How Quality Assurance Testing Can Redefine Your VR Application by@kanikavatsyayan

How Quality Assurance Testing Can Redefine Your VR Application

Virtual Reality is a completely different concept where users are immersed in a computer-generated reality. The global AR and VR market is expected to grow to $209.2 billion by 2022 while there are more than 171M VR users worldwide. The success of VR technology is the ability of developers and VR testing services to deliver immersive user experiences. Quality Assurance is the primary requisite for creating a highly immersive experience. QA helps to avoid any serious physical consequences that can disturb the immersive nature of VR products.
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Kanika Vatsyayan

VP Delivery and Operations, at BugRaptors Leading Software Testing & Quality Assurance Company

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When it comes to Virtual Reality technology, things in the market have changed at a very fast pace. Right from mobile applications to the most advanced gaming platforms, VR has transformed a lot. According to Tech Jury, “the global AR and VR market is expected to grow to $209.2 billion by 2022 while there are more than 171M VR users worldwide.”

The one thing that defines the success of VR technology is the ability of developers and VR testing services to deliver immersive user experiences. It has become more essential than ever that the Quality Assurance enthusiast dive deeper to explore the whole concept of VR applications testing while making their way through effective test cases.

In this blog, we will try to highlight all aspects surrounding quality software testing services for VR technology. But before we dig into exploring the possible testing practices and finding out how they affect the development of VR solutions, let us quickly explore the basics of Virtual Reality.

What is Virtual Reality?

Usually confused with augmented reality, VR is a completely different concept where users are immersed in a computer-generated reality. The concept of Virtual Reality is all about replacing our surroundings with things created on software using gyroscopic sensors, accelerators, and magnetometers. Hence, determining the movement of the user and reflecting the same in the virtual space.

On the other hand, AR technology is all about overlaying things in the real world. In other words, AR is all about digital enhancements superimposed on real-world objects.

The VR technologies are either based on smartphone connections or standalone VR headsets based on Oculus Go. The earliest adoption of VR technology happened in the gaming and entertainment industry. However, the extensive range of applications and uses made the idea of Virtual Reality reach other industries like business, healthcare, education, engineering, military, & more.

Why VR Needs Quality Assurance?

Since Virtual Reality is all about software and devices, Quality Assurance is the primary requisite for creating a highly immersive experience. Moreover, meticulous testing prevents any bugs from affecting the user experience that developers try to create using overlays and virtual objects to their real surroundings.

As virtual reality is meant to put the virtual and real world together, harnessing Quality Assurance testing services helps align digital objects with physical objects in real-time while cutting off any unrealistic encounters that might happen due to bugs. Also, QA helps to avoid any serious physical consequences that can disturb the immersive nature of VR products.

Quality Assurance testing even helps to prevent any health issues associated with using VR devices such as headaches, eye strain, motion sickness, or seizures, etc. Moreover, early identification of such issues during the test stage helps to limit the discomfort and liabilities associated with the development of the product.

However, the test process usually involves certain challenges that must function properly using the right pairing of manual, automation, performance, and device-based testing best practices.

Common QA Testing Challenges with Virtual Reality

When it comes to Virtual Reality, the standard software testing approach does not work well with the VR test process. Rather, it needs a highly specific and dedicated approach that can help meet the benchmarks of success. However, VR testing also involves certain challenges that need to be countered well to develop the most successful VR solutions. These include:

  • Time Restrictions

VR testing is extensively time-consuming. It needs testers to wear gadgets and watch screens for hours, causing vision impairment, headaches, and motion sickness. This is why testing time for each session is usually limited to 30 minutes or less, which at times creates a huge backlog of tests.

This means the maximum time of the testers is used to locate bugs, leaving a smaller window for testing the user experience. It is necessary for VR application testers to keep a check on the time to avoid any injuries or health issues.

  • Testing Latency

If it is something that delays the entire process of VR testing, it is because of the VR software not being accessible by the testers until they are developed well to a certain extent. In other words, testing a VR software and device is not possible until the coding or development part reaches a level where testers can put it to use.

This causes a collection of defects and bugs, making it difficult to align QA into the software development lifecycle. Developers have very little time left out of the schedule to plan test cases and validate fixes.

  • Testing Platforms

Testing VR software is not easy. It needs testers to run multiple analyses across different output streams to ensure the most accurate results. This usually requires QA testers to explore different test platforms while working across factors like:

- Testing VR on different devices & desktops.

- To ensure the communication and body language of the tester with the application are observed.

- To collect all the physiological data shared by the test supervisor, the response shared by the tester wearing the device, and any stress level stats available on the wearables themselves.

VR Testing Techniques: Exploring the Basic Test Scenarios

Before we jump on exploring the various test scenarios and automation best practices, it is necessary to have some quick insights about the basic VR test scenarios:

  1. Unit Testing: The fundamentals of VR testing begin with testing the smallest and every individual unit of code. It usually needs testers to focus on a specific codebase while discovering any opportunities for automation.

