by Mike Mathews

This past week I finished speaking at two large conferences on the impact that Augmented and Virtual Reality (AVR) are having in education and corporate training. At the end of both sessions, the top two questions remained the same. 1. How do we get started in AVR, and 2) How much money and equipment will be need to spend to get started.

As I reflect on the questions being asking, it is obvious that most people know that they need to leverage a version of AVR, but simply don’t know where to start. One of the dilemmas with any new technology, is the number of companies trying to sell a device and platform solution; which often confuses the market and people trying to make a decision. During the past two years’ numerous headsets, googles, apps, and AVR platforms have clouded the waters to get a clear view of where to start.

While speaking in San Jose at the Realities 360 Conference hosted by the eLearning Guild, I visited The Tech Museum of Innovation who was showcasing numerous mixed realities (AVR). However, what got my attention was the little show-case shown below, called the VR Starter Kit.

VR Starter Kit Sold at the Tech Museum on Innovation in San Jose, CA

The starter kit was my reminder of what people have been asking for within the new technologies being marketed as AVR. As we reflect back through the last 40-years in technology, each major technology breakthrough had starter kits. Recall the electronic breadboard starter kits, or the Commodore 64 starter kits, and Tandy Computer starter kits that were the entry way into the new world of electronics and personal computing. The starter kit concept is somewhat applicable as companies are trying to determine the niche that AVR will have within their organizations.

In some ways we have advanced since the days of ‘starter kits,’ thanks to the many vendors who know how to strategize and integrate new technologies. What is the best advice for many of the companies asking the question ‘where do we start?’ I would simply say,  start to work with a reputable company who knows how to strategize and integrate. In the area of AVR, one of the great integrators is TalentQuest. They have been in the ‘talent’ and ‘technology’ business for 40 years. They understand how to strategize and integrate all the software, hardware, and talent to develop the right starter-kit, or full-fledged solution for every industry.

Image for a moment the new HP Backpack VR solution shown below compared to the HoloLens solution by Microsoft™.  The difference between the two is quite unique, yet each solution is merely a ‘starter kit’ for various needs. Only an experienced AVR integrator and solutions provider like TalentQuest would know what to recommend as the proper starter-kit and/or long-term solution to meet your corporate training or education needs.  The options are wonderful, but often confusing and frustrating when trying to determine the proper on ramp and highway for AVR.

HP Z VR Backpack G1 Workstation targets mobile virtual reality applications.

Microsoft HoloLens

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