Author Archives: Allison Yashay

How DT&L and Virtual Reality Changed Me

Hello everyone! For my blog post this week, I thought it’d be fun to share a video of how DT&L, and Virtual reality really opened my eyes. In the video I discuss my reasons why I took Disruption, Technology, and Law, what VR and AR are, and the most interesting aspects of them I learned. It’s been an eye opening class, and I don’t regret taking it at all. DT&L is and always will be an eye opening class. I have learned more about myself that in any other course. Enjoy my video, and feel free to leave comments!

Poll for the Future Results

Are you familiar with disruptive technology? What about virtual and augmented realities? Over the past two week, we have created a survey to analyze people’s understanding and opinion on VR and AR. The following results were complied to show some shocking results. Poll of the Future explain in depth about the results that we found, as well as providing answers to how VR and AR can disrupt the workforce and daily lives.

Fast Delivery…Even Faster

Imagine ordering an item online, and having it delivered within the hour. Sounds impossible right? Well for British luxury etailer Matchesfashion.com it’s not so impossible. During the Women’s Wear Daily Global Fashion Forum in Beijing, CEO Ulric Jerome stated that in the next 18 months one-hour delivery will be the norm in big cities. In addition, the company is also looking at 360-degree video ahead of a move into virtual reality. Surprisingly, Jerome dismissed the need to use drones to achieve the ambitious delivery target, saying airspace regulations could be a stumbling block. Instead, he’d rather focus on perfecting fast delivery. But what fueled this bold mover? Mobile sales are moving upwards with 48% of sales now coming from either a smartphone or tablet. As luxury shoppers are said to be “the most connected customer in the world,” and Jerome is working on another initiative to help Matchesfashion.com with customer engagement. He plans on doing so with stylized shoppable fashion videos. These videos will act as the stepping stones towards 360 degree videos, which will give customers the freedom to interact with the 420 brands the online retailer offers and later virtual reality. Matches sees the importance of joining fashion and technology. Thus, they plan on launching the 360 videos first, and follow up with virtual reality. In the below video, Jerome speaks about E-Commece and the future of retail in the luxury space.

Loss of Human Touch

On one hand we need to look at how close virtual reality (VR) can come to being the same as the physical world or an authentic experience. And on the other hand we need to look at the ways that VR can enhance the human touch, like the visualizations of an architect or the experiences students have through VR that are impossible in the real world. VR is currently a rarity, not in the sense that there are only a few products, but in the sense that not too many consumers have purchased them. However we should be ready for a huge surge in the purchase and sale of VR devices according to a prediction made by Forrester.

Virtual reality is known for taking a user to an imaginary realistic world with goggles. Augmented reality (AR), meanwhile, is known for allowing a user to see and interact with imaginary things in real life through a device.

The video (mature content) above describes and displays how a device can allow you to experience the physical connection of being the opposite sex. The human touch is mutual between the two users. Each action is taken with caution and the view is in the goggles of the opposite user. This gives the users the true perspective of the physical attributes of being a male or female. This human touch experiment provides the opposite user empathy for the opposite sex as well as enlightenment. Not only are you seeing out of their eyes, but you are given the illusion of touching what they touch. You ultimately become someone else for some time and learn about the other person quite quickly.

There is no doubt that advancements in virtual reality have changed the way we behave. VR has made us more connected, informed, educated, and aware of disruptive innovation. Sounds like a good thing right? But what about human touch? What about in-person connectivity and social interaction? Is that lost forever? Are we developing into a society that no longer possesses skills for real life relationships? Oculus creator Palmer Luckey says if you can perfectly simulate reality, why do you need to actually go see people in real life? In our lives we exhibit emotions, hold relationships with others, play, fight, and so on. We each play a role in each other’s lives. Throughout our lives we have learned social values, morals, and actions. We learn what is socially acceptable, and how to behave. We are now faced with a challenge. If we adapt virtual reality into our lives, how will human touch last?

