A new meetup in D.C. is looking at how virtual reality is designed.
Alexandra Tobolsky and Kashyap Sridhar created VRUXDC to explore user-centered design principles in the context of virtual, augmented, and mixed reality. The meetup will focus on topics like effective storytelling, motion sickness awareness, sound immersion and usability testing.
While there’s lots of focus on expanding technological capabilities in a fast-growing medium, “Human Factors or the user’s experience should be one of the primary design considerations for a product or service,” Tobolsky said.
On Tuesday, August 29, VRUXDC will host its first meeting at ByteCubed’s headquarters in Arlington, Va. Following a networking hour, ByteCubed Creative Director Jordan Higgins will share some of the lessons learned from the firm’s work in Microsoft’s Mixed Reality Partner Program. He will also discuss key design principles in understanding 3D holographic computing.
There’s lots of talk about being early to a new technology. When it comes to holographic computing, ByteCubed’s Creative Director Jordan Higgins knows that it’s not just about getting there first, but also learning from the right teachers.He and the Crystal City–based government tech consulting firm’s team saw no better instructors than Microsoft’s HoloLens team.
The HoloLens headset creates an environment that’s known as mixed reality. There’s no strict definition of mixed reality—along with artificial reality, virtual reality and spatial computing—but in a nutshell, this sector of holographic computing devices allows users to engage with digital content within the confines of the world around them.
Microsoft sells two versions of their headset: a development edition, for individuals interested in small scale use, and the commercial suite, ideal for businesses ready to use the holographic technology to enhance their enterprises.
Currently, the tech giant runs pilot partnership programs across the U.S. featuring the HoloLens technology–from high school classrooms in Colorado to the Baltimore Ravens.
Through their Mixed Reality Partner Program, Microsoft expands their reach to businesses and the overall utility of mixed reality technology.
“The HoloLens was one of the first holographic computing devices to become available to developers, and we were really excited to get our hands on it and start creating mixed reality experiences as early as possible,” Higgins told Technical.ly. “As with any new technology, there was a lot to learn about design and development, and there’s no substitute for hands-on experience.”
“Each session we attended featured experts across many areas of mixed reality including technical capabilities, coding, spatial audio, interface design, all the new ways of thinking and creating applications that come with working with this technology,” Higgins said.
Now that ByteCubed officially completed training in the Mixed Reality Partner Program, the tech consulting firm wants to define mixed reality on their own terms and expand solutions for technical and visualization problems.