VR Sync version 3.3.0

VR Sync version 3.3.0

Smoother video playback

We’ve updated VR Sync to provide an even better experience. The latest version (3.3.0) offers an improved video engine. The quality of playback is improved which results in significantly better frame rates.

Update VR Sync by visiting the dashboard’s download page and follow the steps to experience the improvements.

Feedback

We will continue to improve VR Sync. To ensure this, we are planning to roll out new features on a timely basis. If you come across a bug, please do not hesitate to contact us.


VR Sync 3.2.0

VR Sync version 3.2.0

This new version adds two major features to make VR Sync preloading more versatile.

SD Card content

Devices that support SD cards (Pico G2, Pico G2 4k, and many Android phones) will now be able to use this expanded storage space for local preloading. This allows you to quickly swap local content without lengthy USB-transfers. For more information on SD Card preloading check out this guide.

Local video names

The content filenames will now be listed in the VR Sync Remote. This allows you to see the exact video’s being preloaded instead of for example ‘Local Video 1’. This feature also allows you to see which files are different per device, to identify preloading issues during the testing phase.

Feedback

We will continue to improve VR Sync. To ensure this, we are planning to roll out new features on a timely basis. If you come across a bug, please do not hesitate to contact us.


How To synchronize Oculus GO devices

Is it possible to let multiple users experience the same virtual experience using multiple headsets? Although VR is often regarded as an individual experience, it’s definitely possible to sync Oculus GO devices or other headsets. The best method depends on the presentation you want to share and the size of the audience you want to reach. Let’s look at the possibilities of the synchronization with Oculus GO devices.

Why use the Oculus GO?

The answer is actually quite straightforward; because it’s easy to sync the Oculus GO VR headset. As an added bonus this particular virtual reality device is all-in-one, easy to use and affordable in price. So there are plenty of reasons to choose this VR headset over others.

Before this product the Gear VR offered similar functionality. But that system relied on an expensive Samsung Galaxy smartphone, the Go is completely self-contained. There are also alternatives like the Pico G2 and the high-end 4K model. But they are more expensive and more geared towards specific usage. Ask your supplier for more information about these products.

How can you sync the Oculus GO?

Before we start syncing, let’s first decide what we want to achieve. For instance, in the Rooms app you can invite another Oculus user for a 1-on-1 interaction. This is fun, but ultimately limited. Then there are social venue apps like BigScreen and AltSpaceVR that place you in a virtual environment with other users.

These types of apps are created for social interaction online using a VR headset, the actual content is not leading in these solutions. If you want to show a 360 video to a large crowd of people in one physical location you will need a different solution.

How to use VR Sync for the Oculus GO

The Oculus GO software is built on top of the Android operating system. Oculus Home limits the features of Android which is a good thing in most cases. But for a stable connection between several, dozens or even hundreds of VR headsets you need root access to the device. VR Sync is such an app that allows for deep-level access, provided you first sideload the app. This is not difficult to do, and the process is reversible in case you want to use the GO for its regular purpose.

The VR Sync app is easy to use with an ad hoc master / slave connection that does not require an active internet connection to operate. The synchronization in the headsets is achieved by preloading content for smooth and synced playback. Headsets can be purchased for this solution, renting devices is also possible.


Announcing the new analytics feature for VR Sync

This free feature gives you great insight in how VR Sync is being used and how your content is performing.

 

Why did we introduce analytics?

We’re always committed to provide the best possible experiences for our users. This means adding new features which are often requested by our users. One of these is a way to gain a better insight on how VR Sync is used. Specifically in terms of playback.

What does analytics offer?

VR Sync Analytics allows you to monitor your VR Sync usage. It will keep track of how many times you have played and viewed content, and the amount of connections.

How does analytics work?

Using a date range selection you can see the stats of a specific time period.  At the top you’ll see a summary. Showing the peak of connections and the total amount of commands and views. On the 2nd part you’ll see a detailed graph from the set time period. The last part of the page shows the performance of each piece of content. You are able to interact with both graphs to check specific data.

Getting started and more info

You can dive straight in by going to this page or find more information in this article. We hope you find this new feature helpful and that it will help you get even more out of VR Sync. For questions or feedback please contact us.

