Did you know that the first virtual reality Headset came to existence in 1968 by Ivan Sutherland and his student Bob Sproull? What is genuinely interesting is that the concept of 3-dimension and depth was already found in 1838. Furthermore, the biggest boom and investment in this technology was three years ago, so it has taken several years and product stages for this technology to reach its present position. This blog will further explain virtual reality and the benefits behind Virtual Team building.
Virtual reality is a 3D computer-generated environment, which one can interact with, using a headset, controllers and even bare hands! These are the following factors that create a virtual world:
The headset has an LCD display for each eye and each display shows a slightly different perspective of the user’s surroundings. This creates “stereopsis” (the perception of depth achieved through the eyes). Our eyes are located at different lateral positions of our head meaning that each eye has a slightly different perspective to the world. Thanks to this we can perceive a three – dimensional image of our surroundings. Not to forget the quality of image also adds to the experience.
There are many terms when it comes to tracking and VR. We will explain the two main tracking terms: Outside-in and Inside-out tracking.
Through this method the user is tracked by light signals sent across the room from the lighthouses. The playing area is fixed meaning that the player will not be tracked if he is outside the tracking area.
This sort of tracking frees the users from being fixed to a location and from buying bulky expensive computers. An exemplary VR headset is the Oculus Quest. The headset tracks every movement by using four cameras located at each end of the headset and therefore hence the name “inside-out”. Check out our article Outside-in vs Inside-out VR Headsets for a further comparison.
The way in which users get to interact with the virtual world is evolving rapidly. The most common method are controllers and depending on the game or virtual activity each button on the controller carries out an action. The latest technology includes hand tracking and gesture tracking.
For example, the Oculus Quest! The headset has hand tracking, so you can cruise with your hands through the virtual world. Or, Valve Index with its high-end VR headset that comes along with gesture tracking controllers. What does it mean? You can grab, throw, push, and many more things without pressing a single button thanks to the 87 sensors on each controller.
Sound is especially important because it contributes and helps the creation of a virtual world. For example: the user can visually see himself grabbing an item, but what truly adds the immersion is hearing himself interact with the item. It also sets the mood and together with the visuals creates a virtual reality.
Teamflow is important and it is known to be key for a more efficient and productive workspace. This can be experienced and trained through a VR team building event. To truly understand the concept, we must understand the factors that make up the flow state. According to the founder and psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, these are the factors:
- You lose yourself
- You’re challenged
- You give your whole attention
- You feel completely immersed
- You have control of your actions
- You feel time pass differently
- You have clear goals
- You get immediate feedback
All of these factors can be experienced and tested through virtual reality, for example, virtual escape rooms. The concept behind an escape room is to solve puzzles together and only through teamwork the team is able to escape the room within one hour. Virtual Escape Rooms are the next level, through the use of the VR headsets, the team is completely immersed in a new reality. They are taken away from their comfort zone and tested both individually and collectively. The fact that they are taken out of their comfort zone forces them to expose their natural selves and skills. In this new reality, there is no sense of time meaning that their wholesome focus is to solve puzzles and to make it out in time together.
The group members receive immediate feedback from the game, colleagues, Amaze VR operators if needed and so they are compensated and motivated to continue their performance. It is also a controlled environment since they are unaware of the “real world” surroundings. Through the headsets, team members can communicate with incorporated mics and hereby allowing everyone to express their point of view and come up with unified decisions.