XRDC speaker Q&A: Charles Yust on the potential of interactive AR exhibits

Augmented reality has proven not just an incredible tool for game design, but also healthcare technology, factory management tech, and more. But according to XRDC speaker Charles Yust, it’s also a great way to get museum visitors excited about the arts.

At XRDC 2018, Yust will be taking the stage to discuss his work with frog design on the Magritte Interpretive Gallery at SFMOMA (which you can visit right now!) To learn more about making AR projects for museums, we reached out to Yust for a quick Q&A about his work, which you can now read below.

Attend XRDC 2018 to learn about immersive games & entertainment, brand experiences, and innovative use cases across industries.

Tell us about yourself and your work in VR/AR/MR.
I am a Principal Design Technologist at frog design and lead our AR/VR technology capability. frog is a design and innovation consultancy that has been around since designing PCs for Apple in the early ‘80s. In addition to physical product design, we have grown to encompass design strategy and designing digital experiences on behalf of our clients globally across many verticals. Our XR practice reflects our diverse clientele and I have personally worked on a HoloLens MR maintenance application leveraging Edge networking for a global Telecom, led the development of the first IKEA Place AR prototype ahead of the announcement of ARKit at WWDC 2017, and led a team that created a low cost HW/SW solution for burn patients (and developed the software experience), among others. We have leveraged XR in other interesting ways including using it during the design process for research and prototyping, and showcasing physical and digital product design at scale for clients. We don’t get the opportunity to talk about it very often given our confidentiality agreements, but I am excited to share some of our past work at XRDC.

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Learn about AR and VR’s unique therapeutic potential at XRDC 2018!

Are you read for XRDC in San Francisco next month? We’re almost there, and as the final pieces fall into place we wanted to take a moment to quickly highlight another exciting session at the event that promises to expand your understanding of how augmented reality and virtual reality can be used to help heal people.

A key part of XRDC 2018’s Healthcare track of talks, this panel session on “Digital Medicine: What’s Different About XR for Health?” brings together leaders from the forefront of therapeutic VR and AR applications.

Attend XRDC 2018 to learn about AR/VR/MR for games, entertainment, healthcare, enterprise training, education, automotive, and innovative use cases across industries.

You’ll hear about such diverse areas as treating chronic pain, improving mood with neurofeedback, training caregivers in virtual environments, and more. Together, panelists Noah Falstein (President, The Inspiracy), Sarah Hill (CEO, Healium), Josh Sackman (President, AppliedVR), Carrie Shaw (CEO, Embodied Labs), and Sophia Batchelor (student, UC Berkeley) will discuss what health applications share with each other, as well as how they differ from each other and other kinds of XR.

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XRDC speaker Q&A: Kyle Vaidyanathan on designing interactions in VR

At XRDC 2018, a group of designers from across the VR world will be teaming up for a panel on design thinking in immersive environments. Among the ranks of those designers stands Kyle Vaidyanathan, a software engineer at Unity with experience building tools for game-makers to make great experiences in VR.

To learn more about Vaidyanathan’s work, and introduce you to his video game background before XRDC, we’ve reached out to him for a quick Q&A, which you can now read below!

Attend XRDC 2018 to learn about immersive games & entertainment, brand experiences, and innovative use cases across industries.

Tell us about yourself and your work in VR/AR/MR.
As a kid I spent a lot of time playing Neopets and Runescape (and later Minecraft of course), which were essentially their own virtual realities in terms of community and immersion. Later I started working with game engines and found VR and AR to be the most interesting platforms to target because a lot that hasn’t been made yet and there’s always new tech.

Without spoiling it too much, tell us what you’ll be talking about at XRDC.
Embracing the ways designing for XR is different and also similar to other platforms.

What excites you most about AR/VR/MR?
The continual improvement of hardware and software platforms/engines that enable better applications.

Who would you like to meet at XRDC?
Anyone working on XR creation software or multiplayer communities.

What has changed in the last year in your process of making tools for XR designers?  
MR use cases/tech has become more available, and therefore computer vision has become more important to understand.

XRDC is happening October 29th and 30th in San Francisco at the Westin St. Francis Hotel. Now that registration is open, you’ll want to look over XRDC passes and prices and register early to get the best deal!

