HTC Vive Pro Review: A Great Upgrade for Enterprise


While a bit pricey ($1400 system + $200 enterprise license), the Vive Pro is worth every penny for enterprise training and marketing applications.

We finally got a chance to put the new HTC Vive Pro through it’s paces. This is a quick review of our first impressions, primarily as it applies to using Vive Pro for VR training and event marketing.

Easier Multi-System Setup

The most exciting new Vive Pro feature is it’s ability to use more than 2 base stations for tracking. While interesting for tracking larger areas, it also allows units to be setup next to each other without interference.

Our clients often use multiple VR stations at events to accommodate larger crowds. Doing so typically requires curtains or other barriers to prevent interference (see the central column below). Since the Vive Pro now works with 4 base stations, and support for up to 16 coming, we can now put base stations in the corners of a larger area (30+ sq ft) and run more than one VR station within the tracked region.

Vive Trade Show

Dual Original Vive Trade Show Setup Requires Barrier to Provide Separation

Room for Bigger Glasses, Hair, and Heads

The majority of glass wearers can use the Vive standard with their glasses off. Otherwise, if they need their glasses during Vive usage, many people’s glasses can fit within the headset. There are some, however, whose glasses are just too fashionable to be contained by the Vive standard headset. This adds a layer of complication when trying to get people in and out of the headset efficiently.

With almost 2cm more width in the headset, the vast majority of glasses should fit into the new headset. Similarly, the headphones are on a bigger swing arm, allowing them to fit better over bigger heads and hair. While the original Vive worked well for 90% of people at events, the Vive Pro should reach close to 100%. An easily used adjustment on the bottom also means focus can be tweaked per person. The older Vive’s adjustment was simply too cumbersome and time consuming to use for everyone at an event.

Vive Pro Spacious Design

Comparison of headset space between original Vive and Vive Pro

Higher Resolution Allows for Clearer Text

Text looks more clear, and this extra clarity will enable the use of smaller visual labels. This should allow more detail and more data rich UI interfaces as compared to the original Vive. 

Vive Pro Resolution

The Vive Pro packs a punch with 615 pixels per inch

Augmented Reality Potential

While we haven’t played much with the camera, the newly added dual cameras enable the system to sense depth and turn the headset into a more serious Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality platform. We’ll write a separate blog post once we’ve had a chance to test this unit out with one of our AR applications. We are especially interested to see whether the latency is low enough to allow usage of the Vive Pro as an AR headset.

Vive Pro Lenses

New lenses on the Vive Pro allow for AR application

Improved Wiring Harness and Buttons

A minor, but very appreciated, change is the single connector coming from the headset cable to the link box instead of 3 separate plugs. The old power cable in particular had a habit of pulling out. Also, on-ear buttons make volume adjustments simpler and more intuitive.

Vive Pro Link Box

The Vive Pro’s revamped link box

Con: Price

The Vive Pro is the VR headset that consumers deserve but can’t afford. For $1400 and a $200 enterprise license, the headset is substantially more expensive than other consumer VR systems. However, for VR training and VR event activations, the Vive Pro enhancements are worth every penny.

Con: Cleanability

The foam facemask is comfortable, but a bit of a sponge for sweat and makeup that’s also hard to clean. To be fair, this is a problem with the original Vive as well. However, we have happily swapped all the foam for faux-leather replacements that are easy to wipe down between users without absorbing moisture. Until similar products are available for the Vive Pro, this will continue to be a negative for public use.

Vive Face Pad

The Pro’s face pad is plenty comfortable but difficult to clean

 Conclusion

The Vive Pro’s more flexible setup options will be game-changing for business VR applications. Its enhanced comfort and wearability will be appreciated greatly by users at trade shows, sales demos, and any other events. Overall, for those who have the capital to invest in the Vive Pro, it is well worth the higher price. The unit could prove to be even more useful as we explore its AR capabilities.

Find Value in VR Training your Workforce

As mentioned in the first of our VR Training blog posts a few weeks back, major brands like KFC, WalMart, and Volkswagen have already begun integrating VR into their employee training programs. While virtual reality experiences can prove extremely versatile and of course – COOL, convincing the C-level that VR is worth the investment is another story.

Sure, there’s value in offering your employees an interesting, virtual experience because of the sheer “chatter-factor” alone. That isn’t going to convince anyone that VR training is the better route, though, unless you can deliver a true reduction in costs and processes. Most training managers also need to show that there will be a recognizable increase in performance and on-boarding for new staff.

