Flap your wings as hard as you can to get your Flugtag flying machine off the dock.
Red Bull Flugtag is a wacky annual event where teams of Red Bull-fueled aviation visionaries get together to launch their homemade, human-powered aircrafts off a 30 ft high dock, hoping it will soar across the water like a graceful albatross caught up in the North Pacific winds.
That’s the idea at least.
In most cases the large flying contraptions end up looking more like a lame duck as they take a steep nose dive straight from the edge of the dock and into the water, resulting in some pretty amazing and hilarious crashes.
To help get people into the spirit of the big event, Red Bull has partnered with VR/AR solutions company Giant Lazer to create a Flugtag VR experience that puts you in the flugtag workshop for a glimpse of what it’s like to build your own flying machine using Red Bull cans, flip flops, cables, boxes, and life preservers.
Jakub Korczynski, CEO and Founder of Giant Lazer, talked with VRScout about their Red Bull Flugtag VR experience saying, “People love the flight mechanics, where you have to move your arms rapidly to flap your virtual wings.”
The energy drink company has taken a unique approach to their marketing by sponsoring everything from extreme athletes in sports like BMX, aerial acrobatics, skydiving, drifting, and slag to extreme dance competitions and eSport events. Their Flugtag event, which attracts thousands every year, is just another example of the companies outside-of-the-box when it comes to engaging with consumers.
Korczynski talked about how the partnership between Giant Lazer and Red Bull came about:
“Red Bull is continually looking for new creative ideas to promote their brand. We were testing a VR experience similar to Flugtag in our lab, and one of our team members suggested that this idea would work great for Red Bull Flugtag. So we called them,” said Korczynski. From there the company demoed their idea to Red Bull who imediately fell in love with the concept. “That’s why our concept quickly caught on, and they decided to partner with us.”
Red Bull Flugtag VR debuted during last year’s event with thousands of people lining up to jump into an HTC Vive to create their own flying machine. Attendees had the opportunity to not only view the vertigo-ncuding action, but actually compete using their own hand-built craft.
Bringing realism to the game meant researching Flugtag events from previous years. Giant Lazer looked at photo archives and maps to create 3D models of Gdynia, Moscow, Belgrade, and Istanbul. They even looked at small details such as umbrellas, bands, wall screens, and buoys and made sure they all had the Red Bull branding.
Once you’ve assembled your ‘virtual stork’, you can take it to the dock and test your luck. Flap your wings as hard as you can using the HTC Vive controllers! The harder and faster you flap your arms, the better you’re chances of soaring gracefully from the dock; flap to little, and risk belly flopping into the waters below.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of this year’s Red Bull Flugtag event, making it a perfect time for Red Bull to make their Flugtag VR experience available to the public.
Anything is possible. After all, this is Red Bull!
Last month Survios launched its much-anticipated zombie survival title The Walking Dead Onslaught for PC VR and PlayStation VR headsets. To celebrate the release VRFocus has another awesome competition where one lucky reader has a chance to win both the videogame and a bunch of merchandise.
The Walking Dead Onslaught is a collaboration between Survios and AMC, bringing the popular TV show to life in virtual reality (VR) with some of the show’s famous faces. If you’re a fan of AMC’s TV show then the storyline will be of interest as its set between season 8 and 9.
The main campaign follows Daryl Dixon, where you embody the character famous for his crossbow. In between missions you need to rebuild the Alexandria Safe Zone and help the community by going on supply runs, upgrading your weapons and killing a lot of walkers.
For this competition is dishing up a sizable selection of merch, all of it going to one lucky winner. You can see what’s on offer below. This will be shipped by Survios directly to the winner, worldwide.
The Walking Dead Season 8 Blu-ray
The Walking Dead Season 9 Blu-ray
The Walking Dead Onslaught Steelbook case (Includes a code for the platform of your choice)
The Walking Dead Onslaught Art book
The Walking Dead Onslaught T-shirt
The Walking Dead Onslaught Microfiber cloth
The Walking Dead Onslaught Postcard
So onto the competition. There are multiple ways to enter the giveaway with the standard prize draw entry rules applying: Follow us (or already be following us) on Twitter or alternatively, visit our Facebook page or YouTube channel to get an entry for each. The competition will be open until 11.59 pm GMT on Monday 2nd November 2020. The draw will be made shortly thereafter. After which VRFocus will contact the winner to get platform and address details. Best of luck.
Senior Staff Writer at VRFocus who has reported on the VR industry for the last 5 years. A keen gamer since the days of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Peter enjoys covering all aspects of the technology; from the latest consumer hardware to enterprise use cases.
