Tag Archives: vr

Walmart’s Terrifying Metaverse Experience

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Do you hate going outside? Are you an introvert who prefers to avoid human contact? Do you wish to stay at home but miss the experience of doing groceries? Worry not because Walmart is on it.

Walmart VR shopping experience

Walmart, Inc., was founded in 1962 and focused its early growth in rural areas, avoiding direct competition with retail giants such as Sears and Kmart. Walmart became one of the largest grocers in the United States within a decade of opening the combination of grocery and merchandise Supercenters. Emphasizing customer attention by implementing direct mail advertising, low-cost imports, and focusing on the efficiency of its distribution networks through regional warehousing allowed Walmart to become the largest retailer in the United States in 1990. Walmart’s revenues doubled by 1995 after the owner’s passing, and by 1999 the company had become the largest private employer in the world, as well as the largest corporation in the world.

The company’s development has reached its peak, and now to stay at the top, they are trying to come up with more innovative and shocking customer-gaining solutions. While researching this topic, I have met with a question: “Walmart is joining the metaverse. Are we ready?” – Are we ready for what? Does Walmart’s marketing team think that people do groceries for fun? Is this really where this world is headed? It’s not progress; it’s regress. All this makes me wonder what the Walmart shopper wants to buy in a virtual world anyway?

According to William White, Walmart’s marketing chief, the company will use Roblox as a testing ground as it considers other moves in the metaverse. The experiences, according to him, were created with the next generation of consumers in mind, notably Gen Z, who is widely seen as being between the ages of 25 and under. White stated that the business hopes to gain knowledge from the collaboration.

Walmart Land on Roblox

Currently, Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play are the two primary game experiences available on the Roblox platform. The store is also experimenting with new methods of customer contact, especially in light of how the pandemic has altered consumer purchasing patterns and increased their use of social media, apps, and gaming websites. Walmart is attempting to bridge the gap between the online and offline worlds. A music festival featuring Madison Beer, Kane Brown, and Yungblud will perform during the virtual event “Electric Fest” in October on Walmart Land; a ton of different games and a shop of virtual goods, or “verch,” that mirrors what customers could find in Walmart’s physical stores and on its website are all part of the retail giant’s first excursion into the virtual world. The big-box store has also held live events that were shoppable and streamed on TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube. Additionally, it has launched a service on Pinterest that uses augmented reality to let customers envision how furniture or other decors might appear in their homes.

For the time being, Walmart won’t profit from its immersive experiences. Instead, players may use tokens and other prizes from Roblox to purchase virtual goods. National brands, such as Skullcandy headphones and the toy company L.O.L. Surprise!, were integrated into the experiences based on demand from the younger gaming demographic of Roblox. However, White suggested that in the future, Walmart may profit from it by charging a brand for inclusion or by attempting to convert users’ virtual experiences into in-person or online shop visits.

Walmart Land has a virtual changing room featuring clothing from its exclusive fashion lines, such as Free Assembly, as well as an obstacle course made up of gigantic goods from the retailer’s Gen Z-focused cosmetic brands, such as Bubble skin care products and Uoma by Sharon C makeup.

During the Covid epidemic, Roblox attracted a lot of new users and made its stock market debut. The gaming platform reportedly saw an increase in daily active players from 32.6 million in 2020 to over 52 million. Although the firm claims it is drawing users of all ages, traditionally, it has attracted more young children and teenagers. Although Roblox has a market cap of roughly $21.2 billion, its shares have fallen by about 66% so far this year.

We constantly risk becoming lost in the future race, especially when the newest technological revolution is powering it. We can get caught up in designing these next-generation products and experiences, as we have all seen before, only to find that no one actually wants them. It appears that no one wants to be left behind – but are we really clear about where we are going with the metaverse?

Sources:

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Walmart

https://www.forbes.com/sites/phillempert/2022/01/26/walmart-is-joining-the-metaverse-are-we-ready/

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/09/26/walmart-enters-the-metaverse-with-roblox.html

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VR is on a new level. Emerge Home allows a tactile experience.

