What to Consider When Starting an R&D Program

What to Consider When Starting an R&D Program

Dan Cotting

When I began at Shockoe in 2017, one of the personal draws for me was the fact that there was a clear commitment to pursuing the use of new and innovative technologies. In 2018, we began pursuing R&D in earnest, beginning to identify methods for vetting new technologies and determining how to best use these technologies to improve our processes and help our clients explore new opportunities. 2019 has marked the first full year where we have begun the year with a coordinated plan that has stemmed from past learnings, and after the first quarter of implementation, I am excited to say that we are making significant progress on the execution of our plan. For those of you who might be considering implementing a similar program at your organization, or for those of you who might be interested in learning about or specific R&D initiatives (such as our recent consumer flooring visualizer that we shared at MWC in Barcelona), I wanted to share some of our learnings up to this point.

Takeaway Number One: Have a Plan

And make it as detailed as possible. This might sound obvious, but in reality, It’s easy to say that you want to commit to R&D. When you get into the thick of it, however, it becomes easy to let R&D take a back-seat to more pressing matters. By having a thorough plan in place from the outset, it becomes easier to reach goals, hold people accountable, and enjoy the ride of what can be an exciting and stressful initiative. When crafting your plan, consider the following:

  • Identify Goals – we knew that we wanted to accomplish several things with our R&D plan. First, we wanted to create a mechanism for developing and vetting processes and technologies that would improve how we solve problems for our clients. Second, we wanted to make sure that these new processes and technologies would be embraced by our team, and that they would be able to learn and implement them.
  • Identify Technologies – given the breadth of what we could pursue with an R&D plan, we knew we had to narrow our focus. Broadly speaking, we have committed solely to emerging technologies, which we define as those technologies that are currently nascent, yet show significant long-term promise for process improvement. More specifically, we have identified emerging technologies that we see as critically important to improving the mobile experience: voice, augmented, and virtual reality.
  • Identify Outcomes – with the goals and technologies in place, we set specific tactical outcomes into our plan that would address a variety of industries and end users. Ultimately, we determined that our plan would execute on six projects throughout the year, each covering a different industry vertical (ranging from energy to finance to retail), with three meeting consumer user needs and three meeting enterprise user needs. Ultimately, each project would take learnings from the prior projects in order to apply shared findings across a broad spectrum of applications.
  • Identify Resource Needs – ultimately, we knew that this would need to be the most detailed and thorough piece of the plan, in order to make sure that we could execute on the plan as sustainably as possible. As such, I outlined resources by type for every day of every project through the end of the year. This was critically necessary to make sure that our financial and hiring projections could account for the exact needs of our team, including this dedicated R&D allocation. By detailing at the granular level, I knew that it would make it significantly easier for our delivery team to execute on the plan once we got into full swing. Which brings me to my next takeaway…

Takeaway Number Two: Communicate the Plan

  • Cross-Disciplinary Communication – as a small-to-medium sized company, we do not have dedicated “R&D resources” —rather, team members from each of our practice areas dedicate some portion of their time to pursuing R&D initiatives as needed. As such, it was critically important that I communicate with each practice lead as early as possible in order to solicit feedback on appropriate strategic and tactical directions. Through several discussions with each of my colleagues, I was able to hear their individual goals and concerns, and make sure that we could implement a plan that was truly cross-disciplinary and would meet the overall goals and needs of the company as a whole.
  • Iterate on the Plan – the goal of this level of communication at the outset is to allow for rapid iteration prior to implementation. In the span of a few weeks, we were able to identify strengths and weaknesses in the plan, allowing us to build towards the greatest areas of opportunity and quickly position ourselves to execute in a sustainable and successful way.

Takeaway Number Three: Execute

  • Collaborate on Execution – the reality is that, while communication is critically important to the formation of a successful R&D plan, it is equally if not more important for successful execution. I have found that in the first quarter of the year, I have had significant communications with every practice lead in order to ensure that we are implementing the plan as we have envisioned. Each project has required a strong connection between strategy, design, and development, as well as overall operations, finance, HR, and marketing. This has been no small task, and I strongly advise you to include time for collaboration and communication in your execution plan.
  • Write a Brief – the overarching company-wide plan might give team members a big picture view of the R&D goals, the specific projects have required a bit more focused task creation prior to execution. Specifically, we’ve been treating each plan as a specific set of business objectives from a given industry, using prior research to recognize major pain points and determine if/how these emerging technologies might be able to improve processes and/or add operational efficiencies. Some of these objectives stem from specific work with some of our clients and partners, while others are use cases that we’ve arrived at through examining industry analysis in publications such as Gartner and Forrester.
  • Day-to-Day Execution – while our overall goals and specific project outcomes are set prior to beginning a project, it has been very important to recognize the cadence and outcome of the day-to-day activities. Specifically, the balance and interplay of education, implementation, and documentation. Depending on the day, task, or individual, this balance may shift more heavily towards one area; however, it has been important that we seek to make sure that all three of these are accounted for on a regular basis.

