The Future of VR / AR with Trent Clews-de Castella

the future of virtual and augmented realityThis episode of the Big Bang podcast is part of the Next Economy Series, where I interview experts who are thinking and working on the cutting edge of emergent technologies that will shape the next 20 years.

On this episode I chat with Trent Clews-de Castella – Co-founder at Phoria and Scann3d about the future of virtual and augmented reality. Trent had previously owned and run a 3D tech consultancy which connected consumers and business with new and emerging immersive technologies. His unique position and understanding afforded him the insight and network to build Scann3d, a creative 3D company that gives you the ability to virtually experience a any interior space as if you were physically there.

Two years on, Scann3d has launched several products internationally, each of which enables a new paradigm of interactive tours that serve to save time, money and bring much need transparency back into the property industry. Moving forward, 2016 has ushered in the rebrand of Scann3d into Phoria. A transformational media company that pioneers a new realm of psychologically inspired technology experiences.

Changing Healthcare for Patients

One hot are of focus for virtual and augmented reality is healthcare. Research indicates that by using this virtual technology, the quality of life of children who suffered from psychological and physiological stress in hospitals greatly improves.

Phoria first official project Dream3d leverages VR as a therapeutic tool in hospital for patients and a training module for medical staff. With immersive media thriving at Trent’s core, he continues to leverage innovative tools to weave our innate human perceptions and desires to better design Virtual and Augmented Realities that are so real, it is as if you are physically there.

Virtual reality is here to stay and it’s more important than just playing a game or watching a boxing match in a more immersive way. It could, and will, change lives. Imagine this kind of happiness in children’s hospitals everywhere, all of the time.

The use of VR treatment holds many benefits for patients, including a potential reduction in the need for sedatives, opiods and other pharmaceutical treatments. Research has shown that the use of VR can calm and relax patients to make treatments and processes easier, and require less medications.

Enhancing the home buying experience

The ability to gain a sense of depth helps users determine the size, layout and physical dimensions of space. This understanding is increasingly important for buyers looking to invest in property. This perspective is lost when relying on flat two-dimensional media. Homebuyers spend hours running around town to open inspections, vendors waste money on traditional content and agents lose business. Fortunately, Phoria are pioneering the next generation of virtual experiences that extend beyond how a property looks and towards how it feels.

Phoria is an innovative service that was inspired by the need for accurate, engaging and affordable solutions when experiencing space online. Recent advances in 3D scanning, cloud processing and computer vision have helped drive a paradigm shift in how immersive 3D media is produced.

This has resulted in a transition away from costly ($20,000+) and time consuming traditional visualization techniques (2-4 week turn around), towards fast (24 hour) and affordable solutions costing under one thousand dollars. This transformation has helped unlock the burgeoning property industry and opened up Phoria into the creative tech sector. To date, it’s team had built immersive wine tastings, produced adrenaline pumping virtual sporting experiences and continues to work the best tech in the business to achieve a virtual sense of presence like no other.

Here are some questions that guided our discussion:

  • Tell me about your experience with VR / AR at Phoria, how do these technologies transform how people engage with businesses?
  • What is driving the rise of both VR and AR?
  • Beyond immersive media, what do you see are some interesting use cases of these technologies that companies are not thinking about?
  • Will headsets be a commodity or a source of competitive advantage?
  • What are some of the current limitations of VR / AR?
  • What are some common challenges companies should consider before implementing VR / AR?
  • What do you believe will drive mainstream adoption of both technologies?
  • Which will be bigger, VR or AR? Why?
  • What types of jobs will need to be filled once VR / AR hit the mainstream?

Below is our discussion, listen and let us know what you think on Twitter @jorgebarba and @trentcdc.

Connect with Trent on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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The Big Bang is a weekly podcast. Tune in every Tuesday for more discussions on what’s possible.

Intro audio is by Arturo Arriaga, outro audio is Candyland by Guy J.