July 11, 2023
Boosting Productivity and Mental Health. XR Technology And Apple Vision Pro’s Potential Cases

When presenting the newest AR/VR glasses Vision Pro, Apple positions it as a device for entertainment and remote work through video conferencing and virtual offices. However, there are opinions that Apple Vision Pro can be useful not only for entertainment and games but also, for example, for increasing the productivity of an employee. This means caring for mental health, acquiring new knowledge, and honing old skills. Read also: Elevating Spatial Computing. Examining Technological Feats of Apple Vision Pro, Magic Leap, Meta Quest Pro, and Microsoft HoloLens  In this blog post, we will cover the basic concept of productivity and its main components. We will also consider examples from the field of XR, which are aimed at supporting human productivity. Enhance Productivity through XR Self-Development By the word “productivity” we usually mean a person’s ability to stay fit, as well as his ability to perform basic work tasks and be creative. The problem of productivity still remains relevant, as in the US only 33% of employees are interested in fulfilling their work duties. How can you solve the problem of interest and efficiency of your own work? There are several main components that support the productivity of a self-developed person: Ergonomics of the workplace Continuous self-development and education Physical support of the form Support of psychological health Organizing workplace with XR The first step in optimizing your work is improving your workplace. Completing your tasks becomes much faster and more efficient if the workplace is more sophisticated, and the person is isolated from various factors that distract them from work. According to National Association of Professional Organizers, a poorly designed workplace is a serious problem for employees in various businesses. Yes, 91% of workers said they would be more efficient and productive if their workplaces were better organized. An optimized workplace will allow a person to do work not only faster, but also better. And in this case, XR offers users several solutions for organizing the workplace: A virtual office is a fully immersive digital environment in which a person is completely isolated from various distractions. Also, the user of a VR headset can use the functions of creating a comfortable working environment (from a digital copy of the office to more non-standard, fantasy settings) and make the workplace more ergonomic by creating additional digital screens, panels with applications, etc. Such functions are offered by VR-office Immersed. Read also: How virtual reality makes remote work more convenient  Mixed reality solutions are another method of improving remote work. This option is suitable for those who aspire to make their workplace more ergonomic but do not want to completely isolate themselves from the outside world. For example, the well-known Meta Quest Pro has the function of overlaying digital screens on an already existing device, like a laptop, for example. Read also: What’s The Difference Between VR, AR and MR  How XR Transforms Self-Education The next way to improve the efficiency of your work is constant self-education and skills development. A person is also able to keep themselves in shape not only by consolidating old skills but also by learning new knowledge that will improve the quality of work. XR learning courses can be of help through several criteria: Realism of simulations. With the help of XR-gadgets, a student is able to learn new information in the most realistic environment, reproduced in a digital space; Emotional connection. Being offered a greater number of opportunities to interact with the content being studied (an opportunity not only to see and hear it but also to interact with digital elements), a person not only gets acquainted with new material but also better realizes and understands it with the help of illustrative examples; Situational learning. Instead of reading books with theoretical material, a student sees the situation with his own eyes and better understands the learned content. In addition, learning courses in virtual and augmented reality also increase the employee’s confidence in their knowledge and skills. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the level of employees’ confidence in their skills is increased by 275%, and training time on AR/VR devices is reduced by four times. A good deal of VR/AR training for employees are offered by companies to improve employees’ efficiency and increase their productivity. However, speaking about self-improvement, for example, a freelancer or remote worker can independently choose courses both for general education and comprehensive development. For example, if a person works with foreign partners and has to communicate with them every day, foreign language courses will come in handy. One such course is Global Academy XR’s Simmula for Meta Quest. These virtual courses are designed to improve the level of English, as well as confidence when speaking a foreign language. During these courses, a student wears a VR headset and immerses themselves in a virtual environment where they communicate with other students using digital avatars. The main goal of these VR English courses is more effective language learning with increased concentration and interest due to the fact that the student collaborates with other people in a digital immersive environment.    Harnessing XR for Physical Well-Being Many experts recommend constant physical activity for employees, in particular those who lead a sedentary lifestyle. After all, it has been proven that regular exercise has a positive effect not only on well-being and tone but also on mental health. According to the University of Bristol, employees who regularly engaged in physical activity reduced their stress levels by 33% and also improved their ability to cope with stress by 46%. Thus, remote worker or freelancer can improve their physical and mental well-being with the help of virtual training. Despite the fact that a VR headset user trains in a completely virtual environment, they receive real loads. Immersive digital reality fully reproduces the place of training in which a person engages in physical activity as if they were doing it in a real gym. For example, a person can punch a virtual punching bag, lift a dumbbell, or kick a ball. “Virtual reality games aren’t…