Takeaway Number Four: Be Flexible

  • Adjusting the Plan – The reality of creating a very detailed plan at the outset of the year is that there will inevitably be unforeseen circumstances that require shifting from the initial ambition. Knowing how to assess the need for adjustment, and when to make the adjustment, is critical. As you gain learnings from the R&D initiatives themselves, this will inform how you pivot, lending new perspective into how you execute. By maintaining this flexibility and adjusting when necessary, we’ve been able to get great output from our team, and we’ve kept a nimble and agile approach the prevents us from investing too heavily in the wrong technology, process, or objective.
  • Expect the Unexpected – the reality with R&D, particularly with emerging technologies, is that something will inevitably surface that is completely different than what was initially planned for at the outset. This is part of the process and, while it can be stressful, it can also be a big part of the fun. Learning new things leads to new adventures, which is one of our core values here at Shockoe.

Takeaway Number Five: Communicate the Outcomes

  • Internally – whether propriety or simply exploratory, we view it as critical that our R&D findings get documented internally in order to educate and train team members who might not have been on the R&D initiative itself. Given that we have invested in these pursuits with the goal of both vetting and adopting the new tech and processes, it’s important that everyone involved have the opportunity to learn from and weigh in on the findings. Moving forward, it’s equally important that our teammates be able to take these learnings and findings, and use them to add value to our clients through our new service offerings.
  • Externally – depending on the nature of your R&D program, this may be less critical. For Shockoe, we see the R&D program as a way of improving what we do by pursuing things that challenge us. We’re proud of what we do, and we find excitement in sharing our work. For us, external communication includes a few things. First, we like to work with our existing clients/partners to make sure that they understand our work, and seek their feedback and participation in future projects. Second, we use traditional marketing and PR channels to help seek external feedback from trade organizations, industry analysts, and potential clients. This can take the form of a variety of methods, including press releases, social media, white papers, and… you know… maybe a blog post.
Dan Cotting

Dan Cotting

With over a decade of customer and user experience strategy under his belt, Dan Cotting is Shockoe’s Director of Immersive Technology and resident “future-tech-crazy-person.” Dan fully believes that virtual and augmented reality will pave the way for an entirely new approach to business operations: improving the lives of both employees and consumers, while simultaneously increasing business efficiency and productivity. When he isn’t dreaming about this “Ready Player One” future, Dan spends his free time playing bass guitar, practicing 18th century photographic techniques, brewing beer, and enjoying time with his wife Kelly and son Marshall, and their five rescue pets. He holds a B.S. from Boston University and an M.S. from Virginia Commonwealth University.

The Impact of Emerging Technologies on Business: 2018 Report

The Impact of Emerging Technologies on Business: 2018 Report

Dan Cotting

Virtual reality and augmented reality are two of the most innovative technologies to gain mainstream traction over the past several years. These nascent media have taken content cues from the related fields of cinema and video gaming: that is to say that a significant amount of the content has been devoted to the purpose of consumer entertainment. However, businesses have identified other compelling use cases for these media that are all largely focused around the concept of utility.

 

Put simply, digital interfaces have the capacity to function as useful tools, and some of these tools make work easier, faster, safer, and more efficient. (For a more significant breakdown of the concept of utility apps, check out this post from Shockoe COO Alex Otañez). In the case of VR and AR, companies have been embracing these unique tools as a means of improving operations for a variety of use cases, all stemming from unique affordances inherent to the media themselves. I would encourage anyone who has read this far to download the full report posted below — while this post is a great start, the downloadable PDF provides a much deeper dive into technologies and use cases of how emerging technologies are impacting businesses and operations in 2018.

