Monthly Archives

April 2016

Ready for VR – or will your children get there first?

By | Blog

From April 15 to 16, the first Nordic 3D Expo took place in Vantaa, Finland. While the majority of the some 30 exhibitors were showing how digital can be transformed into physical via 3D printing, Stereoscape – together with it’s VR partner WorldViz – was demonstrating that you don’t necessarily need to make things physical in the first place. With WorldViz virtual reality solutions for professional applications, you can design, test, develop, and train complex mechanical and other structures even before they exist. Mr Keith Russell, WorldViz director for EMEA, was present at the Stereoscape stand and held a short presentation as one of the speakers of the fair. I had a chance to have a chat with Mr Russell during the event and get a glimpse into the development of VR in professional use.

VR becomes collaborative

2016 has been said to be the year when virtual reality really makes its breakthrough. The drive in entertainment and consumer markets is bringing better, faster, and cheaper VR also into research and industrial use. However, in professional applications, the next real big thing in VR is not the release of new headsets, although that is where all the hype is at the moment. No, the really exciting development that can take the advantages of VR into a whole new level is that you no longer have to be alone in your virtual world. VR is becoming collaborative.  Teams from different parts of the world can now collaborate with each other and be present in the same virtual reality without being in the same place physically.

Imagine a R&D team of engineers and designers – often located in different parts of the world – being able to jointly test and develop complex mechanics and designs, ignoring the physical restrictions of not being in the same place. Seeing the same, feeling the same, being able to test and discuss all at the same time and in the same, virtual, environment. Imagine the opportunities arising – not to mention the cost and other savings from not having to have your best and most expensive experts waste their time in travelling around the globe. Collaborative VR enables the experts to communicate their ideas to the depths by being able to show and test them together with colleagues. “For a while it felt a bit strange, but pretty soon it felt like Andy was standing right next to me although he was on the other side of the world,” Keith Russell described his own experiences of collaborative virtual reality with his colleagues.

True VR will feed all five senses

Alongside with the collaborative element, the next big thing to make ”true virtual reality” is that it will feed all the five senses. True VR is no longer show and tell but it will also be see, hear, taste, touch and smell. This will create a whole new world, for example, for training.

A good example of this, Mr Russell told, is a South African mining company using VR to train its mechanics to perform demanding maintenance and repair tasks inside the mines. Earlier, training was carried out in a traditional classroom setting. But too often that resulted in people (who in theory knew what to do) failing to perform in the difficult working conditions that they are faced with in the mines. The tough and highly stressful conditions inside a mine, some hundred meters down underground, with the heat, the noise, and the cramped space where the work needs to be done is often too much to the classroom trained mechanics. But with the help of VR, the company can simulate the real conditions during the training sessions, preparing the mechanics for the real situation in a way that no classroom can.

Thanks to CAD, the content is already there

The majority of companies in Finland still seem to wait for the right moment to start deploying VR. “The right moment is now – or in fact it was six months ago,” says Keith Russell. In Germany, Italy and France, for example, he sees VR already in common use in several industries: vehicles, cars, trucks, forklifts, architecture, construction, oil & gas etc. According to Mr Russell, there seems to be a, what he calls, “Nordic reserve” when it comes to adopting VR for professional use. The same reserve he recalls from his earlier work history selling CAD systems – the Nordic companies seemed to stick to the drawing desks longer than others. In today’s world, everybody uses CAD. And this paves the way to VR. “Content might have been a problem 10 years ago, but not anymore as everyone is using CAD models,” Mr Russell pointed out.

So thanks to CAD, it is not that big a step to start deploying VR. And thanks to the entertainment push with better, faster and cheaper VR equipment, it is not so expensive either. “An investment of ca. 10 000 euros will get you started,” says Mr Russell.

The consumer market will, for sure, help to spread also the professional use of VR. With new and better VR headsets coming to the consumer markets this year, Keith Russell predicts that especially the younger generation will soon be so familiar with VR that it is no big thing for them to adopt it at work as well. Therefore his message to the Finnish companies still wondering about the right time to jump aboard is clear: “Hurry up or your children are going to make you look ridiculous!“

– Mikko

Welcome to first Nordic 3D Expo Fair

By | News

The Nordic 3D Expo presents 3D professionals, service providers as well as 3D enthusiasts. Come meet us on our stand, A3.

