Augmented, Virtual and Mixed Reality Directory

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Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow : XR is still growing

Where to begin.   While there are many things that can be said about virtual reality, the first and not-so-obvious admittance must be to understand exactly where we are in the growth-narrative.   With so many headsets launching every month, and most of them not so dramatically different from one another save a few outlier headsets that have shifted the industry in 2019,  we’re looking at a true nexus for virtual; though XR is very much still in the earliness, of virtual reality, we’ve finally developed sight.   Yes, we’re in the first trimester of XR and we’ve now developed sight.   However. We must now most importantly consider that virtual reality is not a single variable equation, it’s multi-variant. We must consider first and foremost that this technology will one day speak to the better of its promises, with feel, touch, scent and most importantly, human developmental factors.   If we’re going to immersive ourselves, schools, companies and businesses; the case must be compelling and assured for one to leap from one reality to another. It’s pivotal for us to understand what physiological and psychological effects this will have on the human body when it comes to the content we’re using. That’s a topic of needed consideration.   Looking at the Virtual Ecosystem as a whole, we begin to realize that there’s much more to the narrative then sight. It begs the question then as to what are all the essential components to Virtual Reality, specific? What parts do we need to actually fly the ship? Beyond source material, wires and sprockets, where are we headed and what’s needed to get there?   Well, today we now have headsets that are more powerful than anything that’s ever been built for the industry. Laser and light HMDs are in full display and being showcased, globally. Hand tracking made a big deal of itself in...

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Snapchat Lenses Vs. Instagram Filters Which AR Platform is Best for Your Organic Marketing Strategy?

When Instagram Branded Effects came out of beta last August, I had high hopes that AR filters would help democratize product and brand promotion on this platform. My optimistic assumption was that by empowering your audience to insert themselves into your brand’s narrative, AR filters could help mitigate Instagram’s toxic influencer culture as the user’s ability to share branded AR content with their followers would essentially make them a brand influencer in their own right. However, I underestimated the grip that what The New Yorker calls Instagram Face has over any marketing campaign on this platform. Instagram Face, says Journalist Jia Tolentino, is “the gradual emergence, among professionally beautiful women, of a single, cyborgian face….as if the algorithmic tendency to flatten everything into a composite of greatest hits had resulted in a beauty ideal that favored white women capable of manufacturing a look of rootless exoticism.” And while Instagram may have banned all plastic surgery filters, successfully using AR filters for brand marketing has proved to be just as dependent on the same paradigm of beauty as any other marketing tactic on this platform. Instagram AR filters aren’t easily searchable—you can scroll through categories like ‘Selfie’ or ‘Events’, but not by hashtag or name. This means brands are left little choice but to use paid influencers to launch their filter campaigns, or risk having them languish in the filter tab on their feed because Instagrammers simply don’t know it’s there. Interestingly, a new subset of influencer has emerged from within the filter creator community—and out of these so-called ‘filter influencers’, Instagram Face is becoming increasingly prevalent amongst women in this group with the highest follower counts. I’ve also heard more than one AR filter agency explain that they’ll hire female models to help increase the visibility of their demo filters as—let’s face it—nothing...

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Immersive Technology + K-12 Education: Time for high- quality content

Immersive technologies are helping to reshape the ecosystem of learning. From healthcare to K- 12 education, many are looking to incorporate immersive tech into their own teaching practices. Nevertheless, many are often overwhelmed by several barriers like the cost of procurement, maintenance, and high-quality content development. Currently, innovative technology has outpaced the formation of searchable immersive content. Curating educational content that is relevant, ethical, and accessible can be rather tasking. Educators and students are seeking engaging, quality content that survives the novelty of new technology and leads to long lasting learning.   To create valuable experiences, educators need tools to build immersive environments with their students and peers or access to companies or organizations constructing personalized immersive environments. Teachers and students can develop deeper connections with their peers and build essential soft skills. Collaborative-created content fosters a meaningful connection by generating an emotional investment for the learner. This is also important in building long-term high impact engagement, as it has been observed that students are seeking non-routine experiences. For example, 3D virtual tours about any topic are fascinating the first time but the excitement wears off the second time around if one is experiencing the same curriculum. Therefore, the need for quality content is essential to internalizing educational experiences.   K-12 educational immersive experiences should tell a story to amplify the learning opportunity. Storytelling utilizing immersive technology brings compelling and memorable stories into the classroom, giving students the chance to experience the next best thing to the actual thing. A great immersive narrative increases understanding more than a textbook or homework assignment ever could. Imagine studying about an African country like The Gambia through immersive technology. Students can learn about how to work in another culture and country by undergoing “a day in the life of” various individuals - student, physician, street vendor, etc. -...

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My Thoughts on Immersive Tech

As a child I was always excited about new technology. I had magazines with flying car concepts, and I would get delighted watching movies that involve future tech. While growing up I obsessed about the potential of virtual reality in video games. While I loved playing video games as a 90s kid, I always felt like they were already behind. I thought the experience could be more immersive. I find it funny, when I look back at my childhood, I was a kid fascinated by immersive tech. I was already wondering when consumer VR would be a reality. I could not imagine I would be in this industry that I fell into while I was in graduate school at Savannah College of Art and Design. A friend of mine in my Media Theory class did a project on virtual reality. He was able to borrow a professor's Oculus Developer Kit 2 (DK2) headset for it.This was the first time I tried out a virtual reality headset, and while not perfect, I thought it was an awesome experience. It was at that point, I knew I wanted to be a part of the VR industry. I made my graduate thesis virtual reality focused and participated in the 2017 Oculus Launch Pad program. After graduate school, I got my current job doing VR design for a company called The Danse, a virtual and augmented reality company located in Memphis, Tennessee. I find virtual reality and other forms of immersive technology like augmented, mixed, and extended reality (AR, MR, XR) to be the future, especially in regards to education, training, and art. Immersive tech is an excellent tool for both education and training simulations. At The Danse, we do a lot of training and educational simulations for enterprise and universities in both virtual and...

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