The latest news and updates from the virtual and augmented reality industry.

109 Ways Companies Are Using Virtual & Augmented Reality Right Now

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past 12 months, you will be aware of what virtual reality is and probably have an idea of how big the virtual and augmented reality market is going to be.  I am going to tell you anyway to make sure you know now…

By 2035, Citi Financial Estimates the vCommerce industry to be worth $1.3 trillion.  Yes, that is trillion with a “T”, we’re talking 4 comma club!  Now that is a massive number and surely not all of this is from virtual and augmented reality… or is it.  According to VR evangelist and author of the Fourth Transformation, A book about the transformative potential of VR/AR, Robert Scoble suggests ‘Users will start expecting brands to have mixed reality experiences in 2018. The big money will show up in 2020’

“Users will start expecting brands to have mixed reality experiences in 2018. The big money will show up in 2020.”
– Robert Scoble, Author ‘The Fourth Transformation’

Below is a list of as many ways that brands are using VR and AR right now to tell their brand story and I have done my best to attach an estimated price of what this might cost to give you the best understanding of how you can use this incredible new technology to make your brand stand out in a sea of marketing clutter.  I have broken this down by industry in order to make it easier to get to what is relevant for you.  Also included in this list is a section called Utilitarian which refers to tools made by brands that are actually useful.  This last section is the one I see the most promise in.

Before you get to the list, if you have any questions about what you read below or if you want to know how Virtual & Augmented Reality can impact your business, please feel free to email me directly at alan@metavrse.com or if you are like me and you want to read more about us, visit www.MetaVRse.com.

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RETAIL

The Virtual Future of Retail

The Line Apartment VR Shopping Experience

Lowes In-Store Navigation using Google’s Tango Augmented Reality Technology

Lowes Virtual Reality Holoroom

Lowes Hololens Experience

Walgreen’s tests Augmented Reality Loyalty program

Sephora Augmented Reality Makeup App

IKEA Virtual Reality Kitchen

IKEA VR App

eBay VR Department Store

McDonald’s Happy Meal “Ski Slope”

McDonald’s Happy Meal VR Box

Coke Google Cardboard made from packaging

McDonald’s Farm Tour

Topshop Front Row Fashion Show

Dior present its own VR Headset

Rebecca Minkoff Google Cardboard

Merrell “Trailscape” VR

Boursin Sensorium

Gatorade Baseball

Dramamine Ad for nausea

Patron Tequila VR

Shinola Watch Factory Tour

American Express “You vs. Maria Sharapova”

Mountain Dew VR Skateboarding

GAP AR

Chik-Fil-A

M&M’s

Sodimac Home Centers VR

TRAVEL & TOURISM

Viking Cruise Ship 360° Tour

Best Western Hotels use VR

Hilton uses 360° Video to promote room bookings

Marriott VRoom Service (in-room VR service)

Hilton Hotels 360° Tour Video

Flam Train 360° Experience

St. Regis Hotel Lobby Virtual “Matterport” tour

MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT

360° Photo Booth™

NY Times VR

Mission Impossible Rogue Nation VR

Late Show VR Pictionary

Coachella Livestream 360° VR

Coachella Augmented Reality Welcome Kit

MetaVRse VR Events & Entertainment

NBA & Mountain Dew team up for VR Art

Hunger Games VR/360 Experience

Molson Canadian Hockey Night in Canada VR

NTT Japan’s Telecom using VR/AR/AI

CNN VR

MINING, OIL & GAS

Overview of VR/AR for Mining

BGC Engineering uses Hololens AR to show mine reclamation

Lucara Diamond Mine uses VR/360 to show investors the mine site without travelling

Discovery VR ‘Gold Rush’ VR/360 series

BNN Interview with MetaVRse CEO, Alan Smithson

AIRLINES

Joining the VR Mile High Club – UploadVR article on using VR in an airplane

United Airlines and Matt Damon show you the new Business class Boeing 777 before it’s built

