New immersive technologies: when cultural creation puts 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 talk about the factors to take into account for a positive experience of virtual reality

In partnership with Welcome City Lab, Tour Hebdo and Quotidien du tourisme offer a weekly serial from the trend book created by this innovative tourism laboratory.

Here, Arnaud Chapé and Valentin Raymondeau return to virtual reality user experiences and describe the elements not to be overlooked.

Immersive technologies: has the revolution taken place?

Between projection and reality, the difference observed can be quite significant. The immersive technologies market forecast from 2018 to 2022 is far beyond the current market. Despite this gap, there is still a strong upward trend in the sector.

Far from the announced hegemony and its explosion in daily use, immersive technologies have enabled the emergence of new players and new experiences that complement historical entertainment 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 uses? – National Center for Cinema and Animated Image – 2019). In fact, at THE EDGE, we find that a very large part of the population has never tried or has only tested virtual reality experiences via mobile phones or in events with certain first generation headsets which can provide disappointing experiences.

For 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 differs enormously 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 very differently from one individual to another. A significant portion of the population may be sensitive to digital and physical effects : a malaise linked to the opposition of perception between the information provided by the eyes and that given by the vestibule (organ of balance located in the inner ear). As one of our team members is extremely sensitive to motion sickness, we have been particularly careful in our development in order to create the most comfortable game possible for our customers. And the results are there since on more than 1500 players, no unpleasant sensations during the experience were felt thanks to the efforts made during the development.

Beyond the problem of nausea in virtual reality, room hygiene 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 for example, of the system used, while the feeling of presence is its psychological consequence. (Slater & Wilbur, 1997).

While we can quantify and measure immersion (computing power, refresh rate etc.), the feeling of presence is inherently subjective, and therefore variable depending on the individual (Maneuvrier-Hervieu, 2020). In summary, an experience using the best immersive technologies, will not necessarily be the one that will offer the greatest feeling of presence for the public. We had to develop our know-how for more than two years in order to obtain the best possible result 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, superior graphic quality combined with physical sensations: we offer an ultra-immersive and cooperative experience.

In addition to superior graphics quality, we add physical sensations that create what is called hyper-reality.

When a gigantic spacecraft approaches you, you feel the ground shake under your feet, when it passes, you feel a breath of wind blowing through you, when you see its reactors in front of you, you feel heat. You live the experience with all your senses.

Acclaimed by the feedback from our customers, our experience appeals to all types of audiences and we have seen this thanks to a satisfaction rate of more than 98%.

In conclusion, thehe creation of ultra-immersive works requires special know-how: between development and artistic creation. Once this step has been taken, the confrontation with the public and the analysis of the feedback 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 internationally.

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New immersive technologies: when cultural creation puts you in all your states

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