VR Sync offers a complete solution that allows an event organizer to present virtual reality content to a group of participants simultaneously. Instead of the usual individual experience, the content is delivered to multiple VR headsets at the same time.
This creates a shared viewing experience while allowing the individual participant to look around freely. It combines the immersion of virtual reality with a group experience. How does this translate into marketing? Let’s take a closer look at the use of VR Sync for marketing campaigns.
Telecommunications provider Tele2 wanted to showcase the possibilities of live streaming using a fast internet connection. A select group of journalists and other attendees were invited to watch a livestream using VR headsets.
VR Sync was used to push the livestream to all headsets concurrently. After the presentation the audience members were prompted to remove the headset, designer Jan Taminiau was facing the attendees in real life along with two professional models.
This presentation merged live streaming video with a real life presentation. To emphasize the connection between the VR user and the surrounding audience, Taminiau designed a special VR headset with a 7” screen placed on the outside of the device.
On this screen a close-up of moving eyes was displayed so it seemed the VR user was looking outward. This unique design and the livestream presentation was reported by multiple leading journalists allowing the marketing campaign to reach far beyond the event location.
It’s customary to invite journalists, influencers and stakeholders to a product launch. But the options for a product presentation can be limited. In the above example the guests were placed in a virtual situation with a physical connection to real life. This approach inspired journalists to share the experience, and emphasize the unique features of both the presentation and the product, thereby reaching a wider audience.
The origin of the VR Sync software as it is used currently dates back to June 2016. KPN wanted to show 360 videos to a group of 250 guests concurrently. Filling a room with people and projecting video on a large screen is not new, adding the element of immersive video would be groundbreaking.
VR Owl, developers of the VR Sync application, accepted the challenge and scaled up their existing software to a much larger number of users. Starting a 360 video on one VR headset is easy, controlling the video from a distance is more difficult, but syncing the same video content to 250 attendees was nearly impossible at that time.
After intensive research and testing a functional iteration of the product was launched at the KPN Digital Dutch event. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Attendees shared their enthusiasm using social media, and named Digital Dutch the “Event of the Year”.
Not only did this presentation prove the capabilities of the VR Sync solution, it also positioned KPN as a leading and innovative telecommunications company. The event turned into a marketing tool that reached far beyond the event location.
Word of mouth is gold in marketing campaigns. You can organize an event for a select group of participants, if they communicate your message further a viral effect can take place.
Numerous VR Sync presentations have proven this strategy, after the main presentation for attendees the viewers immediately want to share their experience with friends and their social network. The method of delivery plays an important role in achieving this.
Watching a video on screen in a group keeps the viewers at a distance, both literally and figuratively. Watching a 360 video that completely surrounds you while sharing the experience creates a unique experience. Just like the participants share the presentation, they will want to share this experience with others. And that’s how viral marketing campaigns are ignited.
An important factor in successful marketing is a captive audience. You must grab the attention of the customer, both consumer and corporate, and present your message.
As an organizer you want to control the experience, the audience and even the response. Virtual reality events allow the participant some level of interactivity that engages the viewer, at the same time using a VR headset limits the movement of the viewer.
This creates a controlled environment with an interactive element. The potential customer or influencer becomes part of the experience, instead of an outside observer. This is why dozens of companies worldwide have turned to the VR Sync team to develop a virtual reality crowd based experience.
In order to showcase or launch a brand, product or service, a tailor-made presentation should be developed. By thinking outside the box you will reach a wider audience. VR Sync is perhaps the most literal interpretation of thinking “outside the box”, as the images displayed inside the virtual reality ‘box’ are taken outside this closed environment, and shared with attendees and their social circle for a maximum impact.
by Tim Nijland
Companies are constantly striving for optimization in all areas of their organization. Administration, production, logistics, communication and training. A company that keeps optimizing and innovating will grow larger and become stronger. Organizations that fail to take the next step will eventually collapse. This applies to all industries and sectors. Even though automation has replaced many tasks, the human workforce remains the cornerstone of every successful company.
Collaborating as a team with skilled employees is still the way forward. Virtual reality is a medium that enhances the way we experience and learn, VR Sync is a tool that allows companies and other organisations to train their employees in a more effective manner. On this page we will explore how VR Sync can be used to train your employees.
There are plenty of benefits of using VR in a professional environment, let’s start with the six main benefits that apply to most organisations:
VR Sync has the added benefit of simultaneous group training, more on that below.
VR Sync is a software service that allows the playback of 360 degree audiovisual content simultaneously on an unlimited number of virtual reality devices. Images and/or video are preloaded onto multiple VR headsets, the content is controlled through an app on a host device. The synchronization can take place within a local network, or through the proprietary VR Sync Box if a wireless connection is not available.
In short; VR Sync connects multiple local devices which allows for a simultaneous experience for an unlimited number of participants (limited by physical space and devices). It’s like a virtual cinema with unlimited seats and immersive 360 imagery.
