How to use VR Sync for your virtual reality event

Virtual reality is slowly but surely finding its way to the work floor. It is being used for presentations in VR to introduce new products or as a corporate presentation. We see VR being used for marketing campaigns, but also for VR onboarding and training. Lastly, more and more events are incorporating VR to draw a crowd, communicate about a product or service, and leave a lasting impression.

However, organizing a VR event can be a daunting task. There are still misconceptions and barriers to overcome like the ease of use and costs. Companies are especially careful with VR when they wish to provide an experience where multiple people dive into VR at the same time. In this article we will explain that a synchronized VR event can be easy and affordable using VR Sync.

In this article we will cover how you can prepare your VR event with VR Sync and how you execute your synchronized VR event.

Preparing your synchronized VR event with VR Sync

Before you can start with VR Sync for your VR event you have to make a few choices regarding:

VR hardware

There are various VR headsets available nowadays. VR Sync is compatible with most of them, but you should check the FAQ to see if it works for your headset. We recommend using the Pico G2 4K, especially if you want to showcase a 360° video. The Pico G2 4K is a standalone VR headset with a 4K resolution screen. If you are on a tighter budget we would recommend the Oculus Go. It is also a standalone headset that offers good quality for its price.

VR Sync license

To synchronize the VR experience at your event you need a VR Sync license. You can get a free trial, but this is only active for a week and has a watermark on it.

Content

Before your event you need to decide on what the goal of the VR experience is. Do you want to introduce a new product, tell your corporate story or is it a tool to attract an audience? Whatever your goal is, you need to make sure you have some good 360° footage. You can either create your own 360° content or let a VR agency create it for you. It is also possible to buy 360° content or watch existing 360° content on YouTube. You should choose whatever matches your goal.

Extra options

VR Sync offers additional features besides synchronised playback. You can add subtitles, a branded welcome room, spatial audio and you can send messages to users while they are in VR.

Bear in mind that you need an internet connection to use VR Sync. If you have no access to the internet at the location of your event you can use the VR Sync box. This is a local network that can run on any location.

Once you have decided on the choices above, you are ready to make VR Sync completely ready for your VR Event.

How to execute your VR Event

To start your synchronized VR experience, perform the following steps:

  1. Install the VR Sync application on your chosen devices.
  2. Enter your unique pin found on your dashboard and link your devices to your account.
  3. Upload your 360° content on the dashboard of VR Sync.
  4. Manage and control your devices on the remote page of the VR Sync dashboard.
  5. Check the connectivity of your devices as well as the battery status.
  6. Perform a test by playing your content via the dashboard. Check to see if your 360° works well in VR and if all additional features are added.

Once you have performed these steps and have tested your VR experience, you are ready for your synchronized VR event. All that is left to do is to press on the play button and monitor what people are seeing using the VR Sync remote control. Stay in control of the event using VR Sync and enjoy an effortless VR experience.

Ready to start your synced VR event? Check out our different licenses!

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VR Sync release 3.1.1

VR Sync now supports Oculus Quest

VR Sync version 3.1.1 is a minor release with added support for the Oculus Quest and an extra pay option. From now on you can also pay with Sepa.

The Oculus Quest is the first VR headset that allows for complex gaming without the need for an external computer. You have no wires or other accessories that you need to start using the Oculus Quest. Furthermore, the headset offers great graphics that allows for nice-looking video presentations.

You can download the application from the Oculus mobile store using key distribution. If you need help downloading the application you can find more information on this page or you can contact us!

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.


You should start training in VR and here is why

Virtual Reality has come a long way the last couple of years. We see VR being used for marketing campaigns, VR presentations, VR events, but also for VR onboarding and training. There are several reasons why companies are looking to incorporate VR in their businesses, especially for training. In this post we will explain the benefits of VR training, we will give examples and we will explain how you can train multiple employees in sync in VR.

Start training in VR

All companies train their workforce and most spend a significant amount of time, effort, and money doing so. Some boast about how effective their training program is and even though this may be true, nothing can beat on-the-job experience. Polishing one’s skills on real-life problems in day to day situations is ultimately what makes a professional valuable. This is where VR training truly shines out.

