side, Spatial& and DreamWorks leveraged servers and workstations with Intel Xeon Scalable processors to stitch together high-res images and 360-degree VR videos. For the experience itself, the startup uses HP Windows Mixed Reality headsets, Omen by HP Mindframe Headsets, and PCs with Intel Core processors. Outside, parents can follow along with what their children are viewing via Intel-powered Omen by HP Gaming Laptops.

“We have set an extremely high bar for quality and innovation for the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, and our partners at Spatial& exceeded our expectations with their incredible work on this project,” said Abhijay Prakash, chief operating officer of DreamWorks Feature Animation, in a statement about the launch.“This latest Dragon film displays DreamWorks’ best in class creative abilities combined with state of the art advances in animation technology, and we are thrilled that this experience created by Spatial& lives up to that reputation while allowing fans to journey straight to the center of this unique world we’ve created for the film. It’s a truly exhilarating experience,” Prakash added.

Walmart says the experience will go live at 16 stores in the U.S., starting this weekend and continuing through early April.

Those locations include the following:

  • Burbank, California (1301 N Victory Place) – February 15-16
  • Pico Rivera, California (8500 Washington Boulevard) – February 17-19
  • Anaheim, California (440 Euclid Street) – February 22-23
  • San Bernardino, California (4001 Hallmark Parkway) – February 24-26
  • Las Vegas, Nevada (5200 S Fort Apache Road) – March 1-2
  • North Las Vegas, Nevada (6464 N Decatur Boulevard) – March 3-5
  • Glendale, Arizona (5010 N 95th Avenue) – March 8-9
  • Gilbert, Arizona (2501 S Market Street) – March 10-12
  • San Antonio, Texas (8923 W Military Drive) – March 15-16
  • New Braunfels, Texas (1209 S Interstate 35) – March 17-19
  • Grand Prairie, Texas (2225 I-20) – March 22-23
  • Allen, Texas (730 W Exchange Parkway) – March 24-26
  • Sugar Land, Texas (345 Highway 6) – March 29-30
  • Katy, Texas (1313 N Fry Road) – March 31-April 2
  • Rogers, Arkansas (4208 S Pleasant Crossing Boulevard) – April 5-6
  • Bentonville, Arkansas (406 S Walton Boulevard) – April 7-9

Spatial& is one of several tech startups being incubated by Walmart’s Store No. 8, which launched in 2017 to focus on retail innovation. Other businesses being incubated there include conversational commerce startup Jetblack, from Rent the Runway co-founder Jenny Fleiss; stealth startup Franklin from Wim Yogurt founder Bart Stein; and AI lab Project Kepler.

Walmart’s tech incubator Store N°8 today launched its next startup, a VR merchandising company called Spatial&. The company offers VR experiences that enable customers to connect with merchandise, and is kicking things off by collaborating with DreamWorks Animation VR tour. At select Walmart locations across the U.S., Spatial& will set up a VR experience in the parking lot, allowing customers to visit DreamWorks’ “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” through VR. Afterwards, customers are directed to a branded, physical gift shop where they can make purchases.

The experience is meant to help DreamWorks market their film ahead of its February 22 release, while Walmart gets to hawk film merchandise to its customers.

It’s not all that different from the “exit through the gift shop” concept found at theme parks.

Upon entering the experience, customers are greeted by the film’s characters Ruffnut and Tuffnut, and are then led into a “dragon’s cave” where they’ll put on VR headsets and get seated in Positron motion VR chairs powered by the HP VR backpack.

The VR story they engage with will take them on a five-minute journey into the movie’s world, where they interact with other characters, including  Astrid, Hiccup, Toothless, Hookfang and more. During this experience, participants will have a multi-sensory encounter, thanks to hand tracking and 6DOF (6 degrees of freedom) in the Voyager VR motion chair.

When the experience wraps, customers are guided into a themed gift shop where they can buy merchandise like plush toys, action figures, DVDs, video games, and more.

Some merchandise from this collection will also be sold across 2,000 Walmart stores – not only those with the VR experience.

On the technology side, Spatial& and DreamWorks leveraged servers and workstations with Intel Xeon Scalable processors to stitch together high-res images and 360-degree VR videos. For the experience itself, the startup uses HP Windows Mixed Reality headsets, Omen by HP Mindframe Headsets, and PCs with Intel Core processors. Outside, parents can follow along with what their children are viewing via Intel-powered Omen by HP Gaming Laptops.

“We have set an extremely high bar for quality and innovation for the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, and our partners at Spatial& exceeded our expectations with their incredible work on this project,” said Abhijay Prakash, chief operating officer of DreamWorks Feature Animation, in a statement about the launch.“This latest Dragon film displays DreamWorks’ best in class creative abilities combined with state of the art advances in animation technology, and we are thrilled that this experience created by Spatial& lives up to that reputation while allowing fans to journey straight to the center of this unique world we’ve created for the film. It’s a truly exhilarating experience,” Prakash added.

Walmart says the experience will go live at 16 stores in the U.S., starting this weekend and continuing through early April.

Those locations include the following:

  • Burbank, California (1301 N Victory Place) – February 15-16
  • Pico Rivera, California (8500 Washington Boulevard) – February 17-19
  • Anaheim, California (440 Euclid Street) – February 22-23
  • San Bernardino, California (4001 Hallmark Parkway) – February 24-26
  • Las Vegas, Nevada (5200 S Fort Apache Road) – March 1-2
  • North Las Vegas, Nevada (6464 N Decatur Boulevard) – March 3-5
  • Glendale, Arizona (5010 N 95th Avenue) – March 8-9
  • Gilbert, Arizona (2501 S Market Street) – March 10-12
  • San Antonio, Texas (8923 W Military Drive) – March 15-16
  • New Braunfels, Texas (1209 S Interstate 35) – March 17-19
  • Grand Prairie, Texas (2225 I-20) – March 22-23
  • Allen, Texas (730 W Exchange Parkway) – March 24-26
  • Sugar Land, Texas (345 Highway 6) – March 29-30
  • Katy, Texas (1313 N Fry Road) – March 31-April 2
  • Rogers, Arkansas (4208 S Pleasant Crossing Boulevard) – April 5-6
  • Bentonville, Arkansas (406 S Walton Boulevard) – April 7-9

Spatial& is one of several tech startups being incubated by Walmart’s Store No. 8, which launched in 2017 to focus on retail innovation. Other businesses being incubated there include conversational commerce startup Jetblack, from Rent the Runway co-founder Jenny Fleiss; stealth startup Franklin from Wim Yogurt founder Bart Stein; and AI lab Project Kepler.

What would a sound systems company be doing with augmented reality glasses? Bose would be unlikeliest of companies to venture into AR smart glasses and AR games but that is exactly what the company is up to with its Bose AR that utilizes augmented reality technology to enhance the world around the wearer with sounds rather than visuals.

Instead of the wearables, Bose is venturing into the hearables market by creating smart audio glasses that allow users to perform multiple tasks such as making calls and listening to music and the glasses will eventually plug into Bose AR Glasses platform experience.  Now there is even an AR audio game built for the platform.

A Boston-based indie game studio, Worthing & Moncrief, has developed a game called Overherd that works with the Bose AR glasses. The game is a comic whimsical take on Monty Python & Holy Grail in which a French knight is taunting King Arthur from a castle.

Bose AR Audio Glasses

As a player in the game, you have to keenly listen to the voice of a French knight holed somewhere in a castle and try to figure out his location in a circle around you. After doing this by careful listening and tracing the direction in which they sound is coming from, you will in turn face him, double tap on your AR glasses and release a catapult to throw a cow at the French knight’s castle. You will hear a crash sound when your flying cow has hit the castle and eliminated the taunting Frenchman. You can also change the elevation of the targeting by moving your chin up or down.

