Virtual Reality, Innovation and Technology Trends for 2022

Amelia Kallman, one of our favourite tech wizards in the know on all things innovation and technology, has released her latest update that we couldn’t help but share with you. As always, the content is enthralling. And her latest edition covers a spectrum of awesome – from the world’s first and largest climate-positive direct air capture and storage plant, through to a new retail platform for virtual garments by designer brands, aimed at influencers as a way to reduce waste. 

Within the list, 5 new tools are making the Circus team particularly giddy with excitement:

  1. HTC Vive Focus 3.  The ever increasing quality of VR headsets are making experiences more convincing and realistic, and expanding applications of VR in industries. This, the ‘HoloLens of VR’, is often considered the highest quality VR headset currently on the market. It boasts an impressive list of features, including software ecosystem, 5K resolution and 120 FoV.  It’s an untethered headset, with smooth visuals, immersive 3D spatial audio and it’s  built for enterprise. What sort of enterprise? Well, it would especially appeal to design studios, prototypers and those that spend long hours in a headset. HTC have thought about the wearability of the headset, and it has curves and contours that balance out the eye piece and the battery, and detachable magnetic face and rear cushions, making it comfortable, hygienic and convenient. It’s also supported by business app store.

2. Omniverse. Building expertise in one platform has often been at the exclusion of other tools. Omniverse makes it possible for multidisciplinary teams to collaborate and produce 3D work that brings together the best of all worlds. They describe themselves as ‘Google docs for artists’. As Omniverse makes it possible to work across many platforms (including Unreal Engine and Unity to name two), it increases interoperability. It bridges the remote working gap, giving employees the freedom to collaborate from anywhere and access fully 3D capable virtual workstations. This is a great development for the industry. Being able to access a platform that provides real time collaboration and true to reality simulations is big news! 

3. Igloo. Igloo is the shared immersive space company. Originally known for their 360 projection domes, Igloo are now creating bespoke interiors making the rooms themselves interactive. The result? Companies have reported significant cuts in decision-making time and £millions in reductions in training costs. Igloo takes digital content and puts it in an immersive space that anyone can use. Igloo technology provides opportunities for users to have shared experiences, making it perfect for collaboration. It also works as a great space for team training, education and familiarisation. What sort of spaces do Igloo provide? You can choose between rooms, cylinders, cubes, domes, caves or go for something custom built. We’ve loved partnering with Igloo in the past and look forward to doing more of it in the future! 

4. Ready Player Me is ‘your passport to the metaverse’. If you’re not familiar with that term, it’s the umbrella term for what we think the future of the internet might look like. With Ready Player Me, you can create your own avatar, and explore different virtual worlds using that one consistent identity. They’ve made creating an avatar simple and fun – simply take a selfie, and then get customizing! There’s hundreds of options to play with.Once you’re happy with your work, you can then export your avatar and start using it across 630 different apps and games. Developers are also able to utilize this technology too. Instead of building their own avatar system, the company has made it possible to integrate Ready Player Me into products in less than a day. 

5. Niantic may not be a name you recognise immediately, but they are the company that produced the insanely popular Pokemon Go! game that got everyone up and moving a few years back. What Niantic are is a company specialising in AR. They are currently creating a 3D map of the entire world, using advanced integrated machine learning that can contextualise objects and materials in real time. This summer, Niantic acquired ‘Scaniverse’, the iOS 3D scanning app. Niantic has made several acquisitions over the last few years, and the hope is that all these acquisitions will be able to come together and collaborate on the 3D world map. In June, Niantic was able to present groundbreaking research that dramatically improves the depth-sensing capabilities of smartphones for AR and 3D mapping experiences. This new technology will enable them to bring more immersive, better quality AR experiences to more devices. Their report states ‘the latest Niantic depth technology can determine the depth of objects from a single 2D image. Further, as the user moves their phone and gathers more images, the neural network enhances the 3D depth map.’ The new depth technology will aid AR mapping apps and games and blend virtual objects more convincingly into the real world.

As we said, we’re feeling excited! And we can’t wait to see what comes next. Liked these highlights from the report? Check out the full video on Amelia’s YouTube here.

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