At Foundry 45, we have helped global organizations streamline their corporate training programs using mixed reality applications. In skilled trade industries such as welding, plumbing, security, and equipment repair, the value that VR training provides goes far beyond reducing travel costs due to shipping employees around the world. It can also mean that money doesn’t have to be spent on materials to practice on and it allows trainees to repeat work tasks as much as they need to, which means eliminating a lot of costly mistakes on the job site.

Foundry 45 VR Training Demonstration

Below are a few reasons how VR can complement or entirely replace your existing training program:

  1. Your trainees can learn process sequences inside a virtual environment that is true-to-scale and representative of their actual workplace which helps speed up the learning process;
  2. VR training is a cost-saving measure that reduces employee downtime, travel costs, and equipment depreciation;
  3. Management can review VR experiences and test results through automated reports that help position employees for future growth;
  4. VR training can reduce the risk of on-site training accidents, especially when learning how to operate hazardous machinery;
  5. Learning with VR is memorable and fun. Employees are more likely to retain information if organizations provide quality education while on the job site.

If some or all of these points above resonate with you, the next step would be to imagine exactly what type of VR-enabled training most suits your business needs. Integrating VR training into your program can be extremely powerful and save your organization time and money, while improving overall employee productivity by leveraging an engaging and powerful set of new tools.

Be sure to check back for our next post on VR Training in the next few weeks. Our team has years of experience working with organizations that have elevated their operations using VR and AR. From content strategy to distribution of immersive experiences, Foundry 45 provides the viewing solutions for various levels of experiences ranging from easily distributable cardboard to room-scale, interactive VR training environments.

ABOUT FOUNDRY 45

Foundry 45 is The Business VR Leader. We create immersive Virtual Reality (VR) experiences for mobile platforms including HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, iOS Cardboard Headsets, Android Cardboard Headsets. Foundry 45 helps businesses step into their brand story by using dynamic 360-degree video and VR app creation. Our marketing and recruiting approach captures customer experience desires and emphasize product value. We also partner with existing video production studios, advertising agencies, and other content creators to serve as their VR technical consultants and developer shop.

To learn more about Foundry 45, visit us at www.foundry45.com.

For Immersive VR inquiries, contact Managing Partner:

Dave Beck, dave@foundry45.com.

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Five Things We Learned at Moxie’s FutureX Live Conference

This past Thursday at the sold-out Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta, Georgia, Foundry 45 participated in the second FutureX Live conference, organized by Moxie Marketing. This year’s conference, aptly themed “Engineered Consciousness”, brought together the brightest thought leaders in virtual reality, neuro-stimulation, and brain-machine interfaces to show where we are with current technologies, and how we might architect our technological future.

Our very own Dave Beck took to the stage as part of the Atlanta Alternate Realities Showcase, showing how Foundry 45 deploys virtual reality for brand activation. He also emphasized the important benefits of VR for corporate training.

There were a lot of great sessions at the event, and we’d like to share some of our favorite moments.

FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED AT FUTUREX LIVE:

1. Experience Simulation is Powerful

Dr. Helen Papagiannis (author of “Augmented Human: How Technology is Shaping the New Reality”) and Dr. Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn (University of Georgia) discussed the exciting applications of AR and VR for sense perception and experience simulation. “We’re not designing experiences anymore,” Dr. Papagiannis remarked, “we’re now designing memories.”

2. Alternate Reality Technologies Can Transport Us

Jonathan Strickland, video host at HowStuffWorks, added in his talk about Alternate Reality Technology: “AR can bring to us worlds that never existed and worlds that are long gone.”

3. We are Moving Beyond Conventional Storytelling

Experiential immersion also guided a panel discussion on the future of marketing. Cathy Hackl from XR Marketing beautifully summarized the future of marketing through VR in the following way: “We are moving from storytelling to story-living and story-doing.

4. The Future Must be Architected in Responsible Ways

While augmented, mixed, and virtual reality technologies offer exciting new and transformative avenues for the future of humanity, the invited speakers also stressed the importance of architecting that future in responsible ways. For example, John Rich, Vice President of Future Experiences at Moxie, remarked: “What if we like our virtual realities better than our real realities?” Or, what if augmented realities become too ubiquitous and pervasive? For example, check out Keiichi Matsuda’s provocative 2016 video, “Hyper-Reality,” which depicts a dystopian future in which augmented reality content has run amok.