For more information about XRDC, which is produced by organizers of the Game Developers Conference, check out the official XRDC website. You can also subscribe to regular XRDC updates via emailTwitter and Facebook.

Gamasutra, XRDC, and GDC are sibling organizations under parent company Informa

IGF 2019 Inspirations: 2016 Audience Award winner Undertale!

Head’s up, game devs: Game Developers Conference organizers are still accepting submissions for the 21st annual Independent Games Festival (IGF), the longest running festival, summit and showcase of independent games!

There’s just a few weeks left to enter, as entries for all IGF categories are being accepted through October 1, 2018, with finalists announced in early January 2019.

It can be daunting to submit your work, but whether you end up winning or not, participating in the IGF is a great way to bring some attention to your work, build camaraderie with your fellow indie devs, and partake in a major celebration of the best in indie games!

In an effort to help inspire you, we’ve been publishing a series highlighting some previous IGF award winners and their paths to indie game dev glory. Today we’d like to continue by drawing your attention to Undertale, a Toby Fox’s 2015 indie RPG with a cult following that helped it take home the Audience Award at the 2016 IGF!

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From Beat Saber to Moss, don’t miss all the insightful XRDC game talks!

Want to get a behind-the-scenes look at the design and development of Beat Games’ Beat Saber? How about the charming PlayStation VR adventure game Moss? Then you’ll want to be at XRDC in San Francisco next month, because the folks who made those games will be part of the event’s roster of expert speakers!

XRDC is the premier conference for augmented, virtual, and mixed reality innovators, focusing on use cases for immersive experiences across industries entertainment, healthcare, education, training, industrial design, brand experience, and more.

AR/VR/MR games are a key part of the show, and on XRDC’s Games & Entertainment track of talks you’ll find all sorts of great stuff to check out — including “The Story of Beat Saber“, a talk from Beat Games chief Jaroslav Beck which aims to show you what it took to build Beat Saber effectively, as well as some useful best practices for working on a VR game with a team based in different locations.

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At XRDC, study the healing effects of swimming with VR dolphins!

Preparations for XRDC in San Francisco next month are reaching a fever pitch, but organizers want to take a quick moment to let you know about a really exciting talk that you’ll be able to see at the event.

It’s all about the potential therapeutic power of well-made VR experience, and as such is a key piece of the XRDC Healthcare track of talks. Titled “The Dolphin Swim Club: A Healing Underwater VR Experience“, this talk will see Dolphin Swim Club founder Marijke Sjollema and director Benno Brada breaking down exactly how the Club (a nonprofit organization and project that uses the healing power of art and nature to craft therapeutic VR experiences) works and what it’s learned.

This is a big deal because the Club developed waterproof VR goggles that allow users to swim in real water, with virtual dolphins, and experience real therapeutic effects. This unique VR content is currently being used in over 350 hospitals and healthcare institutions worldwide, and is present in several scientific studies at Stanford University and elsewhere.

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XRDC speaker Q&A: Lucas Toohey and the metrics XR developers need right now

Building any VR application means gathering alot of key metrics about your potential users while playtesting the game, but what if you could learn a lot of those metrics in a much shorter timeframe?

At XRDC 2018, Observer Analytics CEO Lucas Toohey will be on hand with a number of datasets and relevant metrics for developers working in VR right now. To learn more about Toohey’s work and how he came to posess such useful insights, we reached out for a quick Q&A which you can now read below

Attend XRDC 2018 to learn about immersive games & entertainment, brand experiences, and innovative use cases across industries.

Tell us about yourself and your work in VR/AR/MR.

In 2016, our founding team built a social VR application that allowed esports enthusiasts to watch their favorite streams in an interactive environment. Our goal was to bring the massive amount of 2D content that existed and enhance the viewing experience by adding an interactive 3D layer. Throughout development, we continued to struggle with not knowing how users were spending time in the experience. Because designing for three dimensions is a new frontier, our design and development decisions were rooted in assumption and we simply hoped that our app was intuitive to use. In 2017, we decided to stop development on our own app and switched gears to solve the bigger problem in front of us. We’ve spent the last year building an analytics platform specifically for immersive content, with the goal of leveraging data to eliminate the guesswork for all XR content creators.