While listening to the game via the AR sunglasses, you can also look around and see images augmented about your surroundings. Also, you will be the only one who will hear the sounds emanating from the Frames. The AR glasses drive you to concentrate more on the sense of hearing than the sense of sight.

To start using the AR audio glasses, open the Bose Connect app and ensure it has been updated. Once open, you will find the Bose AR-enhanced apps.

The Bose intelligent audio looks quite promising and could be put to diverse uses such as sighthearing, virtual sightseeing and even in games that have spatial awareness. The AR audio game is not going to be easily monetizable but it represents quite clever use of the Bose AR glasses platform.

Bose AR Glasses

Bose first ventured into the hearables arena with its groundbreaking augmented reality sunglasses –also known as Frames- that combine sleek, stylish and fashionable look with world-class tech. Bose’s was not the first intelligent audio offering as Alexa and Google have already come up with smart speakers. The difference is that Bose’s product offers portability, more convenience and comfort. You can wear smart audio glasses and walk around with them for quality audio experience but you can’t really wear speakers and go for a walk. The speaker value-add will pretty much be limited to the home and the car but you can take glasses virtually anywhere.  The Bose Frames allow users to have a discrete and hands-free listening experience while on the go as there is negligible sound leakage at standard volumes.

The Frames elegantly side-step some of the challenges around using earbuds while on the go. With their open ear design, they are quite comfortable to wear and quite clean compared to the earbuds that clog the ears and cause some slight discomfort or even pain when worn for a long period of time. The Frames are also quite convenient. Because most of us are used to wearing sunglasses, you wouldn’t even notice that they are there especially because they are also less bulky than your typical AR smart glasses. The Frames are also not easy to lose; as in you can’t lose the glasses you are wearing without even noticing it! In contrast, earbuds get damaged easily and they are also generally much easier to drop or misplace in your handbags or desk drawers.

Bose smart glasses are available in two styles: the rounder ‘Rondo’ and the angular ‘Alto’

The Frames audio augmented reality glasses have a pretty superb experiential aspect with their sculptural luxe black cases that simply ooze an understated elegance. Both the product and the accompanying accessories have been tastefully and thoughtfully designed. Its cable, for example, is packaged in a beautiful black jewelry pouch.

The Bose Augmented Reality audio glasses were launched one year ago and the company went as far as setting up a $50 million fund to rope in developers to build applications for the AR glasses. The glasses have in-built sensors that can detect the wearer’s movements. The glasses can even connect a user to their smartphone via Bluetooth in order to pull the Global Positioning System data that helps determine where you are looking and the direction moving towards. From that information, the AR glasses will send sounds to the user’s ears that come in from a particular direction, a feature that has been elegantly leveraged in the AR audio game.

From the fashion tech aspect, you can pick from two styles namely, the bigger angular Alto design and the smaller and rounder Rondo designs. The frames are made from matte black nylon with metallic hinges.

The Frames seamlessly pair with smartphone in a very easy and straightforward manner. The functions are also fairly easy to control. There is an easy to access multifunction press button on the underside of the stem in the right temple which allows you to answer and end calls, play music or to toggle on and off. You can switch off the audio shades in the Frames by flipping them upside down. The AR sunglasses have a battery life that is comparable to that of most wireless earbuds. A big #fail is that the Frames’ charging cable is proprietary and you must have it to charge the glasses.

Audio Performance

In terms of the audio performance, the Bose AR audio glasses live up quite to the Bose hype. The Frames deliver beyond expectations irrespective of their small sizes and the “open ear” style of the speakers even when it comes to the micro-acoustics. The sound that enters the ears still has great clarity and resonance. You can comfortably use these to listen to your favorite podcast or songs as you jog around.

Frames audio AR sunglasses have the tiniest of systems

Sound conduction from the AR smart glasses to the ears occurs via small drivers positioned on the stems of the frames. This allows you to get ‘fat’ and clear sound with great immersive quality even though the speakers on the Frames don’t rest inside the ears of the wearer. Also, unlike in small treble-heavy earbuds, you won’t experience sound fatigue after extended periods of listening.

The sounds from the Frames are not as good as what you’d get with an over-ear headphone but the AR audio glasses offer a nice trade-off for the comfort and convenience. The speakers in the Frames are ‘open ear’ but there won’t be much sound leakage at standard listening volumes so you don’t have to worry about people around you eavesdropping on what you are listening to.

Another key drawback is the lack of volume control in the Frames. You will have to do this via your smartphone.

The Frames were designed with an augmented reality use-case in mind so expect the glasses to offer you a contextually intelligent audio experience. Not only are the glasses aware of spatial locations, they are also built with Artificial Intelligence assistants that can tell where you are facing. This intelligent contextual awareness enables the device  to provide users with very relevant information about their experience. Some of the more advanced features are yet to be activated in the device so for now they will mostly be used for taking phone calls and listening to music.

HTC has today announced the relaunch a virtual reality video platform that will be compatible even with its competitors’ headsets. HTC’s new service will be known as Viveport Video and will provide users with access to a massive library of 180-degree and 360-degree videos as well as 2D content in a native virtual reality environment. The platform is currently available for free download on both Steam and Viveport. It will also be available on Oculus Store soon.

Viveport Video

The Viveport Video platform will be compatible with PlayStation VR as well as Vive Wave devices. Not only will the platform work on the PC-powered VR devices like the original Vive and Rift but it will also work on HTC’s standalone virtual reality headset Vive Focus which is based on the Wave platform. The platform will not be exclusive to HTC devices and gives users access to premium content alongside its library of free videos for users with the Viveport Infinity subscription. Viveport Infinity membership goes for $12.99 per month or $99 annually and gives users an unlimited access to more than 600 apps and games in the Viveport store. The Infinity platform is accessible to both HTC Vive and Oculus Rift users.

HTC is working with various content partners including Red Bull TV, Major League Baseball and MacLaren Racing, 1Culture and Ceek VR to bring you exciting virtual reality content covering diverse interests. For immersive virtual reality content, you can pick from the offerings such as Everest: The VR Film Experience which provides users with a 360-degree first-person view (FPV) of a climb of the world’s tallest mountain.

An immersive virtual reality video experience provides one of the most exciting and captivating ways of connecting users with content of interest. Viveport Video now offers these users premium quality content that covers a vast spectrum of lifestyle genres. Viveport Video will also empower the developer community to finally have means of monetizing their premium video content and also share these experiences with a much larger audience.

The Viveport Video will be available for free download on Steam, Viveport and soon on the Oculus Store. Viveport Infinity members can also get an exclusive access to choose premium quality content, as part of a generous promotion celebrating Vive’s third anniversary. Infinity members will be able to redeem up to five free tiltes from the VIVE Studios.

The Viveport Video platform runs on the Secret Location’s Vusr Publisher, a white label publishing tool which enables creators and publishers to publish and monetize immersive content across all virtual reality platforms and digital storefronts.

 

The perspective of VR & AR in retail according to my friends (and I guess by the majority of Super Bowl audience as well)

The subject that I‘d like to bring here is a consequence of a presentation and discussion that I did and took place last week at Laval Virtual, in France.

Talking about immersive and interactive experiences in the largest trade floor dedicated to VR/AR worldwide, in Laval Virtual. How did I reach there? Let me contextualize it. There are some months that I’ve been immersing in the world of virtual and augmented reality. That started to go deeper when I met Max, Massimiliano Minissale, founder of Lab XR and Blumenlab. Thanks to Max, my knowledge and vision related to VR/AR has amplified strongly. 1 month ago Max asked me if I could replace him in a conference and panel in Laval Virtual which would have as the main theme: Immersive Retail. Well, to talk about a topic that I’m still learning and to participate in a debate with its specialists, it’s a challenge. I decided to accept the challenge with the condition of having Max‘s support. As everything went well, this article intends to share the inputs that I presented in the conference.