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Nowadays, VR techs are actively developing and in the next article one of such cutting-edge technologies will be described. The Emerge Home system is a breakthrough, which allows you not only to immerse yourself in the world of virtual reality and metaverses but also to feel the inner virtual space with bare hands. It is not just a VR set that allows you to see the 3D objects in the virtual worlds or games, but also to interact with them, to sense their shape, and help the user to get as much VR experience as possible, transporting him or her into the virtual world with just a few clicks. 

The Emerge Home system is currently at the development stage, and its VR kit consists of two main tech components and a mobile application. 

How does everything work?

The first tech component that helps the user to enlarge his VR experience is a VR headset (Emerge Home Quest 2 app). 

The second component is the Emerge Wave-1 desktop device that conveys a physical experience with breakthrough technology. Sculpted ultrasonic waves on the surface of the system create a field in the air up to three feet above the device itself and allow users to interact with virtual objects. Moreover, the system itself is similar in size to a thirteen-inch laptop.  

For the final step, the user has to install a dedicated Emerge Home mobile app, which allows him or her to connect the devices, customize the avatar and set a Center environment. Moreover, this application is capable of sending messages, creating rooms, and inviting your friends before gathering in the metaverse.

Based on research conducted by the National Research Group, It can be concluded that more than half of potential customers (78% of respondents) claim that when communicating with people virtually, they lack the opportunity of physical contact, and this cutting-edge VR system can significantly improve the situation. 

However, there is a high risk that, in the nearest future, live communication, which is an important factor in human interactions, will be replaced by such kinds of technologies. 

Any breakthrough in science is valuable. Some people may find it useful, while others may see it as technology that brings more harm. However, Emerge’s expertise can help the science and progress of virtual reality, and not only facilitate human interaction but also lead to new innovations that follow.


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VR for mental health – How beneficial is it? Should you use it today?

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A brief story about VR

To understand when VR started, it is important to define the term. VR or Virtual Reality is:

The use of computer technology to create a simulated environment. Unlike traditional user interfaces, VR places the user inside an experience. Instead of viewing a screen in front of them, users are immersed and able to interact with 3D worlds. By simulating as many senses as possible, such as vision, hearing, touch, even smell, the computer is transformed into a gatekeeper to this artificial world. The only limits to near-real VR experiences are the availability of content and cheap computing power.” (marxentlabs.com)

Some argue that the idea of virtual reality was born in the 19th century with panoramic paintings, such as the battle of Racławice exposed in Wrocław since 1947, which aimed to immerse the spectator in the setting. Yet, the true VR concept was born in the 1930s thanks to the writer Stanley G. Weinbaum in Pygmalion’s Spectacles. In his science fiction novel, he mentions the use of glasses that would make the wearer perceive a fictional world (with sight but also smell, taste, and touch).

VR as we know it will have to wait for the 1960s and the help of Ivan Sutherland, an American IT engineer. Sutherland will create what he calls the “Ultimate Display”, which according to him, is as follows:

“The ultimate display would, of course, be a room within which the computer can control the existence of matter. A chair displayed in such a room would be good enough to sit in. Handcuffs displayed in such a room would be confining, and a bullet displayed in such a room would be fatal. With appropriate programming, such a display could literally be the Wonderland into which Alice walked.” 

Ivan Sutherland will become one of the VR pioneers in history, and thanks to his game “Sword of Damocles”, the world will consider his work as the archetype of modern VR.

The name VR will have to wait until 1987, when the founder of the virtual programming lab (VPL), came up with the term “Virtual Reality”.

25 years later, co-founder of the “Oculus rift” Palmer Lucky would take the contraption to a whole new level. His invention had so much potential that Facebook would eventually purchase the Oculus, 2 years later. Google would try to retaliate by making VR accessible to all thanks to its “Google Cardboard”. Unfortunately for them, this will only become a fad and would never reach the same success as the Oculus.

VR and Therapy

Even though the origins of VR were mostly focused on science fiction and video games, the technology had a serious impact on the medical industry. The first treatments ever began in the 1990s with the help of computer scientist Larry Hodges and psychologist Barbara Rothbaum. It turned out that the result of their research proved to be beneficial in treating phobias, especially: acrophobia (the fear of heights). With such a breakthrough in psychological science, Albert Carlin and Hunter Hoffman, both psychologists, theorized VR as being a potential cure against arachnophobia (the fear of spiders).

