Favorite VR — Beat Saber
The first time I played Beat Saber was using the VR headset, it broke my prejudice regarding VR games. Since I have mild motion sickness, I felt unsecured and nervous when I wear a VR headset that blocks my surroundings. But this rhythm game establishes a neon futuristic playground for you to dive into the game.
The UI design is simple and easy to follow, just using the controller as your laser swords to cut blocks toward you. It has music playlists for you to choose from, the different level to practice and challenge yourself, the scoreboard for you to see players all over the world, the blocks, and obstacles for you to get moving to follow the rhythms, also the different game mode to either play along or interact with other players. It’s a really fun and immersive VR game, or should I call it an active game like Just Dance or The Climbing only more engaging.
However, all the best games we love could have room to improve. The built-in playlists are limited, users have to purchase other music packages or using developer mode; sometimes, the sensor of controllers is not working, it’s a bummer to lose track of your movement while playing. Anyway, there are more and more VR games that create amazing and mind-blowing content for us to explore, it’s a big revolution with huge potentials.
Least Favorite VR — Expeditions
“Expeditions” is categorized as a “learning and teaching tool” on the Apple store, which is a brilliant idea that teachers can guide students to explore the historical landmarks, creatures, and outer space. However, I wish it could be more engaging and immersive for students or other users to explore our universe.
First, as I try to explore the VR tours, it’s a little bit wired to have the button “Download to view or guide”. For me, it would be more interesting if the button says “Let’s Explore!” or other words.
During the tours, the 360° images are not high resolution, it lacks an immersive experience. I can even see the Google watermarks on it, I understand it might considering the legitimacy. But still, not high-resolution images with watermarks on it, it’s not engaging.
Also, the word instructions are a little bit long and boring, I wish could be more intuitive. If it has audio transcripts while we looking at the art piece or landmark, that would be more like a tour.
When I tap an object, the target point and arrows look too simple and wired. It would be more interesting if it can add more 3D animation or tracking path.
Besides, there are several similar apps Google support/develop, (such as Google Arts & Culture, Google Earth, even Google Maps). Expeditions lack of its core competence and immersive designs. I saw an article that Google announced the Expeditions would be shut down and removed from IOS and Android app stores this June.
Favorite AR — Adobe Aero
Adobe Aero can allow you to create your AR world, which is engaging and intuitive for users. Especially for artists and designers, adding a different dimension to their canvas can create a 3D world, which is exciting and inspiring.
Looking through the cameras via your phones or iPads, we can explore and recreate the established design resources or our artworks in augmented reality. We can add a 3D robot in your living room, tap it and trigger the dancing or stretch actions that built-in; can add audios and sounds to create a story; can utilize the surroundings around us to build an enriched animated reality world. In this era of information explosion, creators always chasing mind-blowing and innovative content. Adobe Aero is establishing a portable and easy to access AR world for users. All instructions and features are clear and easy to follow, it has a “Starter Assets” resource for beginners to acknowledge the functions and design process.
Personally speaking, I’m positive about this AR application. It has the potential to become an AR social networking or creator platform. This app is fast to create/post, easy to follow the instructions, also let AR be more engaging and innovative.
Least Favorite AR — Experience
First, the name of this AR app is difficult for me to connect with its brand — B&O. For users who don’t know this brand, it might be necessary to add a brief introduction of their products and who they are. The app is simple and not giving such information. Only when we press the adding button, the category pops up, we start to realize B&O has products like speakers, headphones, and televisions to sell.
All products’ outlooks are elegant and modern, however, when I place the 3D speaker model in my living room, it cannot reflect the real size compare to my surroundings, the model looks wired and not engaging enough for me to explore more features of the product.
Besides, it doesn’t have extra sounds or audios effects to play the music to make me believe this is speakers or headphones. This AR experience won’t be able to convince me to buy those products.