All the best, The VR Sync team


Announcing the new organization manager for VR Sync

This free BETA  feature allows you to manage multiple VR Sync accounts from a single admin account.

Why did we introduce the organization manger?

Throughout the years we’ve added many features as a response to your feedback and requests.  Allowing us to provide a product which is perfectly in sync with the way it’s used. A feature which has been requested often is a way to manage multiple users / accounts.   We’ve now added this feature, completely free for everyone!

 

What does the organization manager do?

VR Sync’s organization feature enables you to manage multiple VR Sync accounts in one central place. An organization has one administrator account. With this account you can manage members, their content, remote and licenses. You can also decide who can access which part of the VR Sync accounts.

How does the organization manager work?

Create an organization and add users by inviting them per e-mail.  You can then share content with all users via the content page. Managing content for individual users is possible via the organization page. On this page you are also able to buy licenses and activate free trials.

Granting access to your users can be done in three ways:

  1. Account standard access without admin rights
  2. Remote only access to the remote control
  3. Content only publish/unpublish their own content

Getting started and more info

You can dive straight in by going to this page or find more information in the articles below:

Create and manage an organization

Manage organization user’s content

How to share VR Sync features

We hope you find this new feature helpful and that it will help you get even more out of VR Sync. For questions or feedback please contact us.

All the best,

The VR Sync team


The 10 best uses of virtual reality in theme parks

Some of the most popular apps for virtual reality are VR roller coasters. The user can experience a thrill ride from the comfort and safety of their own home. But it’s also possible to enhance an actual roller coaster with virtual reality. This requires syncing a VR headset with the track of the actual ride. On this page we will list the 10 best uses of VR in theme parks.

How does VR work on a roller coaster?

A ride in a theme park typically uses carts that transport people along a predefined track with curves, loopings and other exciting surprises. The passenger feels the wind and G-forces while watching the track in front of them.

By syncing a VR headset to the motion of the track you can play an animation that provides a perfect match to the physical experience. The rides are timed to the exact (milli)second, with syncing technology the animation in the VR headset will correspond with the movement creating a completely new experience.

Talk to our experts to discuss using VR at your next event

Why virtual rides at home provide a limited experience

As stated in the introduction, roller coaster apps for VR headsets are a dime a dozen. It’s pretty straightforward to create an animation on ‘rails’. However, from a couch the user can’t feel the wind or the G-forces that a real roller coaster provides. There’s a disconnect between the visuals and the physical experience which can lead to nausea. When syncing a VR headset to an actual ride all senses work together to create an immersive experience.

10 best uses of VR in theme parks

So without further ado our top ten list. There are many more great rides where syncing a VR headset creates a complete unique experience, check out the theme parks in your area for their selection. Some of the rides mentioned here were only available for a limited timeframe.

1. Coastality

This is more of a brand than one particular ride. Coastality designs VR experiences for existing rides, and also offers a home experience using mobile VR headsets. The virtual reality rides are optional and cost more than a regular ride without the use of a virtual reality headset.

2. Dæmonen

This roller coaster in Tivoli Gardens, Denmark, has been operational since 2004. In 2017 an optional virtual reality experience was added for an up-charge. The experience while using a Samsung Gear VR headset includes dragons, demons and other elements based on Chinese mythology.

3. Galactica

The “Air” ride at Alton Towers in Alton, UK, was renamed Galactica for the introduction of virtual reality. This feature was added to the steel flying roller coaster in 2016. This ride is technically impressive, the opening was postponed for four years because of the difficulty in the design.

4. Ghost Train

This is a stationary experience without loops and miles of track, but the use of VR headsets makes you believe otherwise. This ride was created to be scary and immersive, and was designed by the famous British ‘mind manipulator’ Derren Brown.

5. Final Fantasy XR

This ride is located in Universal Studios, Japan, the XR presentation complements the existing Final Fantasy theme. Visual Works, the FX company from game developer Square Enix produced the visuals for this experience. The enhanced version was available for a limited period, even though this brand is enormously popular in Japan.