Real-life experience

VR based trainings put the user in a 3D environment relevant to the subject matter where anything can be (re)created. VR trainings have been used by companies, academia, and military for a long time and can be relevant for any party looking to train or educate. With VR you can place your trainee in any real-life situation where they will begin to respond as if they are in that situation. This allows trainees to acquire information relevant to the job, but they can also start practicing their skills right from day one.

Walmart is a great example of a company which already trains with VR. Andy Trainor, senior Director of Walmart U.S. Academies says the following  about their VR training: “We can create scenarios that may never happen (like severe weather training) or situations that happen all the time, but we don’t want to disrupt our stores to give associates firsthand experience. VR lets them explore these sorts of scenarios in a firsthand way.”

Another example is Clever. They used VR to create a real-life like simulation for garbage trucks to train their workers. METRO has also used VR to bring their trainees to a virtual METRO store using VR.

The benefits of VR training

In one of our previous articles, we already explained the benefits of using VR for your onboarding process. These benefits also apply to VR training. In short, VR training can recreate real-life scenarios with immersive video and audio. Trainees can train in high-risk work environments without the actual risk. Therefore you can use VR to train employees both safely and efficiently.

Furthermore, research shows that memory retention after a VR experience is 2x higher than after video- or text based learning materials. It also creates consistency within a company. With VR trainings you don’t have bad days where you forget to cover several points or where you don’t have the right tone or message. You can create the best version of the training just once and use it to deliver a consistent training.

Read the best examples of VR training

For the people who are not yet convinced of the strength of VR for training (even after reading the above mentioned benefits), we have collected a few examples of companies that have successfully used VR for training.

  1.  A Modular Interactive Virtual Surgical Training Environment

Summarized: Surgeons who had a VR training for 2 hours improved their time on task by 83% and were more than 70% “more efficient” in movement and measurements.

  1. Virtual memory palaces: immersion aids recall

Summarized: Participants of the study that were trained with VR  demonstrated a 9% better information recall and made 41% fewer errors than those trained via non-VR.

  1.  Measuring Virtual Simulation Value in Training Exercises

Summarized: Study includes data from 29 different training events that featured both live and VR training components. The training value assessment results show that VR trainings provide the same value as live training, but for reduced costs.

These are not only great examples of VR trainings, but they also clearly state the benefits: improved memory recall, performance, and even reduced procedural errors.

Synchronised VR training

When you train your trainees in VR it would be best to train them all at  the same time. It is more efficient and can reduce the training costs. VR Sync can offer you this.

With the VR Sync software you can upload your own 360° content and push it to an unlimited amount of devices. You can manage your content easily using the dashboard. Start, pause, and stop the experience with a simple click on a button. It is a user-friendly software that keeps you in complete  control of the experience.

Ready to start your synchronized VR training? Check out our trial version!

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Look&Play: Kiosk mode for user-controlled playback of 360° video

Today we have launched our Look&Play software. With Look&Play you let your users control their own 360° video playback. The only thing they have to do is look at an icon in the application to start a 360° video.

Made for smaller crowds

If you have a smaller event where it does not matter if the 360° videos play in sync, Look&Play is an option you might want to consider. Look&Play functions as a kiosk mode for 360 video and vr headsets where you don’t have to control the headsets from an external device.

How does Look&Play work?

The users are control with Look&Play where they can watch multiple 360° videos by simply looking at an icon. Once the video finishes the users are automatically returned to a virtual waiting room, where they can restart the process.

Features:

  • Monoscopic & stereoscopic video
  • Branded environment
  • No controller needed
  • Gaze interaction with multiple videos
  • Spatial & stereo audio supported

Look&Play is compatible for the Oculus Go, Samsung Gear VR and several Android devices. Need more information? Check out the Look&Play website.


The 5 benefits of using VR for your onboarding process

When preparing your new hires for their job you need to set them up with a lot of information as fast as possible. They need to know what will be expected of them and what the company’s culture is like. They should get to know their team members and the CEO. Yet, how can you cover so much ground in just one day? VR is the answer.

There are many reasons why VR can provide an optimal onboarding process. In this article we will give you the five main benefits of using VR for onboarding.

