The Creative Lab is a company within the Academy for Digital Entertainment (ADE), where staff, industry experts and students come together to share knowledge and create experimental concepts regarding the media and games industry. Recently, The Creative Lab, together with Cradle and staff & students from IGAD, created The Dancer Awakens, an artificial reality film for the Microsoft Hololens. As we always like to find out more about the newest tech, media and games, The Creative Lab visited the VR & AR World during the London Tech Week from the 12th of June until the 16th of June 16th, 2017.
The VR & AR World at London Tech Week is a conference where major companies such as McDonalds, Ford Motor Company, LandRover Jaguar, Boeing Aerospace and Boeing Aviation, VTime, London Fire Department and HTC Vive present their findings and progress regarding virtual and artificial reality. During this week, knowledge, trends and innovation are shared by means of Q&As with speakers, keynotes, panel discussions and live demonstrations.
During this week, one of the trends that presented itself is the use of VR, and especially AR, in the commercial sector, almost solely for prototyping and visualising during the engineering and design processes. Immersive experiences are created to provide a much more meaningful experience for both consumers as well as investors and shareholders. These same experiences are now used as key parts of design and engineering chains/processes.
Some companies use VR & AR for the ‘on-boarding’ process. When new employees are recruited, they are given trainings via VR and/or AR applications. This reduces the time spent on educating new personnel by almost 30% and therefore raises efficiency. Many companies that create VR and AR focus on experimenting with spatial presence and maximising immersive experiences in VR, which can be achieved through increasing the realism of the experience. Finally, overall insights showed that it is more about the use of VR and AR content, rather than tech and capability.
Although there were plenty of insights to uncover, there were no significant new findings. Many keynotes confirmed that The Creative Lab is on the forefront of new opportunities and innovations. The Creative Lab is on par – and sometimes even ahead – of what the industry is doing. Knowledge and information will be shared more in-depth with colleagues from both academies, as well as the research department within ADE. Together we will apply these findings in their upcoming experiments, projects and courses. Furthermore, where The Creative Lab is already asking questions regarding applications and theories regarding AR and VR use, we have noticed a shift in the commercial sector from tech-oriented desires to these same type of necessary questions. All keynotes shared the same principles: it is not about the tech that you can get, but it is about the solution(s) in process and how tech can play a role in this.