July 11, 2023
How Augmented Reality Is Rewriting The Story: A Peek into the Future of Literature

This article was written by our CEO Olga Kryvchenko and originally published on Linkedin. To get more biweekly updates about extended reality, subscribe to Olga’s XR Frontiers LinkedIn newsletter.  Hey there, bookworms and tech enthusiasts alike! Fancy a journey where age-old art meets futuristic tech? Join us as we dive into the world of literature and explore how augmented reality (AR) is spicing up storytelling! AR, the cool tech that adds a pinch of digital magic to our world, is at the heart of our tale today. Picture this: You’re reading a book, and suddenly the characters pop out of the pages, acting out the plot. No, it’s not Harry Potter magic. It’s the power of AR! It’s more than just virtual reality – it’s not about replacing your reality, but about adding a layer of digital awesomeness to it! We’ve all loved hearing, reading, and sharing stories. From cavemen’s grunts around a fire to eBooks on shiny tablets, storytelling has grown and evolved with us. Now, it’s time for another leap in this journey. AR, put on your superhero cape! We first saw AR waltz into literature with children’s books. It was like sprinkling fairy dust on pages – and voila! – the stories came alive with animations and interactivity. Suddenly, book-reading wasn’t just about sitting quietly; it was a whole new, exciting adventure! But folks, AR didn’t stop at that. Now, it’s not just for kids’ books but all sorts of literary works. Authors and publishers are embracing AR to add a dash of zing to their narratives. It’s not just a sprinkle of fairy dust anymore. It’s a full-blown magic spell, changing the way we read and interact with literature. Don’t believe me? Check out The Ice-Bound Concordance, a novel where AR lets you dive deep into the story and even shape it! Or the heartwarming AR children’s book. Imaginary Friends, which creates personalized story experiences. And then, there’s a delightful twist on a classic with the AR book, Alice in Wonderland , from the Ukrainian retail chain ATB. These examples underline the amazing possibilities AR brings to the literary world. But wait, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Creating spellbinding AR experiences can be quite a task – we’re talking advanced software and hardware capabilities here. Plus, it’s a challenge to make sure AR adds to the story rather than distract from it. And let’s not forget, not all of us have the necessary tech gear or might just prefer a good old paperback. Despite these hurdles, the future of AR in literature is brighter than a wizard’s Patronus! With tech getting more user-friendly and accessible, AR might soon become a common sight in our books. What’s next? Personalized stories? Even more immersive experiences? Time will tell! In the grand tale of storytelling, AR is a thrilling new chapter. It’s a bridge between the real and the virtual, giving us a fresh way to enjoy stories. As we turn the page to the future, it’ll be amazing to see how AR continues to transform our reading experiences. So grab a book (and maybe your AR glasses), and let’s journey on! Image: Pixabay

July 4, 2023
Revolutionizing Game Development: Unity’s AI Advancements with Unity Muse and Unity Sentis

