#Virtual Reality

Exclusive European Launch of the World’s Largest Mixed Reality Display

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We are hosting an exclusive two-day event to premiere the largest mixed reality display ever designed.

The event has attracted an array of high profile retailers, designers and manufacturers from across Europe and will be co-hosted by RealFiction of Denmark – a leading global manufacturer of mixed reality solutions.

To be held in Central London on the 23rd and 24th of January, the event – a UK and European first – is primarily to launch two products.

The first is the Dreamoc Diamond, a large new 3D holographic display which boasts 360-degree visibility, allowing it to act as focal point and centrepiece for exhibitions and displays.

Designed and developed in collaboration with Danish designer Steffen Schmelling, the Diamond allows real objects and 3D holographic images to be blended together and has been expressly designed for exhibition and event use across a range of industrial sectors including automotive – but to function equally well for point-of-sale promotion efforts in shopping and retail situations.

The second new product is DeepFrame, the world’s largest mixed reality display, newly designed by RealFiction. DeepFrame enables viewers to experience breathtaking images and animations as a virtual layer on top of the real world. Its game-changing capability is the ability to produce visualisations of any size, depth or distance, for example allowing a bridge or a castle to be superimposed on a real cityscape, or dinosaurs to roam across real galleries or gardens.

The US launch took place last week at the global consumer electronics show CES 2018 in Las Vegas with both Animmersion and RealFiction directors present.

Speaking about the launch, Dominic Lusardi, Managing Director of Teesside based Animmersion UK said:

“We are delighted to be hosting this event to show industry professionals how they can use the latest innovative solutions to enhance their business offering. The Diamond offers a real wow-factor. In a retail setting, for example, users can show flowing animations evaporating from a real perfume bottle – or highlight the intricate features of large products like designer furniture or cars, or anything else that takes the imagination.”

To accompany the launch of the holographic and mixed reality products, the event will also feature other digital tools, including Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), so that delegates can see the new products at first hand, but also compare them with other digital tools.
Dominic said:

“The ability to compare is important – often these technologies work best in combination – so it is important to us that our clients understand what is new, but also how to combine new tools with existing ones in order to fulfil their individual needs.”

Established in 2006, Animmersion is one of the country’s leading designers and suppliers of digital tools – dashboards, user interfaces, apps and animations – and work across a number of sectors including offshore & subsea, energy, process industries, engineering, construction, defence and retail.

For more information contact:
Ian Robson
Animmersion UK
01642 688091

Is there anything holding VR back from achieving it’s potential?

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Whilst VR headsets, in one form or another, have been around since the 1990’s, only now have we reached a point where we can safely say that the technology is here to stay. And not only that, it is the cutting edge of video game technology, and as a result, the industry is expected to swell massively over the next few years. The reason VR is becoming so successful and popular is because, if done well, it offers a sense of immersion and involvement that is simply unmatched by traditional console systems. As well as this, the applications for VR stretch beyond the video games industry, with medicine touted as being a particular beneficiary.

But whilst there is a spectrum involved when it comes to motion sickness, a not insignificant percentage of users still suffer in one way or another. Some people may find that after an hour of use, they suffer from no ill effects, whilst others may feel sick and have a headache for hours after use.

And there are a number of sticking points that might potentially stop the technology being as widely used as the developers would like, and one of the primary reasons for this is customer expectations.

Gamers demand a certain standard from console and PC games. For between £40 and £60 we expect high quality, AAA graphics and countless hours of gameplay. Whilst this is a very reasonable request on a console, the fact is that it is very expensive to develop this quality content for harder that still lags behind its rivals.

This, combined with comparatively high upfront costs could prove to be a major stumbling block. Given that to buy a capable PC and headset could cost up to £2500, and you can get a console for far cheaper, with better graphics and more games to play, customers may purchase the latter. This is a major problem because without investment, the price f the technology won’t come down to something more affordable. The headsets that are cheaper, such as Sony’s PSVR system, tends to be the ones that are most prolific.

In the near future, dozens of different companies are going to realise their own interpretation of VR headsets, and as competition stiffens, the quality of the headsets will go up, as well as the price going down. This in turn will lead to better content, more akin to what gamers expect from their consoles, being released.

How VR incorporates sound

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Despite the idea that virtual and augmented reality is a purely visual experience, many companies are now accepting that sound plays a very important role in the development of the technology.

Because of its incredibly immersive nature, pretty much any experience can be built around a VR system, and those centred on music are no exception. One example is a company which launched a VR DJ school, where lessons such as beat matching and mixing techniques are taught by virtual instructors.