  2. Integration Testing: Integration tests focus on different modules of the VR system, which can be interactions, test environments, or any specific scenes. It needs special skills to analyze resources and automate unit tests for different systems.

  3. End-to-End Testing: The conventional way of proceeding with end-to-end testing is meant to take a full playthrough of app interactions. Managed by third-party QA solutions providers, end-to-end testing refers to documenting the entire test plan. Besides, end-to-end tests need extensive resources and skills that can help prioritize the entire QA process.

Manual Testing Using Oculus Link & In Standalone Mode

When you need to test visual style and quest gameplay, it begins with the deployment of the Quest app with a USB 3.0 link cable. It will help you test the elements of your Quest app while allowing you to connect to your PC without any need to connect to your local wi-fi for deploying the app from your PC.

Since the PC does not reflect well on standalone mode, you should not test the performance of your app affected by CPU or GPU, leading to performance issues, bugs, or any app challenges. Moreover, deploying and testing quests must be made the regular part of the test process.

The VR Testing Automation Best Practices

Since automation can help you simplify the entire task of developing a VR application right from the features, application, and easy launch, automating the testing of your VR application needs you to keep a few things in mind. These key factors include:

  • Time & Skill: Unlike manual testing, automation requires you to analyze the cost-benefit analysis of the test script for its complexity to identify the time and effort required.
  • Automation Test Considerations: When you can automate a test, make sure you understand all the considerations surrounding the test environment to improve the iteration time and overcome the bugs in the app.
  • Automate Repeatable Elements: The less complex and repeatable elements of your application must be automated to ensure greater efficiency with your scripts for the planned outcomes.
  • Edge Case Opportunities: Automation must be employed for all instances of manual and single tests to check for any abnormalities with the user flow.

After you’ve decided what type of tests you’re looking to automate and where to focus your resources, use the following best practices to move forward with your test automation process.

  • Using Test Scripts as a Path to Automation: Since the testing process is driven by the effectiveness of test scripts, the most repeatable steps should be considered at the earliest to automate the Quality Assurance solutions for VR software or applications.
  • Continuous Integration with Source Control: For the Oculus VR app, using CI with source control could help you test projects of different shapes and sizes while scaling your team. To manage source control systems, you can work on Git, Mercurial, or Perforce for a complex app, while Continuous Integration could be worked using GitLab or Jenkins.
  • Turning to a 2D App Version: Whether working on test automation or not, you can simply run your app on a 2D screen, saving you planning different features while checking app properties, system response, and other factors.
  • Using Telemetry: Whenever possible, using a telemetry data log can help you analyze errors with the system under test while considering the user journey and the user flow that makes way for a successful playthrough.
  • Early Detection Of Build Errors: Running the code for the app built on the CI system gives you a chance to detect issues at the earliest, allowing the test teams to overcome any conflicts for any changes accommodated to the application.
  • Trigger Events: Finally,, you can trigger events on the VR device to ensure the performance of the system for every command made to the system.

Performance Testing & System Analysis Considerations

Whether you are testing your application over a standalone environment like Oculus or a connected environment, there are a few important considerations that can help you simplify the performance testing process with easy system analysis.

  • Budget: The primary aspect that you need to consider when testing your VR app is to document all the system components and allocate a budget for the performance. It will not only help you improve communication but prioritize the development lifecycle.
  • KPIs: Once done with documenting the system and budget for the entire VR app, you can set KPIs related to performance to ensure any benchmarks related to performance should be worked on. These usually include launch times, time-lapsed during interactions, navigation, overall UI, etc.
  • Thread Management: Though it is a part of architectural planning, keeping critical elements in the foreground helps you prevent any resistance to the main thread of the application.

Device-Based Testing: Considerations & Best Practices

Device-based testing planned to complement continuous automated testing could help you locate any bugs and performance issues with the development process. However, the process requires testers to understand all the considerations and best practices to produce effective results:

  • Gather your Best Dev Resources: Though you need the right combination of hardware and software to lead your test process, it is the efficiency of your dev resources that helps you to automate test scripts while saving your energy and resources.
  • More Automation Needs More Devices: When you have your automation scripts ready, you can aim to test for any downtime on all the devices available. Since it is an iterative process, you can run dedicated testing units for the available hardware to streamline the automation written.
  • Consider Bandwidth: As automating the testing process for your VR app requires your team to analyze data and process reports, make sure you have enough bandwidth to implement tests for different hardware.
  • 2D Tests: Lastly, when you are testing in a connected environment and not a standalone Oculus headset, you can run automation on 2D devices to test your gameplay logic, feel, and overall experience.   **

Final Thoughts

Concluding it all, testing an AR application or VR-based product allows you to cultivate the user experience and business response that you plan to have.

However, the only thing that determines the success of your VR solution is proceeding in the right direction when you need to overcome any potential challenges, leverage test scenarios, automate the test plan and leverage the best practices that can improve the performance testing and device-based testing requirements.

We hope the above guide will help you drive the maximum potential out of your VR app, making the most of the Quality Assurance services as well as nurturing the efforts of your Automation and DevOps teams.

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