VRARA Training Committee Achievements and Plans for 2019

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Register for our upcoming webinar expert panel with Intel, Sentireal, and others here

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A New Year is a good time for reflection on past achievements and setting new goals for the incoming year. The VRARA Training Committee is pleased to highlight the various activities that we completed in 2018 and give a preview of what we hope to achieve in 2019.

During 2018 we significantly increased the number of VRARA members contributing to the work of the Training Committee. We now have over 100 representatives making contributions via our conference calls and team collaboration tools. The Committee compiled and released a comprehensive white paper on best practices for VR/AR based training. We also released an extensive survey on how the training ecosystem is using and will use VR/AR devices, software and media to deliver enterprise training in a variety of market sectors. The outcomes and results of these two initiatives were presented to the wider VRARA community at the previous VR/AR Global Summit. Training Committee members also contributed to a training-specific panel session held as part of the same event.

In 2018 our Committee also shared and showcased several training-related projects, use cases and applications developed by our member organisations through the VRARA news channel and blog posts. We also delivered several presentations in the Training track of the previous VRARA Online Symposium.

Overall, we’re incredibly pleased with the achievements made by our Committee over the previous 12 months. We feel that we’ve made great progress in sharing and promoting best practices, new applications, experiences, projects and products related to VR/AR based training. In 2019 we have a series of goals that we want to realise. Our next VR/AR Training Webinar is coming up on 16th January 2019 and we are determined to make that our most successful online event yet. We are working on gathering together a library of VR/AR training app demos that can be showcased at VRARA-sponsored events. New and updated white papers on VR/AR training best practices and how to maximise return-on-investment from VR/AR training are in the pipeline. We also have an ongoing initiative with our colleagues in the Education Committee on areas of common interest.

We look forward to 2019 and would encourage you to join the VRARA Training Committee to build a stronger and wider ecosystem that delivers higher-quality and more-engaging training through the power of VR and AR.

We plan on growing and expanding the work we’ve done to help build resources, information, and the community for XR training applications. We are looking to host a series of Webinars, starting January 16th, to help introduce key concepts of XR training and to give companies the tools and information they need to begin successful projects in this field.  We continue to build upon some great partnerships with training conferences, allowing us the opportunity to showcase XR training applications to an eager audience of corporate trainers, educators, and decision makers. The Training Committee is excited to begin a partnership with the Education Committee to identify areas of commonality and to co-author useful guides and white papers.

Another goal for 2019 is to bring together a library of member demos. Our hope is that a centralized repository of demos will give the Association and its members the opportunity to choose industry or application-specific demos that can spark a much more targeted conversation about how XR training applies to any given field. Over the past years, we have understood the power and necessity of showing quality, relevant demos, and this collaboration will help members and the community at large in understanding the impact that XR can have on enterprise training.

Participate in our VR/AR Industry Report on the Training Sector, sponsored by HP (Last Call!)

If you are interested in being featured in this report or sponsor it, email info@thevrara.com for details!

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The VR/AR Association Training Committee is working on this industry report that will feature companies specializing in VR/AR for Training solutions. This report will be published in Q1 of 2019 and promoted to the industry globally.

Thank to our Sponsor!

HP creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments and society. With the broadest technology portfolio, HP delivers solutions for customers’ most complex challenges in every region of the world and gives businesses new ways to create, design, experience, and train with VR. Learn more here

Register for our upcoming webinar, “The Impact and ROI of VR/AR in Training” here

Join us at our upcoming Summits! Sign up here

Call for Participation: VR/AR in Training Industry Sector Report

If you are interested in being featured in this report or sponsor it, email info@thevrara.com for details!

The VR/AR Association Training Committee is working on this industry report that will feature companies specializing in VR/AR for Training solutions. This report will be published in Jan 2019 and promoted to the industry globally.

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The immersive technologies of virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) are poised to disrupt training in all sectors including corporate, healthcare, manufacturing, and education to name a few. This is a bold statement but one supported by the psychology and brain science of learning. Traditional approaches to training rely heavily on text, or one-off expert demonstrations and predominantly engage one learning system in the brain. This is the cognitive skills learning system that recruits the prefrontal cortex and relies heavily on working memory and attention.

Importantly, this system is not fully developed until one is in their mid 20s, begins to decline in middle age, and is negatively impacted by stress, pressure, and anxiety making this a fragile and suboptimal learning system. Immersive approaches, on the other hand, broadly engage multiple learning systems in the brain in synchrony including experiential, emotional, behavioral and cognitive systems that recruit many brain regions including occipital, temporal, parietal and frontal cortical regions. This broad-based synchronous engagement of brain-based learning systems leads to a powerful sense of “presence”, strong initial learning and enhanced long-term retention. Because many of these systems are less affected by age and stress, learning is more consistent across individuals and situations.

As Einstein said, “Learning is an experience. Everything else is just information.” Experience is at the heart of immersive training, whereas information is at the heart of traditional training. Our society is in desperate need of high-quality training. Training approaches are ripe for disruption and immersive technologies meet this need.

— Todd Maddox, Ph.D., Founder and CEO, Cognitive Design & Statistical Consulting

Featured companies already include:

  • Absorb Reality

  • AVATAR Partners

  • Concurrent Technologies Corporation

  • Circuit Stream

  • Motive.io

  • Sentireal

  • VRSim, Inc.

  • ONE Digital Consulting

  • SkillReal

  • Portico.ai

  • Other Companies (see infographic below)

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Call for Participation: VR/AR in Universities and Colleges

The VRARA Universities and Colleges Committee is currently putting together a Sector Report that will highlight what postsecondary education institutions are doing in the VR/AR space. The report will provide an overview of:

  • what VR/AR courses and programs are being offered by each institution;

  • how VR/AR technologies are being used to support learning and teaching in other courses and programs;

  • VR/AR-related research and/or development activity occurring at the institutions;

  • applications of VR/AR to other areas, such as recruitment, marketing, outreach, the library, and student services;

  • the institutions’ future plans in the VR/AR space.

Participation is open to postsecondary education institutions worldwide. If your institution would like to have it featured in the report, please contact info@thevrara.com as soon as possible, but no later than Friday, December 21, 2018.

Want to Sponsor this report? Email info@thevrara.com for details!

(Note: While K-12 education does not fall within the scope of this report, plans are also underway for a cross-sector effort on VR/AR curricula that will include K-12, which will be undertaken by jointly the Universities and Colleges Committee and the Education Committee)

New Examples of VR/AR Training Solutions

RSVP for our next webinar with a live Q&A!

