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Connecting with the brightest minds – VR World Congress

By Susie Clark

Now is an exciting time to be a part of the growing Virtual reality (VR) scene; much of VR is uncharted territory just like the web was back in the early 90’s. There are many opportunities to create and build in VR as the possibilities and limitations of the technology are still being defined.

The VR World Congress brought together over 600 buyers, sellers and developers from VR and its surrounding industries from across the globe to Bristol, UK. It was a fantastic opportunity for the Omobono team to connect with the brightest minds in the VR industry and continue to learn about the present and the future of VR. Here are some of our key takeaways…

Think like a scientist…
Most VR projects involve a lot of experimentation, prototyping and rebuilding to get the UX (user experience) right, as applying existing ideas to VR quite often turns out to be the wrong approach.

Don’t get lost at sea…
VR is infamous for inducing nausea if not done right. In order to avoid this, hardware must render two independent images at a minimum of 60 frames per second otherwise users can begin to feel nauseous. Employees of ustwo advised, you can also induce motion sickness if you move the user within the VR environment unless the movement is initiated by the user. If you do want to move the user then travelling at a constant pace minimises many nauseating affects. It is acceleration and deceleration that causes the most problems, so figuring out the correct acceleration curves to move the user a constant speed was vital to their project Lands End.

Don’t underestimate sound…
A common theme among the presentations given was the importance of audio in creating an immersive experience. The human brain processes sound almost 5 times faster than it does visual information and can therefore add important location information to make a space more believable. Achieving the best positioning and volume of sounds is an art form in itself and it can drastically change how believable your VR is. Audio can even help a space in VR feel real when the visuals are quite abstract.

Top tips for Google Cardboard…
VR hardware is currently limited mainly to headsets from Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and GearVR(Samsung phone plus proprietary headset) but Google Cardboard allows easy entry for the masses to the world of VR by allowing a user to use their own mobile as a headset – and it’s cable free! It does however have some limitations due to the vast number of mobile devices it has to support and the relatively limited CPU and GPU processing power of mobile phones.

Best practices when building for Cardboard include;
• keep it simple – design, ui and ux
• use plain colours rather than textures
• avoid using lighting engines – (paint lighting effects onto objects)
• use big bold clear text – high contrast
• generate an experience that will last no longer than 5 to 10 minutes
• use audio to make up for low resolution graphics

The shape of things to come…
The ‘rules’ and best practices for VR are still being explored and will continue to develop and evolve as the capabilities of VR hardware are improved. We are all still learning how best to use this technology so the future of VR is very much in the hands of those experimenting with it.

Here at Omobono HQ we’ve been developing a number of VR concepts, pushing the boundaries of established communications, and experimenting with the exceptional ways in which this technology can now be used to boost your impact on the business world.

We are the digital experience company for business brands.

In today’s connected world, experience is brand.

So we help you create better experiences for your customers, employees, partners and stakeholders. Ones that work in empathy with them to achieve their goals, engage and delight them, and build brand loyalty.