AI has already begun to be applied in areas where it is necessary to analyze and generate content. In particular, artificial intelligence is implemented in game and app development. AI is getting popular primarily due to its ability to significantly speed up and facilitate the content development process. Instead of spending several hours manually creating graphics for games and applications, you can use AI to generate the necessary components on its own simply. Then the developer will make their edits. Therefore, it is not surprising that the number of companies using AI is growing. According to  Forbes Advisor, by 2027 the artificial intelligence market will be estimated at 407 billion USD. And 64% of enterprises believe that artificial intelligence will increase their productivity. Unity, one of the most famous app manufacturers for portable gadgets, is among the companies that are already gradually introducing AI into their work.  In this article, we will take a detailed look and analyze the new artificial intelligence developments from Unity and what they mean for the development of XR applications. Leveraging Unity AI for App Development Unity has been using AI for a few years now, but, firstly, it was mostly for marketing and non-game content to a wider audience. Like, for example, Luna, a platform that aims to improve the advertising strategy of brands. Or Supersonic which is a stand-alone platform that automates and accelerates game advertising. Secondly, artificial intelligence and neural networks for gaming have previously been created only for developers who have special qualifications for working with applications. Like, for example, ML agents, which allow you not to code the behavior of digital elements, because these elements themselves (smart agents) are independently learning the algorithms of behavior in the environment. For example, in a game from Unity, you can hone the behavior of a digital corgi that runs after a stick. Or the behavior of racing cars, as in this video. Read also: Transforming Reality: How AI Revolutionizes XR for Next-Level Experiences “In the carting micro game, our ML agent scenes are typically set up with a few major components: the training environment, the level, that we want our agents to observe and familiarize with. Which, in our case, is our racetracks. The agents are the game objects we want to train. So, that they can accomplish a goal, such as driving without colliding with the track walls. And, finally — our academy, which collects all observations, done by our agents and trains them”, said Unity’s official video. In March 2023, Unity announced their own AI game and application development features. Then there was the first presentation of an ecosystem with artificial intelligence, which operates according to the principle of many AI generators, such as Midjourney and ChatGPT. A few days ago, new AI tools for developing games and applications were announced: Unity Muse and Unity Sentis, which we will discuss in more detail below.  Unity Muse: Empowering AI Creativity Unity Muse is the newest platform with artificial intelligence, the main purpose of which is to accelerate the creation of applications with 3D graphics. In particular, the option of this platform includes such basic functions as: automatic creation of animated characters and digital doubles; creation of the movements of the animated model — for example, jumps or backflips; creating a texture for the environment; addition to ready-made 3D models — for example, the video shows how you can highlight the roof area on the digital model of the house, enter a prompt and select several options for a red roof from the database. “The Muse platform provides quick access to detailed information from the documentation and can also generate 2D sprites and 3D animations. This allows developers to quickly get the resources they need to create prototypes or new experiences without waiting for final versions of models and sprites. With Muse chat, developers can effectively communicate with other team members and get the help they need during development”, said Qualium Systems Unity tech lead Arcueid D’athemon. The main difference between Unity Muse and ML agents is ease of use. The newest platform looks like a chat with a neural network and the principle of operation resembles the sensational ChatGPT. As mentioned above, the user enters the required prompt to generate the 3D content required for the application. Harness the Power of Unity Sentis AI Unity Sentis is a cross-platform tool that integrates AI into Unity applications. According to Unity’s official announcement, Sentis enables in-app digital models to work flawlessly on all operating systems, browsers, and devices that support Unity, from smartphones and tablets to game consoles and XR glasses. Thus, applications with built-in AI models work more efficiently due to the fact that data is processed in real-time. However, according to Arcueid D’athemon, Unity tech lead at Qualium Systems, the range of  Sentis options is wider, and the platform can also generate voice acting and animation for a character. “It opens up opportunities to quickly create dynamically generated actions in the application that will depend on the environment or interaction with the user. With Sentis, developers can effectively create realistic character movements and high-quality voice acting that enriches the user experience”, said Arcueid D’athemon. In the end, the combination of the input of the own neural network can change the process of the application use. For example, the user can directly interact with an NPC, while would respond to him with lines that are not pre-recorded. It enhances the immersive experience of gameplay, using the example of a virtual AI character named Orb. Unity’s interest in AI in app development is evident with recent innovations such as Unity Muse and Unity Sentis. The first tool allows developers to quickly and efficiently create 3D models of game and non-game characters, environments, and textures. As for Sentis, this program allows you to modify the gameplay by introducing NPCs with their own artificial intelligence. Unity’s AI ecosystem continues to evolve, inspiring game and app developers to explore new horizons and reimagine what’s possible in…

July 4, 2023
Qualium System Congratulates our American friends on Independence Day!

🎉 Happy 4th of July from Qualium Systems! 🇺🇸 On this day of American independence, we at Qualium Systems extend our warmest greetings to our friends, clients, and partners in the United States. 🎇 While we are a Ukrainian IT company, we recognize and appreciate the spirit of freedom and innovation that the 4th of July represents. It serves as a reminder of the power of determination, courage, and the pursuit of excellence. As a technology company, we understand the importance of collaboration and diversity. We are grateful for the opportunity to work alongside our American counterparts, contributing to the growth and success of businesses on both sides of the globe. Today, we celebrate the bond between our nations and the shared passion for advancements in the IT industry. Together, we create opportunities, drive innovation, and shape the digital landscape of the future. Wishing you a day filled with joy, unity, and the spirit of independence. Enjoy the festivities, fireworks, and celebrations that make this day truly special. 🎆 Happy 4th of July to all our American friends, from your partners at Qualium Systems! 🙌 Image: Pixabay