The subject

“The challenges involved in the Extended Reality spectrum for reshaping the Retail & E-commerce landscape” as a subject, was defined to be a complement discussion for the industry. Besides the importance to see what the market is actually doing with case studies and, besides the need to analyze the performance, results, investments, and projections related to VR/AR, it’s fundamental to point out what are the XR’s dares related to its moment/future.

Before I start the research for the presentation, I asked to some friends their thoughts about virtual / augmented reality in retail. Their vision: the convenience of shopping in their home — preferable from their living room, into a department store in anywhere in the world. The facility to try the products virtually and paying for it directly without pulling out their credit card.

Trending AR VR Articles:

1. Mario Kart in a real vehicle with VR!

2. How XR Can Unleash Cognition

3. Oculus Go, the Nintendo Switch of VR

4. Expert View: 3 ways VR is transforming Learning & Development

Well, that reality is not so far away. So, going straight to the point, what are the implications for achieving that?

Extended Reality education — understanding its solutions and technologies

What is exactly a virtual reality ? And an augmented reality ? What is the difference between them ? Mixed reality, another concept ?! Well, in order to move forward and mainstream those immersive & interactive technologies for the retail industry stakeholders — shoppers, retailers, marketers, it’s crucial to explain the XR spectrum and clarify its nuances.

Extended Reality spectrum

For facilitating, let’s see an overview of what is the Extended Reality (XR) spectrum and its technology solutions.

  • Augmented Reality (AR): overlays digital information onto the physical (real) world of the user through a mobile application or a social network app (currently, many filters AR are been used on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat).
  • WEBAR: it’s the same concept but its usability is directly through a web browser (Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox).
  • Virtual Reality (VR): immerse the user in a virtual world through a head-mounted display (HMD), a headset. Some example of VR headsets: Oculus Rift (Facebook’s VR headset), Vive (HTC’s product), PlayStation VR and Daydream (Google’s VR headset).
  • WEBVR: the user can interact and watch a 360º video using a browser but its experience will be not complete and rich as experiencing the VR using a headset.
  • Mixed Reality (MR): a hybrid reality which merges the real and virtual worlds. There, physical and digital objects co-exist and interact. It requires a headset for experiencing it. Some of examples of MR headsets: Microsoft HoloLens and Magic Leap (its has Google and Alibaba as investors).
Overview: extended reality spectrum and its tech solutions

Imagine that each of those solutions requires a specific development based on the platform, system or device involved. For developing an XR project in an effective way it must know and meet the specification of the technology adopted respecting its limitations without impact the final end result. So the same concept of a project can be experienced differently depending on the device or mobile operating system of the costumer for example. That context is going to be even harder if you think in how many other players have been working in new devices and platforms now. The ideal, from the perspective of the complexity for developing an XR project, would be standardize the tech development of each solution — but let’s consider that task as hard level difficulty to gain considering the dynamic and competition of the industry.

We should, therefore, count with multiple tech experts as a solution for carrying out an immersive project a medium/long term. The concept of “test and learn” should be applied to those emerging tech solutions taking into that scenario. Or picking just one solution to invest and hope it will be assertive.

Market professional restructuration for providing immersive technologies

The key driver for getting an effective extended reality project is to develop it REALISTIC and EASY TO USE software. Provide a high-quality content, encourage a well-done interaction and provide powerful usability. Those drivers will put you halfway advanced for reaching the goals of a retail player: to increase sales conversion and reduce return rate (for e-commerce).

Same consumers’ questions, different answers’ formats.

What will this t-shirt look like on me? What will this couch look like in my home? I’d like to know more information about this tennis.

The costumer’s question are the same, what it has changed is the possibilities to reach and approach them.

Even from the retailer perspective, the data for understanding its customers interests can be answered through technology more effectively.

But for attending those issues through immersive and interactive technologies is demands a change in the market. From now, new skills are demanded to the companies which want to include VR/AR in their strategy.

Overview: VR/AR technology involvement

Take look again in how many technologies are involved in that environment. Believe me, there are just a few presented in the picture.

When it comes to Retail and E-commerce industries besides the technology aspect there are also other needs, such as the 3D animation of the products. For a VR project it can involve a 360º video production, the voice over for complementing the narrative, its translation according to the markets desired by the retailer, an adaptation of the gestures based on the regional culture etc. All those tasks can be a challenge if the company is not structured /planned.

Outsourcing or making it In-House ?

Well, that is a key question for those who intend to integrate an immersive experience strategy on its operation. Should I avoid part of the headache then outsource that development or, should I internalize it in order to save cost? From my point of view, it depends. It’s not always that internalizing resources will save costs. The same for the opposite, outsourcing can give many headaches, mainly if you don’t pick the correct partner/vendor. Let’s pick up as an example an e-commerce company which intends to integrate Augmented Reality in its strategy. If we analyze its process flow, to include 3D images production of its products could be a step to be internalized taking in mind that today there are many tools to facilitate that kind of production. Training or hiring a professional for covering that task and integrate it into the process flow can be doable. But internalizing the technology development can be an issue due to the strong dynamic in the XR landscape, its technology requirements/specifications by the system, platforms, devices, and all its variation. It would require having developer experts according to the adopted XR technology and also making the efforts to keep them frequently update with the market changes.

Providing shopping experience everywhere: physically, digital and social

The customer journey has changed with new technologies adoption. The possibility for the retail and e-commerce brands to offer an immersive and interactive experience physically, digital and social is redesigning the way how they connect with their customers.

Customer’s journey being adapted according to technology advance

Immerse the costumer in a virtual fitting/dressing room. Offer a virtual test drive. Overlay digital information onto the physical world: furniture, a clothing, a shoe, any other information for supporting the product’s sales.

Identify the key information to digitalize, provide good usability to experience, offer a powerful interface to attract, as consequence: higher sales conversion, strong brand awareness, reduction of e-commerce return rate.

According to BRP consulting:

32% of consumers say are likely to shop at a store with AR experience but only 9% of retailers offer the technology. 29% of them plan to offer AR in the next 3 years.

29% of consumers are likely to shop at a store with VR experience but only 7% of retailers offer the technology. 23% of them plan to offer AR in the next 3 years.

Automative industry

  • According to McKinsey & Company, the average of visits in an auto dealership by a car buyer is 1.6 today. 10 years ago, its average was 5.
  • An Ebay’s a study show that 63% of consumers were likely or even extremely likely to buy a car online in the future.

The consumers talk, the industry advances.

Engineers adopting AR tech for car design

Volvo & Microsoft HoloLens

Volvo has internalized the augmented reality technology for its engineers designing cars. Also allows the customers to see car features, colors, alternative options of the Volvo car through AR technology.

Possibility to verify with more details the car structure and features

Audi & Holoride

Audi has created a Virtual Reality startup for providing immersive experience inside the car. Their glasses count with a special feature: it combines XR with vehicle movement and navigation data in real time. Audi announced during the CES 2019 also a partnership with Disney for offering thematic VR experiences, like “The Avengers”.

https://medium.com/media/6c667fa6e3d8bddf0266fe5626e118d1/href

Fashion retail industry

  • According to NOSTO (company specialized in shopping experience based in Helsinki), 76% of large fashion retailer traffic comes from mobile devices, compared to 61% for their smaller counterparts.
  • A study realized by Yes Marketing, indicates that 57% of consumers said they have used a retailer’s mobile app while in stores, often to redeem or find coupons or discover items on sale.

If we analyze those insights we can see a clear augmented reality opportunity. See what some brands are already doing:

Nike & Facebook Messenger filtre AR

“The secret knock” — project AR realized by Nike

Nike explored augmented reality and gamification strategies for revealing to users a secret sneaker: limited edition shoe branded by basketball star Kyrie Irving. This project using camera effects platform to employ augmented reality (AR) with Messenger bots was very successful: sold out of all sneakers’ edition in less than one hour.