Understand the company’s culture

VR allows new employees to get an idea of your company’s culture on their first day. Using VR experiences, new employees can explore your company’s offices, access locations they might not otherwise see, and experience moments that you feel defines your company.

They can sit down with the CEO or founders to hear about the mission of the company and how they operate. They can join meetings, understand how people dress and act, and even see what a typical lunch might be like with their new colleagues. The more your new hires can see and understand about your company, the more connected they will feel. VR allows you to cover this ground quickly and efficiently, with a lot less manpower.

Effectively train

Walmart is the leader when it comes to VR training. They have rolled out their VR program to roughly 4,600 stores to help train more than 1 million employees. This has lead to great success and rising test scores. The reason why VR is such an effective training tool is because VR enables companies to stimulate real-life scenarios with immersive video and audio. This helps new employees to become familiar and comfortable within the environment prior to being thrown into it.

This is especially relevant for future employees that will work in high-risk work environments, like firefighters. By using 360° and VR content, you can create experiences that will teach your new employees to identify potentially dangerous situations. Through this method you can quickly bring your new employees up to speed both safely and efficiently.

Enhancing retention

It is hard to keep someone’s full attention. Especially on someone’s first day they can get distracted by all the new things they see. With VR you are much more likely to maintain the engagement of the viewer as you are in control of the content your employees see with their VR headset. In addition, research shows that memory retention after a VR experience is 2x higher than after viewing video- or text-based learning materials. UPS has seen their retention rate climb to 75% since adding VR.

One of the reasons is that human memory is anchored and made stronger by multi-sensory and emotional input. In VR people are “present” in the moment which increases emotional responsiveness and therefore memory retention.

Creating consistency

Human beings are inconsistent, which can get in the way of presenting a consistent image of your company. Training your new hires on a bad day can lead to not covering all points, rushing through, not giving the right tone or the right message to your new employees. By transferring onboarding to VR, you can film the best version of the process just once and use it to deliver a consistent message.

Standing out

If you ever experienced well-made interactive VR content you know how engaging it is. This engagement is a great way to excite new employees and to stand out from the crowd. In a research, 49% of millennials said they want a better onboarding experience and 82% said high tech offices will influence their opinion of their new job. In addition, 58% of global millennial workers prefer high-tech in-office perks such as VR and AR over free snacks and ping pong tables.

Are you on board?

VR offers many intriguing possibilities for businesses today. You can present using vr can help your company stand out, improve onboarding, and save time and money in the process. If you want to make your onboarding even more efficient and easier, you can use VR Sync. This software allows you to show VR content to multiple people at the same time!

Ready to start your VR onboarding?

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How to set up VR Sync for an easy VR cinema experience

The amount of companies that use VR cinemas to do presentations or launch products is rising. VR cinemas are a great way to experience 360° content. It’s social, fun and easy. However, setting up a VR cinema can be tricky. With this blog post we hope to make it easier for you.

We explained how you can start your own VR cinema. In this blog post we will focus on how to set-up your VR cinema using VR Sync. First, we will tell you about what you need before you can start syncing your video to multiple people. Secondly, we will explain how to use VR Sync to manage your VR cinema. After reading this blog, you know how to use VR Sync for your VR cinema.

What do you need

Before you can start your VR cinema you have to make a few choices regarding:

  • VR device
    VR Sync works with most devices, but you should check the FAQ page to see if it works with your weapon of choice. We recommend the Oculus Go as it is an all-in-one headset that is also user friendly.
  • 360° content
    You need your content. Without a film there can be no cinema. You can create your own 360° content with the help of a 360° camera or you can let a company create it for you. It is also possible to buy 360° content or watch existing 360° videos on YouTube.
  • A VR Sync license
    To start working with the VR Sync software you need a license. You can get a free trial, but this is only active for a week with a maximum of 10 devices.
  • Extra options
    VR Sync offers additional features besides enabling synchronised playback. You can add subtitles, a customized welcome room, spatial audio and you can send messages to users while they are in the VR modus.