Before we delve into the content, let’s explore a couple of key features that will allow the organization to setup a virtual training environment:
VR hardware can be purchased or rented based on preference and usage. For instance; a monthly training for 100 employees might not justify the purchase prices of 100 VR headsets that will cost several hundreds of euro’s for each device. Ask your supplier for a specific calculation.
The goal of an organisation is to train employees using 360 degree immersive images and/or video. This content will have to be produced beforehand. Existing content made internally or licensed from another source is a possibility, for training purposes custom created content is usually the most effective solution. A 360 production company will write the concept and script according to the requirements of the organisation and will produce the content.
Employee training often consists of text and spoken words. Images and video are supplemental but often not essential. In the planning and production phase the client should adopt a visual way of thinking in order to create a compelling presentation that will resonate. The 360 production company can provide the client with advice in this regard, but the translation from theory into practice has to be a collaborative process. Keep in mind visual content provides a higher retention rate, make sure each image counts.
After content creation the training can take place. Make a planning, determine the amount of participants, choose a practical location and arrange for all the required hardware and software to be present at the chosen date and time. This also includes (rotating) chairs, supporting staff to provide instructions or assistance, and perhaps supplementary materials for studying before and after the 360 training to maximize the impact of the presentation.
In this article we’ll cover how to install VR Sync for the Oculus GO / Gear VR using a redeem code in 5 easy steps. First we’ll cover the basics of connecting your device to your account. Then we’ll go into obtaining and using your redeem code. Lastly the installation process will be covered after which your VR device is ready. The whole process will take around 7 minutes.
It’s important that you have an Oculus account and installed the Oculus app on your smartphone. You can use this application to set up your headset and account. You can download the app for Android and iPhone. Follow the on-screen instructions to to connect your phone to your headset and your headset to your WiFi network.
The VR Sync app can not be found in the Oculus Store so you need a so called redeem code to install it. This code can be requested on the VR Sync Dashboard. Go to Downloads page and click the Oculus GO or Gear VR icon at the top of the screen. A pop up will open with some quick install notes as well as button to request your redeem code will appear with the following format:
Using your Oculus account you can redeem the code through the Oculus website, the Oculus Companion app (Android*) or the Oculus App for Samsung Gear VR.
* Note: At the moment Redeem codes can not be used on the Oculus iOs app. If you use an iPhone redeem your code here.
After successfully redeeming your code it is time to install VR Sync on your VR device.
Note: You only need to enter your redeem code once to add VR Sync to your Oculus account. It can always be found on other devices under ‘not installed’
If you have any further question, please contact VR Sync support at email@example.com.
VR Sync version 3.1.5 adds support for Equiangular video’s. Which is the video projection method for YouTube. You can now select this option in the Content Manager.
This release also fixes some issues with the Pico version of VR Sync.
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.
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While VR is used for serious purposes like virtual reality training it also still a great tool for marketeers. One that not only fits with your brand but one who personally addresses the individual customer.
Virtual reality is a new and powerful method of communicating with your audience which results in a higher engagement. In this blog will explore seven benefits of using VR for your marketing campaign.
In marketing it’s always good to keep tabs on the latest trends, right now virtual reality is very popular. It’s no longer the domain of a select group of technology fans or nerds, it’s also still a novelty that people can’t wait to experience.
Just seeing a VR headset will evoke interest in your message on the screen inside the headset, and distributing content to potential customers is easier than ever. The public and media attention regarding virtual reality will give your marketing campaign a significant boost and credibility and results in a higher engagement.
When someone wears a VR headset people will stop and pay attention. “What’s going on?” and “Can I have a look?” are standard responses while watching others experience virtual reality. Use a potential customer wearing a VR headset to attract others.
This method of grabbing attention isn’t limited to live presentations, you can show photos and videos of prior presentations and seduce your target audience to a new VR show “coming to a location near you!”. And let’s not forget the actual user; they will view and hear your message in 360 degrees for maximum impact.
Virtual reality can be altered to the demands of both the user and the company that will provide the presentation. Let’s say you want to show a house that’s for sale. Create a personalized virtual tour with information and suggestions that are suited to the potential buyer.
With a demonstration of a new model car the potential buyer will see the automobile in the colors and style that they prefer. Depending on the format (360 video of computer generated imagery) it’s possible to customize each and every experience for your clients.
The opposite of a personalized experience is also true; create a shared experience by showing a VR presentation simultaneously on several headsets. The VR Sync application by VR Owl allows the advertiser to create virtual cinemas in every location.
Stream live video or show a corporate video message and push the content tot dozens, even hundreds of VR glasses at once. This creates a communal experience without the distractions that a regular presentation will bring.
When you want to introduce a new product or service, but you want to keep the competition at arms’ length there’s no better solution than a VR headset that will show your message to one person at a time. If you use content that is not available online, you can show the latest products and services to the customers of your choosing.