Nike is investing heavily in Augmented Reality strategies

Sephora’s Virtual Artist

Sephora’s app — has been improved with the advance of AR technology

Sephora developed an AR beauty app which allows users to “virtually try on” various products that could be purchased from Sephora stores. Through face recognition the app mobile follows the user face movement in real-time with the selected makeup applied.

Several brands testing the AR and VR technologies

VIRTUAL FITTING ROOM: Pulsion’s “magic mirror” and Zara AR app
BALMAIN PARIS: Mobile App with Augmented Reality + Virtual Reality in store

BALMAIN PARIS “First-Of-Its-Kind VR Experience”: the brand provides a brand experience through a virtual journey to the brand fan where he can see the creative process designed to trigger the feelings of Balmain’s creator during the genesis of his collections: “everything from risk and doubt to elation”.

Home Improvements & Furniture industries

Enables shoppers to virtually place home furniture, decor and remodeling products, from sofas to bathroom vanities, where they want them in their homes, true to scale.

https://medium.com/media/fb0f25c435aa3f7b9a4c56dddec9dcd3/href

Following that concept, Houzz developed the app My Room 3D tool which had over 2 million users in 2018 and contributed to an 11x sales uplift.

IKEA followed the same way with its Place ARKit app.

IKEA Place ARKit app: avoid mistakes and returns by allowing for 3D at-home furniture preview.

Lowe’s as well invested in augmented and virtual reality for offering to its clients immersive experiences related to daily needs.

The Measured app: the app turns a phone into a digital tape measure and provides instant measurements. Holoroom How To: VR in-store clinic where customers can learn basic Do It Yourself skills, including supplies needed and steps to completion.

E-commerce industry

Last but not least some inputs regarding the e-commerce industry, possibly the industry most influenced by the augmented reality.

According to ThinkMobiles:

  • 70% of e-shoppers are interested to use VR when shopping for clothes and accessories.
  • Every third online purchase is being returned. Virtual commerce app can reduce return by 23%.

https://medium.com/media/efb2c573c4aa2639dc8f1ecc43271c63/href

Amazon & Oculus Rift

Amazon has invested in virtual reality. During its “Amazon Prime Day” there were produced VR kiosks: users stick on an Oculus Rift headset and are transported to a city filled with Prime Day products where they can walk through different rooms for different sections of a store — from bath and beauty, to technology and then toys.

Alibaba is using AR to change the shopping experience.

Alibaba’s Platform Taobao Buy, expected to be released soon

Alibaba has been investing heavily in new technologies, and AR/VR are part of them.

VR shopping for Singles Days with Buy+ by Alibaba in 2016

Fresh news: Alibaba just acquired the Israeli startup InfinityAR: its technology can turn any device into a powerful content augmentation platform, using basic and affordable hardware: simple stereoscopic cameras.

However, its tests and investments in immersive technology have started years ago, some of Alibaba’s initiatives:

  • The first complete VR shopping experience, Buy+, aimed to let customers buy things in virtual reality. The platform was promoted strongly during the Single’s Day in 2016.

https://medium.com/media/0f91b3b5a3379ba87f362b29a39f2e61/hrefhttps://medium.com/media/86aa007f3fcac6149b4c08160247d103/href

  • AR livestream for the Taobao Maker Festival: customers standing in the front of a big screen can interact with others in the screen. It was more like a marketing strategy for attracting more customers, which is one of the most important use cases for AR.
  • In partnership with Microsoft HoloLens, Alibaba is going to launch Taobao Buy, shopping experience that uses AR technology to bring 3D versions of products into the real world. To bring this experience to life, a 3,200-square-feet ‘futuristic shopping district’ will be assembled in Hangzhou.

The new marketplaces

Wannaby: an AR commerce company

A startup from Minsk, Belarus developed a mobile AR platform & tech so consumers can Try-On shoes, jewellery and apparel before making a purchase. A real AR commerce company.

Positive scenario: stay tuned with time to market

Virtual and Augmented Reality is potentially considered to be the next big computing platform. We’ve faced it with the mobile era.

In 2018, it was estimated 24 million of VR devices sold globally. The AR smart glasses worths $ 1.2 billion. (according to CCS Insight)

Goldman Sachs forecasts in 2020 for VR/AR softwares industry in retail $ 0.5 billion of revenue and 9.5 million estimated users. That amount will triplicate in 2025.

Virtual and Augmented Reality is already Business Reality

  • Reduce Marketing costs
  • Reduce Product returns
  • Offer efficient Analytics and data
  • Increase Sales conversion
  • Make strong Brand awareness

« Many retailers are still struggling with integrating mobile into their strategies even as the pace of technological innovation speeds up. As a result, many retailers will be unprepared for the shift to virtual reality. » Retail Innovation: U.S. Retail Technology Insights and Analysis

Scenario of a not planned immersive experience

The XR race in the Retail and E-commerce industries already started. Main players took the initiative and now mid-level ones start to play.

It’s time to get your VR/AR headsite. Or an AR app. Or just a webAR but take the initiative.

I’d like to thanks Grégory MAUBON for the opportunity to share some insights related to VR/AR techonolgies. Also thanks Nadia Mandich, Philippe Bornstein, Charlotte Landry and Frederic Purgal for the rich and constructive debate promoted regarding to this topic at Laval Virtual.

One more time, thanks Massimiliano Minissale for rely on me for presenting that.

Don’t forget to give us your 👏 !


Challenges in the VR/AR spectrum for reshaping the Retail & E-commerce landscapes was originally published in AR/VR Journey: Augmented & Virtual Reality Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Allied Pain & Spine Institute Now Offering Virtual Reality Services For Chronic Pain Patients

Allied Pain & Spine Institute, led by Dr. James Petros, is now offering virtual reality services in its San Jose clinic to address chronic pain conditions, including low back pain, carpal tunnel, fibromyalgia, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and phantom limb pain.

The Virtual Embodiment Training (VET) services from software company, Karuna Labs, are immersive virtual reality programs that retrain the brain of patients with chronic pain.

Dr. James Petros, medical director of Allied Pain & Spine Institute, is pleased to offer virtual reality services for chronic pain sufferers at his clinic in San Jose.

The Virtual Embodiment Training (VET)services are computer-generated modules developed by Karuna Labs and include a multi-modal approach to pain management and rehabilitation. The aim of virtual embodiment and motor imagery is to make use of the brain’s neuroplasticity in order to help patients retrain their brains.

Over a period of 4 to 6 weeks, the modules incorporate real-time motion and tracking to monitor the brain’s responses to pain. Upon putting on the virtual reality headset, a patient is prompted to move the non-painful side of the body. The virtual reality creates the illusion that movement is occurring on the painful side.

The patient might also be asked to play a game that mimics daily activities. Meanwhile, the online analytics platform measures pain-free range of motion, fear and avoidant behavior, and visual analog pain scores.

“In keeping with the integrated approach of Allied Pain & Spine Institute, I’m incredibly pleased to offer virtual reality services to help our patients move beyond the boundaries of their pain, and live a more fulfilled life,” says Dr. James Petros, medical director of Allied Pain & Spine Institute.

In regards to specific principles of virtual embodiment, Karuna Labs has developed modules for upper limb, lower limb, cervical and lumbar spine, along with additional VET for pain in the arms, shoulders, legs, back and neck. Additional conditions that can benefit from VET are carpal tunnel, fibromyalgia, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and phantom limb pain. The evidence-based technology, backed by over two decades of research, is non-invasive and drug-free.

More About Dr. James Petros, medical director of Allied Pain & Spine Institute:

Dr. James Petros is the founder of Allied Pain & Spine Institute, sub-specializing in pain management and musculoskeletal rehabilitation. With his diverse professional and personal backgrounds, Dr. Petros has transcended the science of pain medicine and captured the art of his practice.