5. Humans and Computers Will Continue to get Closer

In his keynote address, Dr. Michio Kaku, theoretical physicist, best-selling author, and famed futurist, talked about the exciting history and convergence of human cognition and data-driven augmentation. “In the future,” Dr. Kaku professed, “you will be able to design things with your brain. We will interface with computers mentally.”

Showcasing our latest VR training experience

Aside from a great day of panels, discussions, and presentations, Moxie’s FutureXPO featured the latest achievements in virtual and augmented reality. At the Foundry 45 exhibition booth, conference attendees had the unique opportunity to try out our latest training experience, in which users learn how to disassemble and reassemble an industrial pump within a full-scale immersive environment.

Foundry 45 VR training demonstration

Foundry 45’s Scott Driscoll gives the CBS46 News Team a VR training demonstration at FutureXPO

Overall, Moxie put together a truly wonderful conference this year, and we are happy to have been part of it!

To learn more, check out this news story on CBS46!

Top image – Foundry 45’s Dave Beck presenting at FutureX Live, Photo credit: Dan Smigrod

ABOUT FOUNDRY 45

Foundry 45 is The Business VR Leader. We create immersive Virtual Reality (VR) experiences for mobile platforms including HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, iOS Cardboard Headsets, Android Cardboard Headsets. Foundry 45 helps businesses step into their brand story by using dynamic 360-degree video and VR app creation. Our marketing and recruiting approach captures customer experience desires and emphasize product value. We also partner with existing video production studios, advertising agencies, and other content creators to serve as their VR technical consultants and developer shop.

To learn more about Foundry 45, visit us at www.foundry45.com.

For Immersive VR inquiries, contact Managing Partner:

Dave Beck, dave@foundry45.com
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Getting the Most Out of Your 360 Degree Video at Live Events

Georgia Tech’s TaQuon Marshall coming right at you for his third touchdown of
the game. Be sure to spin this 360 degree video around to see the
fans in Mercedes Benz Stadium going nuts!

The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game between Tennessee and Georgia Tech is officially in the books. And our Foundry 45 team was there to capture all of the highlights in 360 degree video for the Georgia Tech Athletics Department.

The second game at Atlanta’s new Mercedes Benz Stadium gave fans what they paid for including a fourth quarter comeback that turned into a double-overtime thriller! The atmosphere inside the sold-out stadium was electric, with most of the fans experiencing for the first time one of 13 truly game-changing stadiums built in the last two decades.

Over the years, our team has captured some truly amazing sporting content for Georgia Tech (check out our Georgia Tech Case Study for more info). We have used footage across multiple divisions but mainly to elevate the university’s student recruiting efforts. Some highlights include the “Miracle on Techwood Drive” in 2015 when the Yellow Jackets miraculously blocked a kick and returned for a touchdown against the Florida State Seminoles.

WSBTV News Story on the GT Football VR Experience

Or, earlier this year when Georgia Tech’s basketball team stunned Notre Dame with a last-second layup. Check out this related interview on 11alive’s Atlanta Tech Edge.

While some of this can be chalked up to “being at the right place at the right time”, it’s with proper planning and a whole lot of coordination that we were able to record many of these amazing game moments.

Below we’ve compiled 5 things you can do to get the most out of your live 360 degree video event session.

  1. Location, Location, Location. Work closely with your VR team to scout multiple filming locations in advance. If shooting with one camera, find a suitable spot so that VR viewers feel closer to the action than those in attendance.
  2. Be flexible, and stay mobile. While stationary cameras are essential, have team members use mobile video recording setups as well. It’ll pay dividends in post-production and will also result in more B-roll footage.
  3. Pre-event, post-event, (locker room). If you’re recording a sports game, capture the pep-rally, stay for the post-game party (in case that happens), and check with your client if you can get permission to set up a 360 camera in the team’s locker room for the pre-game pep talk.
  4. Check, double-check, and triple-check your equipment. You want to be absolutely sure that your cameras are ready to capture the potential play of the season. This includes everything from back-up batteries, charging stations and equipment tests pre-event.
  5. It’s all about the story. Your ultimate goal is to tell a compelling story that moves beyond the traditional experience of going to the stadium. Having a detailed shot list in advance and working with your VR team to come up with mandatory items and extras keeps everyone focused and ensures you get the right footage.

Keeping these points in mind will put you in a much better position to create an engaging and memorable 360-video experience for viewers. And if you want to know more about how to best distribute 360-video content, check out one of our previous posts here.