Talk to our experts about how to use VR Sync for your company

6. Iron Dragon

This roller coaster with suspended carts has been a staple of the Cedar Point theme park in Ohio since 1987. In the following decades some features were added and the color scheme changed to yellow and orange. In 2016 a pilot started using synced VR headsets for a specific time frame each day, which was later expanded to a permanent option.

7. Linnunrata eXtra

This ride is located in Helsinki, Finland, and is part of the Linnanmäki theme park. The ride opened in 2000 and changed themes in 2004. It’s built in a water tower and offers twenty seats. Linnunrata is the Finnish word for the “Milky Way”, a theme that fits well with virtual reality. In the 2016 season this eXtra option was added to the ride.

8. Shock Wave

During the launch In 1978 Shock Wave was the tallest roller coaster in the world. It did not retain this title for long, two weeks later The Loch Ness Monster at Busch Gardens opened with an even taller design. Still, the ride remains a popular attraction, that was overhauled in 2008. In 2016 Six Flags added a virtual reality upgrade named The New Revolution, using an alien invasion as the topic for the enhanced visuals.

9. Superman The Ride

Six Flags is a pioneer in enhanced rides, this Superman roller coaster is an early example of using syncing VR headsets. In the storyline Superman has to save a city from bots deployed by arch nemesis Lex Luthor. So the  virtual presentation is intertwined with the original theme of the ride.

10. The New Revolution Galactic Attack

This ride is available at several Six Flags locations in the US. Samsung Gear VR headsets were used, great care was taken to provide a latency free experience to match the new VR visuals with the actual movement of the coaster.

Bonus: Proto Factory

Experience prototypes of the world’s first car, locomotive or hot air balloon and how they are brought to life using virtual reality. Visitors are able to see and feel how these prototypes behaved and were controlled using simulators, motion platforms and VR headsets. For a new attraction, a subterranean vehicle will simulate a trip to the center of the earth. This attraction uses a motion platform which needs to be synchronized with 15 VR headsets at the same time.

Talk to our experts about how to use VR Sync for your company

How to use VR Sync to start teaching with VR in your school

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Virtual reality education is no longer a vision for the future, with the large number of educational VR titles this technology is already used all over the world. From grade schools to universities and for personnel training.

However, the individual experience that is typically associated with virtual reality content is not ideal for use in a classroom. Is it possible to share content with an entire room with students? Yes, VR Sync is a smart solution for a common problem; shared virtual reality.

Why is a simultaneous experience important?

Watching a movie in a crowded theater feels different compared to watching the same movie alone. People are social animals, merely experiencing the same content together changes the way we retain information. For the most part teaching in a group leads to better results.

Apart from that the teacher will save time when a group of students watch the same content together. It also stimulates working in groups after watching the same educational content.

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VR Sync lets you share information

The pass-and-play method of using VR headsets is pretty common, with VR sync however it’s possible to control dozens of headsets at the same time. A classroom filled with students for example. The children will wear the VR headset, the teacher can start the presentation ( or use a kiosk mode for VR) and it’s done

One ‘host’ can send data to hundreds of users in the same network. The actual content is preloaded onto the system, this removes the requirement for a stable internet connection, it also makes the process safer from outside hacking or abuse.

Talk to our experts how to use VR Sync for training

Budget considerations

With about thirty children in a classroom a synced virtual reality experience can be expensive, every child needs a VR headset. It’s possible to rent both the VR Sync software (and optional hardware) and the required amount of headsets. As an alternative

The VR Sync platform is able to push data to different types of devices, with the requirement of a receiving software application. This flexibility makes it possible to utilize different VR headsets including cheaper Cardboard VR holders.

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What can you share with students?

The easiest way to explain VR Sync is by using an analogy. The viewers are a movie theatre audience, the host is the film operator in the booth. Only this time each participant has their own 360 degree view, and the host is able to send private messages to specific participants if required.

The most popular content for educational purposes consist of historical and geographical topics like a virtual tour at famous landmarks or a trip to the bottom of the ocean. VR Sync makes it easy to share passive content, this means video without complicated interactive options.

The teacher can introduce the video, after viewing the video the related lessons will commence. The host or teacher has more interactive tools at their disposal such as starting and stopping a video, creating a playlist and more.