Studies have continuously been made in the field of VR healthcare, and many conclusions have been made that the technology could be used for PTSD, anxiety-related disorders, and phobias in general. Emmy-nominated journalist, Hannah Kuchler says: “People on opiates could be given a VR tour of what their body would look like after years of addiction”, suggesting that VR could play a major role against addictive disorders.

According to statista.com: “As of 2018, the North American healthcare AR and VR industry was valued at 477 million U.S. dollars. By 2025, that is expected to increase dramatically to 4.64 billion U.S. dollars.” The business perspective for such technology is underlyingly huge. With all the studies, all the positive feedback from the doctors and the patients, what could be the challenges for the technology?

Challenges to VR

With respect to Dr. Kalpana Srivastava, side effects to VR are: dizziness, nausea, headache, eye strain, reduced limb control, reduced postural control, decreased sense of presence, and the development of responses inappropriate to the real world”. In other words, to be optimal and ready to be used efficiently, engineers still need to find a way to better VR.

With the exponential growth of VR in healthcare, one can hope that companies will make the technology side-effectless and hopefully financially accessible to most people.

Should you use VR?

VR has proved through history to be beneficial for mental health, there is even a word for it: VR exposure therapy (VRET). Its scalability is incontestable, and anxiety disorders being the most common of mental disorders “affecting nearly 18.1% of adults” (frontiersin.org, 2019), the potential is more than just promising.

In my humble opinion, if I had to recommend VR for health issues, I would definitely do so. For the skeptics, alternatives still exist today such as traditional therapy, or on the more unconventional spectrum, hypnosis. Yet, with all the studies and practices that have been done, it is clear that if you suffer from mental health disorders, VR is a solution today.

Sources used:

https://careersinpsychology.org/why-virtual-reality-transform-mental-health-treatment/#:~:text=Therapists%20began%20to%20use%20virtual,therapy%20in%20mental%20health%20treatment

https://www.ft.com/content/1a9a4cac-83cb-11e8-96dd-fa565ec55929

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1033162/healthcare-ar-and-vr-market-forecast-worldwide-by-region/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4361984/

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00773/full#:~:text=Incorporating%20VR%20in%20therapy%20can,in%20vivo%20or%20imaginal%20exposure.

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Now all GAMERS can experience something NEW…

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VR Gaming.

Probably, you have heard about virtual reality. And now it is becoming more and more popular among gamers all over the world. Therefore, companies are creating more games supporting VR.

 

The original idea of Virtual Reality was to create a world close to the real environment, to make a player believe that he is the protagonist of this plot and immerse him into the story.

To achieve that innovators have to make this reality so indistinguishable from the real world. Even now they are developing various devices, for instance, VR helmets, hand controllers, gloves with additional sensors, which allow monitoring the exact position of each finger. However, one Belarusian company called TESLASUIT has created something more than just a VR device.

Feelings go to a new level.

Teslasuit – is a breakthrough in VR Gaming, because it allows its users to feel the environment. This suit is equipped with climate control, biometric and motion capture sensors.

So, what does it mean?

It means, that a player can feel everything, what happens with the main character in-game. For example, the player can feel the weather in a desert (warm temperatures), strokes from the bullets (not so painful as in real life) and even touches of other game characters integrated into the game.

All these are available due to electric pulses that stimulate your muscles.

Moreover, developers created a flexible system of settings, which allows integrating this suit into almost all games easily. And now, all game developers are capable of implementing this device into their VR games.

Other benefits.

Although the main aspect of using this suit is gaming, the costume can be used in sports training. For instance, first of all, the movements of a professional sportsman are recorded with a system of motion capture. Then, a newcomer wears a suit, and his movements are compared with the movements of a professional. If the system identifies, that a newcomer is doing something wrong, it will send a signal and will ask him to adjust his movements.

Furthermore, this suit and VR helmet will help to train highly specialized staff, who work in dangerous conditions. For example, workers who drilling the well.

