Our company has been looking forward to the growth of Virtual Reality meetings, and in these hard times of 2020 it has forced our team at XpertVR to begin experimenting with the platform. Not to be confused with virtual conferencing tools such as Skype and Zoom, Virtual Reality meetings require participants to use VR headsets and controllers in order to navigate around and interact with virtual 3D meeting spaces and their colleagues in real time. Fortunately, as a VR company our team was able to prep our team each with headsets prior to our self-isolation. This has allowed us to have already hosted several Virtual Reality meetings, feeling out the good and the bad of using VR as a communication/collaboration tool . Below I will highlight the top 3 pros and cons we have found when hosting our Virtual Reality meetings.

Pros


Social Interaction - Virtual Reality allows you to physically interact, navigate, and communicate within the 3D space. Compared to other methods of online communication this is BY FAR the closest to feeling like you are in the same room with your team. Hand gestures and tones give your Virtual avatar a personal touch, and depending on which platform you are using (common ones include Engage, RUMII, VR Chat, and Spatial.io) this allows you to interact with 2D/3D content that is brought to the meeting using a variety of drawing tools or virtual sticky notes.


Limited real world distractions - By using a VR headset you are isolating yourself from the real-world. This limits the amount of external distractions you may face traditionally working from home as your eyes can’t drift from the computer screen. We found this helpful as it improved the continuous engagement of our team members during our meetings.


Sharing 3D content - As I briefly mentioned above the ability to discuss/interact with 3D content within a scene is a great way for our team to express their opinions. Our team was able to analyze, discuss, and show through virtual drawing tools how each model should be altered to reach our final design. This speeds up the process of design as our current process of sharing 3D files for approval can lead to miscommunication and a lot of back and forth emails or phone calls.


Cons


The learning curve - Virtual Reality equipment provides a great medium for interacting, but is only effective if the user understands how to use it. Navigating a 3D environment and using motion controllers takes some getting used to, so proper instructions and training sessions need to be held to ensure your meetings will run smoothly from the beginning. Any time we are testing new tech our timelines include room for Murphy’s Law


Internet connection - Having multiple people accessing a Virtual 3D world at the same time requires a strong internet connection. Without one, you will experience what video gamers would call server lag, where participants will have a delay between them speaking/moving and the other participants hearing/seeing them, and will occasionally be disconnected from the meeting all together. This can get frustrating having to repeat conversations as team members attempt to reconnect.


Motion Sickness in VR - VR creates a super immersive experience for the participants, which can create a sensory overload for some. We have found keeping the meeting rooms simple and limiting moving objects helps deter motion sickness. Even though many VR meeting platforms offer them, avoid hosting meetings at heights (skyscraper boardrooms, elevated coffee shops etc.) as this can also cause disorientation. The quality of both the headset you are wearing, and the meeting room you are accessing are crucial to avoiding motion sickness. As the quality increases, fewer individuals will feel these effects.


Overall the experience was super positive from the beginning, and as we continue to utilize these tools our meetings will become more efficient. The social interaction keeps our team connected, and being able to share documents/3D models within the spaces keeps us on track with our projects. We will continue to meet in Virtual Reality, and I encourage anyone reading this to explore Virtual Reality meetings as an option for their company as soon as possible.

Updated: Mar 16

We have great news! Clutch, a leading B2B ratings and reviews firm, has named XpertVR one of the top VR tech companies in Canada in their latest report. XpertVR has years of experience making ideas come to life. Our expertise can make a huge difference for your business, especially as the virtual reality market continues to grow in 2020.

We are especially proud of our rating from Clutch, as their catalog of verified client feedback constantly helps prospective buyers make decisions on service providers.

"At XpertVR we strive to push research forward through VR technology. To have our hard work recognized by Clutch is a great honour!"

In our latest project, we provided a custom environment for a market research firm. We were lauded for our precise solutions, communication, and adaptability. The application was built to test different furniture models.

“Xpert was able to quickly make changes to the build in the middle of dev which is appreciated,” said the IT Manager of the company. “I was always confident we were on the same page.”

Our work has also been highlighted at Clutch’s sister site The Manifest, a B2B resource hub and how-to guide that lists top industry performers. We rank as one of the best virtual reality providers in Canada. Our work can also be viewed at Visual Objects, where B2B buyers can check out B2B portfolios.

If you are looking to find a great way to improve your business, feel free to contact us today! We’ve won our Clutch award for a reason, and we’d love to prove it to you.

VR-Development-Award

Updated: Mar 16

What is VR Eye Tracking?