“The Impact and ROI of VR/AR in Training”

Expert Panel Moderated by Raj Puran, Intel

Jan 16, 2019

Participate in our Training Committee


Examples featured in this publication include:

  1. INNVESTION is a VR/AR Platform for Industry Base Training Simulation by ONE Digital

  2. Electrical Safety Certification In Virtual Reality by SkillReal

  3. Hotel Customer Service Training by Portico

  4. Augmented Reality Maintenance Aid (ARMA) by AVATAR Partners


“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” Albert Einstein

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New technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence are rapidly changing people's jobs and lives. Technology will likely change many of the existing jobs, requiring workers and companies to adjust. While maybe only one in seven jobs may be lost to automation, many others will change significantly. OECD suggests in their study (2018), that around 14% of all jobs across 32 countries analyzed have a high risk of automation, 32% of existing jobs may experiment significant changes to how they are carried out.

In the other hand, and according the OECD study, It is now essential to ensure that schools prepare students for a world in which they will constantly be adjusting to new technologies, new business models, and new ways of working. People, including young people, need to be equipped with the type of skills that will allow on average 25 job changes throughout their lives.

Therefore, learning systems will need to adapt to the changes brought about by automation and teach students that allow them to take full advantage of the current wave of technology adoption. This includes skills such as cognitive and social intelligence but also extends to the skills needed to work effectively in a digital context, both as specialists and users of digital technologies.

INNVESTION is a VR/AR Platform for Industry Base Training Simulation.

Carlos J. Ochoa (ONE Digital Consulting) carlos.ochoa@onedigitalconsulting.eu

The Problem

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New technologies are an emerging industry creating employment opportunities and entrepreneurial possibilities. According to projections set out by the European Commission, market demands for qualified information and communications technology (ICT) specialists will not be met, seeing a shortfall of up to 500,000 ICT professionals in 2020. Virtual and augmented reality solutions are amongst those with some of the highest market demand in the ICT sector.

Skills, and skills development, are an essential component of all efforts in this challenging society. Too many workers are simply unprepared to meet the needs of firms, particularly in more competitive economic environments.

New skills development for more complex jobs. Technicians need to be proficient and continue to change rapidly as tasks become more complex. Find the right info at the right moment. Technicians need fast access to all info to take fast and complex decisions.

  • High Training cost. Time, resources, maintaining and quality standards.

  • High Digitalization cost (paper, no automatization processes, decisión taking.

  • Data integration and maintenance. Manuals, documents, files…

  • Data visualization. Format, devices, availability, usability

  • Risk and performance. New complex and unpredictable situations. Actions based training methodology.

  • Quality, standards and sustainability

  • Expensive or difficult hand on practice (no experimental, no real world scenarios…)

  • Difficult assessment process.

  • Most of existing solutions are isolated, expensive and not VRAR designed. Also have a gap about learning processes, methodology and instructional approach.

Industry 4.0 Demands

Industry 4.0 is the of automation information and data exchange in manufacturing technologies.

  • Enhanced productivity through optimization and automation

  • Provide real-time data and information for real-time decision makers

  • Business continuity through advanced maintenance and monitoring possibilities

  • Higher quality products as a result of real-time monitoring and technology convergence

  • Better working conditions and superior sustainability

The Solution

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Engineers with the right skills, with excellent experience and experimental training, are the demands in the industry worldwide has become acute.

The need for efficient and effective workforce training and operation in the industry worldwide has become acute. VR/AR technology is the most efficient and fastest way to educate new employees and prepare them for their daily work. In the other hand, thanks to VR/AR and digital information, technicians can focus in operation & maintenance task enables them to cut down on time spent on administrative tasks, significantly increasing productivity.

VR/AR and Simulation-based training also helps increase professionals confidence because they can practice procedures until they master them. Further, trainees become more aware of safety procedures because they have to follow them in the simulations.

  • Reducing Training cost. Experiential training based on VRAR give real-time feedback and improve the efficiency of skills transfer, increased knowledge retention.

  • Reducing delays & mistakes. Using collaborative VR/AR and digital documentation, we can integrate “all in one”. Minimizing time to action in decisión taking providing technicians the complete background on an asset, detailing all historical data and repairs to quickly perform the task in hand.

  • Improving Safety. Dangerous or difficult to replicate scenarios can be safely simulated with VRAR. This allows monitors to repeatedly practice critical or unpredictable scenarios while preventing damage to equipment and persons.

  • Improving quality, and standards. Experiential Training through VRAR actively participation in the activities obtaining higher retention rates. VRAR training allows employees to receive hands on training, in a virtual environment. This prevents expensive down time and disruptions in normal operations

  • Improving assessment process. Monitors can create specific complex situations to be resolved, where Technicians will deal with different task according their role or responsibility. They will be evaluated based on their performance on the relevant work items. This information can be integrated with the company’s internal record keeping systems for certification and/or administrative action.

  • Improving preventive maintenance. Integrating applications such as electronic job sheets and work orders, on-site workers are now able to focus on the task in hand while using VRAR with tablets or smartphones. This enables them to cut down on time spent at the end of each day on administrative tasks, significantly increasing productive-time.

  • Faster and better decisions. Decision-making processes are shortened and problems, as well as defects, can be resolved quickly and efficiently

Imagine a solution, that deploy an intelligent VR/AR ecosystem with the specialized know-how to turn unstructured data into value-adding information, e.g. when providing services such as preventive maintenance, security management or operational management.

INNVESTION is an innovative platform for training, operation and maintenance of plant services, which includes advanced reality technologies in immersive environments (extened reality, 360º video), methodologies in a modular architecture (on/off line).

A cloud platform will allow users to download the different modules. For a full INNVESTION experience, the user only needs a mobile device and VR glasses that fit the device. The training centre will need an internet connection to download modules, and these can be accessed offline, only needing a connection to update new content.

INNVESTION can be used from a single “low cost” VR device based on Samsung Gear Mobile VR, through the most advanced VR Oculus Rift, HTC Vive configuration.

The Results

Simulation-based training, prefaced with traditional training methods on process fundamentals, is the most efficient and fastest way to train new employees and prepare them for their daily work providing huge added value and benefits:

  • Faster project execution, commissioning and ”time to market“ through improved collaboration

  • Cost savings through consistent plant information available at all times

  • Higher plant availability, integrating real time data and 3d visualization

  • Safe and efficient plant operations

Electrical Safety Certification In Virtual Reality (by SkillReal)

The Problem

Creating a lasting impact on people’s behavior:
A fortune 100 company has asked SkillReal to provide a Virtual Reality experience to certify and drive thousands of employees around the world to safe conduct in a critical electrical work.

The Solution

The solution was built on the foundation of the SkillReal Virtual Reality for Training platform. It’s major components are:

  1. Four detailed scenarios: Introduction to the Virtual Reality environment; Standard Electrical Safety procedure scenario; Advanced “what-if” scenario; Infrared scanning scenario.