For professionals (free)

Friday 15th of April 9:00 am – 18:00 pm

For general public (10 €)

Saturday 16th of April 9:00 am – 18:00 pm

liput.3dexpo.fi

Energia Areena, Rajatorpantie 23, 01600 Vantaa

Tervetuloa vieraaksemme NORDIC 3D EXPO -messuille perjantaina 15.4.2016 Vantaan Energia Areenalle!

Tietoisku puheenvuorossaan Jukka Vaittinen avaa näkökulmia 3D-visualisoinneista teollisuuden tuotemarkkinoinnissa. Lisäksi yhteistyökumppanimme WorldViz:n Keith Russell puhuu virtuaalitodellisuuden kaupallisesta hyötykäytöstä tänään.

Tule myös vierailemaan osastollamme A3, niin vaihdetaan ajatuksia.

Rekisteröidy vieraaksemme osoitteessa: liput.3dexpo.fi

Ammattitapahtuma perjantaina 15.4.2016 klo 9.00 – 18.00

Maksullinen yleisötapahtuma lauantaina 16.4.2016 klo 9.00 – 18.00

Create more meaning, not just more information – marketers are turning to interactive video

By | Blog

“Information is cheap but meaning is expensive,” said George Dyson, science historian and futurist, a few years ago. In recent years, video has been the answer for creating more meaning in marketing. According to Forrester Research, video has been the fastest growing online ad format.

In digital marketing, the benefits of video content over text are clear and undisputable. In fact, what could be a more compelling, effective, and entertaining way to make your company brand, or product known to your customers than a video? A video on your landing page keeps the visitors longer at your website and allows your brand message more time to sink in. Video is more memorable that written content. Websites with videos have reportedly double the conversion rates of websites with no videos. And to top it all, you can share your video content online not only on your own webpage, but in LinkedIn, Facebook, Vimeo, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter or any other channel you choose. You can take you online content and show it offline at tradeshows, customer meetings, big screens or small screen. The options are limitless and the costs are limited, if any, for sharing your content once it is created.

But are you really creating more value to your customers or just creating more information with little meaning? And how can you measure the value you create? As the amount of video content explodes the harder it is to capture and engage your audience. In fact, some studies report that less than half of the viewers watch online videos all the way through and one third of the drop-offs stop watching your video already during the first 30 seconds. How can you tell how much of you message went though?

Interactive video

Interactive video breaks the linear structure of traditional video by allowing the viewer to make choices to create a personalised experience. By allowing your viewers to interact with your video through touching or clicking, you allow them to take control over their experience, and by doing so, you create more value and more meaning to your audience. The viewers can watch content that is interesting and relevant to them; detailed data or technical information of your product for prospective buyers or a basic overview of the functionalities to the casual viewer. Or you can combine storytelling with e-commerce: Incorporate “shop now” buttons in your interactive video and drive revenue by converting viewers into shoppers.

An example is an an interactive video on optimizing contact center performance, where the viewer’s choices affect what is told in the video. An other example, an interactive video with incorporated “shop now” buttons directed to consumers can be found, comes from the UK liftestyle brand Ted Baker.

Interactivity turns engagement into results

Choice creates interaction, interaction creates data, data creates insight and insight creates ROI. By providing choice within your video you can create a two-way communication that is more valuable to the viewer and to you. The choice you give your viewers leads to increased engagement. The more your viewers engage with your content the more data you collect as every click can be tracked. This way interactive video is going to give you much deeper insight into how you message is received, what your viewers are interested in and what not, or what their understanding of your product is. The data can also tell you weather or not you actually are effectively communicating with your audience.

A recent study on interactive videos by Demand Metric Research Corporation in 500+ US companies shows that 66% of respondents reported more engagement, 44% longer viewing times, and 39% understanding audience behavior as the top benefits of interactive videos. The same study also shows that the greater the usage of interactive videos in a company was, the bigger the benefits experienced were; this in particular with benefits directly related to increased revenues and ROI.

