Check out the podcast our CEO Jim Schoonmaker did with the AR/VR Association. In the podcast, we dive more about Jim’s thoughts on the functionality of VR and he thinks the industry will progress and much more.
Here Jim shared insight into his history of being involved in the early immersive and augmented environment space. His first experience into this world was with building Intersense in 1995, where he and his team were building the first prototypes for inertial-based head tracking for virtual reality Taking sensors from airbags and other materials, it was an early product that would contribute to the advanced technology we see today.
Bringing VR Mainstream
As today’s devices have gotten far better and cheaper, the approachability of VR experiences is ever more enhanced and available for public consumption.
Jim explains, “The challenge that I see, that is close to EveryScape’s heart, is that so many things could be enhanced by this incredible technology, but we are still early in it’s lifecycle and haven’t seen it’s full expansion yet. There is this tremendous hype around everything is going to change. But in reality, just a few things are going to change. And they tend to be the areas that are not cost sensitive. So now the question is, ‘How can we bring it to the public?’”
Yet, the cost of creating a VR environment is still quite high. Today, VR headsets are a fraction of what they used to cost a decade ago. However, if you factor in the software costs for a premium experience, the price can still get pretty high. The question here is “How do we enable the best VR experience that you can build for yourself”, with the end goal of bringing VR closer and closer into the mainstream, rather than living in niche compartments.
As the prices of devices will continue to drop and the capabilities will rise, we must consider the cost of creating a compelling VR experience that someone wants to spend time in. EveryScape is looking towards content that is deeply personal. These are not content assets that are intended to be regularly viewed by millions, but personal content assets that tell individual’s stories and are viewed by thousands or even hundreds.
EveryScape’s consumer focus captures the nostalgia of being able to relive those moments with others and to share these precious memories with friends and family. And in many ways, this also means being able to relive those favored moments ourselves. The goal now is to to focus on crossing from the nichification phase of VR where applications are limited from wider audiences, to where we can widely help improve lives and make people more empathetic to the lives of others
Analogy to the Photography Industry
In the podcast, Jim points out the close parallels of the current trajectory of VR to the development of the photography industry. Photography started as a niche field for enthusiasts, operated by specialists. Much of photography’s early interaction with consumers in the mid 1900s was done by a specialist operating a wooden box with a cloth thrown over his head. Then in the 1950’s companies like Kodak and Polaroid introduced advancements that allowed photography to become a technology that could be used by everyone, not just a few. This really propelled a burst of photography innovation and creation, paving the ground for film to evolve into today’s digital photography. The similarities in adoption cycle for VR and photography are quite interesting and may forecast upcoming developments within the exciting world of VR.