ABOUT FOUNDRY 45

Foundry 45 is The Business VR Leader. We create immersive Virtual Reality (VR) experiences for mobile platforms including HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, iOS Cardboard Headsets, Android Cardboard Headsets. Foundry 45 helps businesses step into their brand story by using dynamic 360-degree video and VR app creation. Our marketing and recruiting approach captures customer experience desires and emphasize product value. We also partner with existing video production studios, advertising agencies, and other content creators to serve as their VR technical consultants and developer shop.

To learn more about Foundry 45, visit us at www.foundry45.com.

For Immersive VR inquiries, contact Managing Partner:

Dave Beck, dave@foundry45.com
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You want to train me how? The Power of VR for Employee Training Programs

Virtual Reality provides such a wide range of applications for businesses that it’s simply not feasible to give proper credit within a single installment. We will definitely be talking a lot more about the benefits of VR in future posts. From companies using VR to help with their “wow factor” at trade shows to colleges using immersive experiences to facilitate the recruitment of future seasons’ star athletes, VR provides a compelling brand story that is no longer beyond reach. Some of the most innovative organizations are now integrating these experiences into both marketing and training programs all over the world… and it’s only getting more and more common.

Some of the world’s largest corporations have already taken advantage of VR in order to train their employees in a variety of innovative ways. Here’s a look at a couple we found really exciting, fun, and even outright creepy!

Walmart Virtual Reality in Academies.

Walmart, for example, has plans to update their 200 training centers with state of the art VR technology to enhance training for the 150,000 employees that will go through the program each year. The company’s VR training experience helps employees to make decisions in a variety of simulated work situations including management and dealing with customers during the busy Black Friday sales events.

Volkswagen Using HTC Vive for Global Training.

German car manufacturer Volkswagen is sending a VR module across its entire global operations to train employees in car manufacturing. This VR application was designed with a multi-user focus to enable unprecedented collaboration between all branches of VW including Audi and SEAT SKODA. Users learn to develop automobiles and communicate seamlessly with employees on the other side of the planet thanks to VR.

An example of KFC’s new VR employee training platform.

Finally, KFC just announced their new VR training experience, where a calm, but creepy voice of Colonel Sanders guides workers through the chicken cooking process inside an eerily bizarre “escape room” environment that just oozes with the overall aesthetics of the popular BioShock video game series. While this virtual training experience is both fun and chilling, it’s also highly efficient: the company claims their new VR platform cuts down training time by a whooping 60%, from 25 minutes down to 10!

These are just a few examples of how some of the world’s largest corporations have already taken advantage of VR to train incoming employees. There are a lot of compelling arguments for integrating VR technology into your training programs. Plus, combine the “cool factor” with a proven uptick in employee productivity and you’ll quickly understand why the world’s leading brands are moving towards VR for their next training initiatives.

You should, too! So, get in touch with us, and let’s figure out how we can create your own customized employee training solution powered by VR.

ABOUT FOUNDRY 45

Foundry 45 is The Business VR Leader. We create immersive Virtual Reality (VR) experiences for mobile platforms including HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, iOS Cardboard Headsets, Android Cardboard Headsets. Foundry 45 helps businesses step into their brand story by using dynamic 360-degree video and VR app creation. Our marketing and recruiting approach captures customer experience desires and emphasize product value. We also partner with existing video production studios, advertising agencies, and other content creators to serve as their VR technical consultants and developer shop.

To learn more about Foundry 45, visit us at www.foundry45.com.

For Immersive VR inquiries, contact Managing Partner:

Dave Beck, dave@foundry45.com.

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The ROI Potential of a VR Experience

If you’ve been following our blog, you may already know Foundry 45 is an Atlanta Virtual Reality (VR) firm that has emerged as one of the most active in the Southeast. We host a long list of clients that range from smaller businesses to Fortune 500 corporations like AT&T, and U.S. Bank, and we have VR experiences for all budget levels. We can vouch for the efficacy of our VR experiences made for marketing purposes as we’ve had clients return from trade shows citing a 33% increase in leads generated thanks to their tailored VR experience. If you want to see how well some of our experiences turned out, please check out our case studies. If you are a firm that is thinking about a way to boost your marketing efforts, I would say you are in the ROIght place.

Artist rendition of some clients after using one of our VR experiences

Most importantly, Virtual Reality can cut down on recurring marketing costs while increasing client engagement. Being able to transport the user to a completely different environment allows for a new world of possibilities as far as recruitment and sales go. In terms of sales, why spend a huge sum of money to transport equipment and acquire a large trade show booth when all you need is a VR headset and a phone to stand out and effectively take the user to your product? In terms of recruitment, you can take your office or business anywhere as many times as you’d like with a VR experience instead of continually eating costs to have people visit you. A one-time investment in a VR experience is an effective way to reduce recurring costs of outdated techniques.

