Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are becoming more and more mainstream
VR is no longer exclusively for videogames, as is a common misconception. Along with Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality is having a significant impact on businesses across all different industries and business processes.
The world of Virtual Reality is fascinating and exciting. It gives new sensations and opportunities for increased perception, providing users with an absolutely unique experience. According to research, VR/AR development has significant potential in various fields. Therefore, if you are thinking of creating a VR application, now is a good time to start.
Developing a VR application can be difficult if you don’t know where to begin. It is a multi-step process that requires a team of professionals with specialised skills. But creating a Virtual Reality solution is also an exciting journey and a completely new experience both for the persons involved as well as for future users. While the technology is “relatively” young, it’s rapidly becoming extremely popular. With detailed preparation, a study of all processes and well-organized work, your application has every chance of success.
Creating a high-quality Virtual Reality application is work for an entire team. You need to think about everything: from the choice of technology to the selection of the right employees. Like any project, the development of VR applications is divided into several main stages.
Discover the Opportunities
We’ll help you to understand the full potential of VR/AR technology and how it can be used in your organisation for both customer and operational purposes.
This is an obvious, but very important step, from which any challenge begins. You already have an idea, but you need to bring it to mind and think out a plan of action. You need to determine the goals or Key Performance Indicators (KPI) that you want to achieve using the application: sell products, attract an audience, entertain the user, train your employees... Also, understand what problems your app will solve. Pay attention to the implementation of certain functions and design.
You can use this decision matrix to determine if your project could be improved by implementing VR.
If you’d like to shape a better idea of when VR is the best possible solution, please refer to our VR Use Cases page where we detail a few real-life and hypothetical examples.Check our VR Use Cases page for examples
Design the Right Solution
Designing the right solution is more than simply developing the software. It means examining every aspect of the VR/AR implementation.
Start small. Begin with a pilot program to evaluate the effectiveness of the VR training and its adoption within the organization.
To choose a platform and equipment to implement your idea, ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I interested in the development for desktop devices like HTC Vive, or am I more attracted to mobile devices like Samsung Gear VR or Google Cardboard?
- If the development is carried out for mobile devices, will it support Android, iOS, or both platforms?
- Will the application be standalone or hosted by Oculus or other virtual reality providers?
Determine the user experience (UX) of your application because the end-user for instance will probably be alone in VR. The adaption of VR should be frictionless so think ahead and consider solutions like a Virtual Assistant, a VR onboarding tutorial, a help button, …
What kind of application you’re making will also have an impact on which hardware device you’ll be using. Other factors like the cost, availability and other important elements will also be crucial when choosing. To assist in this decision-making process, we’ve got a useful article on the different headsets available.Which VR Headset Is Right For You
Develop Quality Software
Our in-house team of developers, user experience designers and business specialists can help you build the software to bring your organisation’s VR/AR vision to life.
It’s important to decide early on what kind of VR experience you’re aiming to develop: will the users only be required to look around or should they be able to interact with objects in the virtual world?
You can look at it like this — with 360 videos, you’re in the passenger seat of a car. You can look around from your seat and enjoy the view. But you can’t control the car, the driver does. With VR, you are in the driver’s seat and have control over where you want to go. We delve deeper into this topic in our 360° media vs Virtual Reality blogpost.
When you’ve decided your company could benefit from a VR application, there is a choice to be made: if your team has the necessary skills and resources, you can build it in-house. If that’s not the case, you’ll need to recruit the help of a team of professional developers to which you can communicate your desired final product. At Rhinox, we’re always open to listen to you about your plans and ideas. We’ll provide useful feedback and maybe you’ll even consider making use of our services should the need arise.
Many VR applications make great use of existing game engines to create their fully 3D spaces, most common among them are Unreal Engine or Unity. Both have their upsides and downsides, usually depending on the expertise of the team working on them. At Rhinox, we’ve specialised in Unity.
The engine is a logical first step and will in part set you on a path to decide the programming language to use. If you opted for Unreal, you'll be using C++ or Blueprints Visual Scripting while Unity uses C#. Furthermore, if you are developing for mobile, you’ll need to get familiar with Android Studio or Google SDK respectively.
There are multiple elements that are unique to VR that should be kept in mind throughout the development process though, one of which is the possibility of your users experiencing VR Motion Sickness. It’s always better to prevent it during the creation process, rather than expect your users to treat the symptoms. If you want to delve deeper into this subject, you can read our article on VR Motion Sickness:Motion Sickness in VR
Deploy Across Your Organisation
Implement hardware, software and change management procedures.
For the deployment of the VR Solution you need to take several things into account like distribution of soft-and hardware, maintenance, updates, security, connectivity.
But also ask yourself the question of how many headsets you need for a large number of people. It is clear you need to look at elements such as how many locations, how many users and how fast you need to train users. These are the key variables in determining how many headsets you need to purchase.
When deploying VR at scale, be sure to look at tools like Oculus For Business or MDM (Mobile Device Management) solutions like Radix Visio VR Command Center. These will help you with managing multiple devices from one single point/dashboard:
- Set and coordinate all VR devices in one platform
- Permit, block or lock certain apps and apply kiosk mode
- Transfer files to all VR devices simultaneously
- Show the status on each headset
- Manage controllers across devices
- and more
Debrief The Collected Data
We’ll help you understand the full potential of VR/AR technology and how it can be used in your organisation for both customer and operational purposes.
However, the work doesn’t end there — now the stage of collecting feedback and continuous improvements begins. This step allows you to identify missing features and improvements for the next iteration of the application.
A successful app cannot forever remain the same as on the day it was first released. Start collecting user reviews and use their feedback for future updates and benchmark against KPIs identified at the beginning of the project. No matter how detailed the internal testing is, your audience is the best critic. Conduct a study to understand which features are used and which are not, which content is more popular, and how the organization of content affects Key Performance Indicators.
Marketing is key!
At the same time, don’t forget about internal and external marketing. Use different promotional channels to attract new users and believers of your VR application. Be sure to post information in newsletters, blogs, social networks and tell users in detail about the application in your company.
Speaking of newsletters, we have one as well! Feel free to subscribe if you want to stay up-to-date on our latest developments and various useful tips.Subscribe to the Rhinox Newsletter