The tech world is all abuzz about Virtual Reality (VR). 2017 is predicted to usher in many great advancements in VR, and TIB Digital has done its part to be a part of that by creating www.TIBVR.com, a content management system anyone can use to make their own WebVR experiences in real-time!
Co-founders, Luke Peake and Jonathan Wheelwright, have utilized the latest WebVR technologies to make an easy-to-use system that allows users to select from a collection of high quality images, or upload their own, to create a side-to-side and up-and-down view of their own world. Within that world, you can then add additional images, text or links to provide information and links to other areas. TIB Digital is the very first digital agency to offer companies or individuals the opportunity to have their own VR website with complete control over the experience via a CMS. With the aim of making the process completely automated, TIBVR wants to be the Squarespace of the VR Web world.
One may ask, “Do I need to change my website to a Virtually Reality site?”. While there a specific use cases for dropping your current site and remaking your whole portal as VR, in many cases a VR website can be added as an additional portal to your existing site, to help provide better visuals for certain things and provide a unique experience.
Luke Peake describes, “Picture this, you put on the VR glasses and suddenly you are standing in a virtual shop surrounded by racks of t-shirts. You look left and right and see different styles and designs of t-shirts. You focus on one of the t-shirts, it zooms in to show a close up of the design. The product price and description slides out to the side. It’s not what you want, you look away, the t-shirt goes back into the rack. You continue your browsing in the virtual store because this is so much more exciting then your traditional e-commerce store layout.”
This is what TIBVR is offering. VR will not only make your website attractive but will also improve users’ experience. These VR stores will provide a more exciting user experience than usual two dimensional websites.
Up until now VR websites have been a very costly affair, as the amount of work needed to program objects in three dimensions is laborious. However, TIBVR has harnessed the power of 360 degree cameras, such that one only needs to take a 360 degree photograph of a place or use an existing image available on many stock image sites, to start building their own reality.
The other major road block with VR has been the high cost for high-end devices such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR. However, now VR glasses such as Google Cardboard can be purchased or even made at home for pennies.
The guts of TIBVR is built on A-frame technology, which is a WebVR framework for building virtual reality websites. However, the end-user does not need to touch code or deal with this on any level. TIB Digital has built custom code to integrate the content management system so a user can change assets within the website. TIBVR.com has become the first site to offer a Content Management System (CMS) within a VR website.
In order to design your own site you simply need to sign up on www.tibvr.com and once you have your login, choose from some of the sample background images already provided or upload your own. If you can’t find the images you want, simply contact TIB Digital to help, but in most cases using a 360 degree camera can literally make anything you want a VR site. Once you have the base image to create your four walls, ceiling and floor, you can take it a step further by adding images, text and links within your virtual room. Literally within a few minutes you can have your very own site. If you want something more advanced you can contact TIB Digital at email@example.com to request specific features and options.
The background imagery for your VR website needs to be equirectangular in order to work properly in the VR environment. Currently, there are many new cameras out in the market which allow you to do this sort of photography or hire a professional photographer to do for you. To smoothen the process further, if you don’t want to set anything up yourself you can simply email the photos to TIB Digital and we’ll build your VR site for you in no time.
The current version of tibvr.com limits you to six virtual walls (ceiling and floor included). This may give the impression of limited space instead of a free virtual world. However, Peake says “This is just the start and we have plans to expand this system to work in multiple rooms with moving ability.” Already, TIB Digital has the ability to create videos and special effects upon request. In the future Wheelwright maintains that tibvr.com will be “multi-level or multi-page design, contact form functionality, drag and drop functionality, and option to resize, scale, and move panels”.
Another important and exciting upcoming feature, which TIBVR is working on currently, is utilizing Artificial Intelligence (AI), to help users answer questions in real time. It will give an opportunity to business owners to go to www.tibvr.com, sign up, and launch their own website without any help from TIBVR.
In 2018, the number of VR users is expected to reach 28 million! TIBVR has designed demos for many different fields like eCommerce, finance, food & beverage and more, so if you wish to step into the future, and stay ahead of the curve, consider building a VR website today.