His integrated approach and balanced understanding of injury and illnesses are testaments to his unique style. Dr. Petros is an accomplished clinician, researcher, author and speaker in the areas of injury and functional rehabilitation. He also works with Boston Scientific in the area of pain management.

Dr. Petros reached the culmination of his medical education and training at Stanford University Medical Center, has received numerous honors and awards along his extensive journey.

Over the course of his professional career, Dr. Petros has gained national and international recognition from America’s Top Physicians and Leading Physicians of the World for his work in pain care and rehabilitation.

To learn more about the Virtual Embodiment Training (VET) now offered at Allied Pain & Spine’s San Jose clinic, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. James Petros, please visit http://www.myalliedpain.com or call (408) 528-8833.

The post Allied Pain & Spine Institute Offering VR For Chronic Pain Patient appeared first on Virtual Reality Reporter by VR Reporter

Walmart’s tech incubator Store N°8 today launched its next startup, a VR merchandising company called Spatial&. The company offers VR experiences that enable customers to connect with merchandise, and is kicking things off by collaborating with DreamWorks Animation VR tour. At select Walmart locations across the U.S., Spatial& will set up a VR experience in the parking lot, allowing customers to visit DreamWorks’ “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” through VR. Afterwards, customers are directed to a branded, physical gift shop where they can make purchases.

The experience is meant to help DreamWorks market their film ahead of its February 22 release, while Walmart gets to hawk film merchandise to its customers.

It’s not all that different from the “exit through the gift shop” concept found at theme parks.

Upon entering the experience, customers are greeted by the film’s characters Ruffnut and Tuffnut, and are then led into a “dragon’s cave” where they’ll put on VR headsets and get seated in Positron motion VR chairs powered by the HP VR backpack.

The VR story they engage with will take them on a five-minute journey into the movie’s world, where they interact with other characters, including  Astrid, Hiccup, Toothless, Hookfang and more. During this experience, participants will have a multi-sensory encounter, thanks to hand tracking and 6DOF (6 degrees of freedom) in the Voyager VR motion chair.

When the experience wraps, customers are guided into a themed gift shop where they can buy merchandise like plush toys, action figures, DVDs, video games, and more.

Some merchandise from this collection will also be sold across 2,000 Walmart stores – not only those with the VR experience.

On the technology side, Spatial& and DreamWorks leveraged servers and workstations with Intel Xeon Scalable processors to stitch together high-res images and 360-degree VR videos. For the experience itself, the startup uses HP Windows Mixed Reality headsets, Omen by HP Mindframe Headsets, and PCs with Intel Core processors. Outside, parents can follow along with what their children are viewing via Intel-powered Omen by HP Gaming Laptops.

“We have set an extremely high bar for quality and innovation for the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, and our partners at Spatial& exceeded our expectations with their incredible work on this project,” said Abhijay Prakash, chief operating officer of DreamWorks Feature Animation, in a statement about the launch.“This latest Dragon film displays DreamWorks’ best in class creative abilities combined with state of the art advances in animation technology, and we are thrilled that this experience created by Spatial& lives up to that reputation while allowing fans to journey straight to the center of this unique world we’ve created for the film. It’s a truly exhilarating experience,” Prakash added.

Walmart says the experience will go live at 16 stores in the U.S., starting this weekend and continuing through early April.

Those locations include the following:

  • Burbank, California (1301 N Victory Place) – February 15-16
  • Pico Rivera, California (8500 Washington Boulevard) – February 17-19
  • Anaheim, California (440 Euclid Street) – February 22-23
  • San Bernardino, California (4001 Hallmark Parkway) – February 24-26
  • Las Vegas, Nevada (5200 S Fort Apache Road) – March 1-2
  • North Las Vegas, Nevada (6464 N Decatur Boulevard) – March 3-5
  • Glendale, Arizona (5010 N 95th Avenue) – March 8-9
  • Gilbert, Arizona (2501 S Market Street) – March 10-12
  • San Antonio, Texas (8923 W Military Drive) – March 15-16
  • New Braunfels, Texas (1209 S Interstate 35) – March 17-19
  • Grand Prairie, Texas (2225 I-20) – March 22-23
  • Allen, Texas (730 W Exchange Parkway) – March 24-26
  • Sugar Land, Texas (345 Highway 6) – March 29-30
  • Katy, Texas (1313 N Fry Road) – March 31-April 2
  • Rogers, Arkansas (4208 S Pleasant Crossing Boulevard) – April 5-6
  • Bentonville, Arkansas (406 S Walton Boulevard) – April 7-9

Spatial& is one of several tech startups being incubated by Walmart’s Store No. 8, which launched in 2017 to focus on retail innovation. Other businesses being incubated there include conversational commerce startup Jetblack, from Rent the Runway co-founder Jenny Fleiss; stealth startup Franklin from Wim Yogurt founder Bart Stein; and AI lab Project Kepler.

Two of the biggest games on Switch will soon get a virtual reality treatment. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey will be updated with new VR features that will enable people to put on their cardboard headsets and play these massive in-depth games.

The new virtual reality updates are coming hot on the heels of the Nintendo Labo DIY kit, the cardboard experiment that enables players to buy and assemble their own cardboard virtual reality headset. The Switch is subsequently slotted from the front thereby enabling the cardboard creation to function as a normal virtual reality headset. It may not be as nimble or have the clarity of some of the high-end virtual reality headsets but will still deliver great virtual reality experiences and Nintendo is throwing in some of its most popular and extensive titles into this cardboard headset. The Labo Kit will be out next week and will pack lots of cool and fun mini-games which users can play using various controllers for the VR worlds.

Super Mario Odyssey

Nintendo now plans to add virtual reality updates for two of Switch’s most beloved flagship titles so as to allow users to play these games, too. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is just starting to gain virtual reality viewer support but the Super Mario Odyssey game will add some fresh content alongside the new updates. This will add a trio of new mini-games. The two games will get the new updates for free on April 25.

The Super Mario Odyssey game will have a bonus mode that will be an extra to the original. The new bonus mode will have its own level and missions, separate from the main ones but both will occur in the same worlds.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the other hand already appears to be capable of being switched into the virtual reality mode hence enabling players to play their way through the game as though it’s the original, except that it will be in VR mode.

The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild

This VR update was obviously an unlikely decision for Nintendo to make given that the Labo headset kit is fairly basic and without a head strap so the players have to hold the kit to their head which further makes for a fairly cruddy VR experience. The Labo headset makes sense for the basic Labo experiences which are designed for the short social plays that are intended to be fast and fun no matter how rudimentary the tech specs are. However, they certainly aren’t a good fit for 50-hour or 100-hour in-depth gaming sessions such as the epic The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Nintendo’s new updates however seem to be geared for such epic and robust gaming which suggests Nintendo may be tacitly implying that users may have to play these games in virtual reality for quite some time.

However, a 360p resolution per eye will certainly not make for an impressive immersive experience in games like Mario or Zelda. It doesn’t seem like the updates will provide users with any different point-of-view perspective in the gameplay so users will still play the games in the third-person which is likely to create some discomfort when the camera is continuously shifting as the head stays stationary.

It remains to be seen how smoothly each of these games will play out given that the Labo VR goggle is designed to be held close to the face rather than it being strapped on the head as is the case with other VR headsets. Nintendo opted for this design so it could secure a lower age rating for its VR kit. The current “basic” and playful design is more attractive to younger players and even newcomers to the VR world. How players will juggle this with 100 hours of Zelda adventure is another thing altogether. Some users may have to improvise their own head-straps for those marathon games.

It could also be that this is just a Nintendo gamble aimed at attracting more traditional players to its Labo VR kit which may be shunned by the professional players looking for some serious hardware and gameplay. What better way to attract them than by throwing in these two epic games for free! The Nintendo Labo kit, with its DIY cardboard-engineered toys and game technology, has proven to be quite a novelty and so far, a successful experiment.