You also have to bear in mind that you need an internet connection for VR Sync to work. If you have no access to an internet connection on your location you can use the VR Sync box. This is a local network that can run on any location.

Once you have decided on your VR device, content, license and potential extra options, you are almost ready to start your VR cinema.

How to manage your VR cinema

To start, perform the following steps.

  1. You need to install the VR Sync application on your chosen devices.
  2. Enter your unique pin found on the dashboard and links the devices to your account.
  3. Upload your 360° content via the dashboard of VR Sync.
  4. Manage and control your devices on the remote page of the VR Sync dashboard.
  5. Check which devices are connected and the battery status of each device.
  6. Play your content and monitor what people are seeing at the moment.

After you have followed these steps, make sure you check everything. Are all the devices connected and are the batteries full? Does your 360° content work well in VR and are additional features added?

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Ready to start your synced VR cinema?


VR Sync release 3.1.0

VR Sync version 3.1.0 adds a new feature to the existing VR Sync options.

With the new version of VR Sync you can  now watch non-360 degrees videos and images. In the Content Manager you will find an option to select ‘Regular video’.

Feedback

We’d love to hear your feedback. Please contact us if you’ve found any issues or have any suggestions. We’re planning to roll out new features on a timely basis.


Why you should use virtual reality for your next presentation

Presentations can be a nerve-racking experience, we’ve all been there. Weeks of blood, sweat and tears and it all boils down to this short moment. Relying on just talk can be a gamble. Visualization is essential. While most people use 2D tools like PowerPoint or Prezi we’re big fans of using immersive media like VR.

“Prepare an immersive presentation and blow the competition out of the water"

In this post we’ll first show why VR is such a great tool to present with. Secondly, we’ll talk about the ways you can use VR and the different types of content and equipment you need. Giving you a great insight in the benefits and uses of vr for presentations.

3 reasons why VR is such a great tool for presentations

While virtual reality is often overlooked as presentation tool we think it’s a great way to help get your message across because of the following reasons:

1. Immersive

During most presentation you’ll notice that the focus of the audience will decrease. It’s extremely important to keep them paying attention. One way of course is varying in content.  Start with a joke, move to a serious point and discuss a relevant case or project. Show a video, ask a question or start a discussion.

Virtual reality however provides a tool which offers complete immersion. Once the headsets goes on, there is no distraction but a complete focus. The viewer is completely surrounded in your virtual world. No way to escape your message.

The technology has already proven to help students remember information better since there are no distractions.  If it works for easily distracted teenagers, why shouldn’t it work for your audience?

2. Interactive

Most type of tools like PowerPoint are a passive experience while VR has layers of interactivity. In the most passive form the audience can look around in a 360 degree environment. In the most advanced form they can  interact with surroundings.

In any case 360 content will be a much more engaging experience than letting your audience sit through slides. Encouraging interaction has already proven successful in education to motivate students, so perhaps it can motivate and increase results with your audience?

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3. Memorable

Virtual reality is often referred to as a ‘VR Experience’. This is very true, it can be a life changing event which opens up the eyes to the unlimited potential. It has already been shown that people remember information better when given in a virtual environment.

This may mean that your presentation will stand out among others and that the audience will remember your message more profoundly.

The best VR content and hardware for your presentation

The best content of course depends on your use case, audience and your goal.  It should strengthen your story, visualize your idea or help get your message across.

For this purpose we suggest using 360 media. Photos, videos or virtual environments where the user can freely gaze in 360 degrees. This type of content has a beginning and an end which helps you keep control. Some examples include:

  • VR concept presentation
  • VR showreel
  • VR mood board
  • VR tour

In terms of hardware we suggest a VR headset like the Oculus GO for your VR presentation. If you need something for the audience to remember you by, a branded VR Cardboard with a link to your 360 content will do well. We already provided more information about the best VR hardware for presentations in case you need more information.

So called all-in-one headsets offer an easy way show your VR presentation 

Present perfect with VR Sync

Presenting your 360 content can be done with specialized tools like VR Sync. This allows you to easy play your content to multiple people at once with the press of a button. You’ll be amazed by the impact of an immersive presentation when all goes well.

We’re really eager to know how you used VR for your presentations. Feel free to share your experience in the comments.

