Ten Ways To Fathom Immersive Technology

For those of us who don’t always have time to keep up with tech trends, here’s a rundown of the most event-elevating immersives and how best to evaluate them.

The term immersive is big and a little woolly. This isn’t surprising as it has to cover a wide gamut that encompasses both emotional and technological aspects. For our purposes, we’ll define it as creating a compelling digital environment or experience for users that enhances or replaces reality.

Let’s start plumbing the depths by identifying the main types of immersive technology. And, as seeing is believing, we’ve included some fascinating examples…

  1. Virtual Reality (VR). This is the oldest and most established of the breed which focuses on simulating an environment (ranging from realistic to fantastic). Users are immersed in the simulated experience but interactions between the users and the virtual environment are wholly digital. One stunning example is the Paris Louvre’s VR experience featuring the world’s most famous portrait: ‘Mona Lisa: Beyond the Glass’. For a practical corporate application, take a look at Hilton’s use of VR for upskilling many thousands of its hotel staff .
  2. Augmented Reality (AR). Here, computer technology captures the actual environment of users through sophisticated sensors and cameras, then adds visual and/or sound elements to enhance the user experience. With an overlay of digital content over real world views, the user can see the overlay but are unable to physically pick up or walk 360º around it. A great example of this is the game Pokemon Go game which was a craze when it was launched. A popular variant of AR technology is Projection Mapping used in large public areas. The launch event, A Night of Disney+ held in Singapore is a spectacular example.
  3. Mixed Reality (MR). With this technology, the visual and sound sensory overlay is achieved in 3D space, enabling users to interact with the elements – by walking around, zooming-in, handling objects etc. Medical education is a field where MR is seeing increasing use.
  4. Extended reality (XR). Not really a specific type, XR is a general term for technology that merges the simulated and physical worlds to different degrees, using all the current available techniques. Think of it as a mix of VR, AR and MR. See a useful taster by Spatial.io here.

So now we know what all the Rs are about, how do you judge which ones are worth shortlisting for your event? As usual, the starting point is to ask some basic questions…   

5. Aims and Audience      

6. Collaboration among users

7. Budget for equipment and immersive content development

8.Type of venue

9. Use of content

10. Hygiene considerations

You will need to weigh up multifarious factors before taking your first steps into the world of immersive technology and applying it to your event. But do your homework well and the results can be exciting and productive.  

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