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SIGGRAPH 2016: VR Matures and Gains Momentum

This year marks the 42nd anniversary of the SIGGRAPH Conference. Four InstaVR team members -- Daniel, Andrew, Joshua and Curtis -- represented us at the annual gathering of computer graphics professionals and aficionados. And while a wide array of technologies were on display, from 3D Printers to holographic image creators, Virtual Reality still seemed to create the most buzz.

Was VR's pervasiveness at the conference a sign that we're turning the corner, going from a niche solution to widely accepted? It definitely seemed that way. One thing confirming the maturity of VR was how well versed visitors to our booth were in the technology. The idea of navigation, hotspots, and heatmaps barely required further explanation to most attendees.

The greatest anecdotal evidence came from people we talked to. Whereas VR was once used by larger entertainment firms to garner attention, it was now being used for relatively normal things. Here's just three of the many use cases we learned about at the conference:

Lawyers Using VR to Show Crime Scenes - Lawsuits are big business. Because you often can't take juries to the scene of crimes, why not bring the crime scenes to them? High paid consultants are crafting VR experiences that explain where crimes were committed and what the surrounding environment was like. One LA-based software exec explained that clients that had once worked for movie & tv studios had pivoted to creating realistic VR experiences for juries, and made a quite a bit of money doing it. 

Colleges Using VR to Promote their Schools - We met with a lot of engineering professors at the show. InstaVR is actually a great gateway solution for getting students acquainted with VR. One particular professor talked about the difficulties of attracting international students, and how VR provides a great experiential explanation of student life on campus. Like tourism boards using InstaVR to entice visitors to their city/state/country, universities can utilize us too for creating a dynamic campus tour.

Selling Playground Equipment Gets Easier - One marketing person we met with specializes in designing playgrounds and communal spaces. It's not the easiest thing to market, as you have to show municipalities what your previous work has yielded. Static 2D photos and videos aren't going to elicit too much excitement. But throw in 3D, make it accessible on immersive platforms like Gear VR, add hotspots with pop-up information and voiceover narration... that's a potent marketing package made possible through InstaVR!

Siggraph was a lot of fun and a great opportunity for us to show off our web-based VR authoring & publishing platform. We had a great time and are already looking forward to coming back next year. We really appreciate all of our current customers and future customers who stopped by to say hello.

To read about InstaVR at Siggraph, visit VRScout's coverage of the conference here