VRLA 2018 highlight rapid advances for VR / AR technology


Posted on May 15th, by Kathryn Kutchel in Events, Infrastructure, Melbourne, News, Our people.

Advertised as the “world’s largest immersive technology festival”, the 2018 VRLA Expo was held in the Los Angeles Convention Center, with attendees including entrepreneurs, software developers, producers, ad agencies, VFX houses, representatives from major motion picture studios and more. Taylors General Manager of Infrastructure, Anthony Emmerson, had the opportunity to experience the latest breakthroughs in virtual reality technology and learn how the industry is developing almost faster than anticipated.

VRLA 2018 held at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Image credit VRLA

VRLA 2018 held at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Image credit VRLA

VR developers around the world are this year realising the untapped potential of virtual reality in numerous business and leisure sectors, and the theme of this year’s VRLA, “A New Reality” tapped into that expansion of possibilities. “The main knowledge gained in summary was that the market, particularly headsets and hardware technology are advancing very fast. Headsets with 6 degrees of freedom, untethered, will be the norm in a very short space of time.” Mr. Emmerson commented.

This development of untethered VR was mentioned by Forbes earlier this year with the unveiling of HTC’s ‘Vive wireless solution’ which is to become available later this year. 2018 is rumoured to be the year ‘VR cuts the cord’ but there may yet be limitations to its true freedom with full-room tracking still to be considered as part of the untethered movement. This minor drawback could still impact the potential industries that wireless VR could benefit, particularly immersive gaming experiences or client demonstrations where movement would be incorporated to resemble a more life-like walkthrough. Speculations imply though, that as VR technology develops so rapidly, this could be non-issue by the time untethered experiences become common-place.

VRLA exhibits challenged the virtual reality boundaries and potential

VRLA exhibits challenged the virtual reality boundaries and potential

When asked about the industry directions that VR could be integrated into, Mr. Emmerson said, “The quality of optics and screen resolution is also advancing very quickly. The industry is still very gaming focused though getting some uptake in larger markets such as real estate.” At Taylors, the exploration of VR uses in client presentations and project development is already being considered as a vital step forward in project delivery and client relationships – a point that the VRLA expo’s theme addressed, by exploring ‘new ways emergent technology’ can improve ‘our lives both in and out of the headset’. Several urban development sectors including, 3D Modelling and BIM, Design Survey, and Urban Design around real estate markets would gain the most benefit from an industry shift toward VR inclusion in everyday circumstances.

Where some virtual reality exhibits could bring a new view to land development (right) the spotlight was on the extravagant MEZO installation (left)

Where some virtual reality exhibits could bring a new view to land development (right) the spotlight was on the extravagant MEZO installation (left)

Although Taylors didn’t exhibit, “The event gave Taylors a wider appreciation of the Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality market place. There was some ability to absorb general market knowledge and advances in VR / AR, and it was more of a learning experience into the wider VR market.” Mr. Emmerson concluded.

You can learn more about VRLA here.



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