The virtual reality updates are coming on April 25th and will be totally free. The updates will also be downloadable and accessible via the games’ settings.

The Labo VR headsets arrive on April 12th and will cost approximately $80 and probably a similar amount in Euros and Pounds. Another set of the kit will have a more limited range of objects and users can subsequently extend it by purchasing the extra kits.

Labo’s upcoming headsets will follow in the footsteps of other cardboard-based gaming kits where players were allowed to create backpacks that transformed the kit-wearer into a robot and enabled them to play through virtual worlds.

The perspective of VR & AR in retail according to my friends (and I guess by the majority of Super Bowl audience as well)

The subject that I‘d like to bring here is a consequence of a presentation and discussion that I did and took place last week at Laval Virtual, in France.

Talking about immersive and interactive experiences in the largest trade floor dedicated to VR/AR worldwide, in Laval Virtual. How did I reach there? Let me contextualize it. There are some months that I’ve been immersing in the world of virtual and augmented reality. That started to go deeper when I met Max, Massimiliano Minissale, founder of Lab XR and Blumenlab. Thanks to Max, my knowledge and vision related to VR/AR has amplified strongly. 1 month ago Max asked me if I could replace him in a conference and panel in Laval Virtual which would have as the main theme: Immersive Retail. Well, to talk about a topic that I’m still learning and to participate in a debate with its specialists, it’s a challenge. I decided to accept the challenge with the condition of having Max‘s support. As everything went well, this article intends to share the inputs that I presented in the conference.

The subject

“The challenges involved in the Extended Reality spectrum for reshaping the Retail & E-commerce landscape” as a subject, was defined to be a complement discussion for the industry. Besides the importance to see what the market is actually doing with case studies and, besides the need to analyze the performance, results, investments, and projections related to VR/AR, it’s fundamental to point out what are the XR’s dares related to its moment/future.

Before I start the research for the presentation, I asked to some friends their thoughts about virtual / augmented reality in retail. Their vision: the convenience of shopping in their home — preferable from their living room, into a department store in anywhere in the world. The facility to try the products virtually and paying for it directly without pulling out their credit card.

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3. Oculus Go, the Nintendo Switch of VR

4. Expert View: 3 ways VR is transforming Learning & Development

Well, that reality is not so far away. So, going straight to the point, what are the implications for achieving that?

Extended Reality education — understanding its solutions and technologies

What is exactly a virtual reality ? And an augmented reality ? What is the difference between them ? Mixed reality, another concept ?! Well, in order to move forward and mainstream those immersive & interactive technologies for the retail industry stakeholders — shoppers, retailers, marketers, it’s crucial to explain the XR spectrum and clarify its nuances.

Extended Reality spectrum

For facilitating, let’s see an overview of what is the Extended Reality (XR) spectrum and its technology solutions.

  • Augmented Reality (AR): overlays digital information onto the physical (real) world of the user through a mobile application or a social network app (currently, many filters AR are been used on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat).
  • WEBAR: it’s the same concept but its usability is directly through a web browser (Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox).
  • Virtual Reality (VR): immerse the user in a virtual world through a head-mounted display (HMD), a headset. Some example of VR headsets: Oculus Rift (Facebook’s VR headset), Vive (HTC’s product), PlayStation VR and Daydream (Google’s VR headset).
  • WEBVR: the user can interact and watch a 360º video using a browser but its experience will be not complete and rich as experiencing the VR using a headset.
  • Mixed Reality (MR): a hybrid reality which merges the real and virtual worlds. There, physical and digital objects co-exist and interact. It requires a headset for experiencing it. Some of examples of MR headsets: Microsoft HoloLens and Magic Leap (its has Google and Alibaba as investors).
Overview: extended reality spectrum and its tech solutions

Imagine that each of those solutions requires a specific development based on the platform, system or device involved. For developing an XR project in an effective way it must know and meet the specification of the technology adopted respecting its limitations without impact the final end result. So the same concept of a project can be experienced differently depending on the device or mobile operating system of the costumer for example. That context is going to be even harder if you think in how many other players have been working in new devices and platforms now. The ideal, from the perspective of the complexity for developing an XR project, would be standardize the tech development of each solution — but let’s consider that task as hard level difficulty to gain considering the dynamic and competition of the industry.

We should, therefore, count with multiple tech experts as a solution for carrying out an immersive project a medium/long term. The concept of “test and learn” should be applied to those emerging tech solutions taking into that scenario. Or picking just one solution to invest and hope it will be assertive.

Market professional restructuration for providing immersive technologies

The key driver for getting an effective extended reality project is to develop it REALISTIC and EASY TO USE software. Provide a high-quality content, encourage a well-done interaction and provide powerful usability. Those drivers will put you halfway advanced for reaching the goals of a retail player: to increase sales conversion and reduce return rate (for e-commerce).

Same consumers’ questions, different answers’ formats.

What will this t-shirt look like on me? What will this couch look like in my home? I’d like to know more information about this tennis.

The costumer’s question are the same, what it has changed is the possibilities to reach and approach them.

Even from the retailer perspective, the data for understanding its customers interests can be answered through technology more effectively.

But for attending those issues through immersive and interactive technologies is demands a change in the market. From now, new skills are demanded to the companies which want to include VR/AR in their strategy.

Overview: VR/AR technology involvement

Take look again in how many technologies are involved in that environment. Believe me, there are just a few presented in the picture.

When it comes to Retail and E-commerce industries besides the technology aspect there are also other needs, such as the 3D animation of the products. For a VR project it can involve a 360º video production, the voice over for complementing the narrative, its translation according to the markets desired by the retailer, an adaptation of the gestures based on the regional culture etc. All those tasks can be a challenge if the company is not structured /planned.

Outsourcing or making it In-House ?

Well, that is a key question for those who intend to integrate an immersive experience strategy on its operation. Should I avoid part of the headache then outsource that development or, should I internalize it in order to save cost? From my point of view, it depends. It’s not always that internalizing resources will save costs. The same for the opposite, outsourcing can give many headaches, mainly if you don’t pick the correct partner/vendor. Let’s pick up as an example an e-commerce company which intends to integrate Augmented Reality in its strategy. If we analyze its process flow, to include 3D images production of its products could be a step to be internalized taking in mind that today there are many tools to facilitate that kind of production. Training or hiring a professional for covering that task and integrate it into the process flow can be doable. But internalizing the technology development can be an issue due to the strong dynamic in the XR landscape, its technology requirements/specifications by the system, platforms, devices, and all its variation. It would require having developer experts according to the adopted XR technology and also making the efforts to keep them frequently update with the market changes.

Providing shopping experience everywhere: physically, digital and social

The customer journey has changed with new technologies adoption. The possibility for the retail and e-commerce brands to offer an immersive and interactive experience physically, digital and social is redesigning the way how they connect with their customers.

Customer’s journey being adapted according to technology advance

Immerse the costumer in a virtual fitting/dressing room. Offer a virtual test drive. Overlay digital information onto the physical world: furniture, a clothing, a shoe, any other information for supporting the product’s sales.

Identify the key information to digitalize, provide good usability to experience, offer a powerful interface to attract, as consequence: higher sales conversion, strong brand awareness, reduction of e-commerce return rate.

According to BRP consulting:

32% of consumers say are likely to shop at a store with AR experience but only 9% of retailers offer the technology. 29% of them plan to offer AR in the next 3 years.

29% of consumers are likely to shop at a store with VR experience but only 7% of retailers offer the technology. 23% of them plan to offer AR in the next 3 years.

Automative industry

  • According to McKinsey & Company, the average of visits in an auto dealership by a car buyer is 1.6 today. 10 years ago, its average was 5.
  • An Ebay’s a study show that 63% of consumers were likely or even extremely likely to buy a car online in the future.

The consumers talk, the industry advances.