Georgia Tech can attest to this as Foundry 45 has enhanced their recruiting practices by creating VR experiences for their football team, basketball team, College of Computing and other academic programs.

“My whole thing when I got this job, I told our staff, ‘We need to be able to do on-campus visits in their home… And so what [Foundry 45] has done has allowed us to simulate an on-campus tour, being at our game, or in our locker room while we are sitting in [the recruit’s] home 5,000 miles away from the actual campus.'”

 GT Men’s Basketball Head Coach Josh Pastner

In addition to stimulating students while reducing recruiting costs as Coach Pastner refers to above, investing in a VR experience can help modernize your brand’s image. Updating your marketing tactics to keep pace with emerging media definitely resonates with your clientele. People are eager to consume unique, quality VR content as opposed to commonplace 2D videos that are easier to come by. While novelty alone doesn’t guarantee an effective marketing strategy, accessing the unique strengths of a new medium before your competition does will undoubtedly yield positive results.

VR experiences are so immersive that they are akin to memories” according to Rob Holzer, digital marketer. As a result, if you choose to market your brand through such an experience, whoever uses it will walk away with a lasting image of your business. Don’t leave your potential customers like Gandalf.

To conclude, an investment in a Virtual Reality experience from Foundry 45 leads to returns by:

  • Reducing costly alternatives (transporting products, paying for large trade show booths, taking prospects to physical locations, etc.)
  • Making viewers remember your message
  • Modernizing your brand image
  • Increasing viewer engagement
  • Increasing leads
  • Isolating yourself from your competition
  • Shelving outdated techniques

Your customers once they see your VR experience

ABOUT FOUNDRY 45

Foundry 45 is the business VR leader. We create immersive Virtual Reality (VR) experiences for mobile platforms including iOS Cardboard Headsets, Android Cardboard Headsets, and Samsung Gear VR. Foundry 45 helps businesses step into their brand story by using dynamic 360video and VR app creation. Our marketing and recruiting approach captures customer experience desires and emphasize product value. We also partner with existing video production studios, advertising agencies, and other content creators to serve as their VR technical consultants and developer shop.

To learn more about Foundry45, visit us at www.foundry45.com.

For Immersive VR inquiries, contact Managing Partner:

Dave Beck, dave@foundry45.com

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Google Cardboard vs Samsung GearVR Virtual Reality Headsets

The two most accessible platforms for Virtual Reality (VR) content right now are Google Cardboard and Samsung’s GearVR. Both only require a mobile phone to operate.

How do they work?
gearvr_vs_cardboard_lenses

Both use a smartphone as the display, and have lenses that make the small screen fill your entire field of view. The phone sensors are used to detect where you’re looking so that a Virtual Reality app can update the display.

Overall Performance and Compatibility
GearVR provides a high-end experience. The lens are bigger and the headset is specifically designed and tuned for a number of the latest Samsung phones, including Galaxy Note5, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge, Galaxy S6 edge+, Samsung Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+. These high end phones provide high resolution, fast updates to head movements, and large screens–overall a very immersive experience.

As opposed to the Gear VR, almost any recent smartphone will work in Google Cardboard. The more high-end smartphones in our opinion yield experiences closer to the Gear VR. An older phone with one of the earlier Cardboard designs will not have as big of screen or respond to head movements as fast which produces a less immersive experience. But no matter the platform, the first time impact using VR is almost always jaw dropping.

Cost
The current Gear VR costs $99, but also requires a new Samsung phone, which range from $600 – $900 off contract. Google Cardboard in single units costs about $20, but can get down to $5 in quantity.

Use Cases

branded_cardboard_virtual_reality

Custom branded cardboard virtual reality viewers

Many companies custom print Cardboard as a giveaway or mailer. Cardboard provides a way for a brand to connect with an exciting new technology, and give a customer a branded takeaway that they can continue to use with many other apps.

virtual_reality_trade_show_gear_vr

Gear VR is best for trade shows or in-person visits. Check out our blog post on how to best use a Gear VR at your next trade show!

