Day 1 of the 2016 Virtual Reality Analytics Web Summit started with a lively presentation from Jesse Schell of Schell Games and the energy level never let up. Day 2 was a full 8-hour online conference featured a full day of conversation about the current and future state of analytics and big data for the virtual reality industry. Here are four top insights from the conference:
1. User tracking practices represent the next frontier for VR
Object telemetry, biometrics, heat maps, optical tracking, as well as the evolving understanding of best practices for and understanding of user engagement in virtual reality will help track and analyze what users respond to in virtual reality. These analytics and data will help companies experiment and quickly change their content to a user-friendly version before it hits the market.
“User testing and tracking is essential to the development of what works for the virtual reality industry. This will help normalize the diverse market of hardware and content, "said Jody Medich, Director of Design, Singularity University. Medich is also former lead UX designer at Microsoft HoloLens and Leap Motion.
2. Matching action to game play is the best way for gamers to use VR
Most aspects of virtual reality gaming are untested and the best way to improve game play is to experiment and test. Because the industry is largely experimental, it is worth it to invest now while the barrier to entry is low.
Executives from Masters of Pie and Dubit Limited have found that matching mechanics to controls in the game are the most comfortable method of gameplay for gamers. Gamers have a better measured response when they are able to do the action they are performing in the game. This aids with the immersive feel of virtual reality and augmented reality gaming. The sense of immersion felt in virtual reality gaming adds to the focus on game play and causes the players to shut out the outside world. Both Masters of Pie and Dubit Limited have figured this out through game testing and analyzing how gamers respond throughout game play.
“It is fascinating to see that no one has dominated the VR gaming field and everyone is experimenting,” said Karl Maddix, Director, Masters of Pie.
3. Gaming is important, but it's not the only important market opportunity
The virtual reality industry is evolving and changing quickly while it is maturing. This has expanded the market beyond VR gaming and 360 video. “VR gaming is important, but it's not everything,” said Sunny Webb, Senior R&D Principal, Accenture.
Business are using virtual reality to develop content in diverse ways and design for different hardware. Virtual reality could be used for businesses to communicate and interact even though they are hundreds of miles apart. “Virtual reality can interact with any object that generates data, which can have open possibilities, even in medical,” said Steve Ehrlich, Vice President, Space-Time Insights.
Another market that was discussed at length as a hugely profitable market was the live sports market. Virtually Live announced that they are partnering with STATS.com to create recreate sports experiences in virtual reality. Tom Impallomeni, CEO of Virtually Live, described how his company uses tags and other optical technology to create a replica of an actual sporting venue. “Using real-world data, tracked objects are transposed into the virtual venue and all player positions and motions are captured and delivered in real-time. Fans can enter the virtual world and interact with their friends and other virtual visitors through chat and audio/video channels,” said Impallomeni.
4. Advertisers can use virtual reality to interact with consumers like never before
Advertising will need to evolve their current 360-degree video experiments into more immersive and interactive content to be effective in virtual reality. “The creative is key to a successful return on investment with virtual reality. Virtual reality is a new opportunity for consumers to interact with a product so the creative needs to able to stand alone as content,” said Cameron Peebles, CMO, Airpush.
“Impulse to take what worked in video and place in VR but tradition won’t work,” said Alejandro Dinsmore, CEO,EEVO.
To listen to the full audio conference, visit the event landing page here.