This secrecy will engage the customer even more, because they will feel ‘special’ for experiencing the message that you wish to convey. Meanwhile other exhibitors will be left wondering what’s so special in those VR glasses.
You can show one person a simple 360 panoramic image, you can also invite hundreds of people to watch your latest line-up in a live-streaming video. VR is infinitely scalable. This also applies to the budget; even small companies can afford to rent high-end equipment and create a virtual marketing campaign.
It’s possible to keep your promotional activities intimate and personal, or reach a worldwide audience simultaneously. Virtual reality is shaped exactly the way you want the public to perceive it. Budget, audience and ambitions; VR can scale to your ambitions.
As stated in number six VR is scalable technology in a real-world sense. This also applies to the virtual world that you want to present. It can be pretty daunting to devise a marketing campaign that offers unlimited possibilities. Fortunately there are VR professionals that are able to set custom boundaries according to the wishes and demands of the company.
Virtual reality is finding it’s way to consumer homes, the work floor; everyday life. The event industry has also taken note but there are still some misconceptions and barriers to overcome like the ease of use and costs . In this guidewe will show that VR is easy, affordable and a great asset to anyone in or around the event industry.
The uses for VR vary widely. It can be used to transport people to another location, show your product or simply to draw attention or entertain. Use it before your event to invite people, at your event to show what they are missing out on and after the event why they should attend next time.
While there are many VR devices to choose from, we advise the Oculus GO for 360 video. For games or simulations use the Oculus Rift if people need to sit, the HTC Vive if they can walk around. When the type of content is not dictated by the client we advise using 360 content. Especially for larger events or when the budget, space or staff is limited.
Choose from video categories like nature, space, thrills and storytelling to offer something for each individual.
When games are requested choose the ones which are ‘easy to learn’ hard to master, like beatsaber. G Doing so ensures you have something for the novice as well as the expert. Games with a shooting element work well, are easy to pick up and fun for almost everyone. Most importantly; make sure it has end, keeping momentum and make sure everybody gets to enjoy the experience.
Due to the technical nature of VR, preparation is key. Test your content, hardware and brief your staff. Moreover, use specialized software like VR Sync to make preparation and execution easier. Above all; make sure the crowd enjoys the experience and has a great memory of using VR.
Table of contents 2
How to use VR at an event 4
Use VR for entertainment 4
Some great examples from brands include: 4
Merrell ‘Trailscape’ 5
Tom Clancy 5
Transporting people to another location 5
Demo your product, service or company with virtual reality 5
Mont Blanc 6
Saga Gateshead 6
Invite, stream or report 6
Preparing an VR event 8
Staff and support at an VR event 8
VR Devices & Hardware 8
Desktop headsets 8
Mobile headsets 9
Conclusion: which VR headset do I choose? 10
Up and coming; Oculus Quest 10
Choosing the right VR Content 10
360 video 10
VR Games 12
How to make VR a more social experience 13
Ready, for your next VR Event? 14
While VR is taking giant leaps it still leaves a lot to be desired, especially for (large) events. Big groups still pose problems in terms of scalability, control and support. Luckily there are some great guidelines and solutions to successfully use VR at your event. In this guide we will go in depth. You’ll learn everything about hardware, software, content and providing support. Making sure you can provide the best VR experience at your next event.
We have analyzed the current VR market and have found that we can categorize the reason of using VR on event in four different categories.
Virtual Reality is incredibly fun, a huge part of consumers rate their experience with VR as very exciting. For every event, audience and cliënt there is a suitable experience available.
Reasons why brands use virtual reality are brand engagement, a positive association and a high share value. Being immersed in VR creates an incredible engagement with the brand’s message. When it’s also a fun experience the user will gain a positive feeling about the brand.
Chevrolet created multiple VR- experiences to promote their brand. First they created a car simulator in the mountains for their new Chevrolet Colorado. To truly capture the car’s capabilities in its natural habitat, the dirt. After that they created a VR Baseball game to get people’s attention during the Chicago auto show.
Lufthansa took a different route. They let people inside an aircraft see a live 360 view of the things happening below the plane. They also got to see an interactive 3D map, where they could fly around and enjoy different locations around the world.
Combining the real world with VR. Huawei wanted to show off their new 5G technology so they created a racing game where the drivers were sitting inside with a VR-headset and a racing wheel. Outside there were tiny racing cars running around the track.
Creating the real deal. Using VR and motion tracking equipment Merrell created a hike that was combining the real world with the virtual. You could walk a bridge but also feel the ground shaking. Making people want to go outside!
Virtual Reality is a great way to ‘get away’. To physically be in one place and virtually in another. This can have great commercial value. Transporting people to a location where the product/service is being made or sold is a great use case. Like a visit to the Tesla factory. Tour operators like Thomas Cook and hotels like the Marrriot take VR transportation to the next level. Last mentioned transport clients to the other side of the world.
When there is no need for anything commercial, VR can also be interesting. Relaxing at the beach or in nature for a couple of minutes can really take the edge off at a busy fair or expo. For example, the Sensisks is a sensory reality pod which offers a great way to relax.