Halloween is almost upon us and while the events of 2020 may hamper traditional activities such as Trick or Treating, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the season. You could carve some pumpkins, dress up in some ghoulish face paint or if you’re really really brave play some of the virtual reality (VR) videogames listed below.
AFFECTED: The Manor
This scary title has been doing the rounds for several years now, available on most platforms with recent updates adding a speedrun mode called The Gauntlet whilst The Darkness update upped the intensity by adding just a single candle for illumination. AFFECTED: The Manor isn’t so much a game rather a haunted house experience with multiple routes and endings if you can handle returning.
Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted
The long-running franchise came to VR in 2019 and was all the better for it. Full of bite-sized mini-games that will get your heart racing, the scenes from the previous editions have been updated for VR whilst new ones were added. If you like jump scares (or don’t) it doesn’t get much more intense than this.
In Death/In Death: Unchained
Whether it’s In Deathfor PC VR and PlayStation VR or In Death: Unchainedfor Oculus Quest, what you get is a frantic fight against hordes of demons, with only a bow for company. Procedural levels mean that each run is never quite the same and death sees you placed back at the start.
A good horror game needs to be super creepy, usually with a nice mix of impending doom and some horrible looking monsters. If that’s what you’re looking for then Drifter Entertainment’sLies Beneath should suffice. With some striking artwork and a comic book style delivery, this should easily keep you on edge.
Layers of Fear VR
Set in a hauntingly twisted mansion, Layers of Fear VR is a remake of the pancake original, adding immersive controls for a more intense experience. You play as a painter trying to finish his Magnum Opus yet as you wander his Victorian mansion his mind begins to unravel.
Time for one of the newest horror titles on this list, Propagation VR is the work of French team WanadevStudio. Normally creating videogames for VR arcades this is a wave shooter set in a dilapidated subway station after a virus has broken out. With no locomotion the action comes from all sides, creeping out of the darkness for some frightening moments. And the best bit is Propagation VR is completely free!
The current indie hit on Steam which only arrived into Early Access during September, Phasmophobia is a 4 player online co-op psychological horror. Whether you’re in VR or on PC, you and your team are paranormal investigators searching haunted locations for evidence of ghostly activity.
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners
For those after an awesome zombie survival experience in VR then look no further than Skydance Interactive’s The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners. From the safety of your base where you can craft weapons and useful tools you need to head into the streets of New Orleans, searching houses for resources and finding other survivors to uncover their stories. And of course, removing a few walkers along the way.
The Room VR: A Dark Matter
Maybe not everyone’s definition of a horror experience, those that love a good atmospheric puzzle title should take a look at The Room VR: A Dark Matter. Expanding upon the popular mobile series you’re sent back to London circa 1908 to the British Institute of Archaeology where an esteemed Egyptologist has disappeared and a spine-tingling world awaits.
The Exorcist: Legion VR
Pretty much a staple of most VR horror lists, The Exorcist: Legion VR was released back in 2018 by British studio Wolf and Wood. An episodic story spilt across five chapters, you play the role of a detective investigating grisly murders. Needless to say, these all have a paranormal twist.
Blair Witch: Oculus Quest Edition
This final is a little extra because it’s not quite out yet. Another standard game port into VR, Blair Witch: Oculus Quest Edition has been redesigned for the headset with lots more interactive features. This probably makes it more terrifying to play as you wander into those haunted woods. It’s set to arrive just in time for Halloween on 29th October 2020.
🔴 Sometimes, the biggest obstacle preventing a customer from receiving a service is not cost or availability, but rather distance. Even in our highly interconnected world, situations occur when customers live in remote regions with no option to get service quickly, or even when the service is quite rare and not represented in all cities where customers reside. Such circumstances might seem hopeless at first glance, but can often be counteracted with remote assistance, or even better – remote assistance through AR.
◈ How do remote assistance and AR work?
Remote assistance traditionally refers to the provision of support and service through various forms of communication – voice and video calls, text messaging and chat, mobile apps, and web platforms. The listed approaches are far from perfect, but they can be improved with augmented reality (AR) technology, which allows digital elements to be projected on real visuals (e.g. live camera footage) with certain devices (usually smartphones, tablets, or smart glasses). Let’s take a look at how and why the technology is being used in this field. 👇
◈ Benefits of the AR Approach for Business
Many businesses are already using online and mobile tools to support their customers and employees, but AR makes the service superior through multiple benefits:
1. Faster data analysis
AR technology focuses on analyzing footage and identifying objects in a camera stream. Applications of this type often have pre-programmed markers (images of an object) that it will detect in a photo or camera stream, and the process often happens much faster than a person looking at their surroundings and identifying a particular detail. Consequently, someone can just aim their camera at a piece of equipment, and their AR app will provide information and/or digital visuals in seconds as opposed to sharing the image via message and waiting minutes for an expert to identify it.