Download the Report

Adoption Outlook

In a 2018 survey from immersive technology research group VR Intelligence, companies reported significant growth of VR and AR technology in both consumer and enterprise applications. In fact, 38% of respondents reported strong or very strong growth in VR for enterprise, and 43% reported strong or very strong growth in AR for enterprise. Additionally, enterprises have reported a significant intention to invest in immersive technology, with 61% citing VR and 58% citing AR as high priority business areas.

On the surface, it may seem that many companies are attempting to stay relevant in an increasingly competitive landscape. However, the powerful benefits of these new interaction methods can, in many cases, result in a significant benefit to the business in a variety of departments and across many different industry verticals. While respondents in education, AEC (Architecture / Engineering / Construction), and Manufacturing indicated the greatest adoption of XR tech, it is becoming clear that significant use cases exist for everything from health care, to banking & finance, to retail. The most commonly integrated use cases include:

  • Product Design & Prototyping
  • Sales, Marketing & External Communication
  • Manufacturing
  • Workforce Collaboration & Internal Communication
  • Training & Knowledge Retention
  • Educational Learning.

The common thread throughout all of these use cases? Utility.

Understanding the Medium

Implementation of immersive media must begin with developing a clear understanding of the affordances and constraints of the medium itself. For both VR and AR, you are interacting with objects and environments that are three dimensional. For VR, the user is placed into that environment and interacts from within. For AR, the user maintains a sense of their true environment and places and manipulates objects within it. Both media afford the user a true sense of the following:

  • Sense of Size – The actual dimensions of a given object or space.
  • Sense of Scale – How large something is in comparison to the user, or other objects.
  • Sense of Distance – The actual distance covered.
  • Sense of Proximity – How near or far something is to a user or another object.
  • Sense of Materiality – The color, texture, and material type of a given object, and how it is affected by changes in lighting.

In addition, VR affords the addition of:

  • Sense of Presence – The feeling of “being there.”
  • Sense of Ambience – What the character and atmosphere of a space are like when all of the previous factors are taken into consideration. This can include lighting and acoustics in a space.

Understanding these unique affordances of the media can help guide businesses when attempting to identify use cases in the areas outlined in the above section. For example, a true sense of size and scale can help manufacturers use AR to improve their quality assurance process or use VR to iteratively design product in a tactile manner.

Considering the Benefits

It would benefit companies to look to smart speakers as a good example of how a medium’s inherent qualities can enable utility. For example, Google Assistant is a virtual personal assistant (or VPA) that is implicitly designed to offer useful benefits to the user. What makes it groundbreaking is the fact that voice interaction is so natively ingrained in day-to-day user interactions. Native language communication is one of the earliest developmental milestones for us as humans. As such, it is an interaction method that is largely heuristic, allowing users to interact in a natural manner to engender the desired outcome. In other words, the affordances of the medium itself make it more useful.

Virtual reality and fully spatialized augmented reality possess a similar quality. Even before we develop language, we develop fine motor skills in order to interact with the world around us. Picking up and manipulating objects is one of the greatest evolutionary benefits we have as a species. It has allowed for the development of tools, which has in turn allowed for the development of complex societies. Despite this, many traditional digital two-dimensional interfaces are limited in their tactility, forcing the user to operate in a rectilinear environment consisting only of an X and a Y axis. That’s not to diminish the value of two-dimensional interfaces—GUIs and touch-enabled mobile devices have been among two of the most groundbreaking societal advances. Yet, there are still certain tasks that might be better accomplished through three-dimensional interaction. By understanding the nature of immersive media, businesses can build useful applications that were previously impossible, thus improving accuracy, efficiency, connectivity, and mobility.

Want to read more? Download the Full report

To learn more about how emerging technology is improving the way that businesses operate, download the 2018 Shockoe Emerging Outlook Report.

Download the Report
Dan Cotting

Dan Cotting

Director of Immersive Technology

With over a decade of customer and user experience strategy under his belt, Dan Cotting is Shockoe’s Director of Immersive Technology and resident “future-tech-crazy-person.” Dan fully believes that virtual and augmented reality will pave the way for an entirely new approach to business operations: improving the lives of both employees and consumers, while simultaneously increasing business efficiency and productivity. When he isn’t dreaming about this “Ready Player One” future, Dan spends his free time playing bass guitar, practicing 18th century photographic techniques, brewing beer, and enjoying time with his wife Kelly and son Marshall, and their five rescue pets. He holds a B.S. from Boston University and an M.S. from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Top VR and AR Trends in 2018