It’s already proven that VR has a much higher engagement and click through rate while the emotional reaction is also much stronger than traditional, 2D media. So it’s safe to assume that people are more willing to dive into a fun VR experience than talk to a sales representative. I
While in the virtual world users can interact in a unique way by changing scenarios, demo-ing product or ‘using’ your product. Rituals has done this with a campaign for their Hamam line. Creating a multisensory experience where attendees get a virtual and real life massage simultaneously. Bringing an unique experience which engages all the senses.
Ford showed 750 people their new Ford Shelby using virtual reality. The car drove through a virtual world showing off the new look and new features. And when the video ended the real car was lifted down onto the stage. Talking about an car-tastic entrancence!
Also promoted their new car the Renault Koleos using VR. They let people inside a plane experience what it was like to get off the plane and then drive the new Koleos. When the people would get off the plane though. They would find themself using the car for real.
Mont blanc wanted to give their influencers a special threat. So they send them a package containing their brand new smart watch and a cardboard VR headset. Using the headset they were able to see the product in a 3D environment, a complete show with the features of their new smart watch.
Sage Gateshead is a concert venue and also a centre for musical education. They wanted to let more people appreciate their beautiful centre. So they created a VR-experience where everyone could play instruments by pressing different objects in de virtual world
While VR can be incredibly helpful during your event it is also a great tool before and after. Sending an invitation presented in VR is a really unique way to grab attention. You’ll really stand out against the many invites being sent by mail or other old school media. Simply send a branded Cardboard and include an 360 video invite and you’ll be surprised by the engagement and number of RSVP’s.
A great example is the phone company OnePlus. They gave away 40.000 Cardboards for the first ever product launch in virtual reality. The Cardboards were gone in couple of minutes and the launch was a great success.
If people don’t attend it’s always smart to let them know what they are missing so that they won’t miss that chance again. Setting up a 360 livestream and having people experience, rather than see with an traditional 2D stream, will really entice them.
Volvo did a great campaign surround the solar eclipse in 2017. They send a fleet of XC60s to various vantage points across the country, where they recorded the event in 360-degrees. After the event you were able to share (parts of) this livestream or you were able to make a aftermovie in 360. Sending this to people who visited (and didn’t) is a really great way to keep them engaged even after the event.
As with all events a solid preparation is key. When VR is involved this is even more so. Start by checking all hardware to see if it functions, that no cables are missing and that you have at least a couple of spare units. Next is making sure that the right content is on the devices and working properly. You don’t want to show the wrong video or play the wrong game.
After everything is double checked on your end consult the location. Is there enough room, power and equipment like chairs and tables available. Also, before you leave to attend the event double check the equipment. You can’t explain screwing up because of a missing cable. Making sure you have a capable staff and that they are properly briefed is also smart; we’ll come to that in the next bit.
Making sure the event goes without any hiccups is essential. If something goes wrong, that’s what the audience will remember. Avoiding issues by checking (and double checking! ) your equipment is one sure way to avoid issues. Train your staff and have them solve issues in a controlled environment. Having a backup unit and second line support staff available will solve most issues.
Trained staff who are familiar with the equipment and know how to troubleshoot are essential in making sure your event goes well. Also having a checklist available for the most common issues and how to solve them can really come in handy.
Choosing the right tool for the job is essential. There are many different kind of VR headsets, also called HMD; head mounted displays. In general there are 2 categories; desktop and mobile. Also called tethered and untethered.
Desktop units require powerful computers and are suited for more complex and interactive games and simulations. The most well known are the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. They offer an awesome experience where the user can walk, turn and interact with digital objects. Building, painting and even shooting. However, they are more expensive, less scalable and require more staff to operate properly.
Whether you need these devices depends on the content and client. If you have the option to choose, considerer the following.
Duration of your event? Building up and breaking down can take up to an hour with proper testing. With a short event may not be worthwhile setting up these headsets.
Most mobile headsets are headsets that don’t external power or hardware to operate. Some use a mobile phone, like the well known Samsung Gear VR, while others have an build in screen. Most notable the new Oculus Go. Which is our weapon of choice for events.
Again, whether you have the option to use this content depends but take the following into account. As a general rule mobile headsets are cheaper, scalable and user friendly. They are mostly used for 360 content and simple games. Other features to take into account are:
Have less issues, are easy to set-up and replace and less complex for people to understand. Making them are user friendly option for events.
In the spring of 2019 the new Oculus Quest headset will be released. A stand alone headset which let’s user move freely around the room. It’s a combination of a mobile and desktop headset. Offering a great immersive experience with the advantages of mobile headset. Powerful, affordable and wireless VR. This will be great addition to arsenal of the VR event business.
First, the content. You can’t play complex games on mobile devices and a 360 video device on a high end headset is overkill. Secondly, the crowd. How many people do you need to engage. Mobile headsets for large crowds, desktop for smaller. Lastly the budget. Mobile headsets require are cheaper and require less staff but offer a less memorable experience.
