On May 16 I attended VRWorld in London, a two day event on augmented, mixed and virtual reality. It reinforced my thoughts on the ever-changing landscape of VR, and I have created a three step plan to keep up.
Virtual, augmented and mixed reality is an exciting world and our imaginations are running wild with the possibilities. It feels like every week there is a new experience, new challenge, or new technologies for us to learn about, get to grips with and enjoy.
While this is great for the news feeds, it makes for a difficult, ever-changing development environment. It can be hard to keep up.
Mobile VR v. high-end devices
At the event, I went to several of the talks and panels which discussed the future of VR/AR and MR technologies, content and development and I also walked around the show floor, talking to many of the companies and trying out some of the experiences on offer.
As the day went on I began to see a major difference in focus between the talks and the exhibits.
Mobile apps dominate discussion
The talks and panels covered a wide range of topics from the uses of VR in mental health treatment, to predictions on the future of the technology and questioning if VR is just the latest tech fad like 3DTV.
Many interesting points were made throughout the talks, but one which kept being made was the significance in the rise of mobile VR in the last two years, and its domination of the market thanks to devices such as the Samsung Gear VR and Google Devices (Cardboard and to a lesser extent Daydream).
The exhibition floor contained stands including developers showcasing their latest release, engineers demonstrating their latest peripheral devices, and companies offering solutions to help make the development of VR/AR and MR content easier and more streamlined.
Apart from a few exceptions, the floor was dedicated to the high-end hardware devices such as Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
How not to be left behind
This difference in focus between the two areas of the VRWorld event is an example of how fast paced development of VR/AR and MR technologies is. Mobile isn't just growing in popularity - it's already there.
We need to be quick to adapt and take advantage of the speed of the industry.
So how can we achieve this?
1. Content creation across platforms
Whether this is independently or in partnership with others, keep creating content to push your skills, help you learn and also demonstrate the possibilities of the technology.
These projects should be developed for the mobile platforms that are out now and coming soon, ensuring that we gain the knowledge necessary to develop with multiple platforms.
I suggest not tying yourself down to only one solution and platform, when there are so many options available.
2. Flexible development
To maintain flexibility with development, you could use Unity3D Engine.
It allows you to quickly analyse and shift focus when needed due to its ability to support the many different platforms that are currently available.
When new technologies are released, the Unity3D Engine is the first to provide support.
It’s so important to attend events and study the market. To meet, collaborate, discuss and learn from other developers and enterprises. Thanks to to our great location we have access to the many events hosted in and around Cambridge and London, such as VRWorld and other smaller events.
No matter how much we learn by ourselves there is always something new to learn about from others.