Catch up with Julie Huynh, immersive VR & AR developer at Isobar U.S

We recently caught up with Isobar U.S’ Unity Developer, Julie Huynh, who was named among 66 brilliant women in creative tech this month. Julie’s expertise in traditional creativity and craft influenced her move into creative technology, where she develops immersive VR, AR and MR experiences for clients.

As the digital economy becomes ever-more focused on the advancements of technologies such as VR, AR, artificial intelligence and machine learning, Julie embodies the importance strong creative and storytelling still plays today.

Hi Julie, congratulations on recently being named among 66 brilliant women in creative tech! What’s your role and how long have you been at Isobar?

I’m a Unity Developer, and I’ve been at Isobar since August 2016. I was originally hired to help on a particular VR project for a client. I currently work on Proof of Concept projects for VR and for prospective client pitches.

What’s your background, and what inspired you to get into creative technology?

I got inspired to get into tech when I was in art school making large abstract landscape paintings. These were backdrops for stories I would tell by projecting 2D animations onto the paintings. However, I felt that painting and drawing were too 2D, and I wanted to find a new tool to tell stories and evoke specific emotions. So, I looked at graduate programs and I applied for mostly animation graduate schools, but decided to venture out to New York at a Parsons Design and Technology program where I entered into a world of creative technologists, game developers and storytellers.

Coming from an English Literature and Fine Arts background, I was well versed in design concepts, but I took a deep dive into the tech world, finding a new medium to tell my stories. I explored with different kinds of tech to voice my conceptual designs, but in my first VR class sponsored by Oculus (before Facebook acquired them), I found the tool for my thesis. I had already developed fun projects using physical computing and IR sensors earlier at Parsons, but dove into my thesis project using VR with a few mini projects to prepare for it. I exhibited my thesis at game and tech conferences post-graduation in New York City and California, and taught at Parsons before coming to Isobar.

Can you tell us a little more about what you do as an immersive VR and AR developer?

I’m a VR and AR immersive developer, which I mainly use Unity to develop VR and AR projects and proofs of concepts for pitches. At Isobar’s NowLab, we promote creating room scale VR experiences, and then create disseminations down the VR content pyramid, such as shareable 360 video content inside the project, and/or Mixed Reality video where we green screen a person into the VR environment.

In your view, how important is it for brands to adopt new creative technologies like Augmented and Virtual Reality?

I think it’s crucial for brands to adopt new creative technologies like Augmented and Virtual Reality. Although these technologies are still in their infancies, brands staying ahead of the game and using these new frontiers of advertising space will allow them to innovate and make a lasting impression on being the first, and the first to do it right.

Finally, what would you say are the biggest benefits that AR and VR can offer brands?

The biggest benefits that AR and VR can offer brands is that it’s a new medium to customize their brand identity. A new space to tell the story of their brand and fully immerse the user within a 3D environment which includes interaction. I chose VR as my main development tool because of this quote, and it rings very true for brands wanting to build positive and lasting relationships with customers: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Check out the immersive global VR experience Isobar created for General Motors, and watch the latest Facebook Live Q&A with Isobar Global CEO, Jean Lin, to discover more about the agency’s view on the role creativity plays within the world of technology.