Whether Cardboard or Gear VR, companies typically develop a custom app to showcase their products. For example, the New York Times produced an app that contained 360 degree videos, including one from a refugee camp. Star Wars released small videos daily in the days before release of the latest film. Several of our clients like BetterCloud or Probrew have also created Cardboard apps to showcase their experiences. Cardboard apps are usually delivered through the Apple AppStore for iPhones or Google’s Play Store for Android. Samsung has a store for Gear VR, but has so far only allowed very few apps in. This is usually not a problem, as apps can be directly installed on devices rather than going through the Samsung store.

If you have questions about how to utilize Virtual Reality for recruiting or marketing, or would like help producing a custom virtual reality app, please let us know.

ABOUT FOUNDRY 45

Foundry 45 is The Business VR Leader. We create immersive Virtual Reality (VR) experiences for mobile platforms including HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, iOS Cardboard Headsets, Android Cardboard Headsets. Foundry 45 helps businesses step into their brand story by using dynamic 360-degree video and VR app creation. Our marketing and recruiting approach captures customer experience desires and emphasize product value. We also partner with existing video production studios, advertising agencies, and other content creators to serve as their VR technical consultants and developer shop.

To learn more about Foundry 45, visit us at www.foundry45.com.

For Immersive VR inquiries, contact Managing Partner:

Dave Beck, dave@foundry45.com.

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How to Distribute 360 Video and VR Content

When distributing 360 video and Virtual Reality content, being familiar with the available platforms will help you reach your intended audience. In this post, Foundry 45 breaks down the available VR platforms according to their accessibility and level of immersion. Generally, the more expensive platforms are more immersive, but less accessible. Consequently, a trade off exists in that the more accessible a platform is, the less immersive it is. This summary will help you decide which distributing method will work for you! Also keep in mind that a combination of these distribution channels can be used in order to maximize the marketing potential of a VR experience!

For an introduction, watch this short video of our Managing Partner and Co-Founder Dave Beck discussing the benefits of creating a branded VR experience and how to decide on your distribution channel!

Least Immersive and Most Accessible: 360 Degree Video for YouTube & Facebook 

Uploading your 360 video to YouTube or Facebook will allow for the widest distribution of your content. As of March 2017, there have been over a million 360 videos posted to Facebook and between Facebook and Youtube, 360 videos have amassed over a billion views! These platforms allow you to share your 360 content instantly with friends and potential consumers by letting them access it with their phones or desktop computers. On a smart phone, being able to physically rotate your device to discover different parts of the experience allows hands-on engagement from any user.

Don’t waste anytime and view our Adult Swim behind-the-scenes 360 footage on Adult Swim’s Facebook page!

More Immersive but Slightly Less Accessible: Google Cardboard

Smartphone users can increase their level of immersion by taking advantage of a Google Cardboard mobile headset created for both iPhone and Android devices. The tool blocks off your peripheral vision and holds your phone in place as you undergo the experience. According to Google’s Blog on Feb. 28, 2017, there have been “more than 10 million Cardboard viewers shipped worldwide,” and “there have been 160 million downloads of Cardboard apps on Google Play—and 30 of those apps have more than 1 million downloads.”  However, not everyone owns a Cardboard headset, so many groups like to provide it for viewers to experience their content. Providing a branded cardboard headset at an activation event is a fantastic way to make sure people remember your experience!

For a premiere Cardboard experience, easily download our Mohawk app through iTunes and Google Play.

360 Videos posted on YouTube are cardboard compatible, but users can also download cardboard apps from the Play Store or iTunes Marketplace. Most professional Virtual Reality applications available for download will be Cardboard compatible.

Moderately Immersive and Accessible: Mobile VR Headsets — Samsung Gear VR / Google Daydream

Progressing to deeper immersion, we now arrive at the Gear VR and Google Daydream headsets which enhance Virtual Reality experiences. Both headsets further the sensation that you are in a different environment, and also allow for more interactivity and user control throughout the experience. These VR headsets can access over 500 apps including games and official company experiences. According to market estimates, there will be over 10 million Samsung Gear VRs and 2.5 million Daydreams in the wild by 2018.

The enhanced immersion provided by these headsets comes at a cost which affects their accessibility. The cost to purchase these full systems (both headset and the smartphone that serves as the screen and the processor) is in the $700 range, which makes the audience size smaller for these platforms. Also, the Gear VR headset is only compatible with Samsung Galaxy devices and the Google Daydream is only compatible with Google Phones. Sorry, iPhone peeps!

iPhone Destroy | Foundry 45

If you don’t have one, please reach out to us for a demo or feel free to test out these headsets at a local VR tech meet-up. Feel free to check out our other blog posts about the amazing Samsung Gear VR headset as well!

