International AR and VR Conference 2017

Empowering Human, Place and Business through AR and VR

Last Thursday Sparta had a chance to attend the 2017 Augmented and Virtual Reality Conference at the Manchester Metropolitan University organised by Creative Augmented Virtual Reality Hub. The Augmented and Virtual Reality Hub is based at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. It investigates new and innovative ways to implement augmented reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in the tourism industry.

Here’s a few useful things we learned at the Conference…

Augmented Reality requires a unique approach

Augmented Reality is not used constantly (social media, mobile…), but is more linked to specific contexts. Therefore it requires a different approach - but what kind? A. Javornik, University of Newcastle
Augmented Reality is not used constantly (social media, mobile…), but is more linked to specific contexts. Therefore it requires a different approach – but what kind? A. Javornik, University of Newcastle

 

AR is not yet very well known for customers and studies of consumer behaviour has only started. Ana Javornik, a PhD Lecturer in Marketing at Newcastle University Business School, presented some great insights of consumers experiencing AR themselves including the framework of user experience:

As Dr Javornik said, the human element is still crucial in experiencing augmented reality. The research proved, that using AR in retail and especially while trying on make-up made the experience much better when the sales assistants were next to the customer and were able to help them go through the whole process.

Another important point is for retailers to remember that even the latest technology, despite the ‘wow’ factor may not be as impressive for the customers shopping in a very busy environment where there are already thousands of distractions. Context for AR must be well thought through, at least at this stage of the market.

Experience AR with Microsoft HoloLens

The team at the University of Michigan has conducted a survey with 228 students on the HoloLens experience.

The initial assumptions from the study included people considering AR wearables both as technology and fashion thus naturally the decision making in terms of making a purchase is based on fashion concept as much as on technology one. The most important factors to consider for wearable AR were design and ergonomic characteristics.

Overall students were quite pleased with the HoloLens experience, however it did not exceed their expectations.

  • A personalised content
  • An intuitive interaction
  • It must be context relevant
  • Should include a social function
  • Must be safe to use

Augmented reality is without a doubt an emerging market and the academics only started researching the augmented reality space. Virtual reality is definitely much bigger for now, yet there is a big need for more connection with the real world while virtual reality headsets make us separated and closed. Therefore it’s difficult to predict at this stage which of these technologies the market will pick up – or maybe it will be both?

Overall the ARVR Conference turned out to be a big success with visitors from all over the Europe and the United States. Exhibitors included big names such as Microsoft, Samsung, Rendermedia CGI, Twine, Kinicho, Corporation Pop, BT Sport and BBC.