Need help showing your great content in an awesome synchronized VR experience? Check out VR Sync!

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How Ford used VR Sync to introduce their new Shelby and stole the show at NAIAS

The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) is the global stage where companies introduce their new vehicles and give shape to the car industry. Almost 800.000 car enthusiasts visit NAIAS each year.

For the press preview of this year’s edition of NAIAS, Ford wanted to impress; not only with their new Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, but also with the introduction. For this reason, they decided to use VR to introduce their new car to 750  same time. This post will explain how they did it.

The 360 video: helicopters and a shiny new car

Before the video started, visitors received an introduction on stage after which they were told to pick up their VR headset (the Lenovo Mirage) from under their seat. After putting on the headsets they were  introduced to the new Shelby for the first time in a virtual Detroit. A timer counted down from three to one, after which the car accelerated and raced through the streets of Detroit. The acceleration from 0 to 100 kph in 4.8 seconds  surprised and excited the visitors.

The camera followed the car while it sped through the virtual world, made sharp turns and stopped at a carpark rooftop. A helicopter arrived, picked up the car and brought it to the rooftop of the Cobo centre, where the event was being held. When the 360 video stopped, the car from the video was lowered from the ceiling onto the NAIAS stage.

“Once we took the headset off that very car we saw in the virtual world was right there in front of us in the real world!” – Jamie Edmonds, sports anchor WDIV Local 4

The setup: 750 visitors simultaneously viewing the same VR content

The challenge of this high-end event was the amount of headsets (750) that needed to be installed and synchronized for the press preview of Ford. The VR Sync team took care of the virtual reality part from beginning to end.

The VR Sync event team already worked on the case a month before the event took place. They created a detailed planning of every step that needed to be taken and worked this out. For example, the shipping of all 750 Lenovo Mirage headsets to the event location. Two weeks before the event, the team moved to the event location in Detroit to prepare everything there.

The most important aspect of the preparation was hardware management. They prepared, charged and numbered all headsets at the event location. By numbering the headsets, the event team was able to monitor the status of each unit and swap them if needed.

The VR Sync event team supplied the technology to simultaneously show VR to 750 people. The Ford content was loaded in the VR Sync software. This software connects an unlimited amount of headsets to one device (laptop, smartphone or special event device) without the need for an internet connection, just a local network.

For this event VR Sync was integrated into the event’s Watchout system using OSC. This allowed the event organisers to be in full control; they could play, pause and stop the 360 video automatically from the show system.

The last step was putting everything in place for the big show. The VR Sync event team made sure that all little details were covered and the headsets were in perfect state for the press preview.

Not your average car reveal

It was an ambitious choice of Ford to implement VR during the NAIAS on this kind of scale, but it worked in their favour. According to Justin Westbrook, writer for car website Jalopnik, Ford had “one of the more elaborate demos from an otherwise fairly quiet auto show”. The news channel of WDIV Local 4 called the experience “not your average car reveal”.

The Mustang Shelby GT500 got an impressive introduction during the NAIAS 2019. Thanks to the reveal, even more people can dream about having such a shiny new car.

“I think we gave everyone a very special moment that they will always remember.” – Alistair Wilson, managing director Imagination

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VR Sync release 3.0.10.

VR Sync version 3.0.10 adds a list of improvements to the existing VR Sync clients and server. We recommend every cloud user to upgrade to the new application to benefit from a great range of fixes.

Features

  • PicoVR Support: Added a dedicated PicoVR client version.
  • Webremote device improvements: Support for hundreds of devices thanks to pagination, and an easier grouping experience.
  • Preload improvements: Cancel preloading at any time, view the progress of your downloads, resume previously failed preloads and exit out of the app.
  • Windows improvements: Exit the windows version with a dedicated button.

Fixes

  • Fixed multiple small issues in the windows client regarding looping and spatial audio
  • Fixed rare issues in the video playback on Android
  • Fixed issues with local media
  • Improved seeking to the correct point in time

Feedback

We’d love to hear your feedback. Please contact us if you’ve found any issues or have any suggestions. We’re planning to roll out new features on a timely basis.