  2. Effective user feedback: real-time feedback to trainees during the mission, and detailed personalized feedback with key critical error highlighting at the end of each scenario.

  3. Integration: with client pre-test and post-test activities – to analyze and measure the impact of the practice scenarios.

  4. Valuable Analytics: Detailed user performance tracking and analytics, recording all user actions, time taken to perform task and mission, interactions with objects and more.

The Results

Together with the client, we were able to create an unparalleled authentic user experience in Virtual Reality, with a strong sense of realism – changing a standard regulatory training requirement into a game-changing and powerful practice.

Based on SkillReal’s powerful Virtual Reality platform, the project was delivered in a very quick turn-around, with two first content packages being released with just 10 weeks, and two more released 10 weeks later.

The project leveraged SkillReal’s multi-disciplinary capabilities of Instructional Design, UX and UI in Virtual Reality expertise, a world-class 3D studio, and a creative and dedicated team of developers, QA and project management people.

“It’s super exciting work. Breaking new ground is never easy and it’s great to be partnering with you. I have endless respect for your team’s attention to detail and dedication to quality.” Senior client expert on the project

Image from SkillReal’s Electrical Safety Certification in Virtual Reality

Image from SkillReal’s Electrical Safety Certification in Virtual Reality

Hotel Customer Service Training (Portico)

The Challenge

A major hotel brand didn’t have the bandwidth to provide consistent training for new employees in many customer-focused areas. They wanted to ensure that new employees interacted with guests in way that not only followed correct procedure but also adhered to brand standards. They wanted to provide more interactivity and practice than a mere shadowing experience for new hires, but could not rely on having trainers or senior staff available.

The Solution

Portico recreated select hotel experiences inside Virtual Reality.  Learners spoke directly to digital avatars of hotel guests in order to practice and master their conversational skills. These virtual guests were powered by Portico’s TrueTalk AI, allowing them to respond with natural conversation, creating a truly immersive and realistic experience that was immediately transferrable to the workplace. Furthermore, a Virtual Trainer (also powered by AI) listened in on the conversation, providing immediate feedback if the learner deviated from established procedures or brand messaging.

The Result

The training was considered a success by both the hotel and its employees. Employees were able to practice their skills without the need for any supervision. The hotel noticed a decrease in training time along with an increase of confidence for new hires. As a result, new hires were able to enter the shift rotation faster and did so with fewer hiccups along the way.

One other added benefit was the general level of excitement from the new hires. They exhibited a genuine enthusiasm towards trying the training; the training itself became a fun “water cooler” topic for people to discuss. Some of the existing staff insisted on trying it to see what they were missing out on!

The full results can be seen here:

Coffee Service

Hotel Check In

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Augmented Reality Maintenance Aid (ARMA) by AVATAR Partners

Marlo Brooke, President and CEO, Avatar Partners (mbrooke@avatarpartners.com)

The Challenge

Aircraft Readiness is a number one priority for both military and commercial aviation. Maintenance task troubleshooting and execution time and error rates are significant aircraft readiness degraders.

An additional stressor occurs when an organization must extend the life of its equipment; in some cases, 10-20 years beyond an aircraft’s expected life.  This puts unanticipated strain on systems and structures, resulting in excessive down time for repairs. In some cases, 40%-50% of the inventory of a platform are unusable at any point in time.

Maintenance errors are a leading cause of inventory down time. For example, a mistake made on a fuel cell replacement can result in an aircraft being down for 6 months or longer, driving enormous cost, and risk to global safety. Even the best training tools can reduce errors down to 75%, but today’s economic and global situation require something better. Aerospace needs a training solution that can be used on the job, and produce zero errors.

AVATAR Partners was approached by a community of maintainers to address a common issue in one fixed wing aircraft, which was a Wiring issue (specifically, the Left Main Landing Gear Planing Link Proximity Switch Fail).

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The problem was complex:

  • •          The task required 3 non-integrated sources (IETM, Wire Illuminator, Schematic)

  • •          Tasks to gain access to test points was not identified

  • •          Wire Illuminator visuals did not include installed components

  • •          Poor wire illuminator visuals cause confusion in wiring orientation

  • •          Visuals did not show necessary connection points

  • •          Time intensive testing and strict time constraints

The Solution

To address the issue, AVATAR Partners used a standard Criticality, Difficulty, Frequency (CDF) analysis model to identify the optimal training solution; clearly, an advanced solution that would allow the maintainer to get assistance without leaving the job itself, was critical.

AVATAR researched all training technologies available, and designed a Mixed Reality solution, which combines both Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. At the time, most Augmented Reality solutions relied on the use of markers or codes to identify the object. AVATAR joined the Vuforia VIP program and developed the Augmented Reality Maintenance Aid (ARMA), and worked with the vendor to develop an advanced object tracking system that would lock on target based on the shape of the object itself (using CAD data). Furthermore, most AR solutions had the issue of drift or jitter when dealing with a large object, such as an aircraft. The maintainer must be able to walk around the aircraft without any shift or jitter; if not, the maintainer loses all confidence in the solution. AVATAR Partners was able to eliminate shift and jitter entirely, regardless of the object size.

The Result

ARMA is a Mixed Reality industrial-grade training and job performance aid, useable under unpredictable environmental conditions. The results are as follows:

  • ARMA Reduces Time to Troubleshoot by 75%

  • With lock-on Object Tracking and elimination of drift/jitter, ARMA gains 100% confidence of the maintainer

  • Because ARMA is configurable, it can be designed to support any aircraft platform type

  • ARMA is scalable, allowing the maintainer to train in any environment, with or without the aircraft, or with a scaled down model, through the use of object tracking

  • ARMA is “Two for the price of One” - can be used in both training and on the job

  • ARMA is a hardware-agnostic and integrates with flight-ready glasses today

  • Increases the number of Ready Aircraft

  • Modular, extensible, integrates with any backend system, and allows multi-user collaboration

  • ARMA offers remote assistance which allows remote Subject Matter Experts to view, guide and record  users remotely through steps and processes.

The AVATAR Team has developed other MR solutions that reduce cost and errors throughout the manufacturing process. Another example is the assembly of large, complex ships, where our team developed a Mixed Reality solution that Quality Assurance Time on Task by 90% while Eliminating Errors to Zero. Our ever-present objective, Simplifying Complex Systems™, is a success story that keeps growing.