June 29, 2023
Elevating Spatial Computing. Examining Technological Feats of Apple Vision Pro, Magic Leap, Meta Quest Pro, and Microsoft HoloLens

Immersive technologies are gradually becoming common in various business areas. Mixed and augmented reality, spatial computing, etc., allow you to automate processes at enterprises, as well as facilitate remote work. These opportunities have already attracted many IT companies, such as Apple, Meta, and Microsoft. According to Mordor Intelligence, the value of the augmented reality market will grow from 105.58 to 472.39 billion dollars in 2023–2028. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the specifications of the Apple Vision Pro, Magic Leap, Meta Quest Pro, and Microsoft HoloLens. We will also examine the advantages and disadvantages of these devices and share the experience of our specialists. Taking a Closer Look at Microsoft HoloLens 2 Let’s start with Microsoft Hololens 2, MR glasses for business. HoloLens 2 is a Microsoft device, which was created mainly for work in such fields as manufacturing, medicine, construction, architecture, design, etc. The main areas of use of Microsoft HoloLens 2 include MR training, development of models and digital twins, improvement of the safety of the working environment at factories, etc. The official release date of the glasses is February 24, 2019. Microsoft HoloLens 2 looks like glasses with two transparent lenses digital content is superimposed on. The weight of these glasses is 566 grams. This device supports mixed reality, a technology that combines virtual reality with the real world and provides more opportunities to interact with a digital object. That is, they project digital 3D objects onto the real world and allow a user to digitize real objects. Read also: What’s The Difference Between VR, AR and MR  Microsoft HoloLens 2, as well as the previous model, controller-free hands are involved, which makes it much easier to operate digital and real objects at the same time. Eye movements are tracked using infrared cameras, while four built-in cameras monitor head movements. Also, the glasses themselves are able to scan the location to improve the placement of digital content with the help of an internal accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer. Microsoft HoloLens 2 works on the Windows 10 operating system, specially adapted for the glasses. The processor for HoloLens 2 is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 chip, a common chip model among a good deal of VR/AR glasses. The Microsoft HoloLens 2 battery can withstand 2–3 hours of active work. Breaking Barriers with Magic Leap 2 These mixed-reality glasses were released in September 2022 and are considered to be one of the main competitors of Microsoft HoloLens 2. Magic Leap 2, for example, is both more powerful and lighter than Microsoft’s product, as it has an AMD Zen 2 quad-core processor and an RDNA 2 video card. The weight of Magic Leap 2 is only 260 grams. A glasses user can thus perform tasks faster and more efficiently with greater comfort while wearing Magic Leap 2, which even outwardly resembles sunglasses in design. The device is designed for work in various fields: construction, medicine, mechanical engineering, architecture, and design, etc. Magic Leap 2 has several areas of use in business: remote collaboration, remote assistance, training, and visualization of models for presentation. This device includes an option to darken the space so that the user can see more details of the digital model. Magic Leap 2, like Microsoft’s HoloLens 2, includes hand and eye tracking as well as voice input. But unlike Microsoft’s device, they also come bundled with controllers, each having a camera that makes it easier to track movements and objects. The option of using a virtual keyboard is also available. The kit also comes with a separate connected processor that a user wears on the hip. These glasses have Magic Leap OS based on Android. Meta Quest Pro: Redefining MR Experience The latest MR headset by Meta, introduced in October 2022, has a wider range of functions. Given the company’s core policy, these glasses were created for the metaverse, a fully immersive environment. However, working with Meta Quest Pro also involves the use of augmented and mixed reality. Unlike Hololens 2 and Magic Leap 2, Meta Quest Pro is designed as virtual reality glasses — instead of transparent lenses, the device uses displays and cameras. Speaking about work in MR, Meta Quest Pro offers several options: Remote communication with colleagues. It is available through both video conferences and with the help of digital avatars. Several employees can be in the digital space at the same time, both as an avatar and through video. Bringing your laptop or PC into the digital space is one of Quest Pro’s best-known features. Instead of being limited to one screen of the device, you can wear MR glasses and put three additional large screens on the laptop. In addition, Meta Quest Pro is actively used for entertainment. For example, you can play various MR games in them. For instance, I Expect You To Die uses digital traps to turn the living room into a quest room. Or you can watch movies and YouTube videos on a large digital screen in mixed reality. The Quest Pro can hold a charge for one to three hours. The processor of Meta Quest Pro is Snapdragon XR2+, which has more power than other models of VR glasses and is 50% more powerful than Quest 2. The VR glasses come with two controllers and a charger. Unlike previous Meta (Oculus) models, the battery is located in the back of the device, which creates an even load on the user’s head. In general, the weight of the glasses is 720 grams. Unleashing the Power of Apple Vision Pro Apple Vision Pro is a new product by Apple, which was announced at the beginning of June during the last conference of the company’s WWDC 2023. These are spatial computing glasses that many developers and enthusiasts have been waiting for a very long time. Consequently,e there were a lot of rumors and discussions about them shortly before their presentation. According to Tim Cook, the head of the company, Apple Vision Pro is “an innovative spatial computer that…