Engineers adopting AR tech for car design

Volvo & Microsoft HoloLens

Volvo has internalized the augmented reality technology for its engineers designing cars. Also allows the customers to see car features, colors, alternative options of the Volvo car through AR technology.

Possibility to verify with more details the car structure and features

Audi & Holoride

Audi has created a Virtual Reality startup for providing immersive experience inside the car. Their glasses count with a special feature: it combines XR with vehicle movement and navigation data in real time. Audi announced during the CES 2019 also a partnership with Disney for offering thematic VR experiences, like “The Avengers”.

https://medium.com/media/6c667fa6e3d8bddf0266fe5626e118d1/href

Fashion retail industry

  • According to NOSTO (company specialized in shopping experience based in Helsinki), 76% of large fashion retailer traffic comes from mobile devices, compared to 61% for their smaller counterparts.
  • A study realized by Yes Marketing, indicates that 57% of consumers said they have used a retailer’s mobile app while in stores, often to redeem or find coupons or discover items on sale.

If we analyze those insights we can see a clear augmented reality opportunity. See what some brands are already doing:

Nike & Facebook Messenger filtre AR

“The secret knock” — project AR realized by Nike

Nike explored augmented reality and gamification strategies for revealing to users a secret sneaker: limited edition shoe branded by basketball star Kyrie Irving. This project using camera effects platform to employ augmented reality (AR) with Messenger bots was very successful: sold out of all sneakers’ edition in less than one hour.

Nike is investing heavily in Augmented Reality strategies

Sephora’s Virtual Artist

Sephora’s app — has been improved with the advance of AR technology

Sephora developed an AR beauty app which allows users to “virtually try on” various products that could be purchased from Sephora stores. Through face recognition the app mobile follows the user face movement in real-time with the selected makeup applied.

Several brands testing the AR and VR technologies

VIRTUAL FITTING ROOM: Pulsion’s “magic mirror” and Zara AR app
BALMAIN PARIS: Mobile App with Augmented Reality + Virtual Reality in store

BALMAIN PARIS “First-Of-Its-Kind VR Experience”: the brand provides a brand experience through a virtual journey to the brand fan where he can see the creative process designed to trigger the feelings of Balmain’s creator during the genesis of his collections: “everything from risk and doubt to elation”.

Home Improvements & Furniture industries

Enables shoppers to virtually place home furniture, decor and remodeling products, from sofas to bathroom vanities, where they want them in their homes, true to scale.

https://medium.com/media/fb0f25c435aa3f7b9a4c56dddec9dcd3/href

Following that concept, Houzz developed the app My Room 3D tool which had over 2 million users in 2018 and contributed to an 11x sales uplift.

IKEA followed the same way with its Place ARKit app.

IKEA Place ARKit app: avoid mistakes and returns by allowing for 3D at-home furniture preview.

Lowe’s as well invested in augmented and virtual reality for offering to its clients immersive experiences related to daily needs.

The Measured app: the app turns a phone into a digital tape measure and provides instant measurements. Holoroom How To: VR in-store clinic where customers can learn basic Do It Yourself skills, including supplies needed and steps to completion.

E-commerce industry

Last but not least some inputs regarding the e-commerce industry, possibly the industry most influenced by the augmented reality.

According to ThinkMobiles:

  • 70% of e-shoppers are interested to use VR when shopping for clothes and accessories.
  • Every third online purchase is being returned. Virtual commerce app can reduce return by 23%.

https://medium.com/media/efb2c573c4aa2639dc8f1ecc43271c63/href

Amazon & Oculus Rift

Amazon has invested in virtual reality. During its “Amazon Prime Day” there were produced VR kiosks: users stick on an Oculus Rift headset and are transported to a city filled with Prime Day products where they can walk through different rooms for different sections of a store — from bath and beauty, to technology and then toys.

Alibaba is using AR to change the shopping experience.

Alibaba’s Platform Taobao Buy, expected to be released soon

Alibaba has been investing heavily in new technologies, and AR/VR are part of them.

VR shopping for Singles Days with Buy+ by Alibaba in 2016

Fresh news: Alibaba just acquired the Israeli startup InfinityAR: its technology can turn any device into a powerful content augmentation platform, using basic and affordable hardware: simple stereoscopic cameras.

However, its tests and investments in immersive technology have started years ago, some of Alibaba’s initiatives:

  • The first complete VR shopping experience, Buy+, aimed to let customers buy things in virtual reality. The platform was promoted strongly during the Single’s Day in 2016.

https://medium.com/media/0f91b3b5a3379ba87f362b29a39f2e61/hrefhttps://medium.com/media/86aa007f3fcac6149b4c08160247d103/href

  • AR livestream for the Taobao Maker Festival: customers standing in the front of a big screen can interact with others in the screen. It was more like a marketing strategy for attracting more customers, which is one of the most important use cases for AR.
  • In partnership with Microsoft HoloLens, Alibaba is going to launch Taobao Buy, shopping experience that uses AR technology to bring 3D versions of products into the real world. To bring this experience to life, a 3,200-square-feet ‘futuristic shopping district’ will be assembled in Hangzhou.

The new marketplaces

Wannaby: an AR commerce company

A startup from Minsk, Belarus developed a mobile AR platform & tech so consumers can Try-On shoes, jewellery and apparel before making a purchase. A real AR commerce company.

Positive scenario: stay tuned with time to market

Virtual and Augmented Reality is potentially considered to be the next big computing platform. We’ve faced it with the mobile era.

In 2018, it was estimated 24 million of VR devices sold globally. The AR smart glasses worths $ 1.2 billion. (according to CCS Insight)

Goldman Sachs forecasts in 2020 for VR/AR softwares industry in retail $ 0.5 billion of revenue and 9.5 million estimated users. That amount will triplicate in 2025.

Virtual and Augmented Reality is already Business Reality

  • Reduce Marketing costs
  • Reduce Product returns
  • Offer efficient Analytics and data
  • Increase Sales conversion
  • Make strong Brand awareness

« Many retailers are still struggling with integrating mobile into their strategies even as the pace of technological innovation speeds up. As a result, many retailers will be unprepared for the shift to virtual reality. » Retail Innovation: U.S. Retail Technology Insights and Analysis

Scenario of a not planned immersive experience

The XR race in the Retail and E-commerce industries already started. Main players took the initiative and now mid-level ones start to play.

It’s time to get your VR/AR headsite. Or an AR app. Or just a webAR but take the initiative.

I’d like to thanks Grégory MAUBON for the opportunity to share some insights related to VR/AR techonolgies. Also thanks Nadia Mandich, Philippe Bornstein, Charlotte Landry and Frederic Purgal for the rich and constructive debate promoted regarding to this topic at Laval Virtual.

One more time, thanks Massimiliano Minissale for rely on me for presenting that.

Don’t forget to give us your 👏 !


Challenges in the VR/AR spectrum for reshaping the Retail & E-commerce landscapes was originally published in AR/VR Journey: Augmented & Virtual Reality Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Nintendo announced today that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey will get free updates to work with its cardboard Labo VR headset, which left fans to speculate if they would have to hold up the VR goggles and play at the same time.

As it turns out, the answer is, “yes, that’s exactly how it works.” In a statement given to The Verge, Nintendo of America confirmed, “During VR play, the Joy-Con controllers are attached to the Nintendo Switch system and accessible on either side of the Toy-Con VR Goggles, allowing players to simply hold the system up to their face and control the game as normal.”

There you have it! Labo VR will be in stores April 12th, with the base headset costing $39.99, while the updates will arrive April 25th. That gives you about two weeks to get creative and engineer a cardboard helmet if you decide that you don’t want your arms getting tired from holding up the headset, and laying down and playing with the VR goggles on your face isn’t an option.

