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Saturday May 14 marked the day that Vancouver experienced its first virtual reality (VR) exhibition for consumers, organized by Archiact Interactive.

During the days leading up to the event, I was pretty excited to experience VR for the first time. That’s right, it was going to be my first time ever touching a VR headset and being temporarily immersed in a totally different environment. And that’s what made this exhibition unique – past VR exhibitions have traditionally focused on developers, but this time the focus was all on the consumer experience. CVR 2016 included many industry leaders in VR for attendees to try out, including Dreadhalls, Cloudhead Games, Wavesine Solutions, and many more.

However, as excited as I was to try out VR, it didn’t happen as immediately as I had hoped. Upon entering the venue, there were lineups for most of the exhibitors available. Obviously, this should be expected for a sold out event, so my spirits remained high. After walking around for a bit, I stopped by uForis VR, which provides VR solutions in real estate. After fiddling a bit with the Samsung Gear VR, I finally got the hang of it and explored the different rooms of the house simply by turning my head. It was pretty cool to get an entire 360 feel of the place without actually being there.

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As you can tell already, VR is more than just for gaming – it can serve many practical uses as well such as in business or healthcare. CVR 2016 made sure to showcase all of it.

For example, if you headed a few feet down from uForis VR, you would find a VR guided meditation. The folks over at Cubicle Ninjas told me that sometimes the meditation experience is so relaxing that people have actually fallen asleep! Even though the same didn’t happen to me, I still found myself quite relaxed sitting in Japan and watching the cherry blossoms sway in the wind. The experience was accompanied with audio of someone’s calming voice instructing breathing techniques to match the lovely scenery.

However, as fun as VR can be, it is important to be aware of how much you can handle in one day. Some tended to be more still, while others required a lot of quick movements. I found this particularly true when playing a VR Pacman game, which made me feel a bit dizzy afterwards.


As attendees were able to demo a variety of VR, speaker presentations from big names in VR were happening at the same time. An array of topics were covered from VR in e-commerce to journalism.

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Howard Schargel from TH3 Labs on designing for immersive experiences

Overall, from a consumer perspective, the most fulfilling aspect of CVR 2016 is walking away with an expanded understanding of VR and its potential in so many different areas of everyday life – even in places we would have never thought twice of before. Providing an opportunity for consumers to try out so much VR for that hands on experience helped bring forth our excitement for what virtual reality could mean for us in the near future.

Disclaimer: The opinions and experiences expressed here are of Under the GUI’s Marketing Assistant (Chantelle Lui) and do not necessarily reflect the official views or opinions of Under the GUI or any of its affiliations.