Virtual Reality Headsets Need to Improve Before VR Can Turn Around Media
The present generation of virtual reality headsets need to evolve before virtual reality can come through on its promise to bring unseen immersive experiences to the populace.
The paragraph above was paraphrased by Shanna Tellerman, co-founder and CEO of Modsy and Dave Cole co-founder of NextVr, two old-timers of the virtual reality industry who were live on stage at the TechCrunch Disrupt New York event to further insight about the development of the hyped and transformative technology called VR.
Modsy a company that raised $8 million in February allows users to create a fully virtual rendition of their homes thereby helping them in making interior decoration choices. This is a very unique application of VR technology as opposed to the typical usage of VR such as gaming, pornography or sports. Shanna Tellerman believes some time would have gone before the general populace catch the VR buzz instead of the usual white males who are currently taken with the technology.
“The reality is that most consumers who [could benefit the most] don’t have VR in their living room yet. We have incredible technology in the background, and we’re designing every home so that, when VR hits, we can take advantage of it,” she said.
NextVR has struck major deals with LiveNation and already covers a wide variety of sports ranging from NBA matches to the Kentucky Derby. A lot of features would be added including positional tracking and movement.
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But Cole admits that he wants to expand his company’s range of programming.
“Content for a broader audience is a tricky issue, [we’re focused on] very pronounced silos right now. It takes critical mass, you have to hang that [content push] on [VR reaching a] critical mass,” he explained.
But, for those that experience it, there will be no turning back. “Once you’ve had that experience, anything else will feel like watching video in a fish bowl,” Cole added.
When would virtual reality be available to everyone? Tellerman and Cole both believe that hardware experience has to be upgraded. Fixed-home VR is too expensive and uncomfortable. That’s why it’s available to only a few people.
“We’re all very hesitant to put things on our face. The trend needs to start with trendy people… starting it in Silicon Valley… maybe sometimes works,” Tellerman joked. “Form factor needs to be something that hits the mark.”
“Form factors will need to change before it becomes mainstream,” Cole said in agreement.
The NextVR founder shared his belief that LG’s lightweight VR headset, LG 360 VR (a prototype that was announced earlier this year), is the type of device that can bring virtual reality to a slew of new audiences beyond the early adopters. He also spoke about Microsoft’s HoloLens, which has shown early promise and has more than 1,000 engineers working on its development.
“I think there’s a step beyond [headsets], whether it’s in our phone or our eyes, it won’t be a set of goggles sitting in our home,” Tellerman mused.
Both executives believe that VR is poised to be a genuine breakthrough, and not fall dead on its hype like 3D TV did.
“3D TV was a very small value add to the television experience,” said Cole, whose company was involved in TV, he explained. “VR engages your entire visual system in a way that 3D never did, [it is] immersive beyond anything that was possible… even an iMax theater.”
“3D goggles might [fail], but VR content creates a different level of immersion, it feels like we’re creating amazing businesses,” Tellerman said in agreement.
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