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5 Ways Companies Made An Impact With Immersive VR At Events

Virtual reality events are not unique, how can you make an impact with immersive VR at your event? On this page we will show you five examples that will inspire you to create a truly memorable experience that will reach beyond the virtual environment. If you are interested in learning about how to use VR at events you can checkout our complete guide on how to use VR at events.

1. Samsung S7 launch event

The Samsung S7 and S7 Edge were definitely high quality smartphones during their launch in 2016, but all the leaked information led to a launch event lacking surprises.

This changed when the entire audience was asked to wear an S7 unit equipped with the brand new Gear VR case. At the moment the video presentation finished the members of the press were asked to remove their headsets, and the first thing they saw was Mark Zuckerberg standing on stage. The president of Facebook at a Samsung event explaining their collaboration was an absolute shock for the audience, this surprise visit went viral and quickly dominated the news cycle.

VR events work best when virtual reality is combined with an actual, real life experience. The Gear VR synchronizationmakes it a great tool for large events.

Talk to our experts to discuss using VR at your next event

2. Travel Bricks red button

Tour operator Travel Bricks offers 2000+ holiday destinations all over the world. “What are you going to do?” was the central question this company asked visitors at a holiday event.

For some inspiration an Oculus Rift setup was deployed with the addition of an alluring red button. By pressing this button a virtual roulette wheel would decide the holiday destination. A cool dive in the ocean for example, or a luxurious dinner on top of a skyscraper. Again, the element of surprise was used to present the user with a special presentation.

The intent was not to sell a particular holiday package, but to show the numerous options for travelers to visit. The red button strategy is a guaranteed success, no one can resist pushing a button to see what happens!

3. Innes & Gunn drinking on location

Beer and neuroscience are not two terms that are often used together. But for the “Immersion & Gunn” experience the Scottish beer company hired a neuroscientist to develop several audiovisual experiences to enhance the flavor of their beers during events and in bars.

The patron will watch immersive video clips of the Scottish landscape while drinking two types of lager. The virtual reality presentation tickles all senses for an optimal beer drinking experience. The customers received a VR headset and a beer mat with instructions how to use the hardware.

Perception can be altered with audiovisual stimulation, Innes & Gunn used it to enhance the flavor of their products. You can read more about how virtual reality can be used to enhance marketing campaigns.

Talk to our experts about future opportunities to use VR Sync

4. Loxam Excavator controller

A company that rents out professional vehicles for the building industry could place an excavator at an event, but operating heavy machinery during a crowded event is not exactly safe.

VR Owl created a simulation game using a VR headset and an actual excavator. Instead of working with raw building materials, the participants could haul digital cargo.

Using an actual excavator as a controller proved to be very enticing for the professionals at the event, the scoreboard provided a competitive element and was used to gather contact information.

5. Batman VR at Comic-Con

AR and VR is no longer especially noteworthy during the annual Comic-Con event in San Diego. However, Warner Brothers decided to go the extra mile using a Batman-themed free fall simulator. An actual wind machine was used to suspend participants in the air, during which an exciting film was played through a headset. The user appears to fall down, dressed like the ‘real’ Batman while floating above the very real fan blades just below them.

The simulations may have only lasted a minute but that minute will not soon be forgotten. The short running time allowed for numerous people to enjoy this spectacular ride experience.

Talk to our experts about using VR at your next event

How to use VR Sync for marketing activations

VR Sync offers the easiest way to experience 360° video with an unlimited number of participants. This makes VR Sync ideal for marketing activations if the specific goals are considered beforehand.

On this page you will find out more about marketing activation using virtual reality presentations, and we will explain how VR Sync can enhance engagement and sales.

Define your goals

If clear goals are not defined beforehand, it’s impossible to decide whether a marketing activation campaign has been successful. There are two primary methods of activating your audience:

  1. In terms of brand engagement the primary goal is establishing a connection between the customer and the brand, product, service or cause. Take for instance a product launch event with an audience of journalists, influencers and other selected guests. You will strive to provide the audience with an experience they will not soon forget.
  2. In direct response activation the primary goal is to boost transactions such as sales, or to activate the audience in another way. In this case it could be a sales presentation during an event, after the VR presentation the guests can directly purchase a product or service.