Without spoiling it too much, tell us what you’ll be talking about at XRDC.

At XRDC, I will be giving a talk that highlights a few of the interesting insights we’ve learned about VR design and development. We’ve been working with developers and content creators for the past year or so, collecting and analyzing billions of data points around user behavior in VR. I will be discussing a few unique insights that we believe everybody creating XR should know. Topics discussed will include designing for physical movement, optimizing user onboarding, and usage statistics for well-performing applications.

What excites you most about AR/VR/MR?

What excites me the most about this new technology is being able to utilize a variety of new inputs (controllers, hand tracking, and eye tracking, etc.) to create experiences like we’ve never seen before. I believe that standalone headsets with 6DoF tracking will accelerate the adoption of VR, making these experiences accessible to everyone. With these new input methods come a new set of design and development standards, something that I’m very passionate about helping define as the industry matures.

Who would you like to meet at XRDC?

I’d love to connect with anyone building VR/AR experiences. Regardless of the size of the team or budget for the project, I’m always interested in meeting developers and content creators that are passionate about XR and interested in discussing how data can be leveraged to create the best experiences.

VR developers have to review a lot of analytics and data in their work, what are some of the best techniques you can advise for them to process and parse that data and not be overwhelmed by it?

The best advice I can give is to encourage devs to integrate and start using analytics early on in the development cycle. We suggest that teams integrate analytics when they begin to playtest the experiences. This allows you to better understand what data is being collected, validate or invalidate assumptions early, and build the habit of using data throughout the design and development process. Regarding simplification and best practices, I’d have to suggest using a tool like ours: built around ease of integration and automated data collection. We know that analytics and data can feel overwhelming so by automating most of the data collection up front, we save teams time and energy by populating our dashboard with a few dozen graphs and charts right out of the box. Looking into the future, our goal is to make analytics more prescriptive, rather than reactive, to automate the analysis process for teams to extract more value from immersive data.

XRDC is happening October 29th and 30th in San Francisco at the Westin St. Francis Hotel. Now that registration is open, you’ll want to look over XRDC passes and prices and register early to get the best deal!

For more information about XRDC, which is produced by organizers of the Game Developers Conference, check out the official XRDC website. You can also subscribe to regular XRDC updates via emailTwitter and Facebook.

Gamasutra, XRDC, and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Americas

Got a great idea for a VR/AR talk? Pitch it for GDC 2019’s VRDC!

Today we’d like to quickly remind you that organizers of the 2019 Game Developers Conference are still accepting VRDC talk submissions — but only until Friday, October 5th at 11:59 pm Pacific!

Of course, officials are also accepting talks that would be a good fit for the other GDC Summits, and the Game Career Seminar at GDC 2019, which is happening in San Francisco March 18th through the 22nd next year.

However, we’re highlighting the Virtual Reality Developers Conference (or VRDC) today because it’s a very exciting slice of the show where attendees learn to create amazing, immersive VR and AR experiences for games, as well as entertainment of all kinds–including films, travel, retail, fitness, product design, journalism, and sports entertainment!

The VRDC advisors are seeking proposals on the following topics, which are the foundation of the programs this year. However, feel free to submit your own original ideas for consideration as well. At GDC and VRDC, we aim to achieve diversity of voice, experience and perspective. When considering who would be best to speak on behalf of your company or department, we strongly encourage taking this goal into consideration.

Game VR/AR Track

Advisors are soliciting submissions exploring virtual, augmented and mixed reality in game development, pertaining to topics across multiple disciplines including Design, Production, Programming, and Visual Art. Submissions should be representative of interesting and current work happening in VR/AR/MR game development and have valuable, actionable and/or inspiring takeaways for the VRDC audience.

Entertainment VR/AR Track

Virtual, augmented and mixed reality is about so much more than just games. For the Entertainment VR/AR Track, advisors are soliciting submissions spanning VR/AR/MR application, design, implementation and development across multiple industries including Entertainment, Travel, Retail, Fitness, Product Design, Journalism and Sports Entertainment. If you’re developing an immersive VR, AR, or MR experience or application that goes beyond games, we want to hear about it!