Most Immersive and Least Accessible: Room-Scale VR — HTC Vive and Oculus Rift

These top-end platforms for Virtual Reality are some of the most immersive digital mediums in human history! Scientists and philosophers thought this type of technology was only fantasy a few centuries ago.


See?

Both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift create full room-scale experiences that cannot be replicated with other products. The level of immersion blows the other platforms out of the water as you’re able to walk, explore, move objects, and build within their experiences. The responsive environments and elaborate tasks you can complete can entrance any user. Both platforms feature a headset and controllers wired to a computer that enable the user to interact with the experience. At the end of 2016, the Oculus Rift had sold 240,000 units and the HTC Vive had sold 420,000 units, and currently the combined sales of these two products is estimated to be just over a million.

Check out this awesome demonstration from Valve about the capabilities of the HTC Vive!

Obviously this cutting edge technology doesn’t come cheap as both the Vive and Rift have a price tag that hovers around $1500 for the VR systems and a high powered computer to run them. As technology grows, these products should become more friendly to a mainstream budget, but for the time being, these products will mostly being owned by hardcore VR enthusiasts. Odds are if you want to develop an experience that uses these platforms, you need to have your own system ready for others to use! We would highly recommend these types of experiences for face to face interactions as people will quite literally line up for their turn with your experience.

Level of immersion | Foundry 45

In regards to the variety of platforms that VR can be published to, there seems to be an inverse relationship between accessibility and immersion. The more accessible a platform is, the less immersive it is and vice versa. The more a product costs, the more immersive it will be, but the less people will be able to use it. When choosing what platform to develop your VR content for, determining the size and preferred platform of your target audience is crucial for the success of your content. The most accessible platforms are 360 videos on social media and the most immersive are the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

ABOUT FOUNDRY 45

Foundry 45 is the business VR leader. We create immersive Virtual Reality (VR) experiences for room scale (HTC Vive and Oculus Rift) and mobile VR platforms (Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream, and Cardboard for iOS and Android). Foundry 45 helps businesses step into their brand story by using dynamic 360 video and VR app creation. Our marketing and recruiting approach captures customer experience desires and emphasizes product value. We also partner with existing video production studios, advertising agencies, and other content creators to serve as their VR technical consultants and developer shop.

To learn more about Foundry45, visit us at www.foundry45.com.

For Immersive VR inquiries, contact Managing Partner:

Dave Beck, dave@foundry45.com

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How to Set Up Your Phone w/ Samsung Gear VR

So you’ve been through the process and finally have your own custom Foundry 45 app for your Virtual Reality experience. Prepare to reap the benefits from your investment!  You’re now among an elite group of businesses that have taken advantage of VR Marketing.

        You’ve made your house very proud

Now all you have to do is set up your phone with your Samsung Gear VR headset and download your application in order to put your app to use! We created this video and blog post to help guide you through this process. The video above goes through every step, but we also wanted to lay out the instructions in this post.

Install Oculus Instructions | Foundry 45

Step 1: Install Oculus on your Samsung Phone!

First, you need to place your phone into your Gear VR headset to trigger the start up.

Remove your phone and proceed through the Gear VR Oculus Installation process.

Step 2: Sign in or Register for an Oculus account!

In order to use the Oculus application, you must register for an account or sign in to a pre-existing one.

If you are already signed into your account, you can tap the “More” tab and find your account email at the top of the page.

Step 3: Send Foundry 45 your account’s email!

Once you know your account’s email address, share it with tech@foundry45.com so we can grant you access to your app!

Step 4: Accept Foundry 45’s invite to access you App!

We will promptly send you an email which grants your account permission to download your application.

Make sure to follow our email’s link to accept our invitation.

Step 5: Install Your App!

Return to the “Store” Tab in the Oculus App

Scroll to the bottom to find the “Previews” Section

Find and Install Your Application.

Step 6: Open the App under the “Library” Tab

After you install your App, you will be given the option to start it immediately.

To find the app normally, look in the Oculus App under the “Library” Tab

We recommend running your app with Wifi disabled and Airplane Mode Enabled.

Also remember to turn up the Volume on your headset if you can’t hear anything.

Install Oculus Conclude | Foundry 45

 

And there you have it, your very own VR experience is ready to use! We hope you’ve found the video and this post helpful in your efforts to get your app working on Gear VR headset. Also feel free to check out our other posts about using your headset at Trade Shows or taking Screenshots with your Gear VR headset.

