VR World Congress
by Olga Alexandru
We went to the VR World Congress to see how VR technology is developing, get some ideas how we could use it for our clients, and have a bit of fun playing games. We found some interesting takes on virtual reality. It’s no longer just you wearing a headset playing a game. It can be an immersive 360° experience for multiple people with no headset like the Igloo. It can be a way to get a sneaky bit of exercise on a VR treadmill like the Rovr or a sit down experience where your body dictates the movement like the VRGO. Read on for my reviews (and pictures of me looking a bit silly!)
Stepping into the 360° dome was quite interesting. It’s similar to the OMNIMAX experience that you might be familiar with if you’ve been to a science museum. The one I went into was a tour of a high rise apartment. You sit on comfortable stools in the middle of the dome and watch it turn. This would be great for a group exercise where everyone needs to be experiencing the same thing for example a family doing a walkthrough of their potential house. Space is an obvious issue as this wouldn’t be feasible for most companies but they do have different sizes to choose from.
This was a super fun exercise! I put on the bit plastic sandals and stepped onto the circular treadmill. The handrails were there for a reason – it was slippery. I put on the headset and I was ready to chase coins and run away from ghosts. It was a fun game and I became immersed in it right away. It was easy to get caught up in the game and I found it to be responsive and user friendly. This turned out to be my favourite VR experience of the day.
Sitting down on the ball I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was told that my body movements would dictate the movement in the game. It turns out this was harder than I was prepared for! Instead of leaning back like I was instructed I instinctively moved my neck only because I felt like I was going to fall if I leaned back too much. The software was buggy and I had a hard time adjusting to controlling it with my body. Using a more supportive chair I could see this becoming a lot more user friendly.
Nook is a company that build small meeting pods that can fit 2-4 people. They have a material that muffles the sound without a door or covering at the opening which I tried out and actually noticed the difference. They have have multiple sockets so they are perfect for co-working. The way they were using it had virtual reality as an add on. So you could sit there with a client both with headsets on guide the client through a space. You would be in the same space together which is a unique concept as most VR experiences are solo. Nook is based in Bristol and so is the VR technology Opposable VR. The pods can be used separately or use together for bigger meetings. It’s perfect for internal meetings, client meetings or taking phone calls. It’s even great for solo working when you need to get your head down and focus away from noise and distraction. They are on wheels so easily movable making them perfect for changing needs. We could definitely see us using these in the future!