Designing Augmented Reality Apps Based on How our Brains Work

With augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) becoming the next computing platforms, app developers have been increasingly focused on building AR and VR apps (and in some cases, developing for both). We recently had the opportunity to work with an awesome development team from Great Wave, a professional services firm with extensive experience in developing business and productivity apps. Given their work and experience, it’s no surprise that Great Wave would be on the cutting edge of VR and AR app development.’

The Great Wave team stopped by our office to showcase their Analytics VR app. By helping people understand and analyze data more quickly, such a tool could provide richer, more insightful experiences than the ones derived from paper and screens. Studies conducted by researchers at Stanfordand by our own neuroscience and analytics team (in conjunction with Accenture) demonstrate how the use of 3D information could amplify people’s efficiency and ability to focus on tasks.

Great Wave also had a chance to apply our NeuroInterface Principles and AR design guidelines as they worked on porting their VR app into the Meta 2. Over the course of their work, Celeste Young, Principal Consultant, noticed that “when people put on our current Analytics VR demo, they instinctively reach out to touch their data, but then have to learn how to use the virtual trackball and gaze controllers. Building our app on the Meta headset let us remove a layer of abstraction, so users can do what they want to directly: reach out and touch and manipulate their data. It’s stunning and compelling.”

We were especially surprised to hear that they would apply the Neural Interface Principles to their future VR development work. And while there are many differences between VR and AR, it’s hard not to see that creating apps for both fields would involve similar, if not the same, design principles and guidelines.

If you didn’t have a chance to catch their live demo at Dreamforce, Salesforce’s annual developer and customer conference that’s happening this week in San Francisco, then check out the promo video below to see how their tool is used in an office setting.

Given the exciting work Great Wave has been doing thus far, we’re especially excited to see what other devs are working on. Give us a shout on Twitter or Facebook if you’re developing an awesome AR app and or have ideas for groundbreaking apps. We’d love to hear from you and share your work!

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