So if you want to speak at VRDC during GDC 2019, click here!

For more details on the submission process or GDC 2019 in general visit the show’s official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.

XRDC speaker Q&A: Chris O’Connor and using AR & VR in the auto biz

While much has been made about VR’s potential for video games and the healthcare business, it’s the automotive industry that has been quietly investing large amounts of time and effort into virtual reality, something several speakers will be discussing at this year’s XRDC.

One of those speakers, Chris O’Connor, will be giving a talk about his work at ZeroLight, a company dedicated to recreating different vehicles in virtual reality. To learn more about O’Connor’s work, and what he’ll be discussing at XRDC, we reached out to him for a quick chat that you can now read below.

Attend XRDC 2018 to learn about immersive games & entertainment, brand experiences, and innovative use cases across industries.

Tell us about yourself and your work in VR/AR/MR.

I worked as a graphics programmer in the games industry for 8 years, specializing in racing games for a whole range a platforms.

ZeroLight was created 4 years ago, utilizing our expertise in real-time rendering to disrupt the world of automotive visualization. We developed an omnichannel platform and using XR is a natural way to enhance the sales experience, enabling the customer to see any vehicle and configuration in stunning detail on a 1:1 scale.

Without spoiling it too much, tell us what you’ll be talking about at XRDC.

I will be talking about the challenges involved and the solutions developed when creating VR and AR projects for automotive brands such as BMW, Audi, Nissan, Toyota, Porsche and Pagani. We have to consider the OEM’s target market and understand that many potential customers may not have experienced real-time interactive CG before, never mind XR.

Because of this intuitive user experience, solid performance and high graphical quality are extremely important to ensure the highest possible level of realism and immersion. We have learnt a huge amount over the last 4 years and I will be sharing the highlights from many of these XR projects during this session.

What excites you most about AR/VR/MR?

I love how fast XR hardware is developing with amazing new innovations every few months, this gives the team at ZeroLight new ways to improve immersion, quality and performance. We are now seeing the next generation of VR devices with wider field of views, higher pixel densities and varifocal lenses. GPUs and CPUs are becoming more powerful, pushing graphical quality to a new level. AR is also starting to meet the mass market with many great devices and use cases on the horizon.

Who would you like to meet at XRDC?

I’m really looking forward to meeting like minded developers across the wide range of industries that are innovating in the world of XR. It’s fascinating to hear about the latest projects incorporating cutting edge graphics and new XR hardware.

What kind of XR projects do you see gaining traction in the automotive business?

XR was used in the automotive industry prior to the availability of current generation XR devices. Automotive design teams would use the medium to aid in the design and review process. The sector is now going a step further with the digitization of entire car libraries for use in sales and marketing. XR is key, empowering customer to see and explore cars at scale as part of the purchase journey. This allows automotive manufacturers to promote new models, accessories and options without the need for a physical car.

XRDC is happening October 29th and 30th in San Francisco at the Westin St. Francis Hotel. Now that registration is open, you’ll want to look over XRDC passes and prices and register early to get the best deal!

For more information about XRDC, which is produced by organizers of the Game Developers Conference, check out the official XRDC website. You can also subscribe to regular XRDC updates via emailTwitter and Facebook.

Gamasutra, XRDC, and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Americas

Attend XRDC and learn how to better evoke empathy in your AR/VR work!

If you’re passionate about AR, VR, and MR experiences, know that XRDC organizers are lining up a fantastic array of industry experts to speak at the San Francisco event next month, including game researcher, designer and XEODesign founder Nicole Lazzaro!

In her XRDC Innovation track talk on “Empathy in WonderlandLazzaro is going to guide you through three empathy-deepening XR techniques distilled from 4 years of player research culled from XEODesign’s own XR Lab for Google, Hidden Path, Survios, ‘Beat Saber‘, ‘Fragments‘ (for HoloLens), and 3 unannounced titles.

These techniques (Empathy Hurdles, Empathy Bridges, and Empathy Channels) will help you double your XR creation’s ability to create emotional depth, whether it’s in service of reducing grieving, or bringing to life deeply rich narrative spaces for games. Don’t miss it!

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