The potential overlap between VR and music is great for musicians, as it allows them to not only have other ways to promote their music, it also can create a more intimate relationship with their audience, who are provided with musical experiences that were previously inaccessible.

The music in the actual programmes themselves is changing as well. Developers are wising up to the notion that sound is vital to create an immersive atmosphere, and thus investing time into perfecting it. Console and PC games followed a similar path, to the point where now, famous composers such as Hans Zimmer lend their talents to video game sound track. It may not be long before similar names are creating VR experiences.

To show some of the way music and VR are linked, we have compiled a list of some of the best music centred VR experiences.

  • Intone Sing
  • Playthings Musical VR Playground
  • The Weekend The Hills remix ft Eminem
  • Harmonix Music Visualiser
  • This Summer by Roomie
  • VRTIFY
  • Harmonix VR Rockband
  • Audioshield
  • VR Amplify by Mbryonic
  • SquarePusher Music Video

How to create authentic ambience and atmosphere.

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In the virtual reality industry, creating an incredibly realistic and immersive experience is vital to the success of the technology. Even the slightest issues, the smallest glitches can lead to a lack of immersion, and thus the VR experience not living up to its potential.

To that end, ambiance and atmosphere are key, perhaps even more so than in other entertainment media like film or video games.

To achieve this, the virtual environment must adjust itself in real time, in order to continuously immerse the user. With audio for example, it must be of a high enough quality,  and orient itself in a natural way, to convince the user of the reality of the virtual world.

The wind will sound different when the user is surrounded by trees, for example, than when they are in a clearing. And the sonic transition must happen fluidly enough to create a deep sense of involvement in the simulated environment.

The other key concern for VR developers, when it comes to ambience and atmosphere, is latency.

Latency describes the time difference between a user completing an action, and the virtual world responding to said action. Clearly it needs to be as small as possible, otherwise the user’s immersion will break incredibly quickly, and the world will no longer feel natural.

Humans can detect latency of more than 50 milliseconds, so, for example, if it takes longer than that after turning one’s head, for the environment to reorient itself to match the user’s new perspective, the immersion will be totally destroyed.

In the end, developers are trying to convince us that the virtual world is real.  Once we get so lost in the experience that we forget that there even is a computer, we have become totally immersed. And to do this, creating ambience and atmosphere, which can develop and change in real time, is vital.

How can incorporating haptics heighten the Virtual Reality experience further?

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Traditional VR technology, from a headset for example, engage only two senses, namely sight and sound.

But recently, with the growth of the haptics market, developers have been branching out, and trying to incorporate touch and smell, into the VR experience in order to further heighten the realism.

The possibilities, especially concerning the use of touch, are huge. And not just confined to niche markets – or gaming.

One of the criticisms of VR is that the experience can, sometimes, be a little isolating, but these new developments could transform it into one of the most intimate, most involving  entertainment, and learning mediums available.

Provided all physical contact is consensual and appropriate, being able to physically interact with the virtual world could open up a practically endless world of possibilities. How long is it until VR becomes indistinguishable from reality?

The most obvious way that touch could be successfully implemented into the world of VR is with horror survival games.

An already terrifying experience could be made even more intense if, when the character is grabbed by a monster in the virtual world, the user of the technology is also grabbed by someone in the real world.

While games will provide an enormous market for these products, the implications in healthcare, education and industrial training are equally exciting.

In VR – content is king, or at least it should be.

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The entertainment industry has access to enough money, and enough people, to fully harness the potential power of VR. However, some suspect that investments aren’t focusing on what really matter. Much of the money is being spent on developing the perfect headset, instead of VR specific content.

The market is set to expand rapidly over the next few years, and given this, we will likely see more and more entertainment companies trying to incorporate VR into their business model. But many of them will be unsuccessful, largely because they will focus on the wrong place.

The best headset in the world won’t be successful if the content you have on it is substandard. To put it another way, having a great headset is important, but it isn’t the be all and end all in terms of successful VR.

To successfully use VR, the content you create must be modelled around the medium itself. It must be either better on VR, or exclusively on VR. Too often, companies simply shoehorn their existing content onto the VR medium, and expect success on the basis of the headgear. This isn’t the way to develop the medium efficiently. Will using VR actually improve the experience in question? If the answer is no, then there isn’t any point.

Creating an effective VR world involves telling a completely immersive story designed specifically for the medium. If the content is done right, then a top of the range headset will only improve an already successful VR experience, rather than make it great in the first place.