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VR Trends Digest #6

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Published by admin
19 November 2020

The way you move in a VR session matters

Stanford Research shows a five-minute session is enough to identify a VR user based on motion data with a high level of credibility. The research team designed a system that identifies users "under typical VR viewing circumstances, with no specially designed identifying the task." The pool for the surveys accounted for 511 participants with varying demographic criteria and previous VR experience. The system manages to identify 95% of users precisely "when trained on less than 5 min of tracking data per person."

The hardware for the experiment was HTC Vive with controllers. The virtual reality content consisted of five 20-sec 360-degree videos followed by questionnaires. 

VR videos were used to observe how users would react and move, with some including strong focal points as animals, and others with an indistinct focal point, such as the middle of a forest. The questionnaires were used to examine head movements, arousal, presence, simulator sickness, and individual preferences. 

Three machine learning algorithms were applied to analyze all the head and hands data. It helped to develop a participant's profile, including the information about height, posture, head rotation speed, the position of controllers at rest, and how they move. Just wearing a standard consumer VR headsets allows collecting a set of data points enough to identify a person.

The key finding of this research is VR does not have a private mode. Oculus and HTC privacy policy allows for sharing any de-identified data. It means that it is enough to take one’s name off a dataset to distribute the results. So with the information at companies’ fingertips, it is possible to predict habits, understand vulnerabilities, create marketing profiles intent on grabbing attention.

The number of virtual reality users is growing each day. At the same time, body tracking data has never been more accurate and more plentiful. The question is how to protect the community from abusive uses of data tracking. 


Virtual Desktop by Oculus Quest

Virtual Desktop app is set to unlock the potential of this VR helmet by allowing you to stay wireless in VR with your favorite PC app content and to stream up to 4 desktops and put your Windows environment into VR on a virtual screen. So, surfing on the web browser, playing PC games, watching films and TV shows becomes easy with Virtual Desktop. 

It is possible to choose the environment. So, Virtual Desktop lets you be free from Oculus Link cable if you plan to play your fav PC VR game. The only thing you have to bear in mind is the WiFi router.


Practical AR with ClipDrop 

What if you come across something worth capturing in the physical world and want to transfer it into the site, for example? Now you need to install the ClipDrop app on the phone and computer, hover the phone on the object and grab it to the desktop apps and import it into the document. ClipDrop makes it available to import images into Photoshop, Google Docs, PowerPoint, Figma, Canva, and Pitch. This handy app allows capturing and transferring objects, and the practical use is obvious as well.

Amazon AR app for festive mood

It is not a novelty when companies use immersive technologies as a promotion tool. As an extension to the real environment, AR assists in delivering top-notch customer service by providing an opportunity to interact with the product packaging before disposing of it. Amazon launched an AR application that works with QR codes placed on the eco-friendly shipping boxes that open the possibility to create unique augmented reality jack-o'-lanterns. The use case is as follows: an amazon customer finds a blank white pumpkin on a packaging box, designs his jack-o'-lantern with unique features. An AR Amazon app brings to life this visual. As a result, augmented reality helps to deliver a festive mood and provide personalized customer journeys. 


Immerse, a Virtual Language Teaching Platform, raised $1,5 million in October, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a pause in the learning process for both students and employees. The result is lower job-readiness and difficulties in breaking through a professional arena. Learning English is essential to stay competitive in the job market. Immerse, a Virtual Language Experience Platform (VLEP), is designed to enhance existing English language programs. The start-up exploits the potential of virtual reality to impact the process of language acquisition. This goes in line with what McKinsey recommends as VR training simulations and virtual classrooms are one of the strategies for adapting workplace learning in the times of coronavirus. Apart from developing fluency in the language, the platform assists in improving collaboration, solving problems, boosting confidence in speaking a foreign language. No wonder, Immerse has managed to raise $1,5 million in October, according to Crunchbase. So the company can expand its product to Oculus Quest 2 as well as break into new markets. As we have to face a new normal with the focus on remote work patterns and distance learning, this VR platform will find its market and audience. 