VR Eye Tracking is the ability of a VR headset to monitor a user's retina location, motion, and depth of gaze to provide insight into the user's vision patterns. Eye-tracking has been around since the early 1900s and has since seen many iterations of technology to improve the information that is being gathered. Now that VR hardware & software companies have been developing VR eye-tracking tools, industry leaders are beginning to see why VR will drastically affect their current and future research initiatives.


Photo Creds: Tobii Group

Why VR Eye Tracking?


Traditional Eye-tracking glasses gave insight into the user's gaze of real-life environments, or their gaze of virtual environments through the use of laptops. These are excellent tools but have limitations as real-life environments only provide insight into one physical space. Virtual environments allowed researchers to explore a variety of potential scenarios and collect a range of data points, but since the user is navigating the environment using a computer, the eye-tracking outputs are limited to the physical screen size of the device. VR Eye Tracking combines these two in a better way. A VR headset provides a full field of view that allows the user to gaze in any direction while navigating a virtual world. The potential of what seems like a small innovation opens many opportunities for researchers to collect more valuable information about the user.


Current VR Eye-tracking uses


Research - Professors and Market Research Firms are beginning to use VR to understand human behaviour. A critical contributor to increasing adoption for this user base is the Eye-tracking capability. The data collected while in VR can give insight about the person like no other. Businesses are able to analyze specific information about their customers like never before. Imagine a business was trying to determine which new product label design works best on their candy bar. With VR researchers can quickly test multiple product design options and locations within the store in real-time. This is an excellent method for market researchers conducting A/B testing. Now with Eye-tracking researchers can also monitor how long one person is staring at a particular area, generating heat maps of their gaze to see which products are piquing interest in shoppers. Lastly, tracking the path a user walks throughout the store can also be monitored to see which parts of a store generate the most foot traffic and how long a user stands in a particular spot.


Healthcare - Eye tracking has been a common method for detecting concussions for many years, but with the new age technology eye tracking has helped medical practitioners to diagnose a variety of diseases including ADHD, OCD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Schizophrenia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer's. Eye-tracking also provides a communication tool between a medical practitioner and patients with impaired motor skills, as the eye movements can be translated into communications like yes or no responses and item selection.


Software Players:


Tobii Eye tracking:

Tobii is an industry leader in eye tracking, both in VR and Non-VR situations. Their software has been available for use for 15 years, with many iterations and upgrades along the way. Their technology has been integrated for markets such as Gaming & entertainment, Assesment & Therapy, Medical Technology, Industrial Production, and Automotive. To learn more about Tobii’s products visit here: https://www.tobii.com/tech/markets/

Photo Creds: www.tobiipro.com

Varjo VR-1 20/20:

Varjo VR-1 comes with the 20/20 Eye Tracker, our integrated eye-tracking functionality. You can use eye tracking in your application, and you can log the information about their gaze for analytics. Eye-tracking can also be used for interacting with content: you can use it for selecting objects or prompting additional information about a specific object by simply looking at it.


Hardware Players:


HTC Vive Pro Eye

HTC has partnered with the leading eye-tracking software Tobii to create the first headset with integrated eye-tracking, the HTC Vive Pro Eye. This will be the first major push into the early adoption of eye-tracking for businesses as they have an extensive head start combining both the hardware and software. By doing so HTC has drastically reduced the price point for businesses to integrate VR eye-tracking into their operations. The HTC Pro Eye provides a new way of interacting with virtual scenarios with its gaze-oriented navigation. It also has foveated rendering to optimize the performance by reducing the power required by the GPU. These 2 features alone are a great improvement on the traditional HTC Vive, especially for business applications. The Pro Eye will also recognize blinking and facial gestures which can be transcribed onto a user's avatar, giving a realistic experience in multiplayer environments. You can learn more about the HTC Pro Eye here: https://www.vive.com/eu/product/vive-pro-eye/


Varjo - VR1

Varjo has focused heavily on training applications for high-risk careers including pilots, surgeons, industrial engineers, and heavy machinery operators. With this focus, their headset needs to have the best specs to recreate these dangerous training simulations. The Varjo has a “human-like” resolution displaying 60 pixels per degree within the headset. This clarity combined with the 20/20 eye tracker makes it the most accurate eye-tracking headset on the market. It also comes with an easy to use API for developing custom software for your business. The Varjo VR-1 integrates with 12 well-known development and game engine software. To learn more about the Varjo VR-1 visit here: https://varjo.com/vr-1/

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