VRAAS Virtual Reality as a Service ...is on a roll
THE DX-STUDIO AND SILICON LUXEMBOURG ARE JOINING FORCES TO CURATE AND REVIEW NEW DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES. THE DX-STUDIO (DIGITAL EXPERIENCE STUDIO) HAS BEEN LAUNCHED BY TECHNOPORT, AN INCUBATOR SUPPORTING ENTREPRENEURS IN DEVELOPING INNOVATIVE DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES. IN THIS ISSUE OF SILICON, WE FOCUS ON THE USE OF VIRTUAL REALITY (VR) TECHNOLOGY. Despite Oculus Rift's explosive Kickstarter campaign more than four years ago, VR has not managed to reach the living rooms of its main target: consumers of new technologies. Even though forecasts remain positive for the medium and long term, software (content) and hardware (headsets, VR goggles etc.) markets are struggling to find buyers. The costs of acquiring the equipment and the space necessary for a room-scale experience – where the user can move freely in an empty space for a more enhanced 3D experience – are the main causes. Even if the consumer sector is still temporarily restricted in terms of potential, we have chosen to put on behalf of brands and companies all the possibilities of immersion, entertainment and storytelling that this support brings.
Several sectors directly benefit from the arrival of this new medium, which has aroused curiosity and fascination: real estate, industry, education, and other areas where visualizing an object, a situation or a place can give a clearer understanding of a complex situation and enable faster decision-making.
Established in Luxembourg since 2009, and with more than 58 million downloads for smartphone games, Studio 3WG is an expert in the creation of video game experiences. The Studio 3WG team instantly recognized the value and potential of this technological innovation.
THE IMPACT OF VR ON CONSUMERS
“We recently attended the Springbreak Luxembourg trade fair at Luxexpo The Box where, in partnership with Technoport's Dxstudio, we organized a gaming contest. The goal was to introduce VR to the general public by inviting participants to play simple games. More than 780 people played these games and were wowed by the experience,” reveals Jimmy Fischer, founder of Studio 3WG.
As well as arousing curiosity among regular gamers, other passersby were intrigued to try out this new technology. “With this kind of reaction, we can definitely say that VR has a positive impact on consumers, and is a valuable tool for communication and entertainment,” adds Fischer.
AN INNOVATIVE COMMUNICATION TOOL
Despite its positive impact, VR is a tool that is still not exploited enough by traditional communication agencies due to technical constraints and a lack of knowledge in terms of the possibilities available. This means that it is not integrated into strategies offered to their clients. Fischer, however, is optimistic: “We remain hopeful that they will react and adapt quickly, especially since the costs of creating experiences have become more affordable through the democratization of tools.”
Furthermore, it is now possible to construct a new dimension in communication. By designing playful and immersive environments revolving around a specific element (a brand, for instance), there are innovative ways to experience VR.
Fischer detailed a project his team developed for the ICT Spring 2017 conference in Luxembourg. “In partnership with Id-ea, we created a gaming contest around the theme of ‘space' (as required by the organizers of the event). The environment created for this game was inspired by ‘Paranoia' (an energy drink brand) which was integrated into the storyline of the game and was a central part of the whole experience. Players had to consume the beverage during various game phases in order to meet the different objectives. The system of points and ranking was based on the consumption of our sponsor's energy drink, giving more visibility to the integrated brand. It was possible, therefore, to promote our client's product in an original and fun way for consumers, avoiding all the negative aspects of generic advertisements that already invade their daily lives and whose impact is increasingly limited. This new tool opens the door to innovative communication that casts aside old advertising codes.”
READ MORE ONLINE:
- VR FOR TEAM BUILDING
- VR: A SOURCE OF ESCAPE AND FREEDOM - THE FUTURE OF VR Editor's Note: The Dx-studio and Silicon Luxembourg are joining forces to curate and review new digital technologies. The Dx-studio (Digital Experience Studio) has been launched by Technoport, an incubator supporting entrepreneurs in developing innovative digital technologies. In this issue of Silicon, we focus on the use of Virtual Reality (VR) technology.
VR FOR TEAM-BUILDING
VR can also be used for team building in companies, as a way to create stronger links between employees and improve group cohesion. Fischer details another project developed earlier this year. “Created in 48 hours during the Global Game Jam held at Technoport in Esch-belval, the game ‘Captain Tam-tam' allows three people to take control of a pirate ship. The captain wears the VR head-mounted display and must, using two tam-tams, lead the other two players (who are on apartment rowers and cannot see anything) down the route they must follow. The captain must guide them in the right direction by hitting the tam-tam, and each oarsman must row with all his strength to advance the ship to a cave filled with treasure. Only good coordination between the rowers and the captain makes it possible to reach the goal quickly. Thanks to a point-scoring system and highly skilled participants, this product is ideal for team-building activities. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have made it possible: Germain Linder, Thibaut Auriacombe and Jean-luc Robert from la Fabrique d'images, and Jérôme Labbé from Starbreeze.”
A SOURCE OF ESCAPE AND FREEDOM
VR can be used as a means of escape for people who have limited physical mobility or are not able to travel. Fischer is excited by another project currently in a test phase: “We are carrying out tests with Sidonie, a French startup that specializes in innovation for home support for seniors, and MAPA (Maisons d'accueil pour Personnes Agées), which will allow elderly and disabled people living in EHPAD (Etablissement d'hébergement pour Personnes Agées Dépendantes) to ‘travel' without moving thanks to images of the countryside or other serene settings.
THE FUTURE OF VR
If you visualize the future, you can certainly imagine the sectors that will benefit directly from VR. Let's take education, for example. Learning mathematics, history and science will be a whole new ball game for students who will discover these subjects in a fun, interactive way. What's more, the memorization factor will be multiplied. Whether it is by virtual reality or by augmented reality, the future holds some exciting opportunities that must be exploited now.
VR is a burgeoning new technology full of possibilities. Despite the current low rate of adoption, with few individuals equipped with VR kits, it remains an opportunity that should be seized by companies for communication, motivation, escape...time for a (virtual) reality check. Just try it!
Jimmy Fischer, Founder of Studio 3WG Jimmy Fischer Anna Katina