It is quite possible that the concept of human touch will evolve. While physical touch may become more obsolete, other methods of ‘touching’ people could become more emphasized with VR and AR. For instance, a California startup has developed Altspace VR, a social platform for people to connect with each other in a more personal way than, say, a group chat. According to this article by Virtual Reality Reporter, using a virtual platform like this that is unbound by physical reality allows people to be more imaginative and specific in how they create and share meaning with one another.

Additionally, AR technologies such as the Meta 2 are groundbreaking in that they allow people to collaborate in both a physical and virtual reality simultaneously. In the first few minutes of his TED Talk, Meron Gribetz explains how our currently integrated technologies (smartphones, laptops, tablets, etc.) can still create a disconnect between human interaction. We hear it all the time; many people argue that people are becoming less sociable because of technology. But, according to Gribetz, AR is designed to enhance human interaction and capabilities.

How will this affect the visual arts, which are currently and primarily physical representations of things? Will the arts become overshadowed by fascinations in digital expression, or will the delicate, flawed stroke from a human hand on a muddy canvas become all the more precious? Or perhaps the potential scarcity of physical human touch will become all the more valuable? With the integration of VR we will be able to take more risks with less fear of their consequences – after all, regardless of what happens in virtual reality, our physical body is safe. That being said, will we develop a deeper appreciation for pain and the lessons it teaches us?

The implications of VR and AR’s effect on human touch are huge, while the underlying question remains; can VR and AR replace the interactions that humans have with one another and/or replace the interaction that we have with nature? This article from GameSpot.com puts it very well; the author says that he enjoys speaking to people face to face, and enjoys spending time outdoors in nature. However the author then questions, similar to Luckey, why these authentic experiences would be different from the same experience in VR or AR if they become indistinguishable. It frightens people when reality is replaced with a virtual form. For example, in the Disney Pixar movie Wall-E, humans develop a lazy mentality to a point where they have replaced basic human abilities with virtual technology. This prediction seems dramatic and unfounded, but many people have a similar fear that the human race will become even more lazy than we already are because of this technology. The bottom line is that we shouldn’t expect the human touch to go away anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean that it may slowly be replaced by virtual experiences.

Virtual vs Augmented Reality

The formal definition of virtual reality (VR) is an artificial world of images and sounds created by a computer that is affected by the actions of a person who is experiencing it or in other words, it is a device that brings 2D objects, pictures, or ideas to life.

To understand the concept of virtual reality we must first understand where VR comes from. In the 1950’s Morton Heilig developed something he called the Sensorama. This was one of the first immersive forms of technology. Ten years later in 1960 Morton produced and patented something he called the Telesphere Mask. The first VR device to incorporate a head mounted display (HMD). This device was extremely limited in its functions and did not include motion tracking. In 1965 Ivan Sutherland had an essay published that explained a conceptual basis for early virtual reality, his essay was called “The Ultimate Display”. In this essay he established a clear conceptual path for digitized reality; having a computerized world or reality where physical object and matter can be created and used for human interaction that are as real as the tangible world we love in. In essence he was the first to come up with the idea of tangible objects that can be interacted with by people in a virtual reality. Later, in 1987, the name virtual reality was born. “Jaron Lanier, founder of the visual programming lab (VPL), coined (or according to some popularized) the term ‘virtual reality’”. In the following years many films and pieces of literature were used to popularize the research of VR and its many capabilities. Sega and Nintendo both attempted to create their own VR headset in the 90s, but they failed as products due to limitations on the software used to incorporate different games. The failure of these products to be profitable in the 1990s was a bit of a setback for VR, but as the hardware and software capabilities of companies like Google, HTC, Facebook, and Sony increased there was an explosion of advanced VR headsets into the marketplace.

Virtual reality products sold through Google include goggles, headsets, monitors, video case holders, glasses, etc.These products truly make up the factors and benefits for virtual reality. Virtual Reality will ultimately take over many careers and jobs from the already failing market. A VR set can place you anywhere in the world with a simple click.