What is the right content? Often this is dictated by the client, crowd or your own wishes. But if you can (or have to) choose the old mantra ‘content is king’ also holds up for VR. While hardware might often be forgotten -except if it doesn’t work- the experience is what most will remember.
For most events, 360 videos are the content of choice. There are many 360 videos available for free online and they vary widely. From laid back relaxing at the beach or watching space to intens flights, races or shoot-outs. In general most use a ‘standard’ 360 video filmed by a specially designed camera. Some might show an animated video. Some a combination of ‘real’ video with animated effect.
The type of video has to be suited to the event, client or crowd. Sometimes you are force fed a client video but more often than not you’re required to make a suggestion or make the decision. What typical works well are these types of content;
Choosing multiple categories and selecting different video’s for each guarantees that you’ll have something to serve to almost everybody.
The second important thing to take into account is the time frame. For events, we advise a duration of a 2-3 minutes per video. This keeps momentum and the experience interesting. Also this enables you to serve larger crowds. But then again; it all depends on the event and conditions set by you, or the client.
Shark Dive Short, up close and scary. A great way to entertain visitors and get the heart racing. Not for the faint of hard so choose your crows wisely.
Explore the world in 4k
Viewing New York from beneath a helicopter or the arctic from a boat. A amazing trip around the world in 360.
Red bull F1 VR
An VR experience where u are next to the Formula 1 car driver. Give your visitors an crazy experience of speed.
Google 360 Doodle show
Funny and unique. 3D animated people show u around a cartonee kind of world. More than enough to see for your customers.
Scary enough to make even the bravest people shiver in fear. This 4 minute clip will take you through the sewers from the movie IT .
Showing the 360 video’s can be difficult because most headsets aren’t made to be used at events. You have the guide the attendees trough menu’s and have them select the right item which is a definite show stopper. Luckily our team has developed two types of software to help you out; VR Sync & Look&Play.
The solution when you need to service large groups at the same time. The content is uploaded to each device and with the push of button played in sync. You can find out more on our homepage or get a free trial.
We developed a Kiosk mode for VR headsets which enables an easy and fast way to show user 360 video’s to individual users. Users simply look at an icon to start the video. You can find out more on the Look&Play website.
Games are a whole other type of deal then 360 video’s. The require better hardware, more staff and a harder to control and explain. For large crowds they are generally not advised, also because scalability is limited.
When choosing a VR game keep the crowd in mind. Most people have little experience with VR games. While VR is becoming more mainstream you will be surprised about the number of ‘first timers’.
Having a selection of games is smart so you can entertain the novice as well as the expert. Easy to learn, hard to master is the way to go. The type of game is related to the conditions set. Shooting arrows or lasers is always fun and easy to get the hang of. There are numerous games available in this category and have little bloodshed (see list below). Quite handy at any corporate event.
Most importantly in choosing the right game, make sure it ends. Some games and VR experiences don’t have a clear ending which results in some people not wanting the quit. In general, most shooter-type games have a set time-limit. Or are so difficult that most participants won’t last longer than a couple of minutes.
Robo Recall features everything u need to entertain the crowd. Beautiful looks and u get to shoot up robot’s with a array of guns.
The Guitar Hero of VR. In this game you hit boxes with light sabers on your favorite music tracks. Perfect for a short demo of the capabilities of VR.
Space pirate trainer
Shooting flying space robots. This game combines movement with shooting. Dodge the robots that are shooting at you while simultaneously shooting back at them.
Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes
One person is in the real world reading bomb defusing options and one person is wearing a VR headset seeing the actual bomb. The mission? Defuse the bomb together.
VR Dining Games
An array of games that u play during a dinner. All designed to make people cooperate and at the same time compete against other teams. So jump into some amazing VR games while at the same time enjoying a lovely meal.
While in most cases virtual reality is a individual experience there are some ways to make it a more social event. One way is using multiplayer virtual reality games. Those are often complex and can take a while, which is not ideal for events. You’re looking for an easy, scalable solution.
A great way to create a engaging and social experience is using synchronization software. This enables people to view the same 360 content simultaneously. For this purpose multiple parties offer software. Together with our clients we developed a solution called VR Sync which you can read more about here.
Hopefully after reading this paper you’ll have all the information needed to make the best out of your next (VR) event. We have shared all the insights we have gained throughout the years. Don’t be afraid to add VR to your toolset. While it may seem daunting at first, it will be an experience which your audience will love, and you will too. Guaranteed.
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Streaming video is the default method of consuming video content nowadays. YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo and Netflix, they all rely heavily on streaming content, pushed on demand to billions of users worldwide. The new trend is 360 video, an immersive way to view entertainment, educational programs and of course commercial content.