AVATAR on Youtube

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Participate in our Training Committee here

Best Practices for VR & AR in Education (White Paper)

Our Education Committee has published this best practices white paper. To access the white paper, enter your email here:

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Carlos J. Ochoa, ONE Digital Consulting


Alan Smithson, MetaVRse

Chad Lewis, Tampa Preparatory School

Dave Room, BALANCE Edutainment

Dave Ternent, HumanEyes

Julie Smithson, MetaVRse

Kris Kolo, VRARA

Mike McCready, Lethbridge College

Mfon Akpan, National Louis University

Steve Bambury, JESS Dubai

Table of Contents




Introduction to the VR/AR Association (VRARA)

The VRARA Education Committee

CHAPTER 1 Future Work Skills, Reimagining Digital Education

CHAPTER 2 VR/AR Educational Ecosystem

2.1 Disruptive Innovation in Education

2.2 VR & AR Definitions

2.4 VR/AR Educational Platforms for Beginners

CHAPTER 3 VR/AR in Education

3.1 Innovation in Education

3.2 Barriers to entry

3.3 Benefits and Values of VR/AR in Education

Chapter 4 VR/AR Educational Content

4.1 Types of VR Content

4.2 Instructional Design and Storytelling in VR Digital Content

4.3 Video 360º as VR Digital Education Content

CHAPTER 5 VR/AR Educational Resources

CHAPTER 6 Case Studies VR/AR in Education

Case Study 1 Learning Resource Centers in MOE Schools (United Arab Emirates).

Case Study 2 How teacher´s use VR to enhance students’ Learning Experience. Stow-Munroe Falls School District (Stow OH).

Case Study 3 Coding in VR. Toronto (Canada). Julie Smithson partner MetaVRse.

Case Study 4 Incorporating VR in the Accounting Classroom. National Louis University (Chicago)

Case Study 5 JESS Dubai. Steve Bambury, Head of Digital Learning and Innovation across JESS Dubai.

Case Study 6 Rutgers Preparatory School in Somerset, New Jersey, United States.

Case Study 7 Implementing a VR creation lab in high school. Chad Lewis (Tampa Preparatory School).

Case Study 8 The Future of Education. Lethbridge College (Alberta, Canada). Mike McCready.

Case Study 9 Alan Smithson (CEO/Co-founder of MetaVRse) in Rumii

Case Study 10 Pacha’s Pajamas. Dave Room (CEO, BALANCE Edutainment)

Case Study 11 Schools of the Future. Miramadrid School. (Spain) Carlos J. Ochoa (CEO ONE Digital Consulting)

CHAPTER 7 Conclusions

Thank you to ONE Digital Consulting and HumanEyes Technologies Ltd., the maker of Vuze cameras, for sponsoring this White Paper. For more information about the sponsors, visit: www.onedigitalconsulting.com and www.humaneyes.com

If you would like to sponsor a future version of this report, email info@thevrara.com

Best Practices for Advertising + Marketing (White Paper)

To access this White Paper, enter your email here:

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Our Advertising Committee has published these best practices white paper for Advertising & Marketing.


  • Deborah Worrell, EscapeVR

  • Sophia Moshasha, Brightline Interactive, VP VRARA DC Chapter


  • Alban Denoyel, Sketchfab

  • Jamison Tilsner, Sketchfab

  • Reekita Shah Alias Gala

  • Roy Rodenhaeuser, Oath (Verizon)

  • Tyler Gates, Brightline Interactive, President VRARA DC Chapter

  • Kris Kolo, VRARA

Table of Contents

This white paper is broken into the following parts so you can skip to what is of interest to you:

1 Introduction

Definitions: Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Extended Reality

How to Experience Virtual Reality: The VR Spectrum

How to Experience Augmented Reality: The AR Ecosystem

2 Should Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality be Part of Your Marketing and Media Strategy?

VR/AR in Marketing and Advertising

How VR and AR Expand the Opportunity for Brands

Five Easy Ways to Incorporate Virtual Reality

Five Easy Ways to Incorporate Augmented Reality

How Can the Consumer Experience be Measured?

How Brands Should Evaluate VR and AR Opportunities

3 Summary

4 Case Studies

VR: “Insights from Another Reality”, Oath

VR: Toyota Teen Drive 365 Virtual Reality Experience

VR: Cub Cadet- Signature VR Experience

VR: “JEWLR”, Sketchfab

AR: Snapchat AR Ad Campaigns

AR: Yahoo Mail App AR solution (Advertising)

AR: Porsche Augmented Reality (Marketing)

AR: Nike Facebook Messenger AR Campaign

360° Video: Public Service and Advocacy— “The Silent Killer”

360° Video: KFC “Add Hope” Campaign

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Thank you to VRARE-VR/AR Experiences for sponsoring this paper. Please see www.ardoneforyou.com www.armasterclass.com If you would like to sponsor a future version of this White Paper, email info@thevrara.com

RSVP for our upcoming Webinar: The ROI for VR/AR in the Enterprise

RSVP here (click on the Upcoming tab)

If you would like to Sponsor this event, email info@thevrara.com

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Hear from the best minds in VR/AR including Accenture, SuperData Nielsen, Atheer, Itseez 3D from our Enterprise Industry Committee on the latest use cases, best practices, and ROI in theenterprise. Corporate leaders are tasked with reimagining the experiences they want for their customers in the face of a changing technological landscape. Learn why every enterprise needs aVR/AR strategy now, not later. RSVP here

Watch our Webinar recording on Location-Based VR

Watch it here

To have a look through all the slides, answered and follow-up questions from the webinar please have a look at our Google Slides presentation.

The Location-Based Entertainment Committee hosted another stellar cast of panelists. The ensemble of experts with more than 20 years combined experience running location-based entertainment included Daisy Berns (Exit Reality), Will Stackable (SpringboardVR), Ryan Burningham (Virtual Athletic League), and Sebastian Kreutz (Holocafé).

News reports of experiential location-based virtual reality (LBVR) in shopping arcades, theme parks and movie theaters are taking the world by storm. Companies including FoxNext, Zero Latency and Disney's ILMxLab with Star Wars are demonstrating that LBVR is a viable business for investment, which is clearly enticing mainstream consumers to satisfy their VR curiosity. This is demonstrated by the high levels of growth, with consumer spend expected to reach $809M by 2022.

Our go-to moderator Charlie Fink tackled the difficult issues that venues and virtual reality are facing to see profitable margins in these businesses. The deep dive explored everything from operations and marketing to pricing and throughput. Other hot topics the group examined is infrastructure and real estate. Watch this recording if you are interested in tapping the projected consumer spend of $809M in the next couple years.

Watch it here

Sentireal sponsors upcoming expert panel webinar (with live Q&A) on Training on Jan 16th

RSVP for the Training Webinar here (click on Upcoming)

At Sentireal, we create software and media platforms that turn mobile devices and
headsets into smart assistants. These assistants deliver training and guidance using VR/AR technologies, blended with artificial intelligence (AI). This combination provides "personal immersive learning" - personalised immersive content and continuous background assessment of learning progress.