Top VR and AR Trends in 2018

Dan Cotting

Last month, our CEO and I attended the 2017 VRX Conference in San Francisco. Billed as the conference “where the business of immersive tech gets done,” speakers and attendees included key individuals from companies such as Walmart, Ford, Qualcomm, ExxonMobil, and Wayfair. At Shockoe, we focus on developing enterprise applications, so we were particularly drawn to VRX for its dedicated enterprise track. We saw this as a great opportunity to review the current state of immersive tech at companies within our primary industry verticals (retail, logistics, manufacturing, and energy). In addition, we knew the conference would be a great way for us to network with other tech professionals from around the country and learn from some of the top talents in the industry with speakers and attendees from many of the major immersive tech organizations such as Google, Microsoft, Oculus, HTC, and Intel.

Based on our experience at the conference and our work at Shockoe in 2017, here are my thoughts on top trends for VR and AR worth watching in 2018:

Settling on a Name for These Emerging Technologies

One immediate takeaway from the conference is that the naming conventions for immersive technologies are still very much in flux. Almost daily, there seems to be some new acronym related to immersive media. For example, while at VRX we heard all of the following terms from different panelists and presenters: VR (Virtual Reality), AR (Augmented Reality), MR (Mixed Reality), IR (Immersive Reality), and XR (Extended Reality). While the definition for VR is fairly clear, there’s still some confusion surrounding the differences between AR, MR, and the overall umbrella terms IR and XR. In fact, a constant refrain from presenters was “XR… or whatever we’re calling it now.”

Yet, this confusion is nothing new. As industry veteran Charlie Fink points out in this Forbes article from last October, the struggle to settle on names for these technologies has existed for nearly 25 years and it doesn’t seem that the matter will be settled anytime soon. At Shockoe, we refer to this group of technologies as Immersive Media, though we will often refer to each individual technology by its specific name. We see VR as creating a new reality that a user enters, AR as augmentation of the physical world via a handset device, and MR as an interactive, head-mounted display based augmentation of the physical world. As the industry continues to evolve, we’ll adjust our naming accordingly to meet the needs of our clients.

Understanding Deployment of Immersive Tech in Enterprise

If 2017 was the year of ideation and stakeholder sell-through for an immersive enterprise, 2018 will be the year of addressing the complexities of deployment at scale. While many companies are already investigating and quantifying the benefits of immersive tech in the workplace, few have begun the significant undertaking of deploying these solutions at scale throughout their organization. Ideation and creation are only the first steps. Moving forward, it’s imperative that IT teams understand all of the potential pain points and best practices throughout the delivery process. They must ensure hardware deployment, content management, and ongoing support are all factored into the equation.

While immersive enterprise deployment is similar to the deployment of mobile technology (also a relatively nascent technology in certain industries), both offer unique challenges that must be considered. The primary consideration is hardware. From AR capable phones to room-scale 6-DOF VR headsets, immersive technology requires a significant investment in hardware for many companies. Furthermore, the logistics of large-scale deployment of these devices is challenging. As such, a clear solution and deployment roadmap that balances capital investment and ROI is crucial.

Once the hardware is accounted for, another significant factor is the content pipeline that is critical to interfacing with immersive experiences. Integrating with existing infrastructure, content management systems, and APIs can often prove overwhelming if not correctly managed, particularly if there are a large number of 3D assets to be implemented. Having a successful pipeline also means maximizing the efficiency of assets (reducing polygons, simplifying textures, etc).

Post-deployment, operational considerations become major factors in the adoption of these new systems and devices. It is critical that organizations train their IT teams to handle the complexities of immersive tech deployment, both for device management and for troubleshooting the new use cases. Organizations that address these factors will increase chances of successful deployment and adoption of immersive technology in 2018.

Integrating AR into Retail Applications

With the 2017 introductions of Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore, 2018 will likely be the year that spatially-aware augmented reality truly enters the mainstream. Given that the current install base for AR capable devices numbers in the tens of millions, the only thing limiting adoption is recognition of use cases and the time needed for the design and development of related applications. It’s crucial, however, that these new apps are addressing actual user needs and solving real organizational problems.