The Oculus Go, a product sold by Facebook, rates among the best VR headsets for this type of content. It’s pretty easy to stream 360 video to the Oculus Go headset, the technical specifications are ideally suited for more passive experiences. Let’s delve a little deeper into the world of streaming video, and explore the origins of this clever little VR headset.
There are two ways to distribute content online; as complete files that have to be downloaded in advance to the playback device in order to be used, or as a file that is downloaded from an online location to a device elsewhere. A ‘stream’ is a file that is hosted elsewhere, only the part that is currently viewed is loaded in real-time. There’s a small buffer in case of an internet connection slowdown, the device only saves a small segment of the complete file.
Not all types of content are suitable for streaming purposes, audio and video are particularly effective in this regard. For audio Spotify is an example of this technique, for video Netflix is probably the most recognizable example. An active internet connection is required in order to stream 360 video to the Oculus Go or to another device.
There are several benefits to both streaming video and locally stored videos, the preferred method depends on the practical application.
Facebook, or more accurately Oculus VR, was a pioneer of the current day virtual reality boom. In the mid-nineties a few companies made some valiant but ultimately poorly conceived attempts at creating a true virtual reality headset.
The monochrome Virtual Boy headset released by Nintendo is the definitive proof that VR only works if the technology is up to par. That all changed when a young man by the name of Palmer Luckey launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. His small VR headset project became an overnight success. Soon after the launch of this company Facebook bought the startup for an enormous amount of money.
The first VR headset that Facebook officially launched was a PC accessory, a fast gaming computer was required to power the headset. Internally a project named ‘Santa Cruz’ was tested, a non-tethered device that would allow full movement without wires. This prototype was slightly altered and was recently released as the Oculus Quest.
Meanwhile Google released a completely different take on virtual reality. The Google Cardboard was a fordable smartphone cradle made out of rugged paper, with two plastic lenses as the most advanced technology in this ‘device’. This simple yet inventive product turned any smartphone into a virtual reality headset.
Google would later release an upgraded version of the Google Cardboard named Daydream. However, due to the lack of hardware and software support the Daydream platform has not taken off the way Google had envisioned.
Thanks to YouTube it is easy to stream 360 video to Cardboard, the ubiquitous video platform rates among the best streaming platforms for 180 and 360 content.
Samsung wanted a piece of the action and developed their own ‘Cardboard’, but this time made out of durable plastic and with a proprietary hardware connection to their own Galaxy line of smartphones and a few other mobile products. The hardware was created in-house, but the software was developed by none other than the aforementioned Oculus.
The Samsung Gear VR became an overnight success, not only with consumers but especially for commercial use. It is pretty easy to stream 360 video to Gear VR, just download a compatible app, select a video and view. The only real downside when you stream 360 video to Samsung Gear VR is the high price of a compatible Galaxy smartphone. The ‘phone in a cradle’ design also leaves a bit to be desired.
The last logical step in the evolution of mobile VR is the Oculus Go. Facebook has always been a company that ‘borrows’ their best ideas from other companies, and their second virtual reality headset is no exception.
They took their existing Oculus Home platform that runs on the Gear VR, then commissioned the large mobile hardware company Mii to create an all-in-one VR headset with specifications that are virtually identical to the Galaxy smartphones that Gear VR was designed for. The result was a standalone headset with all the advantages of the Samsung product with none of the disadvantages.
The only thing missing is the option for a SIM card, making telephone calls is not an option. One other limitation is the lack of expandable memory, but more on that later.
The graphical power of a PC virtual reality headset is mostly limited by the processing power of the host PC or gaming laptop. Some truly remarkable VR games are available on the Oculus and Steam platform, but the user is always tethered to a computer with a cable.
There are advancements being made, but even with inside-out tracking there’s still a need for a power cable. The total cost of a computer with a VR headset also prohibits general use. Mobile solutions are relatively cheap, very portable and above all user friendly.
You can stream 360 video to Cardboard for instance. Just place any modern smartphone in the cradle, select a presentation and you’re done. This is the same when you stream 360 Samsung to Gear VR, but this time a compatible device is required. If you rather stream 360 video to Oculus Go that’s very easy, for absolute control a Kiosk Mode is recommended. Read more about this mode below.
Basically all mobile VR headsets are either mobile phones or they are based on mobile phone hardware. That means built-in wifi, bluetooth and internet capability. Not all devices support a SIM-card, that means streaming over 4G or 5G is not an option for all devices.
The mobile nature of these devices makes them very well suited for all sorts of wireless communication, VR video is no exception. The most significant limitation is the battery capacity. Expect an operating duration that will last a couple of hours before recharging is required..
his device can literally be a piece of cardboard, it can also be a third party plastic cradle for a smartphone. The main advantage is the universal design that allows for most smartphones to be used as a 360 videoplayer. The foldable cardboard version is often used as a promotional item with optional logo and/or corporate colors.
The 2.0 version features enhanced comfort and a capacitive touch button for limited interaction.