June 27, 2023
e(X)tended Reality: Giving Us A Fresh Perspective on Art and Theater

This article was written by our CEO Olga Kryvchenko and originally published on Linkedin. To get more biweekly updates about extended reality, subscribe to Olga’s XR Frontiers LinkedIn newsletter.  In our fast-paced digital world, there’s a new kid on the block – Extended Reality (XR). XR is a catch-all term that includes Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR), and it’s totally changing how we experience and interact with the world. Right now, it’s taking the art and theater worlds by storm, injecting a fresh and immersive twist into these time-honored forms of human expression. The Art World Meets XR Just like two buddies hanging out, art and technology have always shared a close bond. Technology consistently unlocks new doors for creativity and artistic expression. Today, XR is reimagining how we enjoy art. Galleries and museums are using XR to put together exhibits that give us an interactive, deep-dive into the art world like we’ve never seen before. Ever wished you could step back in time and experience an artist’s studio in the roaring 20s? At the Tate Modern’s “Modigliani” exhibit, visitors could slip on VR headsets and do exactly that. Over in Washington D.C., the Renwick Gallery used AR to take its “No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man” exhibition to the next level, letting visitors engage with the artwork through their smartphone screens. XR is even shaking up the accessibility of art. Not everyone can afford to jet off and visit a world-class museum, but with VR, that museum can bring its exhibits to anyone with an internet connection and a VR headset. XR Takes Center Stage in Theater Theater, one of humanity’s oldest traditions, is also welcoming XR with open arms. By integrating XR into their performances, theaters can create immersive and interactive experiences that invite audiences to lose themselves in the world of the play like never before. Remember “The Tempest” from English class? The Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) production of this classic, in partnership with Intel and The Imaginarium Studios, used cutting-edge motion capture technology to project a real-time digital avatar of the character Ariel onto the stage. Meanwhile, virtual theater pioneers like the National Theatre are playing around with VR to deliver boundary-pushing, immersive performances straight to your living room. With XR, theater isn’t just exploring new frontiers of creativity; it’s also breaking down barriers to accessibility. Virtual performances can bring the magic of live theater to those who might not have the opportunity to experience it otherwise, such as people living in remote locations or those with mobility issues. The Ups and Downs of XR in Art and Theater There’s a lot to love about using XR in art and theater. It’s not just about crafting new and immersive experiences; it’s about tearing down the walls of the traditional venues and formats and reaching out to more people. With XR, art and theater become more inclusive and accessible to all. That being said, it’s not all smooth sailing. Getting your hands on XR tech can be a bit pricey, and not all organizations can afford it. Plus, XR might be the new cool thing, but it’s still pretty new, meaning both creators and audiences may need some time to get the hang of it. It’s also a balancing act trying to harness the power of this new tech while keeping the soul of traditional art and theater intact. What’s Next for XR in Art and Theater? As XR technology keeps evolving, we’re bound to see more ways it can be used in art and theater. More interactive and immersive exhibits and performances, slicker XR tools, and deeper integration of digital and physical elements are all on the horizon. We might even see XR playing a bigger role in teaching art and theater. The future of XR in art and theater is exciting. It has the potential to connect artists and theaters with a global audience, breathe new life into traditional art forms, and above all, make art and theater more accessible to everyone, no matter where they are or what their physical abilities are. We’re at a pivotal moment in the story of art, theater, and technology. As we explore this new frontier of XR, it’s thrilling to imagine the limitless creative possibilities waiting for us just around the corner. Image: Unsplash

June 23, 2023
WebXR: The Secret Weapon for Driving Engagement and Sales in Your Marketing Campaigns

