Q&A: How to get into AR/VR
Updated: Nov 10, 2019
Technical Producer Caitlin Lomax on the key roles in augmented and virtual reality, and what hiring managers are looking for in this space.
AR/VR is booming – what's the best way to get across it?
Get a VR headset, get into as many experiences as you can. Download some AR apps on your phone and think about what feels good to use and what doesn't. The more you play around with this stuff the more you'll get your head around it.
It's important to immerse yourself in the environment as everyone is learning new stuff every day. Follow the key players and industry leaders, and make sure you check out roadtovr.com and vrscout.com. It's great to attend meet-ups and conferences too – you'll pick up so much knowledge from just talking to people in the industry.
Where should people looking to get into AR/VR start?
If you don't have a technical background, have a look at Spark AR, as you don't need any coding experience. It's made by Facebook for Facebook and Instagram, so you can share your creations as filters.
If you do have a technical background, skill up in game development engines like Unity and Unreal. Learn how to use ARKit, ARCore, AR Foundations, Vuforia etc. It's also valuable to understand concepts around art assets for games, as you'll need to give clear direction to artists.
What type of person can be successful in this space?
Anyone wanting to work in AR/VR should have a passion for the unknown and be motivated by making revisions. You should want to make things better and be proud of producing great content. This industry needs people who see themselves as pioneers.
What qualities do you look for when you're hiring?
I always look for someone who has a willingness to learn and is super passionate about what they do. I really like to to see what people do in their own time, not just their 9-5 – what really excites them. I love it when people bring along demos as this shows me they're truly interested in this space.
Where do you see the industry going?
I see the new generation of headsets will be able to give amazing visuals and that prices are going to come down. And VR haptics technology will incorporate a sense of touch into the virtual world.
I see that commercial businesses, healthcare and safety industries will be taking AR/VR more seriously, as it has huge benefits for global cost savings, training and demonstrations.
Caitlin Lomax is a Technical Producer at The Social Lab Australia.