New immersive technologies: when culture creation places you in all your states
Arnaud Chapé, Managing Director of The Edge in the 11th arrondissement of Paris and Valentin Raymondeau, Director of New Technologies discuss the factors to consider for a positive virtual reality experience
In collaboration with Welcome City Lab, offered by Tour Hebdo and Quotidien du tourisme a weekly serial from the trend book created by this innovative tourism laboratory.
Here, Arnaud Chapé and Valentin Raymondeau return to user experiences in virtual reality and describe the elements that should not be overlooked.
Immersive technology: has the revolution already happened?
Between projection and reality, the difference observed can be significant. The immersive technology market forecast from 2018 to 2022 is far from the current market. Despite this gap, there is still a strong upward trend in the sector.
Far from announced hegemony and its explosion in everyday use, immersive technologies have enabled the emergence of new players and new experiences which complements historical recreational activities.
Virtual reality, still unknown to the general public
Three main families make up immersive technologies: virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality. In this article we will focus on virtual reality.
In 2019, the penetration rate of virtual reality was 41% among the French (Virtual reality and immersive experiences in France: what is the use? – National Center for Cinema and Animated Image – 2019). In fact, at THE EDGE, we found that a large part of the population has never tried or only tried virtual reality experiences through mobile phones or at events with some first-generation headsets that can provide disappointing experience.
To the general public there is no difference between a VR arcade room, a VR escape game and a hyper-reality experience. However, the quality of the experience varies greatly between products and between players.
Comfort before, during and after the experience: VR from 11 to 77 years old
The same virtual reality experience can be experienced differently from one individual to another. A significant portion of the population can sensitive to digital and physical effects : a malaise related to the conflict of perception between the information provided by the eyes and that provided by the vestibule (organ of balance located in the inner ear). Since one of our team members is extremely sensitive to motion sickness, we have been extra careful in our development to create the most comfortable game possible for our customers. And the results are there because with more than 1500 players, no unpleasant sensations during the experience were felt thanks to the efforts made during the development.
Beyond the virtual reality nausea problem, room cleanliness and player safety (falls, shocks), are important elements that can mark customers if they are not managed as a priority. At THE EDGE, we make it a point of honor to provide the most comfortable experience possible for our customers.
Immersion and sense of presence
Immersion refers to the characteristics, technical example, of the system used, while the feeling of presence is its psychological consequence. (Slater & Wilbur, 1997).
Although we can measure and measure immersion (computing power, refresh rate etc.), the feeling of presence is inherently subjective, and therefore changes depending on the individual (Maneuvrier-Hervieu, 2020). In summary, an experience using the best immersive technologies, is not necessarily the one that will offer the best sense of presence for the public. We had to develop our knowledge for more than two years to get the best possible results in our Ganymede experience by proposing, among other things, a scripted experience accessible to all.
Ganymede is an unforgettable virtual reality experience playable by 2 to 4 players, to be experienced with friends, family and/or collaborators.
Multiplayer game, scripting and successful game story, excellent graphic quality combined with physical sensations: we offer an ultra-immersive and cooperative experience.
In addition to excellent graphics quality, we added physical sensations that create what is called hyper-reality.
When a huge spacecraft approaches you, you feel the earth shake under your feet, when it passes, you feel a breath of air blowing you, when you see its reactors in front of you, feel you are the heat You live the experience with all your senses.
Recognized by feedback from our customers, our experience attracts all kinds of audiences and we see this thanks to a satisfaction rate of over 98%.
In conclusion, theCreating ultra-immersive works requires special knowledge: between development and artistic creation. Once this step has been taken, the public presentation and the feedback analysis quickly show whether the bet has been successful.
At the end of 2022, we will open our first major hyper-reality center in the heart of Paris. By 2024, we will be able to open these centers throughout France and gradually throughout the world.