An immersive experience with a Solgaard suitcase, or how the innovative company exploits technologies 

If you think that suitcase manufacturing has no place for immersive experiences, then you are mistaken. Solgaard’s case study proves that innovation doubled by applying revolutionized technologies is the success story. The company CEO, Adrian Solgaard,  applies virtual reality technology in product development when the benefits of spatial computing were used to design a prototype of an innovative carry-on suitcase. As the product has no analogs on the market, the company faces the need to communicate its benefits and show how it is different from the competitors’. The experience with the suitcase is the best opportunity to convince the audience of the advantages. Solgaard reconsidered its eCommerce strategy with the pivot to Augmented reality technology. Now the customers and site visitors can study 3D models from different angles while understanding its size and how it functions. Solgaard comprehensive approach to immersive technologies allowed creating the customer experience stimulating the interest to the purchase. What is the most recent example when you used AR/VR to boost confidence in your purchase? 


Fashion embraces immersive technologies

The COVID -19 pandemic made most fashion brands stop real-life catwalk presentations and shift to virtual showroom visits. Companies are embracing VR/AR in delivering a better customer experience. Modiface case allows users to get the most realistic AR try-on capability. So the solution creates a highly personalized experience that matches the brand’s goals with the precise simulation of the product. Some companies apply the same mechanics, such as L’oreal,  COTY ( uniting 77 brands like Rimmel, Cucci, Max Factor, etc.). Burberry ‘ARKit’ allows users to redecorate their surroundings with Burberry-inspired drawings digitally. Puma ‘LQD Cell Origin Air’ invites users to a variety of AR experiences, including cool filters, fun effects, games, with Augmented reality sneakers covered in QR codes. Tommy Hilfiger is testing the immersive technologies internally. The company reports that they have already created avatars as fit models for campaigns, but the company is planning to begin designing entirely in 3D, starting with spring 2022. Digital transformation allows Tommy Hilfiger to see all the details, the linings, the trimmings when they don’t have to create or photograph physical samples. 

We suggest you enjoy Tribute digital clothing. Bear in mind that people are paying real money for virtual clothes that only exist online. Is contactless fashion going to be a trend with a garment that cannot exist in real life due to the laws of physics? Let us see. Now we suggest having a look at one more example of zero-waste The-Fabricant digital experience with denim. 


Oculus Quest actual re-orders exceed even the boldest expectations

It’s been not a while since Facebook launched its breakthrough Oculus Quest 2. Now the company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has recently reported at the Q3 inventors’ meeting that the HMD pre-orders surpassed the 2019 original Quest ones five times. Oculus has managed to deliver a virtual reality helmet accessible to more people. The intention is to make it available in every household. As the immersive technology hardware market grows, the VR ecosystem dynamics show the same tendency. This market attracts more investments, increasing the software available. At the same time, Quest 2 accessibility opens new opportunities for existing games and solutions as new users enter the market. SideQuest marked the tendency of an increase in unique users, reaching 60k and 4880 signups by the third day. It is not surprising as the content available for Oculus Quest 2 is diverse, and the catalog size is impressive. Adding on top, Facebook concentrates on investing in the Quest platform to deliver more engaging applications. This actual increase in Quest 2 demand shows that mainstream audiences accept the new account policy as well as the tendency for VR to go mainstream. 


Interhaptics’ XR project development suite for deploying haptics across platforms

Interhaptics has recently released the mixed reality development suite for deploying haptics across platforms for both HMDs and mobile devices. The company promotes controller-less hand tracking. According to the company's research, the suite promotes 90% faster development for designing and integrating haptic feedback into MR projects. To be precise, a custom algorithm computes virtual grasping strength, which allows careful and life-like control over interactions. So the tool allows creating haptic enable and engaging content for generic haptic devices. Interhaptics provides consistency of haptic and hand interaction between platforms to give XR developers the possibility to deploy the solution with ease and without wasting time. Haptics becomes even more important than sound design in some solutions, for example. This suite will be useful in immersion for emotional connection, contextual, or spatial awareness.


Anna Metsik
Virtual Reality Consultant
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