VR gives us millennials a better perspective on how the world has evolved and how much our world, culture, politics, government, economy, social aspects of life, and so on has changed because of these helpful and intimidating technological advancements brought to our lives. Virtual Reality is most certainly changing the way industries are operating, but from a higher level perspective, it is transforming our world, for the better.

Augmented reality is the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real time. Unlike virtual reality, which creates a totally artificial environment, augmented reality uses the existing environment and overlays new information on top of it. Augmented Reality functions by enhancing one’s current perception of reality. Augmentation is conventionally in real-time and in semantic context with environmental elements, such as sports scores on TV during a match. With the help of advanced augmented reality technology, the world becomes interactive and digitally manipulable. The sports industry has been using augmented reality for years. Slow-motion could be described as a form of augmented reality, since it gives you the chance to examine what happened in a situation more carefully. AR took its first baby steps into the world about eight years ago. All that was needed to do was strap on 10kg of computing power – laptop, camera, vision processor. AR has changed a lot in eight years. With the rise of more powerful smartphones and computers that have built-in video capabilities, AR becomes more convenient and accessible. A second reality can simply be overlaid onto real life. Both the iPhone and Android systems are capable of overlaying information on top of a picture or video.

AR and VR technologies are still only at the beginning of their potential growth – just sparks before their explosions. Yet already, companies are beginning to adapt. Almost an entire year ago, WSJ explained how to use VR to view their news with a 360 degree outlook. The world is slowly coming to realize that this is the newest and hippest trend.

In anticipation of this, our team is gearing up for big change just like the big tech companies are. This Project will be a journey that dives into both VR and AR and examines their disruptive impact on the world. After this assessment, our group will be searching for tangible and practical responses to these disruptive technologies. Intended to be more than just a combobulation of our thoughts, we hope that this Project will change the way we perceive into the present and future as well as give us guidance on how we can address these disruptive technologies in our respective careers.

The Fitting Room Revolutionized

Imagine never having to try on another article of clothing at a store again. Sounds crazy right? From online to offline, augmented and virtual reality is transforming the fitting room experience for consumers. Retail leaders are confident that virtual reality will change the way consumers interact with brands. One company in particular is revolutionizing the fitting room both online and in store. Fits.me’s technology helps online shoppers visualize how an item of clothing might look on them by taking into account their personal body measurements.

Shopping online is extremely convenient, but when it comes to trying on clothing and sending an unwanted item back, it can be a hassle. If a consumer knew that the piece of clothing they were buying would be a perfect fit, the more likely they would be to buy it. By allowing shoppers to ‘experience’ an item more personally, research suggests they are more likely to make a purchase. Many consumers are skeptical about the virtual fitting room. They are unsure if it will get the perfect fit.

Virtual fitting rooms requires the user to submit their own measurements to create a representation online. Websites like Fits.me and Metail are creating platforms for consumers to try on and buy clothing online. For example, Acustom Apparel is a US-based startup that offers ‘digital bespoke menswear’. Using an in-store scanner, it creates a digital profile of your entire body shape from 200,000 data points. The resulting 3D body model, combined with the customer’s choice of fit, materials and features, enables the company to produce entirely bespoke items of clothing. The entire process takes roughly 15 minutes.

At the end of 2014, Nordstrom adopted the tech-enabled fitting rooms by rolling out a full length mirror-cum-interactive screen in two of its stores. The “mirror” is designed by eBay, and allows the customer to browse through items and read product reviews, much like being online.  It also features a barcode scanner to check in-store availability and lets shoppers request items to be brought to the fitting room.  Shoppers don’t even need to go through the hassle of undressing. With the use of augmented reality, virtual clothing can be superimposed onto the shopper.

While the technology for this may seem to fall short of the real-life shopping experience of truly wearing an outfit, it enables faster turnaround times for busy shoppers.  The biggest benefit for retailers is an almost limitless inventory, unrestricted by the store’s actual stock. Virtual and augmented reality in fitting rooms still has a long way to go, but more and more retailers are adopting the idea. Soon malls and brick-and-mortar stores may all have VR fitting rooms.