XR Recap: The Latest in VR and AR - Business, Sports and More!

August 01, 2019

So far, 2019 has seen quite a number of exciting XR advancements in both software and hardware. Today, we’re going to be recapping some releases from the latest in VR and AR that show where the industry is headed.

AR in Sports

Swimming is one of the world’s most popular specatator sports. One study found that 87% of people watching the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro would watch the swimming events. Aside from being an international fan-favorite sport, there are 30 million active swimmers in the United States alone. Although swimming has become one of the most anticipated sporting events in the Olympic games, you’d be surprised at how few options there are for tracking performance metrics.

Compared to runners and cyclists, swimmers do not have the range of technology options many land-sport athletes have. From running watches to bike computers, the latest in sportswear technology is clearly dominated by those not in the pool.

To fill the gap, sports technology company Form has created a solution directly targeting some of the biggest pain points for competitive swimmers. The newest Form Swim Goggles have combined AR technology into the swimmer’s goggles, allowing athletes to view their metrics in real-time.


AR powered swim goggles

This simple and practical solution equips competitive swimmers with the latest device in tracking aquatics metrics.


“I swam competitively for 14 years and really felt the pain of not being able to access my metrics in real time... We’re proud that, through a team of top industry talent, we’ve been able to solve a fundamental problem in swimming.”
Dan Eisenhardt, CEO at Form

With integrating a state-of-the-art AR display in the goggle lens, swimmers are now able to view and track their metrics like stroke rate, stroke count, and split times. Not only is it useful in the pool, but coaches and athletes can then review the results and share workouts that were recorded in the goggles. Form’s reinvented smart goggles are definitely an exciting feat for all competitive swimmers around the world and may have a significant impact on training methods and competitions by the next Olympics.


Business-Ready VR

Walmart has started to use VR to help them assess the performance of their employees. This multi-billion dollar corporation has once again teamed up with Strivr, the startup that created their Walmart Academy simulations, to assemble a VR skills assessment program. This program was made to help streamline the process of promoting mid-level employees.


Walmart employee wearing Oculus Go VR headset

 This new way of using VR as an assessment tool gives managers the ability to see from their employees perspective.


The assessment process begins when the employee is immersed in a simulation where they are tasked to respond to a number of situations. This can range from a disgruntled customer to an underperforming coworker. Reports are then generated on the employee’s strengths, weaknesses, and areas of potential that could then aid managers in deciding whether to promote or demote the employee. Walmart’s Senior Vice President of Associate Experience, Drew Holler, explains that their motivation behind this new method of assessment is to observe the individual’s capacity to lead from their own perspective of a given situation. So far, the program has been successfully used to observe 10,000 employees.

It’s no secret that VR has been used in the skills development sector, but this was one of our favorite updates as it shows VR has a variety of other business applications too. Not only does this initiative help Walmart allocate their resources into more needed areas, but it also challenges their managers to be able to see the same situation from a different perspective.


AR-Powered Safety Gear

RealWear has recently announced that they have raised over $80 million towards producing an AR headset and platform for connected workers. With this investment, RealWear hopes to welcome the next phase in safety gear with the help of augmented reality.

Since the beginning, RealWear’s mission has been focused on producing tech solutions that improve productivity and safety for the connected workforce. They are incredibly successful in doing so as they strip away any gimmick features to develop a line of no-nonsense practical tech solutions. Their selection of hands-free wearable hardware equips the modern-day connected worker with the tools to be more situationally aware in some of the harshest environments.


HMT-1 model headset

RealWear’s next invention of AR-powered safety wear can revolutionize the safety and productivity of connected workers.


One of their most notable models is the HMT-1 model where workers can access the most vital information at a glance. The headset features a 7-inch weather-proof screen that is accessible within a worker’s line of sight, giving them the convenience mobility to finish their tasks unobstructed.

Since 2017, RealWear has experienced significant growth in their business. In the past year and a half, the Vancouver-Washington based company has shipped over 15,000 headsets to 1,300 Enterprise customers. Now, RealWear is ready to tackle their next big project of an AR-powered headset. As with any AR software or hardware application, developing a product that will answer the consumer’s long-term concerns will be one of the barriers RealWear will need to find a solution to. We are excited to see how RealWear will deliver an AR headset to improve the lives of the connected workforce.


VR Entertainment

Get ready for the latest in XR with VR in entertainment.

Linden Lab’s Sansar has partnered up with electronic label Monstercat to bring live music onto their virtual platform. This latest collaboration is set to make the concert-going experience even better with the added element of virtual reality.

For those that may not be very familiar with Monstercat, this label has become the most followed music channel on two of the most popular live-streaming platform. For almost a decade, Monstercat has earned millions of fans by harnessing the power of the internet to bring music to the fans.

Sansar is a virtual reality platform that was built by Linden Lab, who is also the creator of Second Life. This digital world first opened its doors in 2017, giving their users the opportunity to connect with different people and experience a different reality.

The Monstercat: Call of the Wild has combined the strengths of both platforms to create an incredible VR concert-going experience. Fans are now able to attend concerts, meet-and-greets, as well as participate in exciting quests and giveaways that will only be exclusive to those on the virtual platform. As impressive this may be for fans, this collaboration also greatly benefits the artists too.


Call of the Wild VR concert experience

Experience the latest in XR with a party and a concert!


This virtual platform empowers its artists with a whole new way to showcase their talents, music, and to interact with their fans. Artists can monetize their work through virtual commerce and their ticketing system. Plus, through features like Avatar Broadcasting, artists can now perform to an unlimited number of people, allowing them to read a wider audience.

The experience was officially launched on July 12 where Sansar hosted a virtual bash to commemorate their eight-year anniversary. However, if you missed the gathering, don’t fret! The Monstercat: Call of the Wild experience is hosted on Sansar every Wednesday at 1 pm PST. Experience the latest in music and the future of entertainment.


Moving Forward

We find the new applications of VR and AR technologies endlessly fascinating as creators work with this new medium and find its applications. As creators learn more about the most effective uses and the hardware continues to evolve, we look forward to more developments. We hope you enjoyed this roundup of the latest in VR and AR!


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Rachel Chan

Rachel Chan

Rachel is a writer for Yulio, covering all things VR. With a keen interest in creativity and innovation, Rachel enjoys seeing how businesses use VR in their workflow, and how they have been transformed by it.