Recently, the Adello marketing team had an interesting conversation with Gabriele Romagnoli, Head of Business at ShapesXR, Senior Advisor at iconomy. Together we discussed VR technology, its potential, opportunities, and future. In this interview, we are sharing exclusive insights from this exciting conversation.
INTERVIEW WITH GABRIELE ROMAGNOLI FOR ADELLO MAGAZINE
First of all, I don’t think everyone needs VR/AR in their lives. Instead, there is a need for these technologies in particular niches. The first thing you can imagine is, for example, entertainment. But there are other activities you can do with VR/AR: learn, see new places, do things you weren’t able to do, exercise, etc.
Also, there are people who need VR/AR to do research, for instance, to understand how people behave in certain environments or how they interact with objects, etc.
Another case is productivity. Thanks to VR/AR, you can collaborate, create and perform work-related tasks in a real and virtual office, in the metaverse, or in custom-built VR spaces.
I think there are right now a lot of attempts to do that. Some of them are really successful. Think about Roblox and other platforms for the desktop, for instance. Those became immediately successful and gained a broad audience. If the metaverse is a single environment that is interconnected to others, then the first step into it is to provide a platform for people. That can be anything, even mobile, so people will get used to it. And after that, you can implement immersive technologies like VR headsets, etc.
Today, some platforms don’t require VR headsets, such as Evolve, Station, Outspace, and others. You can enter them both with and without a virtual reality device.
The fact is that there is stagnation on the 2 levels: Users and developers levels.
Speaking about user experience, there is a lot of skepticism about VR/AR that exists today. It may happen that some users had poor experiences with hardware and software in the past.
When you look at the development aspect, there was a huge leap in the recent year, and a lot was improved. The VR/AR options that are available for people now are much better than 3 years ago, for instance. Thus, there is continuous improvement, not expansion, but still, the industry has made a big difference.
There are a lot of steps on the timeline between a VR headset and the devices that you’ve mentioned. Right now, you can already wear Google-Glass-like-device. But would it be enough for certain use cases? I think it’s a whole journey that will take 5–10 years.
This is a very tricky question. The fact is that some of the VR glasses feature add value to the users for their experience. For instance, filming. If someone wants to film me with VR glasses, they need to ask permission, as in real life. That’s obvious. But if I want to record my own environment when I wear VR glasses, how can I avoid filming other people?
There are so many questions that arise about privacy when these headsets are going to be used. It depends on each individual case. On top of that, it’s very important to understand how this aspect can be regulated.
Many people approaching VR/AR think they need to develop software on their own for their exact purposes. There are a lot of software and open-source solutions that can be used as a foundation for new applications. There are learning, design, training apps, and so on.
Generally, entry into VR/AR is much easier than people think. In the beginning, it may seem like something scary. But after some time, users understand that it’s very accessible and start experimenting and learning. I would recommend starting implementing VR/AR now in your work, otherwise, it will be too late, and you risk staying behind.
Personally, I stepped into VR because of this superpower to create things and the ability to do it together with other people. Now, there are a lot of creative people out there who want to jump into this new environment. Creating in VR is like having an infinite amount of Lego blocks so you can create whatever you want. Those kinds of creative and design use cases trigger people’s imagination. On top of that, you don’t actually need expertise in 3D modeling for one. Anyone can do it.
Furthermore, it allows people to collaborate, communicate, and create projects together. Softwares like Zoom, and Google Meet provide a very delusional experience of collaboration. Instead, you can try interaction in beautiful environments that is dynamic and engaging, thanks to VR.
Again, I’m not sure everybody needs VR glasses, and not sure it must be a part of everyday life. No one wants to wear it the whole day, not even VR lenses.
VR adaption is really a gradual process. Everyone will find their own niche sooner or later. We will see the new releases of the VR headset from big companies like Apple, Meta, and many others. It will be beyond the gaming industry and used as a tool to meet, collaborate, create, design train, and learn.