With that in mind, perhaps no better AR use case exists than presenting accurately sized and scaled objects in a spatially correct environment; e.g., Will this sofa actually fit in my living room, and what will it look like? In my estimation, 2018 will see the rise of AR integration into a wide variety of retail applications. From furniture to clothing to groceries, being able to pre-visualize an item in context prior to purchase will be hugely beneficial. Indeed, many major retailers have already integrated AR tech into their apps, the most noteworthy of which is Amazon. In 2018, this tech will shift from a “nice-to-have” feature to a “must have” for retailers to remain competitive.

AR and MR for Data Visualization in the Supply Chain

While the most commonly cited use case for AR is for retail applications, there are some exciting possibilities for AR and MR data visualization throughout the supply chain. For example, Microsoft’s MR Hololens headset is beginning to be used to show real-time overlays on factory and warehouse floors, allowing foremen to see the flow of goods in real-time and manage processes using hands-free interactions. While the technology is still very experimental and expensive, the potential efficiency benefits are massive.

Until MR headsets are a more realistic and affordable option in supply chain operations, AR has significant potential for an affordable and portable visualization option. Assessments and overlays can be easily implemented to increase efficiencies and promote a three-dimensional view of data and/or processes. Just as AR adoption in retail will grow significantly in 2018, enterprises will use AR improve the efficiency of their data management.

Adoption of VR for Training

One of the most prevalently discussed use cases for VR at VRX 2017 was the anticipated adoption of VR corporate training in 2018. Walmart spoke to their success using VR to train employees for scenarios such as Black Friday, as well as their ongoing efforts to train for common management/customer service simulations. Training company StriVR discussed their use of VR training for multiple NFL teams and the benefit of being able to avoid significant injury while still retaining information. Because virtual reality has such a significant amount of experiential presence, it has the potential to form memories the same as if we were to literally experience something. As such, per StriVR, it’s possible to increase retention from 20% with written material to as much as 90% with an experiential material. This kind of efficiency gain will be huge for large organizations looking to improve their training processes.

So when does VR training make sense for an organization? Generally, virtual reality training is most beneficial when standard training would be:

  • Dangerous: Certain equipment or work environments necessitate carefully considered training tools that mitigate the potential for user injury
  • Expensive: Repetitive or expensive tasks that would be prohibitive for training can be repeated at a fraction of the cost
  • Impossible: Certain scenarios are literally impossible to test in current conditions (e.g., going to space, deep-sea exploration, etc.)
  • Rare: Other significantly important scenarios are hard to replicate outside of controlled environments

Look for organizations to significantly adopt VR into their training programs in 2018.

The Emergence of Social VR

It’s often said that the “killer app” for virtual reality is going to be social; after all, Facebook clearly acknowledged the potential of the technology when they acquired Oculus for $2 billion in 2014. While social immersive tech is likely to be adopted more rapidly by consumers than businesses, there is a significant interest in its role in streamlining the efficiency of communication for enterprises. While current teleconferencing and online meeting methods allow for more flexibility than ever, the future of off-site communication likely lies in a world where employees have a sense of presence despite lacking true physicality. Being able to not only see someone but also interpret their facial gestures and body language while moving through space will give business communication a new form of digital intimacy, allowing businesses to improve efficiency while significantly decreasing travel expenses. Look for these applications to make their way into the enterprise in 2018.

 

2018 and Beyond – A Snapshot

  • VR software revenue will reach $17B by 2020, surpassing hardware for the first time
  • VR headset price decreases have led to more consumer adoption in 2017. This trend will continue into 2018
  • For investors in immersive startups, the expectation is that ROI will be slower than traditional tech startups
  • The highest potential for growth in immersive is in enterprise applications
  • Mobile graphics are currently ten years behind desktop and 20x lower quality. But…
  • The future of immersive tech is mobile. Why and how?
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip will have significantly advanced immersive capabilities
  • The NGCodec will compress data by 99%
  • 5G networks will allow for graphics processing in the cloud
  • All of this will combine into device-agnostic experiences that are streamed to any headset, which will only be limited by screen resolution

In Summary

2018 is poised to be a breakout year for immersive technology, particularly in the enterprise space. While consumer and entertainment immersive will continue to have a significant role, it is likely that corporate adoption will push the next wave of XR growth. As companies identify use cases and learn to navigate the complexities of VR, AR, and MR deployment, they will begin to reap the benefits of these new methods of interaction and visualization. Overall, the outlook for 2018 is very bright, and we’re looking forward to pushing the limits of this technology here at Shockoe.

 

Interested in continuing the discussion or investigating how emerging technology can improve your organization? Get in touch with us here.