About Training Webinar

Scheduled for Jan 16th  12pm est

Our Training Committee has organized an expert panel that will present the latest use cases, best practices, and ROI on VR/AR in Training

RSVP for the Training Webinar here (click on Upcoming)

About VRARA Webinars

VRARA Webinars host industry thought-leaders on various topics.  During these live webinars (webcasts/panels/symposiums) we have a live Q&A with the attendees. These Webinars are attended live by 100-800 people, and 1000s watch the recordings.  

In addition, our last Online Conference had 75 speakers and 10,000 viewers. See more info here

See our Webinars page here http://www.thevrara.com/webinars

Schedule for our VR/AR Webinar Series: Healthcare, Training, Marketing, Enterprise, Avatars AI Assistants

Email info@thevrara.com if interested


About VRARA Webinars

VRARA Webinars host industry thought-leaders on various topics.  During these live webinars (webcasts/panels/symposiums) we have a live Q&A with the attendees. These Webinars are attended live by 100-800 people, and 1000s watch the recordings. In addition, our last Online Conference had 75 speakers and 10,000 viewers. See our Webinars page here


Nov / Dec - Avatars & AI Assistants with Magic Leap (tbc), Quantum Capture + others

Jan - Training (Sponsored by Sentireal)

Feb - tbd

2019 Topics will include:

  • Retail

  • Education

  • Enterprise

  • Marketing

  • We would love to hear your suggestions on other topics you would like to learn about! Email us at info@thevrara.com

Sponsor Packages

  • Platinum: Highest recognition for sponsoring 2 or more webinars

  • Gold: High recognition in newsletter (25K emails) + social media (1M reach) + during webinar (logo, verbal mention)  + eBlast to the RSVP list (approx 100-800 contacts’ emails, titles, company)

  • Silver: High recognition in newsletter (25K emails) + social media (1M reach) + during webinar (logo, verbal mention)

  • Bronze: Medium recognition: Social Media (1M reach) + during webinar (logo, verbal mention)

Inquire about pricing here

Promotion of the Webinars

VRARA will be promoting the webinars via

  1. VRARA Newsletter that goes to 25K emails (20-30% open rates)

  2. VRARA targeted eBlasts (30-50% open rates)

  3. VRARA Social Media: 1M reach

Presenters are also welcomed to promote the webinar via their channels.


Inquire about metrics on audience demographics, etc here

VR/AR Healthcare Industry Sector Report. Get your Copy here!

To receive a copy of this report, enter your email here:

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Table of Contents

  • Foreward

  • Absorb Reality

  • Amalgamated Vision

  • DICE Group at Jefferson

  • Floreo

  • GeneHope Biotech Ltd

  • healthiAR

  • Igloo Vision LTD

  • Order 66 Labs, Inc.

  • Relax VR

  • Sentireal Ltd

  • SkillReal by Compedia


  • VRHealth

  • Wise Realities

  • Other 100+ Companies

Foreward 1

Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) technology has undergone a transition in the last 20 years taking it from the realm of “expensive toy” into that of functional technology. These advances stand to offer new opportunities for clinical research, assessment, and intervention across a diverse spectrum of healthcare disciplines. Since the mid-1990s, VR/AR-based testing, training, teaching, and treatment approaches have been developed by clinicians and researchers that would be difficult, if not impossible, to deliver using traditional methods. During this time, a large (but still maturing) scientific literature has evolved regarding the outcomes and effects from the use of what we now refer to as Clinical VR/AR.

Such VR/AR simulation systems have targeted the assessment and treatment of cognitive, psychological, physical, and functional impairments across a wide range of clinical health conditions. Moreover, continuing advances in the underlying enabling technologies for creating and delivering VR/AR applications has recently resulted in its widespread availability as consumer products, sometimes at a very low cost.

This state of affairs has led to the rapid growth of a vibrant eco- system of commercial entities that are now creating opportunities for getting VR/AR content and systems into the hands of patients and healthcare providers. Novel, usable, and useful VR/AR creations are now becoming readily available in the consumer marketplace, something that existed on only a very small scale just 5 years ago.

In addition to the rapid proliferation of new VR/AR start-ups, another positive by-product of this market potential is in the translation of research-based prototypes into consumer products that can now see the light of day and provide the user benefits that their academic developers had intended. Having a market conduit for well-researched, pro-social VR/AR systems to “escape the lab” now provides significant incentives for funders/investors to support technology research and development that will continue to drive advances in VR/AR user experiences needed to promote health and wellness! Thus, this initial collection of VR/AR healthcare profiles is well-timed for increasing awareness and access to the excellent work that has been quietly brewing over the last couple of decades. With more VR/AR healthcare start-ups emerging in the last 2 years, than in the previous 20, information about these healthcare-focused companies will become a valued resource for finding and accessing the tools needed to make a real difference for the patients we serve!

-- Skip Rizzo, Director of the Medical Virtual Reality research group at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies

Foreward 2

Healthcare has long been a laggard on using leading edge technology, but no longer. VR and AR technologies are being used for everything ranging from teaching anatomy to students, to helping Alzheimer's patients, to improving precision in surgery. VRARA has assembled some of the most transformative new companies that are improving medical practices and treatments and an exciting pace and showing measurably improved results.

-- Shel Israel, Author of The Fourth Transformation

VR/AR Healthcare Best Practices White Paper

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Virtual & Augmented Reality (VR/AR) are immersive technologies that provide new and powerful ways for people to generate, use and interact with digital information. These technologies take traditional media beyond conventional screens. Photographic images, video or computer-generated graphics (sometimes provided as a 360-degree view within your field of vision) are melded in a new interactive medium that can be used for business, entertainment, research, education, data visualization and other applications yet to be imagined.

Healthcare is one of the top 5 use cases for VR/AR. Practitioners and entrepreneurs in traditional medicine, medical education, and health and wellness verticals are exploring practical use cases for everything from surgical planning to 3D anatomy lessons to pain mitigation.

The nascent medical VR/AR industry is multi-faceted. Tech companies are looking for markets, physicians are looking for applications, and medical institutions are looking for innovative tools to differentiate themselves and provide better patient care. While there is still a perception out there that VR/AR is a consumer product for entertainment and gaming, the healthcare industry is waking up to the transformative power of these technologies for patients and providers alike.

This paper is intended to help you understand key challenges to designing and commercializing VR/AR solutions for the healthcare industry.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction
2 Blend Science and Technology Through Partnerships
3 Champion a Clinical Perspective
4 Validate Your Approach
5 Obtain Grants and Funding
6 Address Barriers in the Real World
7 Know Your Buyer
8 Summary

5G Can Reinvent Ecommerce With VR and AR

By Roslyn Layton

It’s easy for consumers to shop online for products and services they already know, but much commerce is still offline because people want to “try before they buy.” New technologies have emerged to close the gap, but whether consumers will be able to enjoy them depends on public policy.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are two of the technologies which can become mainstream, extending beyond just video games, with the advent of 5G, or fifth-generation mobile networks. 5G offers speeds 10 times the current 4G with more throughput and essentially no latency, or lag time. As 5G becomes more pervasive, the technologies like AR and VR will be democratized.