This article was written by our CEO Olga Kryvchenko and originally published on Linkedin. To get more biweekly updates about extended reality, subscribe to Olga’s XR Frontiers LinkedIn newsletter.  As the world continues to shift towards a more digital landscape, it’s becoming increasingly important for businesses to embrace new technologies in order to reach their audiences. One such technology is WebXR, which can be a powerful tool for marketing campaigns. In this article, we’ll explore why WebXR is good for marketing campaigns, as well as some of the limitations and potential issues that businesses should be aware of when implementing this technology. First, it’s important to understand what WebXR is. WebXR is an open standard for creating immersive experiences on the web, using technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). This means that users can access these experiences using just a web browser, without the need for additional software or hardware. So why is WebXR good for marketing campaigns? There are a few reasons: Engaging experiences: WebXR can create immersive experiences that are more engaging than traditional marketing methods. By allowing users to interact with a brand in a more tactile way, businesses can create more meaningful connections with their audience. Reach: Because WebXR experiences can be accessed through a web browser, they have the potential to reach a wide audience. This is particularly important in today’s global market, where businesses need to be able to reach customers around the world. Novelty: WebXR is still a relatively new technology, which means that it has a novelty factor that can make marketing campaigns stand out. By using WebXR, businesses can create unique experiences that capture the attention of their target audience. However, there are also some limitations and potential issues that businesses should be aware of when implementing WebXR into their marketing campaigns. Here are some key considerations: Performance: WebXR experiences can require a lot of processing power and memory, which can lead to performance issues on some devices. Businesses need to ensure that their experiences are optimized for performance and can be accessed on a range of devices. User Experience: As with any new technology, WebXR experiences can be difficult for some users to understand or navigate. This means that businesses need to carefully design their experiences with user experience in mind, and provide clear instructions or guidance where necessary. Accessibility: While WebXR experiences can be accessed on a range of devices, they may not be accessible to users with certain disabilities. Businesses need to ensure that their experiences are designed with accessibility in mind, and provide alternative options where necessary. Security: WebXR experiences are accessed through a web browser, which can pose potential security risks if not properly secured. Businesses need to ensure that their experiences are designed with security in mind, and use secure protocols to protect user data. Compatibility: WebXR is still a relatively new technology, which means that it may not be compatible with all browsers or devices. Businesses need to ensure that their experiences are compatible with a range of devices and browsers, or risk limiting their reach. Cost: Creating high-quality WebXR experiences can be expensive, and may require specialized skills or software. Businesses need to carefully consider the costs associated with creating WebXR experiences, and whether the benefits justify the investment. These are just a few examples of successful WebXR apps. As the technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see more innovative and engaging experiences that drive engagement and business success. “Sneaker Try-On” by Shopify: This WebXR experience allows customers to virtually try on sneakers in augmented reality. By using their smartphone’s camera, customers can see how the sneakers would look on their feet before making a purchase. The app has been successful in driving engagement and sales for Shopify’s clients. “The Wild Immersion” by The Wild Immersion: This WebXR experience is an immersive wildlife documentary that transports users to different habitats around the world. The experience has been successful in raising awareness about conservation efforts and promoting eco-tourism. “Lens Studio” by Snap Inc.: This WebXR experience allows users to create their own augmented reality filters for Snapchat. The app has been successful in driving engagement and user-generated content on the Snapchat platform. “Glasses Fitting App” by Qualium Systems: This WebXR experience allows users to try on virtual glasses in augmented reality. By using their smartphone’s camera, users can see how the glasses would look on their face before making a purchase. The app has been successful in improving the user experience for customers and driving sales for glasses retailers. In conclusion, WebXR can be a powerful tool for businesses looking to create engaging and immersive experiences for their customers. However, it’s important to carefully consider the limitations and potential issues of WebXR, including performance, user experience, accessibility, security, compatibility, and cost. By designing experiences with these considerations in mind, businesses can create effective and successful WebXR campaigns that reach their target audience and drive business growth. Image: Freepik

June 22, 2023
Sailing the Seas of XR Development: Five Strategies for Maximizing Efficiency on a Budget