Nicole Kidman introducing Etihad Airways in VR

Qantas Airlines VR app

Virgin Atlantic using VR to show future planes

AUTOMOTIVE

Audi VR Showroom

Audi TT VR Experience

Volvo VR Test Drive

Lexus VR Experience

Lexus RX VR Experience

Nissan Rogue Tiltbrush

Ford VR Design Studio

Ford Rally Car 360° Experience

Ford VR app

Audi 360 Video with Gigi Haddid

Mercedes 360° Interior Tour Video

Mercedes Virtual Reality Showroom

Toyota Prius 360° Video

AT&T “It can wait” anti-texting and driving 360° VR campaign

Renault VR Prank

MEDICAL / PHARMACEUTICAL

Virtual & Augmented Reality for Pharmaceutical Companies

VR For Life Saving Training

Virtual Reality Surgery Practice Simulator

Using VR to ease stress of dental procedures

Using VR to help seniors experience more

How VR is shaping the healthcare industry

BioFlightVR Physician Training and Simulations

VR Human Anatomy App

GE Neuro VR exploration of the Human Brain

Excedrin VR Migraine Empathy Experience

Bayer AR Teaching Tool

Schizophrenia Empathy VR

Article: 10 VR companies disrupting healthcare

VR Saves a babies life

World’s first 360° Live Surgery

Virtual Reality to study the brain

World’s First VR Medical Training Facility

VR Medical training Simulator

VR Guided Meditation

VR to treat Vertigo

VR to treat Cancer

Hololens visualization of Asthma attack

See inside the Human Eye in VR before surgery

VR to treat Mental Health

REAL ESTATE

Symbility Intersect 360° VR Office Tour

Using VR to sell expensive pre-construction condos (InventDev)

Using VR Tours to sell Real Estate (VR Listing)

Augmented Reality Tour of new Mall

Matterport 3D Virtual Tour Platform  

YouVisit 360° Virtual Tour Platform

360° Virtual Condo Tour (YouVisit)

360° Virtual Private Club Tour

Retail Store Tour (360° Photos)

LEGAL & INSURANCE

How VR is improving the Criminal Justice System

UTILITARIAN (useful tools using VR/AR)

Augmented Reality Piano Lessons (Hololens)

Architectural uses for Microsoft Hololens AR

Virtual Reality Resumes

Putting people inside a burning house to teach fire safety

 

If you made it this far, congratulations!  The above list is as comprehensive as we could make it and we will continue to update this blog to ensure this resource is always relevant.  I hope you found some value in the article.  Again, if you have an idea for how to use VR in your business, but don’t know where to start, feel free to email me and get the conversation started.  alan@metavrse.com

 

Technology and Tenacity Dominate the Haste & Hustle Conference

On February 9-10, hundreds of entrepreneurs and marketers braved a blizzard to make their way to Ontario’s Niagara region for the first annual Haste & Hustle conference. An impressive and eclectic speaker line-up shared their expertise and the stories of their success including Gary Vaynerchuk, Casey Neistat and MetaVRse’s own Alan Smithson.  

A last minute relocation of the event to the Bethany Community Church ended up being a fitting venue for the inspirational presenters who shared wisdom that could only be accumulated through true entrepreneurial sacrifice. New communication technologies such Virtual and Augmented Reality and Chatbots were also a consistent theme throughout the show with many speakers highlighting how tech can help aspiring entrepreneurs reach their business goals – but how there is no substitute for good old fashioned hustle.

Outside of the “chapel”, attendees were invited to try the latest in Virtual and Augmented technology in MetaVRse’s Mixed Reality Experience Zone (generously sponsored by HTC Vive) and try the latest consumer gadgets in a Tech Hub curated by gadget guru Marc Saltzman. Haste & Hustle was host to activities that highlighted the Niagara Region, featuring a marketing crawl of local businesses and an evening gala at the world famous Jackson Triggs winery.

The real highlight was the collected wisdom being shared from the stage. Here are a few of our favourite moments:

Alan Smithson’s Presentation on how VR & AR Will Be Used by Businesses

MetaVRse CEO Alan Smithson opened his talk with a personal story about the toll his previous business took on him and his family and the lessons he learned from the experiences that have carried over into the success of MetaVRse.  The talk turned to his current passion for Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies and the way they’re already being used by innovative businesses. Among the most amazing predictions for the technology, Smithson predicted that in five years from now we’ll be viewing the world through a pair of glasses rather than looking at our phones!

Gary Vaynerchuk – Vayner Media

The main event for many of Haste & Hustle’s attendees, Gary Vaynerchuk almost didn’t make it to the event because of a severe snowstorm. His DailyVee Youtube video for that day actually focused on the story of getting to the event and how the journey is the most important part of any accomplishment.  

Vaynerchuk has built his brand around entrepreneurial hustle and his talk didn’t sugar coat the amount of personal sacrifice needed in order to achieve the kind of success that he aspires to. Gary will join Gwyneth Paltrow and will.i.am on Apple TV’s new reality show “Planet of the Apps” about app developers.