While many are familiar with AR and VR from the gaming experience, these technologies can help make products on a screen more real with images that can be rotated, enlarged, and experienced interactively. By holding up the phone’s camera for example, AR superimposes the desired product into the user’s view.  VR personalizes the experience for the viewer, for example, by simulating a road trip so a person can buy a car without leaving home. AkzoNobel's award-winning Visualizer mobile app, downloaded some 20 million times, allows users to virtually paint living spaces in chosen colors and gives customers the freedom to experiment with colors and make confident choices before purchasing the paint.

Ecommerce could become the top industry for VR/AR applications. The retail industry already spends over $1 billion annually on VR/AR solutions, growing by 240% according to the VR/AR Association.  Industry experts, like Eric Prince of Cimmerse – a startup enabling this technology for online sales of fashion, luxury goods, home décor, and fine art, are eager for 5G because of increased speeds and capacity for more information. This translates into larger augmented and virtual reality scenes, helping retailers to offer their customers a more compelling visual experience and hence close the sale.

Prince describes how 5G would work for his clients, “Imagine a product like a full-size couch in hyper detail that you can place in your room. With 5G, we will be able to provide the couch, the room and everything in it, toss in a realistic human avatar with artificial intelligence that walks into the scene and helps end user with any information needed to complete the purchase.” The VR/AR Association’s 5G Committee notes that this experience “cannot happen unless the networks that will have to support these applications can deliver the required performance, [e.g.] latency on the order of several milliseconds.”

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The US generates most AR/VR revenue today, but long term economics could favor China. The Chinese Alibaba and Tencent have made massive investments in AR/VR and are in striking range of Amazon. China is well-positioned for its Asian neighbors to adopt its platforms, and the region could account for half of all global AR/VR revenue in just 5 years, according to AR/VR analyst Tim Merel. The country that wins on platforms has a lot to do with which is first to deploy generation networks, and a slowdown in 5G deployment could harm American firms.

The US was the global leader in investment and innovation in 4G mobile networks and technologies, but China now has the edge with 5G. The US fell behind because of many missteps over the last decade, particularly in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) failing to fill the spectrum pipeline and imposing a series of misguided internet regulations which caused network investment to fall by $1 billion consecutively between 2014 to 2016.

Fortunately, the current leaders at the FCC corrected those errors in 2017, clearing the way for the US to take the lead in 5G with policies to streamline infrastructure deployment and make more spectrum available, specifically in the 3.7 GHz band later this year. These are incremental steps toward encouraging 5G deployment to help the U.S. catch up to China, but the FCC must push forward with policies that make it easier to deploy the next generation of networks nationwide by streamlining regulatory and policy frameworks that inhibit buildout. With leadership at the federal level, states and cities can follow suit and embrace new technologies that improve people’s lives and stimulate growth.

For the EU, it may be too late to come back. While it once created the leading wireless technologies and devices, the EU regulated away incentives to invest and innovate, causing their leadership in investment to plummet and erasing the foundation of mobile R&D in the region. The EU continues to discourage innovation with the heavy-handed General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), so onerous that many companies have stopped serving the EU altogether and consumers shop less online. The U.S. should not follow this misguided path, but instead allow consumers to try new applications, technologies to compete, and the economy to flourish.

The FCC has taken steps to enact policies to streamline wireless infrastructure rollout and unlock spectrum at the federal level.  Now states and municipalities must do their part to encourage investment. This matters for retailers because the US and China are in a race for the preeminence of ecommerce platforms and applications. If US app providers don’t get 5G networks fast, there won’t be a second chance to win.


VR AR Training Interim Survey Results

The VRARA Training Committee are conducting an initial industry survey to capture the industrial landscape for one of the major use cases for Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality – namely training and development of employees. The survey is still open for respondents, so if you haven’t taken the survey yet then please do so by following this link. It’ll only take 5-10 minutes of your time and provide valuable insight into how VR, AR and MR is becoming an integral part of industry-based training.

A number of interesting trends are emerging from the survey responses received to date. In this article we’ll focus on two of the survey questions that demonstrate these early trends within the respondent’s answers.


What sorts of activity do you think will most benefit from VR/AR/MR training? (Check all that apply)

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Clearly the early survey respondents feel that manual skills and mechanical/industrial operations will especially benefit from VR/AR/MR based training, with the realistic simulation capability of VR and the interactive real-time guidance provided by AR/MR being particularly relevant. However, although process-driven activities scored particularly highly on this question, creative activities such as art and precision crafts also feature strongly, indicating that VR/AR/MR based training does have a role in activities that are not necessarily driven by process and compliance.

What are weaknesses of VR/AR/MR for training? (Check all that apply)

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Understanding where the perceived weaknesses or deficiencies lie in current forms of VR/AR/MR training is key to addressing those issues in future versions of the training technologies. Clearly the early survey respondents feel that cost is still the major barrier to introducing or increasing the use of VR/AR/MR within training programs. Reduction in headset costs and innovative business models around content access should help to address this. Availability of the technology has also been highlighted as an obvious weakness, suggesting that hardware providers should consider future manufacturing and distribution processes and software providers should consider subscription and distribution models beyond the “app store” format. Resistance to chance is also highlighted as an issue, suggesting that the efforts of the VRARA Training Committee in evangelizing and promoting VR/AR/MR training are still well-placed!

The survey will remain open for a few weeks so, if you haven’t had the opportunity to capture your thoughts and opinions on VR/AR/MR training then please follow this link. A fuller article or whitepaper on the complete set of survey results is planned, so keep a lookout for that in the near future!

Email info@thevrara.com with any questions. 

Recap of our AR Cloud Webinar and Q&A (The Spatial Web)

Join our AR Cloud Industry Committee here


On May 2nd, we hosted a webinar on the “AR Cloud” with an incredible panel moderated by Charlie Fink. and featuring presentations from Ori Inbar of Super Ventures and AWE, and pioneering startups working to enable the creation and population of the AR cloud including Anjanay Midha (Ubiquity6), Matt Miesnieks (6D.ai), Ghislan Fouodji (Selerio.io), and Ray DiCarlo & David (YouAR).

Perhaps the biggest shift the introduction of AR-enabled mobile phones  brought is the use of the camera as the interface. But the camera needs something to detect, or "see". We have come to think of this geolocated content as "The AR Cloud". The implications of SLAM capable geolocated content are profound; the world will be painted with data. The technology to enable this dramatic development is in its infancy, although there are several promising startups tackling it right now. Some, like Ubiquity6 and YouAR, offer complete solutions, while others, such as 6D.ai offer key technologies that would enable developers to create their own apps.