The easiest way is regular YouTube. Any user can place the smartphone in the Cardboard cradle, launch YouTube and select any 360 video. Alternatively a company can push content to a device using a specific URL. The playback quality can’t be guaranteed because the technical specifications of the hardware may vary wildly.
This is a plastic cradle designed specifically for the Samsung Galaxy line of smartphones and a few other Samsung devices. There is an additional software layer created by Oculus that provides a specific environment for virtual reality applications. This device was often used as a standalone portable VR headset until the arrival of the similar Oculus Go.
In order to stream 360 to Samsung Gear VR there are several options:
The quality of the presentation is reasonably reliable with some differences depending on the smartphone that is used.
In layman’s terms the Oculus Go consists of the internal technology found in smartphones, sealed in a VR headset which operates on Android, with Oculus Home for the user interface. Most applications for the Go can also be found in the Gear VR store, but the more controlled environment gives the Go a slight advantage in terms of technical abilities.
The highlight of this device is the user friendly operation, which combined with the ability for side-loading content makes it a great option for corporate use.
You can stream 360 video to the Oculus Go in the same way that is possible on the Gear VR, due to their very similar hardware and software. However, the closed system of the Go provides a bit more certainty of the playback quality.
This is an advanced feature that could be beneficial in certain circumstances. Kiosk Mode forces specific limitations on the device, for instance exclusively displaying a specific presentation or disabling the hardware buttons on the device.
You could also force a specific video stream to appear. You can control one device at a time, or create a virtual cinema. This will mostly be used for professional purposes, at events, to inform prospective buyers, and other applications.
For all portable virtual reality headsets the Achilles Heel seems to be the battery life. You can expect a couple of hours of continuous use before you need to recharge the device. In most cases it is possible to use an external battery pack to extend the duration, or connect the headset to an outlet. But this requires cables, and in particular the outlet option really diminishes the freedom of movement.
6DoF stands for ‘Six Degrees of Movement’, which means the user can move around freely in the virtual space. Most 360 degree content is shot in 3DoF, that means the viewer is standing or sitting in a fixed position, and can only turn on the spot. This is usually satisfactory for VR video, it is also more comfortable for the less experienced viewer.
That depends on the source material. If the film is shot with a camera equipped with a (double) 3D lens, or an animation is rendered in stereoscopic 3D, then yes, the footage can be viewed in 3D. All VR headsets allow for 3D video. However, not all formats are supported. There’s up-down content, side-by-side content, it depends on the application if the footage is displayed correctly.
Sure, it is almost guaranteed that the VR headset with have built-in speakers and usually a headphone connector. The video must of course have audio embedded in the presentation to hear the sound..
Yes, although this will be a more niche application. You could store the content on a seperate network drive and share this with the VR headset. However, this is not a standard feature in most videoplayer software. Consult a dedicated agency for more about this specific application.
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Using virtual reality during a presentation can make impact but is also tricky. There are a lot of things that can go wrong and if the technology fails to deliver, that will be the core message of the presentation. Luckily we’ve developed VR Sync, which is an ideal tool for giving virtual reality presentations.
In this post we’ll shortly discuss what a VR presentation is it’s use cases and benefits. Then we’ll dive directly into how to give a synchronized VR presentation using our software by discussing the following steps. First, choosing the software, secondly pairing it up with the right hardware. Then, we’ll tell how to upload, test and ultimately give that awesome VR presentation.
We’ll define a VR presentation as showing synchronized 360 degree content to multiple people at once. Ideally using software to manage, monitor and control the playback.
There are numerous reasons why you should use VR for presentations. It’s immersive, memorable and interactive and can be used among other things to:
The type of content and use case varies on the goal you have in mind. In most cases you want to go with 360 degree video content because it’s the easiest to obtain or produce.
You can download it from YouTube, hire an agency to produce it or make it yourself. Besides 360 content it is also the easiest to manage and playback in sync with, for example, our VR Sync software.
The content should be shot in 360 degrees in 1:2 equirectangular format and should meet the following specs to make sure it plays back properly.
– Monoscopic 360 video
– Stereoscopic 360 video
– Spatial Audio
– 360 Photo
Codec: H265 or H264
Max bitrate: 16 mb/s
Audio: Stereo aac audio or .tbe (two big ears)
Codec JPG, PNG
If you are not sure if the content is suited you can check the file details. To do this on a Mac computer open the file in Quicktime and hit Command-J. On a Windows PC hit your right mouse button and select ‘Properties’.
If you have the original (work) files you can always export the 360 content again to match the spes above, or ask your producer to do so.
The right hardware for your VR presentation is key. There are many types of headsets but we advice a so called all-in-one headset which has all the hardware included. Our weapon of choice is the Oculus GO which is available for around 220 dollars. It offers a great screen, a comfortable experience and has a build-in headset for audio. Although we do advise using an external audio headsets to provide the best experience.
Once you’ve chosen the hardware you can download the VR Sync app from the stores or by following the link on the dashboard. After the VR Sync application has been installed you can enter your unique pin, found on the VR Sync dashboard as soon as you log in. This will automatically connect your VR headset to your account.