 

Casey Neistat – YouTube Star

Casey Neistat is one of the most popular creators on Youtube and it seemed like as many Haste & Hustle attendees were there to see him.  Casey shared his hustle story of what made him strive for more: He was scrubbing a clam chowder pot 50 hours a week to support his family when he started making his popular videos. Neistat mused that the path to success is undefined and you get the tools you need from different places. On being an influencer he shared the memorable analogy: “I hate the word influencer. It talks about the effect, not the cause; like calling a musician an ear-pleaser.”

 

Erin Bury – Eighty Eight Creative

Erin Bury is the managing partner of Eighty Eight Creative, a leading Toronto based communications agency. Bury blew minds with her talk about Chat Bots and how these simulated conversations get smarter and more human the more we use them. The talk included surprising insights like how chatbots live inside the platforms customers already use like Facebook messenger and Whatsapp and will automate things that we’re currently paying humans to do: analysts predict that 85% of customer service interactions will be handled by chatbots by 2020!

Greg Murray – Pfizer

Greg Murray is a product manager at Pfizer and an advocate for creativity within the biggest corporate settings. His talk focused on how creativity shouldn’t be reserved for artists or a so-called “creative class” and how it can be incorporated into all roles. Keeping with the technology theme that ran throughout the event, Murray reminded us that as AI replaces more routine functions we’ll be entering a more creative economy as the remaining jobs require human creativity.

Giovanni Marsico – Archangel Academy

Giovanni Marsico, the founder of Archangel Academy shared an inspirational talk about his own entrepreneurial challenges to found his organization and used an effective superhero metaphor to share his approach to how entrepreneurs reach their full potential and make an exponential impact on the world.

Marsico shared a memorable analogy of how we use four currencies over the course of our careers: Our Time, Our Gift, Our Relationships and Our Reputation. When we start out, Time is our only asset. We then trade our time to develop our Gift which we use to form relationships with other people when we use it to add value for them. Finally we exchange our social capital for Brand capital to develop our reputation as the most valuable asset of all.

Manjit Minhas – Minhas Breweries and Dragon’s Den

Best known as one of the new generation of Dragons on Dragon’s Den, Manjit shared her story of the tenacity required to secure her first big deal for her company Minhas Breweries. The story involved Minhas getting her client to sign an agreement on a napkin after negotiating terms in a restaurant! She offered the audience the advice: “Do not have a “Plan B”, it will only distract you from “Plan A”.

Paul Copcutt – You, Inc.

Paul Copcutt is a master of personal branding on LinkedIn  and offered some pro-tips for the Haste & Hustle audience to  help them use the professional network to better market themselves. One of his most effective pieces of advice was to identify the the one word you’d use to describe your personal essence and build your profile around it.

 

Top 10 Marketing uses of VR/AR & 360° Video in 2016

2016 was the launch year for VR and these marketers got it right before anyone else – this is how you do VR at the start of VR.

Star Wars – Trials on Tatooine

Star Wars - Trials on Tatooine

While not really an ad for Star Wars, giving people a chance to become a Jedi-Knight and use a lightsaber in VR has to be one of the most engaging ways to connect a brand to a real life experience. Download this mini game for free on Steam.

Read more

Merrell Trailscape

Merrell Trailscape

Hiking across a ricketty bridge high on a mountain side is not something that many people would want to do in real life which is exactly why Merrell hit a homerun with this campaign.  By combining real elements of a rope bridge with virtual reality, they put guests into the action in the one place that they know their products shine through.  This is a prime example of how experienced based VR marketing is going to help sell products.

Watch the video

Marriott Transporter

Marriott Transporter

In a trial of VR by Marriott Hotels, a 4D sensory experience was created to ‘teleport’ guests to different destinations including beaches in Hawaii and downtown London. The brand created the virtual travel experience delivered via a specially crafted ‘travelling teleporter’, which toured eight US cities last September. The phone booth-shaped structure featured the Oculus Rift DK2 virtual reality headset, wireless headphones and a suite on 4D sensory elements.

Marriott Hotels brand marketing VP, Michael Dail, said the exercise was about giving the next generation of travellers “the clear cut notion that more amazing travel experiences are coming and to encourage them to co-create the future of travel with us on TravelBrilliantly.com, where their best ideas enter Marriott’s innovation pipeline”, he said. “Together, we are pushing the limits of what is possible.”

Read more

Lowes Holoroom

Lowes Holoroom

The Lowe’s Holoroom is a virtual reality home improvement design and visualization tool that empowers homeowners with an immersive, intuitive experience in the room of their dreams. Visualizing a home improvement project is hard – the Holoroom is here to help.