The presentations explored key concepts around the AR cloud. Such as:

  • The role of computer vision, AI, and sound.
  • The function and form of the universal visual browser (how will it enable all AR content to be found and could existing browsers play a role).
  • Will there be open standards (so enterprises and individuals can populate the AR cloud)?
  • If a dozen developers painted data on a landmark,  like the Golden Gate Bridge, how would a user sort through it?
  • Will there be a Google for visual search? How would that work? How important are filters?
  • What are the opportunities today for developers, enterprises, and individuals?


Q & A

How do you capture spatial data that is aligned to real world coordinates if GPS isn't accurate enough? What is the math behind it?

It's too hard to get into here. There is no single solution that covers all use cases. Doing some googling on "outdoor large scale localization" (add "gps denied environments" for more fun) will uncover a lot of papers and all the math you can handle.

In layman terms, the GPS system is used to get in the general area, then computer vision takes over. Either via AI recognition, and/or point cloud matching, the system determines the exact 3D coordinates of the phone relative to the real world (ground truth)

The trick is to handle cases where there is no pre-existing computer vision data to match against, and to make it work from all sorts of angles and lighting conditions, and with/without GPS. It's still a very active domain in computer vision research. - Matt Miesnieks

There are several CV solutions that localize devices within point clouds. The trick is to understand the relationship between one "localization" and another.  Our approach involves positioning AR content and devices with coordinates tethered to multiple trackable physical features. As devices use our system, they calculate and compare relative positioning data between trackable features, generating measurements (and associated uncertainties). These trackable features get organized into emergent hierarchical groups based on those measurements. Our system then uses statistical methods to improve its confidence of relative position data based on additional measurements made between the trackable features organized into a group.

In plainer terms, imagine that you had a marker taped to a table to create a rudimentary form of persistent AR but that marker also knew the relative position of every other marker taped to every other table in the whole world. We call our version of this system LockAR. - Ray DiCarlo


How will ALL of these different AR Cloud providers work together? Are they all compatible?

Good question. Some of us are trying to figure out Open Standards, but honestly I think that's premature. We need to show value to the market that these enablers are valuable. The market is nascent and we are all working to grow the market. Interop just isn't a problem anyone has right now. Down the road, who knows. Some forms of data will probably be "open" and others proprietary, this will probably be use-case dependent, and we don't know the use-cases yet - Matt Miesnieks

We are in a great innovation period! The giants will buy up the companies they like, and leverage their network effects to push them into the consumer world. Compatibility will exist only when its value outweighs the profit of closed systems. We'll see. The decision to give away proprietary technology when you are ahead is a hard one. But often the right one, with a big enough vision and umpteen billions of dollars to help prop up AR Cloud SaaS models. - David


How will you handle point cloud data sets in mobile on existing 3G networks?

6D.ai does everything on device, as close to real-time as possible (inc generating point-clouds & meshes). We minimize the data upload & download. We are targeting wifi and LTE networks initially. 3G will work, but will be slower *unknown if too slow. - Matt Miesnieks

Clouds can be sparse; they do not have to be that "heavy".  They will be cached, and load as a device gets within range. We can reduce the amount of polygons and limit the level of RGB fidelity — but it's all going to be better on 5G.  5G is coming soon, and its arrival will transform the AR Cloud into a mass media platform accessible by all, with infinite data, and crazy high bandwidth. - David & Ray from YOUAR


What is the threat you pose of one company controlling access to "the" AR Cloud. Doesn't that assume there can be only one? And isn't it the case that the number of potential AR clouds is infinite--just multiple layers over the same physical space?

This question confuses the enabling infrastructure and the content. There can be infinite content in one place. The enabling infrastructure is too early to tell how the market will emerge. It's unlikely that one company will control everything. Nearly all tech markets have a dominant leader and a strong #2, then lots of small players. The ARCloud market will eventually fit this model, but what services and products will that be, who knows, the term ARCloud is too broad right now. - Matt Miesnieks

We agree! There will be many disparate AR Clouds at first, each using their own CV methods to understand that physical space. At some point, protocols may be developed that make some clouds obsolete, and allow others to coexist.  We incorporate otherwise incompatible CV localizations on a common map. Most likely, Apple, Google, and Microsoft will continue to develop in their separated, siloed ecosystems for a while. Everyone will be searching for a near-term solution to the table as we wait for the giants to open their store of feature sets for common use. --Ray & David from YOUAR


Why the ARCF? We all share the roads, why not share an AR Cloud? Wouldn’t we all be better off with a generally common one?  

Different AR Clouds will begin to pop up; we must unify this somehow, or at least agree to index them together coherently.

Get in a room (or chat room) and reach out to everyone.  Do simple things first, realize basic goals, test out the first collection of applications.

Sign up for our ARena SDK and use it as a way to populate the ARCF's persistent, global map! The ARCF holds a collection of dynamic and versatile ".6dof" files — openly available SLAM maps. These files are generated by providing end-users with a way to "scan" environments, saving the data in a way that other devices on our network can use to "see" the same space. 

In the future how do we create experiences that don't care what device you are using?

6D.ai is working to solve this, we intend to support all major AR platforms & hardware. Partially this is also a factor of the creation tools being cross-platform (eg Unity) and the platforms being open (ie not Snap). - Matt Miesnieks

Our approach was to build an SDK (available soon), so developers can immediately start building AR applications in Unity with the ability to interact with each other on ARCore and ARKit enabled devices. A key goal was to mitigate complex 3D interactions, and to allow both devices to see AR content together in a common space. If developers would like to stay iOS or Android native, they can use our soon-to-be-available UberCV SDK, or other companies soon-to-come out equivalent which will enable you to be in a common space without using any particular backend solution.

Here is an example from YOUAR


What are the panels thought as far as conflict resolution? What if multiple entities try to place persistence objects in the same public place & what about property owners having control over what virtual objects are on their property?

It'll be up to the user to choose what app to use, and that will display the content for that app. No one will force you to look at content you don't want (though I expect there will be completely open/public free-for-all AR content apps, which will quickly die due to abuse). - Matt Miesnieks

We believe in a layer-based filter system. Similar to current content filters on apps and websites like Reddit; users will filter their visual content based on any number of attributes, such as by author, rating, maturity level, or location. -- George from YOUAR



Do you believe that with new Google ARCore developments other AR SDKs and clouds would probably disappear?

No. Each startup will need to figure out how to work with the big players and how to bring differentiated value. None of us want to compete head-on with the distribution power of the big platforms - Matt Mieskieks

Is AR a vitamin or a painkiller? Besides use cases in entertainment/games, training/education or retail/tourism, what are the world-changing use cases that will dramatically improve people's lives?

