We just had an open studio at our office and we had one of our Enscape models on display with the Rift setup if anyone wanted to check out VR. The room was a mix of architects and designers from other fields. Here are some observations I had as I was in charge of getting people into the model and quickly teaching them to navigate the model.
We had about 15-20 people come into the VR that were interested, I would say 90% of them had never tried VR before at all. This was out of maybe 60-70+ people in total at our event. I still think some people are not interested in this technology or are at least weary about putting the headset on.
It wasn't just young people that were interested. A lot of the people who were interested were older which was somewhat surprising to me.
Architects get into the VR space and look around, but the non-architects want to move quickly through and are looking for a more interactive experience, they almost get bored with just walking around in a static environment. I would say in less than a minute about half the users were like, "that's all?". They wanted cars and people to move - some said it was creepy that everything was still, especially the Enscape people proxies. As a sidenote - we all found that the Enscape people seem to be a bit red - maybe too much time in the tanning booth?
It would be great to begin thinking about adding some interactivity - even if its just some thing that turns a series if layer sets on and off - for options. This way we have clients look at design options while inside the model. It would also be amazing to have material options in the model as well, so a client can select finishes - this would be huge!!!
Navigation - so we took the left Rift controller out of the whole equation altogether. We find its just another layer of complication to new users that is not necessary in these demo situations. The first thing I do is explain how to teleport as we find that this makes people less sick. no matter how I explained this, people shot the teleport straight out and ending up moving too quickly or ended up in a place in the model they did not belong. I would really like to see Enscape have the ability to turn on a 'simple teleport' that has a jump arc like you see in the Unreal VR template. I don't want someone to be able to shoot straight across and open area, rather I would like them 'hop' maybe 5-25' depending on how the raise the arc.
I have requested this one before - LIMITS - we need to be able to create a boundary that Enscape will simply not allow you to pass. People love testing the limits and always want to go 'backstage'. I even placed stanchions in the model so people would not cross them - guess what? They still wanted to. It would just be nice if Enscape had a boundary and it would not go any further - maybe a little message pops up floating in VR that says, please turn around, this area is no accessible in VR.
We were running Enscape 2.5 on an 1080ti and I have the say that the quality has come a long way in the last year. I am very impressed in the direction that Enscape is heading - EXCELLENT work Enscape team!