Super Mario Odyssey is getting a few new mini-missions, while the entirety of Breath of the Wild will be playable in VR. Today’s announcement gives me hope just yet that there’s promise for Nintendo to integrate more Switch games with its VR headset. Now I’m just holding out for Pokémon Snap in Labo VR.

Virtual reality is a computer-generated simulation or world where your entire view is virtual. With this technology, you can experience amazing things wherever you are! This is a project I built for the Google Cardboard in the Unity Game Engine using C# and Blender, called VR Bowling. In this VR game, the player’s objective is to knock down as many pins as possible by throwing a blue bowling ball onto the ramp.

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https://medium.com/media/a265ac4e0d55e8884429abc4b8a33042/href

In this experience, the user is in a bowling lane with the bowling ball already in the user’s hand, ready to be thrown through the ramp. The user has to try to get all 6 pins knocked to the ground.

Breakdown of Gameplay

Environment

The experience starts inside the bowling court on the leftmost bowling lane. The court looks quite similar to a real-life court with chairs and alleyways which look quite realistic. The user has to try to get the bowling ball to the end of the ramp and get the highest amount of pins knocked down. Once the user has thrown the ball and has knocked as many pins down as possible, their score is displayed and the game restarts automatically.

Bowling Ball

When the user presses the trigger on the Google Cardboard, the ball is released from the hands of the user. The user can control how high the ball should be released as well as the horizontal positioning.

Pins

There are 6 pins which the user is trying to knock down. As soon as a pin hits the ramp and falls, one point is added to the score they cannot score any more points from that pin.

Game Mechanics

Movement of Bowling Ball

First, the bowling ball object is created and it is kept as public so it can be referenced in other classes. Next, the values of the movement of the ball are assigned. The ball distance is 2.5 and the throwing force of the ball is 200.

This code takes care of the movement of the bowling ball. When the trigger is pressed or the space key is pressed, the bowling ball is released using gravity and it is moved forward with the throwing force of 200.

Deletion of Pins

When the pin touches the floor, the pin is destroyed. This floor is created in the pin collision area class as shown below:

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Making a Virtual Reality Game: Bowling was originally published in AR/VR Journey: Augmented & Virtual Reality Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Viveport Video gives content developers an avenue to monetize their premium VR video content

Celebrations of the third annual “VIVE Day” include Viveport content giveaways

HTC VIVE® celebrates “VIVE Day”, the third anniversary of VIVE’s commercial launch, with the release of Viveport Video. Viveport Video is coming to major PC-VR hardware platforms, in addition to VIVE Wave devices, and showcases a broad range of content in an immersive and intuitive VR setting. To further celebrate VIVE Day, Viveport Infinity members can redeem five free titles from VIVE Studios and take advantage of other great deals available through this weekend.

Viveport Video provides access to a growing library of 2D, 180 and 360-degree videos in a native VR environment. Available as a free download on Viveport, Steam, and soon on the Oculus store, the new offering gives PC VR and VIVE WaveTM powered headsets the ability to access premium and free media content optimized for VR. A Viveport Infinity membership will provide access to select premium content in addition to the collection of free videos available to all.

Viewers can experience unique video content from their favorite sports such as Major League Baseball, Red Bull TV, and McLaren Racing. Meanwhile, music fans can enjoy popular music videos and concert footage of their favorite artists from Red Bull Records, 1Culture and Ceek VR. Cinematic and TV experiences like Everest: the VR Film Experience, Dark Corner and FRONTLINE PBS round out Viveport Video’s offering as it continues to expand, providing some of the most compelling 2D and 360 content available in VR.

“Immersive VR video experiences are an exciting and captivating way for users to connect with the things that interest them the most and with Viveport Video, they now have access to premium content across a variety of lifestyle genres,” said Rikard Steiber, President of Viveport. “Through Viveport Video, we’re enabling the developer community to finally be able to monetize their premium video content and share these experiences with a large audience.”

“With Viveport Video, we can now easily share our immersive video content with users of all major VR platforms to further reach into our global fanbase,” said Rob Bloom, McLaren Group Digital Director. “We’re looking forward to connecting with new and existing fans as they experience McLaren Racing through the lens of VR video experiences, bringing fans virtually into our world.”

Powered by Secret Location’s Vusr Publisher, Viveport Video is now available as a free download on ViveportTM and Steam. New users can try a two-week free trial of Viveport Infinity, Viveport’s unlimited subscription service, and access the exclusive premium content on Viveport Video in addition to over 600 VR apps and games.

VIVE Day Promotions

To continue the birthday celebrations, Viveport is gifting Infinity members five free VIVE Studios titles along with some great deals. Starting today and running through April 7th, Viveport Infinity members can claim their free copies of Virtual Sports, Front Defense, Arcade Saga, Knockout League and AWAKE: Episode One: https://vprt.co/viveday2019

In addition, through April 7th, Viveport is also offering up to 90% off select games and apps for all customers while new purchases of VIVE or VIVE Pro headsets through April 8th comes with a 12-month Viveport Infinity membership.

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Allied Pain & Spine Institute Now Offering Virtual Reality Services For Chronic Pain Patients

Allied Pain & Spine Institute, led by Dr. James Petros, is now offering virtual reality services in its San Jose clinic to address chronic pain conditions, including low back pain, carpal tunnel, fibromyalgia, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and phantom limb pain.

The Virtual Embodiment Training (VET) services from software company, Karuna Labs, are immersive virtual reality programs that retrain the brain of patients with chronic pain.

Dr. James Petros, medical director of Allied Pain & Spine Institute, is pleased to offer virtual reality services for chronic pain sufferers at his clinic in San Jose.

The Virtual Embodiment Training (VET)services are computer-generated modules developed by Karuna Labs and include a multi-modal approach to pain management and rehabilitation. The aim of virtual embodiment and motor imagery is to make use of the brain’s neuroplasticity in order to help patients retrain their brains.

Over a period of 4 to 6 weeks, the modules incorporate real-time motion and tracking to monitor the brain’s responses to pain. Upon putting on the virtual reality headset, a patient is prompted to move the non-painful side of the body. The virtual reality creates the illusion that movement is occurring on the painful side.

The patient might also be asked to play a game that mimics daily activities. Meanwhile, the online analytics platform measures pain-free range of motion, fear and avoidant behavior, and visual analog pain scores.

“In keeping with the integrated approach of Allied Pain & Spine Institute, I’m incredibly pleased to offer virtual reality services to help our patients move beyond the boundaries of their pain, and live a more fulfilled life,” says Dr. James Petros, medical director of Allied Pain & Spine Institute.

In regards to specific principles of virtual embodiment, Karuna Labs has developed modules for upper limb, lower limb, cervical and lumbar spine, along with additional VET for pain in the arms, shoulders, legs, back and neck. Additional conditions that can benefit from VET are carpal tunnel, fibromyalgia, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and phantom limb pain. The evidence-based technology, backed by over two decades of research, is non-invasive and drug-free.

More About Dr. James Petros, medical director of Allied Pain & Spine Institute:

Dr. James Petros is the founder of Allied Pain & Spine Institute, sub-specializing in pain management and musculoskeletal rehabilitation. With his diverse professional and personal backgrounds, Dr. Petros has transcended the science of pain medicine and captured the art of his practice.

His integrated approach and balanced understanding of injury and illnesses are testaments to his unique style. Dr. Petros is an accomplished clinician, researcher, author and speaker in the areas of injury and functional rehabilitation. He also works with Boston Scientific in the area of pain management.

Dr. Petros reached the culmination of his medical education and training at Stanford University Medical Center, has received numerous honors and awards along his extensive journey.

Over the course of his professional career, Dr. Petros has gained national and international recognition from America’s Top Physicians and Leading Physicians of the World for his work in pain care and rehabilitation.

To learn more about the Virtual Embodiment Training (VET) now offered at Allied Pain & Spine’s San Jose clinic, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. James Petros, please visit http://www.myalliedpain.com or call (408) 528-8833.

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