The Vision VR/AR Summit 2017 was hosted by Unity in Los Angeles this month in early May. The event was extremely well attended by the technology companies involved in virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality or some combination, and involved with the Unity development platform.
From the looks of this event and from our extensive coverage report already published, (see, Architosh, “The Future of VR/AR—The Growing Demand for Creators of Places,” 8 May 2017) Unity seems to clearly dominate as the VR/AR development platform for getting this type of content, regardless of its source, onto the most popular physical VR/AR devices themselves.
The following photos were all taken by Akiko Ashley, 3D industry veteran, author and associate editor at Architosh, who attended the event. All photos are copyrighted and all rights reserved. With that over, let’s peruse this excellent gallery and we have made notes and in some cases jump out links to the technology players or products of interest.
It would only be appropriate to start this gallery with some shots of the host of the event: Unity Technologies.
Representatives from all the companies shown in the image above were there at the Vision event and presented to the audience.
One key company was Microsoft with its Hololens technology. Architosh has duly noted the importance and innovation around Hololens, awarding Trimble’s use of the technology with a BEST of SHOW at AIA 2016 in the Emergent Technology category. Well, here is something that is emergent still—the use of video combining into Hololens driven immersion.
Imagine taking your client into a Hololens driven meeting, and instead of the AR-based typical background being seen around your model (ie: the conference room or VR/AR room setting) you instead can see a video and even a 360-degree video. This becomes pretty game-changing and extremely immersive.
While Architosh is by definition mostly interested in VR/AR/MR technology for its impacts on the CAD/3D industries, this technology is promising in other areas such as in media and entertainment (M&E) segments we typically don’t focus on outside of the apps used for their production.
Jason Weber, Senior Producer, NFL Films, was at the Unity VR/AR Vision event to discuss what the NFL is doing with 360-degree experiences.
While dropping brand names like the NFL seems to galvanize one’s sense of the significance and pervasiveness of VR/AR that will soon envelop all of us, the Vision event was also a good place to learn about many smaller brands and companies we have not yet heard of before.
One such company was Scope VR. The Scope VR demo looks from this image to be taking us back to Hololens with uses in AEC industries or more specifically construction in this image.
The idea here is that construction workers (notice the tool belt on this guy) could utilize Hololens and AR (augmented reality) apps to literally help guide their work on the ground in the field. We cannot stress enough how rapidly Architosh thinks this technology will advance and have an immediate impact on the AEC industry. (see: Architosh, “Five Emerging Trends and Their Potential Impact on the Future of the AEC Industry,” 2 Jan 2017)
Here’s another image from the Scope VR folks, this time of Scott Montgomerie from the company.
While the NFL may have its plans for VR/AR technologies so too does the world of Social Media. Rachel Franklin, Head of Social VR, Facebook, was at the Unity Vision event to talk about how the world’s largest social media company is planning to utilize the new wonders of social media.
We think this area of change may be quite big long term. Remember too that Facebook acquired Oculus Rift so they literally own the control of a specific and powerful and popular device.
And speaking of Oculus Rift, we should probably show our snap of its c0-founder, Brendan Iribe, who is VP of PC VR at Oculus.
There were many big names at the Unity event, and real movers and shakers of the VR/AR world. And not just in tech but in journalism where there is real excitement about the potentials of VR/AR and mixed realities as technology to aid in journalism.
For example, Raj Moorjani from ABC News, spoke at a session titled “VR Journalism: 360 Storytelling and the New Era of Reporting.”
As we have already mentioned in Akiko”s excellent event report (see, Architosh, “The Future of VR/AR—The Growing Demand for Creators of Places,” 8 May 2017), VR/AR will transform the architecture industry and the potentially the value and demand for architects themselves. VR and AR opportunities and storytelling for the most part all require “places” or virtualized worlds or locations in which experiences take place and by which users bear witness to experiences or situations. This may be virtualized place that is imagined or real someplace far away from the average person.
As for imagined unbuilt “places” architects today—many of the leading-edge or tech-forward firms—are beginning to put VR and AR to work. Gensler is one of those places. Above Alan Robles of Gensler speaks about their firm’s use of AR.
The 2017 Vision VR/AR Summit hosted by Unity Technologies, the makers of the Unity game engine, was a particularly high-level event for those in the VR/AR industries. As we can see, this technology is touching broadcast, films, games and will also touch journalism and social media experiences. And, according to Gensler’s Robles, speaking from the experiences of one of the largest architecture firms in the world, it will impact the world of architecture in a big way.
But where is this all going?
If you have not read our main report from the event itself, (see, Architosh, “The Future of VR/AR—The Growing Demand for Creators of Places,” 8 May 2017) please check that article out. But this last slide below does a good job of outlining that question.
Attempting to answer the question of where we are headed with VR/AR, it suggest that development is clearly at the center of three realities: virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality. I’ll let you click on the image to read the additional details of this image, as it does a very good breakdown of answering the question of where we are headed.