Along with an accelerated update, virtual reality market is recording a fundamental change on how the emerging technology is being used to change our life. The days when VR technologies only serve as a means to entertain video players have long gone, and B2B applications will be the next big thing.
Report from Goldman Sachs shows that video games only represents a third of VR software market, while the portion of retail, healthcare, engineering, military and real estate applications are on the rise. All signs show that the timing is ripe.
As a leading player in the market, HTC Vive makes strenuous efforts to be a trailblazer in the field. Here’s the most recent endeavors that the company has made into B2B sector.
HTC Vive released on October 26th an augmented-VR enhanced reading experience via homegrown VIVEPAPER technology in partnership with Condé Nast Traveler. Using a specially designed AR-enabled physical Vivepaper booklet and the VIVE™ virtual reality system (or a compatible cardboard VR viewer), users could gain access to a wide range of interactions for print content, allowing activation of 360° photos and videos, 3D models, 2D content, and audio just by touching a piece of paper.
Vivepaper is a patent pending technology that leverages Vive’s embedded front-facing camera to enable a type of AR on Vive called “video pass-through AR”. Previously, this camera had only been used for the Chaperone system to protect users from running into walls or objects during use.
Vivepaper employs a hybrid AR-VR model called “Augmented Virtual Reality” (A-VR), where by users can enriched virtual experience and added realism by allowing tactile interactions with a physical object, in this case, a paper booklet. Vivepaper represents the beginning of the convergence of VR, MR, and AR on a single device.
More publishers will soon be releasing Vivepaper versions of their content, including China Daily 21st Century English Newspaper, Caixin VR and the Publishing House of Electronics Industry, according to the company.
With the technology, HTC aims to change the way readers consume, and publishers distribute content, while providing a new way for advertisers to reach audiences.
While top VR devices like HTV Vive are still too pricey for average customers, VR arcades have cropped up, allowing customers to test out the experience without spending big bucks. If people are willing to give it a try in arcades, why not hotels.
Just one day after the launch of Vivepaper, HTC is announcing another partnership with IHG, a global group with a broad portfolio of hotel brands, to provide in-room virtual reality experience.
Since October 31st, guests of three pilot hotels under IHG group will be able to try VR either in a “Vive Zone” or in their own rooms for gaming, entertainment and interaction experiences. The service will be extended to more than 100 hotels in the next year, said Alvin W. Graylin, China Regional President of Vive, HTC.
Education, And More
Education is among the first sectors where VR technology finds its application, and its intimacy with VR has been happily growing day-by-day.
“Over the past year, we have been emphasizing the importance of VR application in education because it’s the most natural way for knowledge acquisition.” HTC has partnered up with a group of education platforms such as Udacity and visual learning platform Lifelique.
“Design is another sector where we expect wider application of VR technology, we are planning to launch a product in this vertical very soon. Also, HTC worked with partners in retailing industry to provide the best immersive shopping experience.” Mr. Graylin told TechNode.
“What we are doing now is to build an ecosystem around VR hardware and contents in an attempt to further boost the development of the whole industry.” he noted.