Metrics from the interactive video platform Wirewax show that 67% of the audience will interact, 3 times each. Engagement times are 3.5 times longer than for non-interactive videos, while shoppable videos show a 16%–48% click-through rate. Indeed it looks like interactive videos not only generate more engagement, but manage to turn that engagement into results.

Blog image 2 - Helena 3, 02042016-2

 

 

 

 

 

Interactivity, visualisation and storytelling – an unbeatable trio

With interactivity you can deliver large amounts of information in a format that allows the viewers to make choices based on their preferences and interests. Add visualisation and good storytelling, and you can deliver your message in a compelling and immersive way that leaves a trace in the viewer’s mind. Interactive video doesn’t have to be all video; add 3D animations, slideshows, reports, data visualisations, or other interactive supplements to deliver your message and create meaning to you story.

Take a look at GE World in Motion, for example. General Electric, a traditional industrial company transformed into a leading digital industrial company, is using visual content to deliver their message on digital platforms. The amount of information in “GE world in motion” is massive: 12 regions, eight themes and five different formats. If all of that information were to be delivered in a single – very long – video, would you watch all of that information in one go (let alone read all of it if it was all in one text document)? But with interactivity, the content is yours to play around with. It’s interesting and it is fun, and you find yourself clicking more and more of the hotspots on that GE globe just to see what’s in there. Or, if you are looking for some specific information, you just go straight to where you want. No time wasted on irrelevant information that is meaningless to your needs.

One-way communication – the good old “sit back and watch” video – will for sure always exist, even online. However, interactivity is coming strong and it does have clear and measurable benefits over traditional video content. With interactivity, visualisation and good storytelling you can reach new heights in your digital communication. So why not give it a try?

Stereoscape Presented Virtual Reality’s Business Opportunities in Seinäjoki

By | News

On Thursday 31st of March Seinäjoki in Western Finland was the meeting point for companies, students and researches interested in virtual reality. “Virtuaalitodellisuus nyt” (Finnish for “Virtual Reality Now”) seminar and mini exhibition arranged by SeAMK (Seinäjoki College for Applied Sciences) gathered a good number of audience interested in seeing and learning more about where virtual reality is today and what it can be used for. The seminar served a good mix of presentations from pioneering companies in virtual reality while the mini exhibition allowed visitors a real-life taste of how virtual reality is used in different fields; from comics and gaming to marketing and design, from construction and architecture to real estate or research and education.

One of the speakers at the seminar was Juuso Pihamaa from Stereoscape. In his presentation Juuso concentrated rather on pointing out the benefits and competitive advantage companies have reached using virtual reality rather than just showcasing different solutions. Sharing examples and experiences from world’s leading companies like Ford or Rolls Royce Juuso showed how companies have managed to create real competitive advantage and considerable cost savings by using virtual reality in, for example, R&D and production. Using virtual reality in marketing can be a good way to lower the threshold for getting familiar with virtual reality, said Juuso. The results from marketing might not always be that easily quantifiable but it can deliver results none the less. From this Juuso told an example from Stereoscape’s own case, a virtual reality solution delivered to Neste earlier this year. At the exhibition where it was used people queued at the Neste stand to try it out and then left the stand with a smile on their faces.

In Seinäjoki Stereoscape also had a stand at the mini exhibition where Antti Granqvist demonstrated two different solutions. One was the solution created by Stereoscape for Neste where the visitors got the opportunity to travel into an engine of a car together with Neste’s renewable diesel. The other, “Walk the plank” created by WorldViz – one of Stereoscape’s partners – took the visitors for a virtual trapeze walk. Although quite many of the visitors already had some previous experience of virtual reality, a comment that Antti heard often during the day was:

“Wow, I did’t know you could create a feeling that is this real!”

All together the event in Seinäjoki was a positive experience. It demonstrated that there is a lot of potential in virtual reality and that the interest for its commercial use is increasing.

The presentations from the seminar can be watched on Youtube – Juuso’s presentation (in Finnish) starts at ca 51 min.

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