360° Video vs. True VR: Defining Immersive Media

360° Video vs. True VR: Defining Immersive Media

Dan Cotting

Many brands seem to be hopping onto the VR bandwagon in 2017, presenting themselves as trendsetters in this rapidly evolving, and sometimes confusing, space. With every new content push comes the inevitable slew of headlines in Adweek and Fast Company: “Company X,Y,Z Lets You Dive Into Their New Product In VR,” “Brand A, B, C Presents a VR Experience.” Nine times out of ten, however, when I click the article, I’m presented with an experience that is simply a 360º video being touted as VR. “But 360º video IS VR,” you say! I’m here to argue to you that it’s not.

While I believe that 360º video is very important (read more about us designing in UX and UI in 360º video), and has a place in the new world of immersive media, it is its own medium, and serves a very different purpose than true VR. Given how convoluted the immersive media space is at the moment, I thought it would be helpful to give a quick summary of the types of immersive content that we are starting to see brands using to engage with consumers.

Basic 360º Video

This is the content that you’re seeing often touted as VR in news headlines, and the type of content that Facebook is embracing with its 360º (not to be confused with the content generated by/for their subsidiary, Oculus).  Essentially, 360º video uses a camera with multiple lenses to capture a full 360º view of a scene, stitch it together, and present it to the viewer as the camera saw it. Where basic 360° video falls short as an immersive media is that it lacks true immersion and direction. Often, basic 360° video simply sits in a scene and allows the viewer to look around, thus limiting any true immersion or autonomy.  That being said, it can be a fun and interesting way to introduce a space to a consumer, and it’s very inexpensive as you can just take the input from the camera and upload it to a headset (assuming you’re using an inexpensive camera).

Pros – Very Inexpensive. Extremely short production time.  Greater immersion than still images.

Cons – Almost complete lack of user agency, doesn’t attempt to create personal immersion

Directed, Immersive 360º Video

This is a more immersive form of 360 video that actually directs the scene as if the camera were the viewer. For example, during filming, the actors talk to the camera as if it were a person.  The camera is placed at a height that corresponds with a person’s eye level. What this allows for is a better sense of “there-ness,” as the action is happening around you and directed at you.  Additionally, this form of immersive cinema can begin to include interactive UI elements that actually push this towards true VR (see below), as it allows for the user to have agency around what they’re doing and how they’re doing it.  That being said, while the user may be able to interact with UI elements in a scene, the scene itself is still a collection of previously recorded images, meaning that user agency is still very limited.  While I would argue that this is the next frontier for cinema, and for cinematic, immersive storytelling, I feel that the term virtual reality is improperly used here, as it isn’t enabling a story for the user to craft that is unique to them. They are separate but related media, and they accomplish different (though both wonderful) things.

Pros – Inexpensive, Short production time (but longer than basic), greater immersion than basic 360º video, allows for some directed guidance through UI elements, can include linear story elements, adding to experience

Cons – Still very little to no user agency, often story on rails, still led by story teller rather than user

True Virtual Reality – Directed

This is an experience that involves actual user agency and user choice.  It is typically created fully digitally and rendered in a 3D game engine by an experience design team, though it can also include an amalgamation of immersive cinema and 3D elements.  The key is in the ability for user agency. If there is a large amount of autonomy, it enters the realm of true VR, as the user is the one in control. This (and exploratory VR) are where brands can engage with consumers in new and unique ways that go beyond telling stories, and allow users to craft their own experiences that connect them to the brand.  Unfortunately, this output is more labor intensive, and therefore is more expensive and takes longer to produce.

Pros – very immersive, allows for user decisions and agency,

Cons – Moderately expensive, longer production time, still lacks complete agency

True Virtual Reality – Exploratory

At its most extreme, the user (no longer a viewer) can participate fully in the scene, and choose to do whatever he or she desires. Stare at the ground for 20 minutes, pick things up and throw them around, interact with the environment in a way that substantially alters the path of the message/story: all of these things are the mark of a high degree of autonomy that enables a truly immersive experience.  Though we are limited by technology as of the writing of this, the extreme realization of this exploratory VR would be something so immersive and so autonomous, that a user feels completely transported to another world entirely.

Pros – extremely immersive, significant amount of agency

Cons – expensive to very expensive, much longer production time, hardware limitations prevent massive scope and scale (as of this writing in 2017)

Which types of immersive content are you using to engage with your consumers? Leave us a comment below!

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