VR, Chatbots, and the UX of Emerging Tech @BlinkUX

Virtual Reality, Chatbots and the UX of Emerging Technology were the theme of the presentations and demos held by Blink UX in their Downtown Seattle office on Thursday.

Demos:
Two VR demos were on show with good sized queues of people keen to have a play with Hololens. The queue itself was actually great to chat to people about such a variety of experiences, expectations and predictions for Hololens and the world of VR. 

The crane demonstration was a simple overview of how mixed reality software can be utilized in training. A simple move the concrete block from one position and stack it on top of the other.

The commercial uses of mixed reality are fantastic, I'm still excited to see more of the consumer focussed uses developing as the hardware becomes more commonplace.

Presentations:
The two key talks were by Kelly Franznick, CXO of Blink UX and John Howard, Creative Director of Loook.

These were two of the most engaging presentations I've seen recently. There's something so brilliant seeing people so enthusiastic about their industries! 

I particularly enjoyed listening to John Howard "John Howard is Co-Founder and Creative Director of LOOOK, a mixed reality design and development studio that creates meaningful applications for companies, organizations and individuals. Their clients include KPMG, BGC Engineering, and Vulcan. Previously, he was Creative Director on Microsoft HoloLens for partnerships with NASA, Autodesk, and Trimble. His past work includes Xbox Fitness and Lead Design positions on several AAA games, including Halo: Combat Evolved."

What I thought was brilliant about the presentation was not only John's deep knowledge of the area, but his ability to pair that with an example that made the exciting! Talking about how to make the jump from 2D to 3D, and the challenges that come with it. He also spoke about the UX / UI toolkit, which included a fantastic array of techniques to make VR / Mixed Reality a successful interaction,  I came across the full deck here, and would recommend a read! Some of the tools that really stuck out for me were:

Utilisation of user gaze as a cursor, not only knowing where the user is looking, but being able to utilize that information to effect the experience, whether it's a shared experience (such as the Halo Demo at E3 2015), or an educational tool (such as exploring layers of a body from the outside in). Through to 'haptic' audio feedback, and the ability to bring an experience to life, or create a safety type feature with a sound (i.e a humming when you start getting closer to something dangerous, giving you a 6th sense). And not forgetting the extended desktop, this one really excited me, although I've seen the example of Autodesk and being able to see in 3D, John bought this to life with his description of how designers design on a 2D screen in 3D then 3D print them to interact with them, and how Hololens and Autodesk 3D allows you to build in conventional CAD, then interact with the 3D model on your desk... or in your studio in the example of the Motorcyle!

I left with one favorite quote; "be like Tony Stark, always prototyping".

Thanks for a great evening Blink UX!

Spectacular view from Blink UX offices in Downtown Seattle

Spectacular view from Blink UX offices in Downtown Seattle

Hololens Crane Simulator Demo in action

Hololens Crane Simulator Demo in action