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Technology is all around us. We use it in every aspect of our lives. It enables us to do amazing things. Imagine if there was a place where you can take the visions and ideas in your head and make them real. 2016 is shaping up as the year that promise is fulfilled in the VR and AR industry, with highly anticipated hardware finally making its way into the hands of consumers, and exciting new content providing unique experiences to a public eager to get there hands on this new innovative technology.

Here our the 5 top emerging trends in Immersive VR and AR technology.

1. Welcome to Lowe’s VR Holoroom

Sponsored experiences are driving initial inclination and market adoption before Immersive Virtual Reality headsets become a part of the average consumer’s tech arsenal. From the New York Times and ABC News to “Star Wars” and the Lowe’s Holoroom, we will continue to see big media, entertainment and retail brands test the limits of Immersive Virtual Reality with sponsored experiences that reach millions of consumers and expose unlikely audiences to Immersive Virtual Reality.

Consumers are extremely interested in paying for high-quality Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality experiences. Lowed made this possible but for free; with the Holoroom. With the help of a Lowes store associate, you’re now able to walk through a variety of lowes items such as – kitchen appliances, bathroom accessories, windows, wall colors, and much more – and customize an immersive virtual reality experience specifically tailored to your desire.

2. Augmented Reality Technology Shows off with Microsofts HoloLens

Hardware has overshadowed the conversation around Immersive Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality for quite some time – until now. There have been big ideas and plenty of trial and error with gaming demos, and crazy weird entries to the category of VR and AR technology.

Microsoft’s Hololens will provide a mixture of both virtual and real reality, where your digital world will be blended with your real world. In essence, it’s a world full of holograms. Microsoft Hololens will provide end users with:

  • New ways to visualize their work and share ideas.
  • More immersive ways to game.
  • New ways to teach and learn.
  • New ways to collaborate and explore the places we’ve never been.
  • And new ways to create the things we imagine.

What you’re really experiencing with Hololens is mixed reality. Some things are real, some stuff isn’t. Unlike Oculus Rift, you can still see some of the things around you while you’re browsing the web or playing video games. However, the way it’s built makes it a lot less immersive than your traditional VR experience.

3. Introducing Allumette

2016 has been pivotal when it comes to the convergence of VR and AR content beyond entertainment, largely thanks to the accessibility of powerful new VR and AR devices.

Stories are the way we as humans have learned to translate stories into culture over generations. There’s that human element that really drives everything that’s all about bringing the human into the virtual world while wiping away the technology and bring in the humanity.

Introducing Allumette. A story about love and sacrifice that touches your heart on a personal level all through Immersive Virtual Reality. Through immersive angles and an in depth virtual experience, Allumette creators wanted to compose a story that would influence the audience beyond traditional storytelling.

4. VR and AR are Changing Pro Sports

Pro sports have always been on the cutting edge of Immersive AR and VR technology – depicted by the first down line in football or the early hockey puck glow in hockey. The future of sports for both  athletes and spectators is firmly rooted in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Immersive Virtual  and Augmented Reality are going to allow for better training, advanced analytics, and a spectator experience that makes today’s HD broadcasts seem quaint by comparison.

Teams like the Dallas Cowboys, a variety of colleges, and Tampa Bay Rays are already using Immersive VR and AR systems to aid in training. Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett spoke highly about the technology, telling ESPN, “This allows you to get a little closer so you can coach better.”

And it’s not just on-field performance NFL teams are after. Recently, the league began exploring the use of VR in calling out playbooks, audibles, defensive reads per position, blitz’s, and much more.

Teams and broadcasters are looking at ways to present their products to the masses using Immersive VR and AR technology. Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert sees a day when fans can purchase courtside seats by the thousands and tune in via a VR headset for the ultimate spectator experience.

5. Hollywood is Giving AR and VR their First Real Close Up

Movie and TV studios are always looking for new innovative ways to hype their upcoming premier, and Immersive VR and AR tie-ins are quickly becoming a common part of the marketing blitz strategy. Fox’s “The Martian” already set the gold standard in VR-movie advertising with a stand-alone adventure that put the viewer in the shoes of Matt Damon’s marooned astronaut. Later this year, “Ghost in the Shell,” “Assassin’s Creed,” the “Independence Day” sequel and others will arrive with a full Immersice VR or 360 video experience plugging their impending release.

But advertising is only the beginning. All the major studios are investing heavily in Virtual and Augmented Reality, and early experiments in VR storytelling are generating rave reviews from audience and critics alike. This year’s Tribeca Film Festival highlighted Virtual Reality entertainment, and showcased “films” across genres, including documentary (“The Artists of Skid Row”), concert film (“Grateful Dead: Truckin’”), graphic novel adaptation (“Sens”) and even a VR christmas movie starring Seth Green (“Holidays: Christmas VR”).

For the latest tech news and trends, Matterport 3D Tour information, Aerial Photography Service updates, 360 Virtual Tour projects, incredible HDR Real Estate Photography images, Architectural Photographer tools and much more, make sure to follow our blog:http://invisionstudio.com/blog/

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Jason Sievert - CEO, Invision Studio

I believe in sharing knowledge with others when you have the chance; so I love to write an article every once in a while when I’m not busy running Invision Studio, climbing, hiking, traveling or reading. Don’t live life to work hard, work hard to live life!

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