This article was written by our CEO Olga Kryvchenko and originally published on Linkedin. To get more biweekly updates about extended reality, subscribe to Olga’s XR Frontiers LinkedIn newsletter.  Embarking on an Extended Reality (XR) development journey is like setting sail on an exciting voyage into the future. However, it’s crucial to understand what you’re getting into financially before you start. When it comes to the costs, there’s more to it than meets the eye. Hardware is your first mate in this journey. You need high-performing computers, VR headsets, AR glasses, and a host of other devices for testing and development. Depending on the size of the beast you’re taming (i.e., the complexity of your project), the hardware can eat up a good chunk of your budget. Then there’s the software crew. You need to equip your ship with various development tools, game engines like Unity or Unreal Engine, and other software for designing, coding, and testing your XR application. Don’t forget to factor in any licensing fees you might encounter along the way. Let’s not forget the human element. Your crew, including designers, developers, project managers, testers, and others, need to be compensated for their efforts. Depending on the technical skills your project requires, personnel costs can climb. Finally, the unexpected expenses – the pirates of your budget voyage. These can include training for your team, travel expenses for meetings, the cost of permissions or certifications, and any other surprises that might pop up during the development journey. But remember, being cost-efficient in XR development isn’t just about trimming the fat. It’s about making smart decisions to use your resources effectively and deliver a top-notch XR application. Knowing these costs allows you to strategically allocate resources, make well-informed decisions, and ultimately increase your treasure trove – the return on investment in your XR projects. Now, let’s talk strategy. How do you get the most bang for your buck in your XR development journey? The Lean Approach: This method is all about minimizing waste – whether that’s time, resources, or effort – and focusing on delivering maximum value. In the world of XR, this could mean creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) first with only the essential features, and then improving based on user feedback. Existing Tools and Platforms: Why reinvent the wheel when you can stand on the shoulders of giants? There are several XR development tools available that can help reduce costs. Plus, many of these platforms offer tutorials and community support, which can speed up development and cut down training costs. Outsourcing vs. In-house Development: Think about your project’s complexity and your team’s skills. Would outsourcing tasks or even the entire process be more cost-effective? Or would developing in-house save more pennies? Weigh your options carefully. Agile Development Principles: Agile is all about flexibility, iteration, and continual improvement. This approach allows teams to quickly adapt to changes, learn from each cycle, and reduces the risk of expensive mistakes or unnecessary features. Prioritizing Features: Not every feature needs to be in the first release of your app. Prioritize based on user needs and business goals. Start with an MVP and add more features in subsequent updates based on user feedback. Setting sail in the sea of budget XR development isn’t always smooth sailing. It’s filled with potential pitfalls. But knowing these challenges and strategies to avoid them can be the difference between sinking and sailing to success. Common mistakes include underestimating costs and time, neglecting user testing, and trying to include too many features at once. Make sure you invest time in planning, include user testing at various stages, and prioritize your features to avoid these blunders. And remember, while being cost-efficient is important, don’t sacrifice quality. A poorly executed XR app can sink your reputation. Invest in good design, thorough testing, and continuous refinement based on user feedback. Also, consider this: when you’re on a tight budget, it can be tempting to cut corners. However, it’s crucial to maintain the balance between cost-cutting and producing a high-quality, engaging XR experience. It’s like maintaining the balance of your ship in stormy seas – you need to manage your resources wisely while ensuring your XR app is an experience users will love. As we drop anchor on this guide, it’s clear that embarking on an Extended Reality (XR) development journey can be an exciting, yet challenging adventure, especially when budget constraints are part of the equation. However, with a clear understanding of the costs involved, the adoption of cost-efficient strategies, and an unwavering commitment to quality, successful XR development is entirely achievable even within a tight budget. Remember, it’s not just about cutting costs, but smartly allocating resources and leveraging existing tools and methodologies. It’s about being lean and agile, prioritizing effectively, and being wise in choosing between outsourcing and in-house development. But most importantly, it’s about maintaining a balance – a balance between cost-cutting and quality, between innovative features and user needs, and between your ambitious vision and the realities of the development process. In the end, the seas of XR development may be unpredictable, but with careful planning, strategic decision-making, and a learning mindset, you’re well-equipped to navigate these waters successfully. So here’s to your upcoming XR journey – may it be filled with innovation, efficiency, and a whole lot of success. Image: Freepik

June 21, 2023
Digitally Preserving and Exploring the Past: The Intersection of XR and Archaeology in Cultural Heritage Preservation