2. More relevant and informative visuals
🗨 In addition to speed, the tracking systems of AR apps do a much better job of providing accurate and relevant information. To begin with, remote specialists are quite limited in their approach to identifying objects and issues affecting them. They might ask for descriptions, photos, or a video to get a grasp of the issue, and even they sometimes make mistakes. On the other hand, a well-crafted tracking system will analyze many factors around an object in a live camera feed and can make a more accurate judgment about the situation. Accordingly, the information and/or visuals that the AR app then displays will be more relevant and better tailored to the user’s surroundings.
3. Improved automation
🎯 Given the advanced tracking and visualization systems present in AR apps, they can take on many of the functions typically delegated to support specialists. The application can include step-by-step support for dozens of situations and scenarios, so users are able to resolve issues by themselves. However, it is unlikely that this type of solution will replace support staff entirely, as not every problem encountered by users can be prepared for, and there are also times when the hardware and software fail to make the right determinations.
4. Ease of development
👉 Just 10 years ago, AR was an unknown concept to most businesses and developers, with only a select few companies (like Layar) paving the way for the technology to thrive. Today, AR development services are thriving with thousands of developers working in this field. Furthermore, Android and iOS have embraced the technology and provided the tools (ARKit and ARCore) to build such software for their platforms with no hassle. Thus, the creation of such solutions should not be thought of as much more complex than ordinary app development.
5. Standing out from the competition
🗨 For service providers competing with other companies for market share, the elaborate level of support provided through remote assistance with AR could be the game-changing factor that puts their business ahead of the rest of the pack. Besides outshining competitors, this approach should also impress users and give them a better experience more closely tailored to their circumstances.
Where can AR Remote Support be Used? 👈
Given the broad capabilities of AR, it can be used in nearly every industry – even support for online services. Still, certain industries lend themselves to the technology best, and some examples are below:
Helping drivers make repairs or learn how certain features work. Making the jobs of mechanics/salesmen easier with quick scanning and information
👥 Customers can use their devices to navigate stores more easily and find needed products faster. Employees can train to quickly identify where products are located and how goods are organized.
Patients and their caretakers are guided through medical tasks, medical readings are made clearer and visualized. Medical staff can quickly interpret results and provide recommendations.
Workers at utility plants and stations can quickly troubleshoot issues, share relevant footage and data, preview changes to facility functions.
Servicemen can learn how to work with equipment properly, scan gear and objects for potential dangers, and get accurate descriptions of various items.
👉 And many more
These examples are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creating AR experiences.
Where is AR Already Being Used for Remote Assistance?
With thousands of businesses already using AR in their operations, it is safe to say that hundreds have applied it to remote assistance. Some prominent examples include: 👇
1. CITIC Telecom
The CITIC Telecom company has a massive amount of infrastructure that must be kept in working order, and AR is helping with this. Their field engineers and maintenance staff are using AR devices to troubleshoot issues with equipment and boost productivity by over 50%.
2. Scandinavian Health Ltd
With the recent lockdown and quarantine measures, many auditors are not able to come to work. However, the company has invested in smart glasses, which are worn by employees that do visit their facilities and allow the auditors to see the data crucial to their work visualized.
Renault is a French automaker that integrated AR devices to improve cooperation with dealerships. Using the special software and hardware, Renault engineers can cooperate with dealership technicians to resolve warranty issues, reducing the need for engineers to visit the dealerships.
The giant food corporation Nestlé is applying AR technology to improve collaboration among its various production and R&D sites. Specialists in the facilities are linked with the software and can easily share photos and video streams, files, visualize systems and processes and therefore work more efficiently.
📖 Conclusion 👇
At the most basic level, AR-based support answers the biggest demand that people in need of help have – show, don’t tell. Though voice and video support are helpful in many situations, augmented reality apps provide can resolve most troubleshooting situations much faster and more accurately, as long as the proper care and attention to detail are invested in their development. As the approach grows and grows in popularity, we see a rising number of businesses use it to their advantage.
🗨 In case you are interested in the implementation of AR technologies to enhance your business processes or accomplish other goals, you can contact any of the numerous companies that provide AR services. One of the leading companies presented in the matrix above is Program-Ace – an AR development company that has worked with immersive technologies since they first appeared on the market. Whichever company you choose will be lucky to have you, because the implementation of new tech in your business will allow you to stay a few steps ahead of your competitors.
↘ Source: 👤 Mikhail Shcherbatko is a creative writer, translator, movie buff, and fantasy book fan. Writing guest posts for Program-Ace, he strives to bring useful insights to the masses. 🔚