Virtual Reality Consultant
Currently Virtual Reality headsets have hit main stream market. Virtual reality and virtual reality content have been around a long time. Virtual reality is a computer generated environment in which you can interact. It is immersive giving a sense of presence and usually has spatial relationships. Virtual Reality headsets are stereoscopic and stereoscopic content is delivered on two screens to each eye. Virtual Reality content can be delivered in a panoramic 2D way so that it an be viewed on a digital screen. In which case the 3D world can be viewed by either rotating the screen or using a mouse, finger of keystroke to move the content.
Virtual Reality Headsets
Google cardboard is really a technology platform to play and deliver virtual reality content. The google cardboard viewer is simply a viewer to see this content. It is not proprietary to google. You can buy many types of cardboard viewers.
Oculus Samsung Gear VR
This is an affordable Virtual Reality headset that works only with select Samsung phones. The phone is placed in the smartphone tray and stereoscopic content is viewed through the viewer.
I predict the killer application for this is going to be "home movies" if you include user generated content on youtube.com as home movies. People will create, upload and share 3D photography of their lives and experiences. I have seen demos of Gear VR content and by far the most compelling with the 360 degree photography. Whether for advertising, tourism or personal exchange, this will be the most readily adapted use for Gear VR and virtual reality.
Followed by content and story telling. This will work for; advertisings, virtual tourism, sponsored relevant content and purchased titles. For example Northface sponsored content created by Jaunt VR and Tom's shoes sponsored "Charity Water" for fundraising from VRSE.
I also predict 360 viewable entertainment content will be widely received. Netflix is promising virtual reality content. Currently their app in Gear VR is lackluster and you enter a "3D" theater and view Netflix content on a screen. For me this hokey and not VR. It is, but it reminds me of VR of the 1990s. I am betting they will be brining incredible things to view in the near future.
I do not think this is a good platform for interacting with VR like games or deep experiences because there is no way to track motion other head movements at this time. Viewing aquariums, zoos, museums this will work. Things that require hands sensors or more immersion like climbing, waterskiing or sports will not.
Playstation already has considerable content that can be translated into Virtual Reality. They already have a way to deliver it through the PlayStation. This makes them their own ecosystem and a class of their own.
Hallelujah for gamers and their interests and demands bringing this to market. In the end, this is going to open up a whole new world of at home entertainment.
So the Oculus Rift headset has stereoscopic high end OLED screens and is lined with infrared sensors. The Oculus Rift headset comes with a sensor tracker that emits a 15 foot cone shaped field. Staying with that cone, your headset movements are tracked. They are tracked and FED back to a PC computer which computes where you are in the virtual world and sends back correlating images. This is data intensive and requires the head set to be tethered or wired to the computer. Currently this only works with graphic processing intensive Windows based PC computers.
Shortly there will be hand sensors available which will further track your hand movements in the cone shaped infrared field. I've tried it, it is amazing.
At this time, most content is games. The game market is a matured market and best of breed game developers will remain best of breed game developers. However, once VR enters more households and demand for other types of content will be huge. This is incredible entertainment.
I predict considerable educational variety content. The one that everyone throws out is medicine, but there is so much out there for which simulation provided excellent training. I also predict experiences are going to be big. In the way that go pro took us everywhere, we are going to want to go everywhere in 3D.
I climbed Mount Everest in VR with the HTC VIVE. It was such an incredible mind blowing experience that I forgot that I saw the amazing Star Wars virtual reality demo until two days later.
So, HTC VIVE works with two tracking sensors which need to be at least ten feet apart diagonally. More like 15 to 20 feet apart for a good experience. This is the problem called room scale because now you need an empty room so you do not fall over physical items. You also might fall leaning on virtual items by mistake. The HTC VIVE also uses infrared technology. The headset is lined with sensors as are the hand controllers.
For my money, I would buy this for home entertainment. However, at this point in the time, the Virtual Reality content is primarily games. I am not interested personally in spending any time shooting or blowing things up. Everest VR was a transformative experience for me on such a profound level that I predict experiences are going to be popular purchased content either animated or cinematic.
At this point there are also virtual experiences that have been developed using HTC VIVE and sensors on other parts of the body or machines. Data Gloves (Manus VR), Sports (Archery) and exercise machines (Omni, Virzoom) are things that have budding realistic business models.
Ok, how do I fit in? If your business want to explore what Virtual Reality can do for you, currently I am operating as a free agent consultant to analyze possibilities and produce virtual reality for you. I have done this in the past. This was my business model from 1996 to 2000. We really saw VR but technology did not support it yet. Now the pipelines are there and the delivery hardware is there. The install base is opening wide as is the interest. It will grow past the early adopter gaming market quickly.
My background is that I was originally an architect and worked at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, one of the most globally acclaimed architecture firms. I was an early adopter CAD user. Then I went to film school to study digital production. I moved to San Francisco and got a job at a first of it's kind digital agency. My first client was Silicon Graphics Inc. marketing Virtual Reality Mark Up language authoring tools and hardware.
So if you have a virtual reality product you want help marketing or you want to create some virtual reality to market, call.
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