AR right now is like smartphones in 2004 (I know, I used to work for Openwave who invented the smartphone web browser). It's a cool feature but not a painkiller apart from very specific instances. But all tech infrastructure being built now will also run on whatever AR glasses come along later and supplant/support/enhance the glass rectangle form factor. AR will be a feature on glass rectangles, but will be core to glasses. - Matt Miesnieks

It is a disruptive medium that will change the way we think about, gather and process information. The age of spatial information - David from YOUAR


In your opinion, is there a place for the term Mixed Reality vs Augmented Reality? Ie, is the Pokemon behind the pole, with shadows correctly cast, does that make it MR?

Magic Leap confused everyone by calling "AR with occlusion & physics" MR. MR refers to a superset of both AR and VR. - Matt Miesnieks


How important do you believe patent portfolios, IP,  will be in the development/commercialization of the AR cloud?

Somewhat but it will be distribution and user retention that becomes the sustainable advantage in this domain - Matt Miesnieks

With the concern of fragmentation across AR Cloud solutions, what standards are being discussed so the upstarts are able to work together as their unique approaches evolve?

See above. Cloud interop isn't a problem that anyone has right now. It's premature to try and solve an imaginary problem. Providing end user benefit needs to be solved first. - Matt Miesnieks

Fragmentation is a usual first step in bleeding-edge tech — just look at how many automobile and internal combustion engine patents existed by 1900. It was the assembly line that changed everything, not the patent designs.

We hope that an archival 6D standard can be agreed upon in the near future. This would mean that advancement in technology and CV localization methods will not be limited by current scans; this should be to everyone's advantage. -- Carlo and Ray from YOUAR

1st: We can now run multiple different fast algorithms to create 3-D convex hulls as bounding areas, thus being able to produce real-time object classification. How long before physical properties can be classified in real-time?

2nd: Part:How many months multiple camera feeds filming a person in their everyday lives would it take an AI, Neural Net or other, to learn a person's mannerisms to a point of seeming like the real person;  but not necessarily be able to pass the Turing test?

I don't know. I believe the first part (physical properties) has been somewhat solved by Adobe Research, I assume they've published something on it. - Matt Miesnieks


Can you give some examples of current open-source opportunities to collaborate in a major global project?

Open AR Cloud is an excellent effort toward open geo-pose. Help them!

There needs to be an advisory board on blockchain issues that will be essential to the AR Cloud and the AR economy. (Join our Blockchain committee here )

Incentivized "scanning" needs to be directed toward high-value data targets guided by a decentralized group. Sharing a common map, with privacy of data and an open AR net is a responsibility we all have to our collective future.


Join our AR Cloud Industry Committee here

VR Tech Setups for Events, Arcades and Venues White Paper

Enter your email here to get the white paper: 

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Our Location-Based Entertainment Committee produced this white paper ready to help venue owners setup VR tech for arcades or events for different types of VR experiences.

It includes:

  • The benefits, tradeoffs, and considerations

  • Mixed Reality setups

  • Sanitation options

  • Shipping checklist

  • Typical event problems & suggested solutions


Thank you to YDreams Global for support in this white paper




VR AR in Healthcare is the Future of Care and the Future is Now. Read about VRARA Members Leading the Way

Join our Healthcare Committee here 

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Gone are the days of trial and error practice on ‘real’ patients, for medical students and mature Doctors alike. Thankfully for all of us who might be either getting a routine procedure done or nervous about an invasive complex surgery; we can rest a little easier knowing our Medical Professionals have probably practiced and honed their skills in VR. The technology is finally giving healthcare the tools it desperately needs to improve training, provide services in a virtual environment, and educate patients.

Companies like Precision OS Technology, enables users to perform critical aspects of fracture surgery in an immersive, highly realistic setting; which allows for repetition and objective performance measures.  Likewise, Trois Prime Lab provides VR Training procedures including knee surgery, hip replacements and sleeve gastrectomy. Similarly, one of the benefits of immersive technology is that the user feels the same amount of mental pressure and physical stressors of a procedure in a modified environment tailored to meet the requirements of specific real-life situations. In effect, VR/AR environmental simulations are giving healthcare professionals the vital experience they need when performing under adverse emergency and natural disaster conditions.

For example, the Thomas Jefferson University DICE initiative is preparing providers to work successfully in high-acuity disaster and emergency situations.  In addition, the company INVIVO, enables Surgical Simulation with full interactive large-scale medical devices to smaller hand tools in a typical operating room environment. Both help practitioners know what to expect and prepares them to work efficiently in varied circumstances and environments.

With an aging large generation of baby boomers, in conjunction with average population medical needs, there are not enough Doctors to keep up with the overall demand of care. As a good first step, VR/AR can now enable some medical services to be performed in a virtual environment. For example, the VRHealth Group VRPhysio enables a series of full-body exercises for physical rehab, stimulates patients to perform specific movements and provides real-time data to track progress.

Thomas Jefferson University DICE initiative also provides rehab in VR for cardiac patients. The gamified experiences provide immediate feedback and encouragement to help patients stick with their rehab program, while tracking real-time data and  generating progress reports. This can be used for supervised remote in-home care. Some other companies in VR/AR medical services include VR4Neuropain, which combines VR headsets with haptic feedback and bio-medical sensors to integrate virtual and conventional rehabilitation for neuropathic pain; and RelaxVR which provides immersive experiences for stress relief and behavior modification.

One of the biggest issues in healthcare is lack of staff and funding to educate patients on a myriad of programs to improve their outcomes and overall health. VR/AR applications are tackling this problem by educating patients before and after medical treatment. Many Doctors agree that mental preparation before a procedure is just a critical for the patient, as is the surgeon. The company IKONA for example, provides immersive pre-op VR experiences for patients and medical personnel to address factors that may improve patient outcomes. Another patient application geared for aftercare, is an AR enabled pill box that helps heavy prescribed patients order and manage their medication schedule. This can reduce post-op anxiety and give the user a sense of control over their lives. Also helping educate patients in VR/AR is Order 66 Labs; which provides simulations of mutual help groups for patients with addiction seen in hospital. As a result, patients are more likely to participate in these groups after discharge.

Ultimately, healthcare is adapting to the changing needs of the population by creating new tools and methods of care. VR/AR is helping in training, providing services and of course, education. Never before have opportunities in healthcare had such a reach and impact in people’s lives. Even in remote places like the Pacific region, VR in healthcare is making a difference. The company Second Muse Legends, created interactive narratives that teach children and their families about traditional eating and how to make healthy food choices to combat obesity. VR/AR in healthcare is the future of care and the future is now.

Join our Healthcare Committee here