The Lowe’s Holoroom was introduced in 2014 as the first concept from Lowe’s Innovation Labs, and was available for six months in two Toronto stores. The next iteration of the Holoroom was available in 19 stores across the U.S. beginning in November 2015. Lowe’s Innovation Labs will continue to refine and evolve the experiences as technology continues to evolve and we gather real-time feedback from customers and employees.

Read more

IKEA VR Experience

IKEA VR Experience

The IKEA VR experience lets you walk in an Ikea kitchen, where you can open doors, walk around and explore the space. IKEA even added the ability to cook their famous meatballs in the VR kitchen. Check it out on Steam.

Timeless 360° Time Machine

Sony Pictures and Corus Media partnered with Toronto-based Virtual & Augmented Reality Innovation Agency, MetaVRse to create a unique, one-of-a-kind launch activation that used 360° photography to transport guests back in time to an iconic scene from the new show Timeless where the Hindenburg is exploding above your head.  Once taken, guests were emailed their photos and could interact with the photo on a large touchscreen and also see themselves in virtual reality for the first time.

Watch the video

Old Irish – Journey to Ireland

Old Irish - Journey to Ireland

Old Irish, a craft beer hailing from the Eastern European country of Georgia, decided to have some fun blurring the line between virtual and reality. Their video proves that sometimes it’s not what happens when you put on the virtual reality goggles that matters — it’s what happens when you take them off:  This mind altering activation put a VR headset on people and while they were taking a 360° Virtual Tour of Ireland, a complete irish bar was assembled around them so when they took off the headset they were in an irish bar without moving at all.

Watch the video

Lexus VR

Lexus VR

Lexus partnered with VR company, Rewind.co to create at the world’s first VR Car Configurator and Simulator for the Oculus Rift DK2 headset in alignment with the new Lexus NX launch campaign.

The experience was created for Visualise and Amaze using the latest CGI virtual reality technology which immerses the user within a virtual world where they can fully configure an NX to their own specification and then take it on a test drive through an alternate dimension, which mirrors that of the campaign seen on all other media. The reaction of a first time user is all we need to see how successful the experience has been.

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Tom’s “Giving Trip” in 360°

 Tom’s “Giving Trip” in 360°

This story-based 360° video takes you on a journey to Peru where you see exactly how Tom’s one-for-one shoe program impacts the lives of school children in underprivileged countries.  This short video gives a great impact to how the brand is helping the world.

Watch the video

Boursin Sensorium

Boursin Sensorium

Boursin Sensorium is a fantastical tour of a magical fridge filled with life-size celery, garlic and onions (the key ingredients in Boursin cheese).  This 360° video is best viewed on a Google Cardboard, GearVR or Google Daydream, but is just as impactful on a phone.

Watch the video

Nissan Micra VR Tiltbrush: Savant Stephen Wiltshire Draws Nissan Micra in Tilt Brush from Memory

Nissan Micra VR Tiltbrush Video

Stephen Wiltshire, a British architectural artist who was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3, has garnered fame for his ability to draw detailed recreations from memory — oftentimes of complex cityscapes he’s only viewed briefly.

In a new ad for the 2017 Micra, Nissan puts his chops to the test. But instead of equipping him with his usual arsenal of pen and paper, in this case, Nissan tasks him with authoring his recreation in VR using Tilt Brush, which he’s never used before. Talk “Stephen is not able to filter anything,” says his sister in voice-over. “He absorbs everything. Detail is the highlight to his drawing.”  Stephen recreates the nuances of the car in stunning detail using VR as his artist tool.

Honorable Mentions

Jimmy Fallon’s Virtual Reality Pictionary

Jimmy Fallon’s Virtual Reality Pictionary

Using the popular VR title Tiltbrush via HTC Vive, featured guests Michael Che of SNL’s Weekend Update and Andrew Rannells of Girls went head-to-head in a game of futuristic Pictionary in VR.

After selecting a random number hung on a wooden board, the players were tasked with drawing their chosen subject in a 3D space via Tiltbrush. It was then up to their partners to guess the correct answer within the allotted time. For the sake of simplicity, the ‘artists’ held only the painting brush and not the palette controller that’s used to switch through different colors, textures, etc. The segment was a perfect example of how virtual reality can be as much a social experience as it can an isolated one.

Video here

White House 360° Tour with the Obamas

White House 360° Tour with the Obamas

Michelle and Barack Obama take you for a virtual reality 360° tour of the iconic White House.  Produced by the always amazing Felix & Paul, this 8:30 video gives some history and insight into what life is like in the most famous house in America.