Of course there are many other goals to consider, in collaboration with the content creation team and the technical team that will handle the hardware and software, a fully developed strategy can be designed. This will not only increase the potential number of marketing activations, it will also make evaluation of the campaign easier to accomplish.

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Why use VR Sync for marketing activation?

In order to activate a person they need to be inspired in some way. Both tangible concepts like products, or more ethereal concepts such as raising awareness for a cause require a captivating way of presenting the message. These are two benefits of using VR Sync during the activation stage:

A captive audience creates more customers

You can show the same video on a television screen, a large cinema screen or through the lenses of a virtual reality headset. Not only does a VR headset guarantee optimal viewing conditions, it also eliminates surrounding distractions.

The viewer virtually steps into a different world, in the exact location you want them to be. This will enhance conversion during a sales presentation, or it will inspire further discussion after viewing the 360° video.

Share the experience

VR Sync is not merely a 360° video player, it provides an immersive theatre experience for an unlimited number of concurrent viewers. Picture hundreds of participants experiencing the same immersive presentation.

This shared experience creates a tangible buzz in the audience that an individual presentation can’t provide. Because VR headsets are used the even location does not have to be equipped for large screens or projectors, this allows the interior designer more freedom in furnishing the location.

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Shared marketing activation with a personal touch

The two advantages of VR Sync for marketing activations mentioned above seem to be in opposition of each other, individual vs shared. And that’s the power of virtual reality with synchronized 360 video: The individual viewer can look around freely for an interactive experience, while hearing and feeling the crowd responding to the same presentation. That creates an emotional response that will last far longer than the actual video.

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The best virtual reality marketing activations on the street

Marketing does not take place in a void, you will need to reach your audience. Not only that, you also have to captivate the target audience and convince them you’re making an offer they can’t refuse. More and more marketing campaigns are taking their efforts to the streets.

TV ads, radio commercials or print advertisements, go where your customers walk, talk and live. Why not introduce some virtual reality to the natural consumer habitat? Here are the three best VR marketing activations on the street, and the reasons why virtual reality marketing works.

Make marketing more inclusive

Marketing has always been a passive endeavor. Here is a product, please buy it. With the interactive possibilities of the internet consumers should be addressed differently nowadays, they want to become part of the commercial message. As it turns out, virtual reality offers a way to present a commercial message while providing an interactive platform for the potential customer. Take a look at the following three use cases and discover the potential of VR marketing activation:

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1. TopShop Catwalk VR

The fashion retailer TopShop wanted to invite their customers to the catwalk. It would not be possible to offer everyone a seat during a fashion show, however it is possible for customers to share a single seat. Technically the seat is occupied with a 360 degree camera that shows a fully immersive view for every person wearing a VR headset.

Customers were standing in a line around the block, just to get a glimpse of the catwalk while wearing virtual reality glasses. Besides ogling the latest collection the customers could also see famous celebs sitting in the audience. After the presentation the virtual participants could continue shopping in the actual store for immediate conversion and increased sales.

2. Travel Nevada

The tourism brand Travel Nevada wanted to attract more visitors by showing the sights in the region first-hand. They contacted a VR agency to create several 360 videos filmed on location in Nevada.

The result was presented on PIER 39 in San Francisco. Visitors were invited to wear a VR headset to view the beautiful scenery and walking routes the Nevada area has to offer. Apart from the people on PIER 39 the event was also covered on social media so an even larger audience could be reached.

Talk to our experts how to use VR Sync for training

3. The Ride in New York

VR Owl was commissioned to create a unique synced VR experience in New York. There are many buses that offer sightseeing tours in this sprawling city. This ride, or THE RIDE as this attraction is called, combines an actual bus ride with an immersive and shared VR experience.

The passengers all wear a virtual reality headset with identical content that is synced for all participants. Because the bus is actually driving around NYC, the hardware and software had to work within a local and mobile network. This was accomplished by preloading the content onto the headsets for an uninterrupted experience. The three sold out VR tours every day proves the versatility of the VR Sync software.

Talk to our expert how to use VR Sync for marketing