This article was written by our CEO Olga Kryvchenko and originally published on Linkedin. To get more biweekly updates about extended reality, subscribe to Olga’s XR Frontiers LinkedIn newsletter.  Hello, dear readers! Today, we’re delving into an exciting synergy of technology and history, where we explore how Extended Reality (XR) is shaping the field of archaeology. Cultural heritage—the timeless tapestry of our collective past—is invaluable. It connects us to our ancestors and provides context for our present. However, preserving this cultural heritage can be an uphill battle. The wear of time is unrelenting—ancient relics decay and centuries-old knowledge can fade into obscurity. But XR, a concept you’re undoubtedly familiar with, is stepping onto the scene as a game-changer. Imagine unearthing relics without disturbing the soil, or even walking through ancient cities right from your living room. In this journey, we’ll explore the powerful alliance of XR and archaeology, reshaping how we preserve and interact with our rich cultural heritage. Ready to explore the past through a futuristic lens? Let’s dive in! And here we are at the crossroads of past and future. To some, archaeology may seem like a discipline deeply rooted in the past, while XR symbolizes a step into the future. But when these two converge, magic happens! Through XR, archaeologists gain a transformative toolkit. They can virtually excavate sites without causing physical disturbance, create interactive 3D models of artifacts for further study, and even rebuild ancient structures in a digital environment. Imagine seeing the world as our ancestors did, reconstructed right before our eyes—it’s like a sci-fi movie, but it’s reality! For instance, let’s take a peek at a project that exemplifies this synergy of technology and history. The ancient city of Palmyra, much of which was tragically destroyed in recent conflicts, has been digitally revived. Using XR, archaeologists and historians have painstakingly recreated Palmyra’s monumental arches and colonnades. Not only does this serve as a timeless record, but it also allows anyone, anywhere to virtually explore this iconic city. This is just the tip of the iceberg. The harmonious marriage of XR and archaeology is opening a whole new world of possibilities in researching, documenting, and preserving our shared history. The beautiful dance of XR and archaeology isn’t just a spectacle—it has tangible benefits that are truly game-changing. From the lab to the field, the living room to the classroom, this exciting fusion is enhancing our interaction with the past in ways we could only dream of before. Let’s start by discussing research. Through XR, archaeologists can manipulate 3D models of artifacts or archaeological sites with ease, exploring them from all angles without fear of damaging precious finds. They can collaborate remotely with peers across the globe, working together on a shared digital platform, which wasn’t feasible in traditional methods. On the public engagement front, XR is a superstar. We’ve all dreamed of time travel, haven’t we? XR allows anyone with a headset or even a smartphone to wander through ancient cities, experience historic events, or hold digital replicas of artifacts. It’s an immersive, interactive journey through time—history like you’ve never experienced before! This not only fosters a deeper understanding of our shared heritage but also sparks curiosity and inspires passion for history among younger generations. Moreover, XR encourages open access in archaeology. By digitizing findings and sharing them online, we’re effectively creating a global digital museum, accessible to anyone, anywhere. This democratizes knowledge, allowing everyone to engage with and learn from our collective past. The intersection of XR and archaeology is essentially a bridge—a bridge that connects us to our past in an accessible, interactive, and exciting way. It’s like putting on a pair of magic glasses that let you see and touch history. But as with all magic, there are challenges to face. As enthralling as this fusion of XR and archaeology might be, it’s not without its hurdles. But, of course, no path to progress is completely obstacle-free, right? Accuracy is one such challenge. How can we ensure the digital models and virtual environments we create accurately represent the artifacts or sites they’re based on? After all, a misinterpreted detail or misplaced structure can skew historical understanding. Accessibility is another concern. XR technology, as advanced as it is, isn’t universally available or affordable. And while creating a global digital museum is a wonderful idea, it’s of little use if it’s only accessible to a privileged few. Then comes the question of ethics. What happens when we digitally recreate sites or artifacts sacred to certain cultures? How can we ensure respect and appropriateness while bringing history to the masses? Now, these challenges may seem daunting, but they’re not insurmountable. Advancements in scanning and modeling technologies are improving the accuracy of our digital replicas. Tech companies, governments, and NGOs are working tirelessly to make XR technology more affordable and accessible. As for ethics, ongoing dialogues and collaborations with local communities and cultural institutions are key to ensuring cultural sensitivity and respect. In essence, we’re standing at a thrilling juncture, where technology meets history, creating endless possibilities. However, to truly unlock XR’s potential in archaeology, we need to work collectively—researchers, technologists, policymakers, and society at large—to overcome these challenges. It’s a thrilling endeavor, and we’re all part of the story! Alright, let’s see the magic of XR in archaeology with some inspiring real-world examples. Each project demonstrates how this technology is already illuminating our understanding and experience of history. Our journey starts in Italy, with the “Pompeii VR” project. This virtual experience breathes life into the ancient city of Pompeii, allowing users to explore the city as it was just before the devastating eruption of Vesuvius. From homes and temples to bustling markets, users can immerse themselves in the everyday life of ancient Rome. Image: Pixabay.