Secondly you need upload the content through our content manager. Login on the dashboard, go to content manager and upload your 360 content. Once uploaded the content will automatically be pushed to all prepared devices.
After you’ve made sure your content meets the above named specs you can upload it and test it. Simply go to the remote, select the content and start playback. Pick up your VR headset and make sure everything runs smoothly. To double check you can always test on multiple devices and for a longer period of time using the build in loop function.
During most presentations you have one piece of content which you need to show to a whole group. However, if you have multiple pieces of content which you need to show to different people you can always use the build in group function. This feature allows you to put your vr headsets in different groups after which you can tell VR Sync to play specific content to different groups. After preparing the content, hardware and remote options it’s a case of press & play.
Please check out VR Sync. We offer a trial with all features!
Selecting the right hardware for your synchronized VR experience can be difficult due to the sheer amount of available VR headsets. Besides the right hardware you also need specialized software to sync the headsets. In this article we’ll lay out the options.
The right hardware depends on which content you want to show. In most cases games and simulations cannot be synced outside of the standard multiplayer option. If there is one. Basically,the only content which is suited for Sync playback is 360 content such as videos and photos. For this purpose a mobile headset like the Samsung Gear VR or Oculus GO is the most suited. Using a desktop VR headset like the Vive or Rift is overkill for synchronized 360 playback.
At the moment the your best option is the Oculus GO headset. It offers a so called all-in-one solution whereby all hardware is integrated in the headset. No external hardware or power is required. It offers great quality, comfort and is easy to handle. At a price of just 220 euros it’s also one of the cheapest headsets on the market.
Our second choice would be the Samsung Gear VR. This device is expensive because you also need a Galaxy series phone smartphone. Additionally the Gear VR has more issues with overheating and has a shorter battery life. The handling is also more complicated because you have to remove to phone to manage content and properly charge. If you can get your hands on the cheapest suited phone (The S6) the Gear VR solution will run about 350 euros per set.
Lastly you can also use Android phones in combination with a generic (branded) headset like the Google Cardboard. The experience is much less impressive than with the GO or Gear, but it works. The costs are less and a branded Cardboard can serve as great give away.
We advise the Oculus GO for synchronized VR because of the following:
You need specialized software to play content in Sync. There are many solutions on the market, including our own VR Sync. We’ve done an extensive benchmark end came VR Sync came out on top. It offers great features for synchronized VR playback against a pay as you grow pricing model.
With just a push of a button you can start playback to an unlimited amount of devices at exact the same time. Using the grouping function you can even play specific content to groups of devices. You can even monitor playback and create a playlist for smooth experience.
To make things even easier we’ve developed a VR Sync Box. This offers a complete hardware solution to run your VR Cinema offline, with just power. Decreased latency and ease of set up make this a great addition to your VR Cinema.
Using virtual reality or 360 video’s is a great way to add depth to your internal presentation. There is no way to look away when you’re fully immersed in a 360 environment.
Providing a smooth experience with many participants can be a daunting task. It’s difficult to control playback and make sure everyone is seeing the same content at the same time. Also making sure each individual users has a good experience is a issue which many face.
Specifically for giving a vr presentation we’ve developed a tool called VR Sync. In this article we’ll talk about how you can use VR Sync during the preparation and execution of an internal presentation.
Virtual reality is visual tool which helps you get your message across. When pitching a creative idea, a new product or visual concept virtual reality can be extremely helpful. It’s a great way to keep the audience involved, engaged mnbnm and make sure everyone stays on point.
However most VR devices are not meant for group presentations.They lack the option to play content in Sync at the same time. That’s where VR Sync can help. It offers a easy way to manage your content and control playback during group presentations.
The first step is installing the VR Sync app on your device(s). Once the VR Sync application has been installed and you’ve entered your unique pin your devices are ready.Secondly you need upload the content through our content manager. Once uploaded the content will automatically be pushed to all prepared devices. Preparing a internal presentation with VR Sync is pretty straightforward and saves a lot of time and headache.
After the content is pushed to your devices you can use the web based remote to control playback. Make sure you have an internet connected device ready before you start your presentation. Once ready provide all attendees with a VR device and use the remote to start playback of your VR content. You can even create a playlist beforehand to make things even easier.
VR Sync is designed for easy playback and puts you in full control during the presentation. Guaranteeing that your content will be remembered and not the issue with the hardware.
While VR is indeed a great tool for VR presentations users may face some difficulties in terms of control, playback and user experience. VR Sync offers the solution with easy content management, flawless playback and full control during your important presentation.
Get in touch for a free trial or if you would like to know more.
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In the whitepaper we did extensive research and compared the five largest companies on prices, functionality and support. We compared prices for large-scale and small-scale users, support quality and quantity, and total amount of features provided. Read the whitepaper: Comparing synchronized VR solution – A benchmark