VR and AR Gets Easier, More Interesting with Dell

Questions were asked in 2017 if virtual reality (VR) was here to stay or if it was just a flash in the pan like previous technologies such as 3D TV. I believe, we can say with some conviction, that this is clearly not the case and it is starting to be more and more pervasive in our lives, Dell has been involved in several VR projects last year across several different areas – media and entertainment with Spider-Man-Homecoming and Dunkirk all the way through to medical innovations in viewing MRI scans and helping with the rehabilitation of patients.
Man wearing HTC Vive headset at Dell Experience at CES 2018

With so many diverse applications and more springing up on an almost daily basis then this has gained a strong foothold in our lives. One of the perceived barriers to VR is the cost of the system on which to run it. Dell has also played a strong role here in driving down the costs of systems whilst giving a great experience – the introduction of the Dell Visor and new Inspiron gaming systems are allowing us to hit much lower price point than before.

However, as with all things, we are stronger as a team and that is why the Dell Technology Partner Program is key to delivering solutions that are desired by our customers. You are a demanding lot – always needing the best performance at the best prices and well you should be – I was in the market for a washer/dryer and I wanted performance without compromise at a good price (and I wanted them to look good). We are all looking for the best we can get, with the funds we have available. It is always great to get things together as you then only have one supplier to deal with and gives a great piece of mind and so that is why we have made some improvements to give you a better experience.

Alienware Area 51 and HTC Vive headset

Right now, Dell is the first PC manufacturer to offer the consumer HTC Vive headsets as part of the customer shopping experience. Only with Dell can you get some of the best ‘Ready for VR’ PCs as well as the option of Dell Visor or the consumer HTC Vive headset in one place. These bundles join the existing HTC Vive Business Edition for those looking to develop new immersive VR experiences and have a business level support for critical projects.

On the augmented reality (AR) front, we will soon be the first PC manufacturer offering an augmented reality headset from a leader in the space, META. We will have more news and details on that in the coming week and it’s a great partnership that adds to the very tangible benefits of Dell’s partner program. From analyst studies then, AR is going to be a huge driving force in industry – imagine seasoned workers passing on skills of the trade to trainees from the comfort of a warm office whilst seeing what the apprentice is seeing and then pointing out areas that need attention and talking them through it. Imagine looking at IoT sensors and information being displayed dynamically to show where issues could lie for troubleshooting and replacement.

…we will soon be the first PC manufacturer offering an augmented reality headset from a leader in the space…

There is a careful balance in the industry currently where this is about to turn. The addressable market for headsets was deemed small and so quality content was not being developed. On the flip side there was not a lot of quality content and so folks did not buy headsets. Now that the prices have dropped significantly in the last year then this dynamic will change and everyone will benefit. So, we have talked about the consumption of VR above but how does this get created? With the new Alienware Area 51 desktops featuring AMD Threadrippper processing, partners such as Grab Games are developing fantastic new experiences better and faster than ever. Our friends at TrinityVR are not only developing incredible fun new experiences, but their content is another great example of how VR is transforming industries. With DiamondFX, Trinity VR is utilizing a data-backed virtual reality foundation to create a scouting and player development platform for professional baseball teams to standardize batting data across batters, leagues and countries – so not only is it fun but it’s actually helping improve preparation. It also helped me realize that I did not have a future as a professional baseball player…

As we look at the new year we also have an eye on our partners and industries using VR/AR to improve lives. What we’re referring to as ‘VR for Good’ helps us rally some great influencers in the VR/AR world that are experimenting and actually achieving life-altering results through the power of these new immersive technologies. While the work we’re collaborating on in the healthcare space certainly yields unmistakable benefits, the work in the education space is equally important as it lays the foundation for the next generation of creators that can absorb the potential of VR/AR in a unique way. Mt Vernon school is a great example of a progressive institution harnessing the power of both Alienware and Precision PCs to cultivate new skill sets in young students.

This week we are taking advantage of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to showcase some of the interesting work being done ‘for Good.’ Stay up to date on the latest Dell news by visiting our CES press site here throughout the duration of the show.

We also have another look at the Dell PC technology enabling these experiences as we head to the Sundance Film Festival later this month – more on that in the coming weeks.

Now I am off for four sleepless nights in Vegas watching faces light up with wonder at the new marvels that are being shown here – and one of those faces will be mine.

About the Author: Gary Radburn