 

 

The Teslasuit developers believe that such a system of monitoring muscle activity can be beneficial in medicine too. They are developing a neural network that will recognize the underlying disease. For instance, such systems can be installed into a simple T-shirt or trousers, and you do not need to visit a doctor, you can send him a history of your muscles condition and the doctor can establish the diagnosis without your physical presence.

This device of a new generation offers to all gamers a great chance to get new game experience, and also can be applied in other fields of activity.

So, if you had a chance to experience everything that the main hero feels, would you try this suit on and save the world?

(I know, almost all of you are thinking of “The Witcher 3. Wild Hunt.”)

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Sources:

=> https://34mag.net/ru/post/teslasuit-rus

=> https://teslasuit.io/

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The future of gaming – Teslasuit

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Probably most of you are familiar with VR. Not that long ago, we could see it only in movies, but nowadays thanks to Oculus Rift, it started becoming a more mainstream option of entertainment. Well, now imagine that there’s a device that enables you to not only see everything as if you were there, but also to feel it. That’s what Tesla’s new invention is all about.

Teslasuit was presented at CES 2019, where influencers and journalists could even try out the prototype version. It is a new generation of smart clothing. Moreover, it is a full body suit, made from waterproof neoprene, filled with multiple censors, which right now add up to 68. Since it’s waterproof, it is fully washable. Just put it into your washing machine and enjoy the fresh smell. Additionaly, Tesla’s spokesperson stated that by the time that they will hit the market, number of censors will be even higher. Although all of this information may not seem as impressive for you at this moment, let me explain briefly what can it do.

This clothing with the use of haptic feedback can simulate the feeling of touch, bumping into a wall and even getting kicked or punched. It seems pretty futuristic, doesn’t it? Of course everything is done with safety measures, so that it doesn’t hurt you. You can even adjust the power of the sensations, if it’s too much for you, but that’s not all. Let’s ignore for a second the ‘less important’ fact that it measures your biometric data like heart rate and how do you feel overall. It actually can make you feel different temperatures.

Now imagine, that you play Call of Duty or some other FPS game and you have a mission located somewhere in Siberia with -30°C, there are plenty of enemies nearby trying to kill you and you can feel it all! The temperature, bullets hitting you, touching the ground, your weapon, simply everything. Of course it won’t be as real as the real pain or temperature, but it definitely will be different and much better than sitting in front of a computer or a TV on your couch.  I don’t know how do you feel about it, but to me it seems amazing. 

 

It provides the sensations, anything from stroke to hard impact … but the hard impact we’ve specifically limited to the own wearer’s strength, not to damage any tissue or anything, to keep it safe.” (Digital Trends).

 

Imagine the possibilities that this equipment creates. In my opinion, it can even help with obesity to some extent. All of the gamers in order to keep playing, will have to burn all of this calories by moving inside of their houses constantly. That’s definitely not something that you can do, while being overweight. Your actual physical abilities will determine, how good you are at certain games.

Although I’m really enthusiastic about this kind of gaming, let’s talk about some other aspects of this technology, since playing games just isn’t for everyone. In future, it may enable us to for example go explore different countries or watch a NBA game, from the comfort of our own house, just for few bucks.  It can even be some form of communication between friend’s and family. Imagine that you are in a long-distance relationship. This technology will enable you to not only talk face-to-face, but feel the presence of your partner. This just blows my mind.

Here you can see a quick video of how people reacted to Teslasuit at CES 2019

It all sounds amazing, but nothing there’s always a catch. Well, the device itself isn’t so cheap. It may cost several thousand of dollars and it’s only wholesaled. The price will probably go down as the interest of the product will go up in future, but it definitely isn’t a product for everyone, as for now. Still, in my opinion it’s totally worth it, if you can lands your hands on it.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments. 

 

Reference list:

1. Miranda, F. (2019, January 13). The Teslasuit could turn Black Mirror’s terrifying ‘Playtest’ into a reality. https://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/teslasuit-experience-ces-2019/

2. null. (2018, December 31).The TeslaSuit, VR, and Gaming Potential. https://www.gamedesigning.org/gaming/teslasuit/

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