We’re constantly being asked by our clients and partners how virtual and mixed reality (VR and MR, respectively) technologies could be used to transform their businesses and enhance human experience in the built environment. Stimulant’s interests lie specifically in how these technologies can (or can’t) be used to provide entertainment, information and/or utility in real space (i.e. a physical environment that can accommodate many users simultaneously in the same space), as opposed to virtual space (i.e. an experience accessed through a device that is agnostic of the user’s current environment, such as a mobile device).
In short, VR has already become a valuable tool for our workflow, but its very nature – private, decoupled from the real-world environment, and carrying practical risks around injury and hygiene – doesn’t make it compelling for the public, multi-user, shared digital experiences that we create, although it has become a key part of our internal design process. MR, on the other hand, has a lot of possibilities for smart spaces, digitally enhanced environments, and a very bright future indeed — even if current implementations are rough around the edges, based on our early experiments and investigations.