Read more

Augmented Reality Dollar Bill

This genius app idea can be used with any American one dollar bill and uses augmented reality to show the white house in 3D complete with Presidential helicopter.  Touch parts of the house to learn more about different presidents.

Read more

 

Marketers, take note: this is the beginning, you can and will do better, and we would love to help.  Connect with me and let’s start working on your next project together:  alan@metavrse.com 

 

 

CES 2017 Virtual & Augmented Reality Highlights

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is literally the Mecca of tech nerds from around the world.  This show sees over 175,000 attendees and encompasses over 2.4 million square feet over multiple locations.  With over 7,500 media representatives in attendance, CES is also THE place where new technologies launch ground breaking, earth-shattering technologies and the VR community was well represented this year.  Although I did not have the chance to attend this year, I have been following the VR media carefully so here is a roundup of the virtual and augmented reality highlights from CES 2017.

Rather than attempt to butcher amazing media coverage from the world’s professionals, I am going to put a link to the articles so you can take a deep dive into the VR/AR stories you are interested in from CES.  

NOTE: All of the news below is VR for business, marketing or enterprise.  Gaming is not covered unless it has some business potential.  I have purposely left out things that I think will be rendered obsolete in the near term and also things that I feel are going to end up vaporware.

UPLOAD VR – CES 2017

http://uploadvr.com/ces-2017-vr-and-ar-news-roundup-everything-you-might-have-missed/

  • Intel’s ‘Merged Reality’ Demo Brings Actual Hands Into VR on Oculus Rift [Link]
  • Mobile Room-Scale VR ‘Fully Doable’ With Vive Tracker Says Dev [Link]
  • KwikVR Wireless Kit For Rift and Vive Releases in March for Around $300 [Link]
  • SketchAR Trace Over AR Images [Link]
  • Dr. Oz is Using VR to Create The ‘Google Maps’ of the Human Body [Link]
  • ‘Mindshow’ CEO: Let’s you Create your own VR experiences [Link]
  • Lumus Showed Off New AR Glasses With 55-Degree Field Of View [Link]
  • The Pico Neo CV Is A Fully Untethered, Positionally Tracked VR Headset [Link]
  • Dell Precision 7720 Is A VR-Ready Laptop Using Nvidia Quardo GPUs [Link]
  • Hands-On at CES With Intel’s Project Alloy Standalone VR Headset [Link]
  • Forget 4K — The Insta360 Pro Is An 8K 360-Degree VR Camera [Link]
  • ‘HOLO CUBE’ Lets You Hold And Play With AR In The Palm Of Your Hand [Link]
  • Eye-Tracking VR Headset FOVE 0 Costs $599 [Link]
  • Vuze Is An $800 VR Camera Releasing In March With 3D Audio Support [Link]
  • Ricoh Unveils The First 360° Recording and Livestreaming For 24hrs [Link]
  • Dell Inspiron 15 Gaming Notebook And Alienware Hardware For VR [Link]
  • The First Oculus-Powered Bar In Las Vegas [Link]
  • ASUS ZenFone AR, First Daydream and Tango Ready Smartphone [Link]
  • Gap And Google Just Showed Us How AR Shopping Will Work [Link]
  • Samsung Confirms 5 Million Gear VR Mobile Headsets Sold To Date [Link]
  • Intel’s CES 2017 Press Conference Put The Audience Inside VR [Link]
  • HTC Announces Vive Tracker to Power Next Generation VR Accessories [Link]
  • Intel Project Alloy Debuts Multiplayer Merged Reality Gaming [Link]
  • Lenovo’s Windows Holographic VR Headset Debuts At CES [Link]
  • Tactai Gets In Touch With Ericsson For AR and VR ‘Dynamic Tactile Wave’ Tech [Link]
  • Hubblo 360-Degree VR Camera That Makes Streaming 4K In 3D Portable [Link]
  • ODG Debuts Two New AR Glasses Aimed At Consumer Market [Link]
  • Faraday Future Used VR To Design Their Flagship “Fully Connected” Car [Link]

Other VR/AR Coverage From CES

http://www.dw.com/en/virtual-reality-goes-huge-at-ces-2017/a-36996737
http://variety.com/2017/digital/news/ces-2017-virtual-reality-1201954926/
http://www.crn.com/slide-shows/components-peripherals/300083398/10-virtual-reality-products-at-ces-2017-that-brought-us-to-another-world.htm?itc=ticker