Hospitality, Technology

Techradar: Google’s latest VR experiment is teaching people how to make coffee

Those who ran through the VR simulation only needed around two practice runs before feeling confident enough to use a real espresso maker.

This could end up transforming the YouTube how to market. I don’t see why you need renders, just get someone to film with a body cam doing the steps. I’ve never understood completely reinventing the wheel when you can save time simple recording the wheel you already have.

Entertainment, Technology

Motley Fool: How VR Could Power GoPro Back to Growth

I don’t think the Fusion camera really works as a product for the masses without a VR headset for the masses as well. But Facebook could complete the product ecosystem and make Fusion the next must-have device from GoPro — so don’t count the action camera maker out yet.

The only way GoPro is rebounding is with differentiated hardware. There’s nothing unique about their product and it’s use case is being marginalized by phone cameras that can do anything anywhere. The same lens that’s in a GoPro is in thousands of copies all coming from the same pool of suppliers in China. To make a breakthrough VR experience GoPro will need some serious R&D advancements and I don’t think that’s in their DNA. They’ve always been a great marketer of undifferentiated hardware.

Automotive, Entertainment, Fashion, Healthcare, Real Estate

Entrepreneur: 8 Industries Being Disrupted by Virtual Reality

It’s finally looking like the VR and AR industries are on the cusp of going mainstream, as industries start to figure out how to implement transformative technology in the user experience.

Finally is overused in this case, most tech journalist are focused on consumer entertainment platforms as a litmus test for success; use the wrong measure and you’re result are meaningless.

Entertainment

Rollingstone: Blade Runner Comes to VR with Trio of Interactive Game Experiences

The game places you in the cockpit of a spinner, the flying police cars seen in the original film, in pursuit of a rogue replicant.

Clearly still figuring out an appropriate formula for entertainment and cross promotion between film and video games. VR would look gorgeous in the Blade Runner world. I always worry when it’s a film based video game spinoff because there usually isn’t much long term investment behind the initial push.

Entertainment

Silicon Angle: MelodyVR partners with Sony Music to bring sweet tunes to virtual reality

MelodyVR’s platform has not yet launched and there are no details on a release date.

I’m surprised I didn’t see an opportunity within music for VR but hey we’ll see how this goes. My thoughts would be this end up as a niche play for audiophiles. Outside of watching a live concert in VR why would you want to listen to music and look at something in VR unless you’re consuming illicit substances?

Government

CBS News: Virtual reality helps reinvent law enforcement training

The scenarios are pre-recorded using trained actors with approximately 10 to 15 different outcomes per scenario.

This is what more military, first responders and other front line workers need in a training experience. From an execution standpoint it’s standard 360 VR video recording for multiple scenarios. Bringing it all together involves a little code to program the choose-your-own-adventure or multiple outcome scenarios (a la Myst) and you have a video based training simulator that most trainees will connect with on an emotional level compared to a CG simulator.

Entertainment, Social Media

The Verge: Facebook now lets you live stream from inside VR

These are still early days for Facebook and VR. “We have a laundry list of things that seem really obvious and interesting,”

Live stream VR will be one the best plays for Facebook in the VR space. Oculus is obviously waning because there hasn’t been a compelling use case for VR in Social but if you can talk/partake with friends or favourite influencers in a liver VR environment you’re going to partake. Think your favourite hobby or experiential club, the social meetups possibilities are boundless in VR social.

Technology

VentureBeat: Bringing you one step closer to monetizing VR + AR

“The biggest barrier to consumers wanting to use VR and AR is actually price of headsets; they’re still quite expensive commodities to buy.”

I would argue that it isn’t quite a commodity yet, there is clear differentiation between headset makers and several price-points for difference in quality of experience. VR headsets would need to get the ubiquitousness of owning a television or blender before you could call it a commodity.

Marketing

Inavate: IBC puts VR and AR top of the agenda

IBC2017 will highlight Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) with a number of talks and events at the Amsterdam show.

We need the standards bodies to set the specifications for marketers to run with the VR format and connect with billions of customers. What will kill adoption is poor implementation and that’s where Google, Apple and other partners need to work with W3C to make VR ads work.

Education

Phys.Org: Virtual reality opens doors to Edinburgh’s historic past

For the first time, visitors to Edinburgh will be able to explore the streets, marketplaces and churches as they may have been in the 16th century thanks to academics at the University of St Andrews.

Another thought: what a great way to actually preserve historical places in digital spaces. Think the ancient monuments throughout Iraq recently destroyed in warfare. If these places were documented with VR video we would at least have an experience to share with future generations.

Sports

Financial Post: Take me out to the screen: Virtual reality baseball a hit

“It was like I was actually in the game. When I was catching, I felt the ball move and everything,” the Miami teen said enthusiastically Sunday.

Well I was a little off in my initial assessment of how VR baseball would pan out but this is more of an expo execution than true watching baseball in VR. The novelty would be great for confined event spaces, it’s easier to setup a VR batting cage vs a real batting cage but I would love to see how watching an MLB game in VR does or doesn’t take off.

Entertainment, Technology

TechCrunch: Google shows off Blocks, a 3D modeling tool made for VR

Google wants to simplify content creation in VR so that people have more pretty things to look at and build.

I don’t know why Google is developing this, either VR hobbyists will consumer content or VR artists will create content using great tools like Unreal Engine VR Editor. Google Blocks feels like a Photoshop Elements type program, good for fooling around but so what?

Entertainment

The Next Web: What does the closure of Oculus Story Studio mean for VR filmmaking?

This sums up what the Entertainment and Marketing industries think of one studio closing…

RSA — Ridley Scott’s production company — launched a dedicated virtual reality division a month prior to the Tribeca festival

If there’s a desire for content there will be more than enough studios producing content for VR platforms. The Oculus Story Studio served it’s purpose like a dispensable catalyst.

Entertainment, Technology

Engadget: bHaptics’ TactSuit is VR haptic feedback done right

If all goes well, you’ll be seeing TactSuits pop up in your local VR arcades in the near future.

This technology will be DOA unless it’s adopted by other industries outside Video Gaming (Military and hazardous job training come to mind). The idea of haptic feedback always lands as a gimmick because the sensation payoff never justifies the expense. As an arcade owner you would be paying for the suite but also the maintenance and cleaning, all variable expenses that would negate the investment.

Entertainment, Technology

Forbes: Virtual Reality — The Future Of Media Or Just A Passing Trend?

Best comment from the article via Ahmad Kareh, Twistlab Marketing

Marketing today requires heavy engagement and consumers’ expectations are high. The virtual reality phenomenon is more than just a trend, it’s an opportunity for unique interaction and gamification on a new level of engagement.

We haven’t seen what VR will become yet and the evolution will happen gradually. You won’t notice if you fixate on the tech, but if you notice the next time you’re at a theme park or theatre, the advancement will hit you.