About Foundry 45

Foundry 45 is The Business VR Leader. We create immersive Virtual Reality (VR) experiences for mobile platforms including HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, iOS Cardboard Headsets, Android Cardboard Headsets. Foundry 45 helps businesses step into their brand story by using dynamic 360-degree video and VR app creation. Our marketing and recruiting approach captures customer experience desires and emphasize product value. We also partner with existing video production studios, advertising agencies, and other content creators to serve as their VR technical consultants and developer shop.

To learn more about Foundry45, visit us at www.foundry45.com.

For Immersive VR inquiries, contact Managing Partner:

Dave Beck, dave@foundry45.com

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Foundry 45 Services: Choose Your Own Adventure

Nowadays, businesses are capitalizing on interactive VR experiences by using what’s known as a branching narrative: a structure that allows viewers to navigate through the experience on their own. We at Foundry 45 provide these type of “Choose Your Own Adventure” Experiences in order to further engage any user who dons the VR headset. For these experiences, we create fully customizable, immersive VR applications that provide several choices and ways to appreciate the content. Anything you dream can be developed so let your imagination run wild!

samsung-gearvr-pic

Samsung GearVR

What does the service look like for your company?

Unlike our Linear VR Experiences, branching narratives shift the decision making to the users who get to decide how to navigate the experience. It’s a great way to strategically illustrate multiple value propositions for your brand. “Choose Your Own Adventure” Experiences can include several different types of content for multiple platform options such as:

  • Content
    360 degree video, 360 degree still photography, fully computer rendered environments, 2D videos,  motion graphics, and more.
  • Platforms
    HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream, and Google Cardboard for iPhones and Android devices.
ProBrew, a Chicago-based Brewery

ProBrew, a Chicago-based Brewery

Sample Choose Your Own Adventure Experience:

  • Start Scene
    Experiences can begin in a dark, 360 degree environment with your brand’s logo, and a “look here” button every 120 degrees that the user can select using a gaze-based selection tool to start the experience.
  • Introduction Scene
    The introduction will often be a dynamic 360 degree video that sets the stage for the overall experience. It should serve to welcome the user and will also usually include a professional voiceover track.
  • Home Scene
    The Home Scene is generally a high resolution 360 degree still photograph or 360 degree video loop. In this scene, the user will have an option to select one of three choices in the environment by focusing their gaze on one of three items (e.g. glowing outline around physical objects, spinning brand logos, title verbiage in the space, etc.). Selecting each option will take the viewer to one of the three Value Proposition scenes.
  • Value Proposition Scenes
    The purpose of these scenes is to give more information about the three highlighted items in the home scene. These are typically 360 degree videos that last 20 -30 seconds. They can include items like graphical pop-ups with bullet-pointed information in scene or existing 2D videos that can be placed in the space. At the end of this scene, the viewer will be transported back to the Home Scene, and the voice over will instruct them to choose one of the other two options or select an exit door to end the experience.
  • Conclusion
    When the user finishes the experience, it resets back to the initial start scene for another person to view.

Experience the Branching Narrative for Yourself

ProBrew Virtual Reality

ProBrewThis is a pretty straightforward example of our “choose your own adventure” work set in a Chicago-based brewery. It also includes graphical pop-up and 2D video elements. You can download it from iTunes or the Google Play Store.

“Having people know what it’s like to visit at our brewery has really made an impact! There’s no quicker way to take them there than this experience.”

 

 

Southern States

Southern States Virtual Reality

 

This experience is a little more custom and shows how Foundry 45 can add some allure to an industrial product line. There are also motion graphics and other animated elements. You can download it from iTunes or the Google Play Store.

“Foundry 45 really laid out all our information in this experience well! Great investment.”

 

ABOUT FOUNDRY 45

Foundry 45 is The Business VR Leader. We create immersive Virtual Reality (VR) experiences for mobile platforms including HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, iOS Cardboard Headsets, Android Cardboard Headsets. Foundry 45 helps businesses step into their brand story by using dynamic 360-degree video and VR app creation. Our marketing and recruiting approach captures customer experience desires and emphasize product value. We also partner with existing video production studios, advertising agencies, and other content creators to serve as their VR technical consultants and developer shop.

To learn more about Foundry45, visit us at www.foundry45.com.

For Immersive VR inquiries, contact Managing Partner:

Dave Beck, dave@foundry45.com

Follow Us!

Linkedin Twitter Facebook Instagram