The Future of Virtual Reality Needs a Platform for Content to Bring It to the Next Level

07/14/2016 - 18:52

Kirk Nankivell | @KirkNankivell

We have apps for everything these days, but there is not a solid platform that easily enables users to view and access VR/AR content in one app.

Virtual and augmented reality are on the verge of breaking out into the mainstream. The advent of Google Cardboard has people allowed over 5 million people the opportunity to jump into VR without having to drop hundreds (or thousands) on top systems like the Oculus Rift. With the frenzied release of Pokémon Go the other day, we are already seeing a massive group of people joining the fray. This trend will continue with further tech advances, engaging VR/AR content, and new high quality affordable devices such as the comfortable and inexpensive PORTAL. However, there needs to be a better marketplace for content specifically devoted to this growing field. Games Under Pressure said for VR to succeed, we need:

"Some kind of end user portal where people can go find the latest programs, find the latest games, apps..."

VAR-Port could be the Solution

Imagine being able to attend a festival in 360° or download the latest VR game or watch films all from one app without having to take off your headset. VAR-Port is a growing platform that enables users to do that and much more. The entire app is dedicated to this concept whereas Google Play's Cardboard section is a half hearted attempt, with mostly games and a few apps. VAR-Port could be the future platform where users source their virtual / augmented reality games, apps, videos, music, social apps, and other content.

Pre-existing VR content from YouTube 360° videos to apps on Google Play or Apple's App Store, etc. can easily be integrated into the platform. At the backend of VAR-Port is VAR Studio which lets users create, edit, and upload their own content to their channel. The platform spans numerous applications and possibilities. A realtor for instance, could simply upload 15 homes on their profile and take a client virtually through all of them in one session. Compared to actual reality, this would be quite difficult to view so many homes in one day due to travel, time constraints, scheduling, etc.

When in VR mode, VAR-Port uses easy look control navigation (stare to click) and offers a built in social component. Such as enjoying online digital hangouts like VRchat with others around the globe. In a reminiscent feeling of Second Life, you can create your own space and hang out with friends on your virtual couch while exploring VR media together. You can post videos to your profile in a Snapchat-esque way or edit them accordingly if you are a content creator. The VAR Studio lets you edit your videos through time and virtual space, as well as auto syncing audio between multiple 360° cameras.

Affordable Hardware

eyeora is the organization behind creating inexpensive, yet high quality products for VR headsets and camera systems. Instead of spending $ on a piece of cardboard from Google, $40 gets you a superior PORTAL headset which is built for comfort and durability.

The 360eyeora is the entry level 360° camera for $450 that has great specs. It can shoot in 4k, has a built-in GPS sensor, barometer, accelerometer, and altimeter. It also meets military standards for shock, vibration, and dust resistance. Not to mention, it's waterproof up to 1 meter (IP67) and its internal components are running on a Qualcomm® SnapdragonTM 800 processor and Qualcomm® AdrenoTM 330 GPU. The camera can be controlled through an easy to use app or remote control device.

Finding a high quality 360° camera under $1,000 is tough, yet this one easily beats all others out on specs and affordability.

Future VR Trends

We posted an article about what VR might be like in ten years, which un-surprisingly would need a platform like VAR-Port to have this future timeline exist. Briefly put, "VRloggers" are a big thing in 2026 and Kanye West apparently has a popular channel where people follow him around on his daily life.

Another interesting application through this platform is by utilizing a company called evivoo. It enables anyone to create self-managed Pay Per View content that allows for pre-sales of an event, limit number of views per person, piracy protection, and much more. For example, Beyoncé could do a private VR concert only visible to her fans. There is the ability to make requests from artists and she currently has over 214k fan requests to do a VR show. The CEO of evivoo, Daniel Corazzi, told Futuristech Info:

"This was from 1 hour of social network marketing as a test, imagine if marketing is on-going daily..."

Beyoncé could assume a fair price point for her fans to watch her special VR performance and calculate sales before ever planning or recording the show (214k fans x $7 ticket = ~$1.5 million).

This capability is game changing for celebrities, artists, content creators, etc. trying to find new avenues to make money directly and engage with their fans.

Nonetheless, virtual reality will never truly take off if several factors are not successfully fulfilled. This video does a good job of explaining the general discussion, but they are simply this:

  • Content- If engaging and interactive content is not consistently produced by creators people are interested in, VR will not become mainstream. Having one or two compelling games to create buzz and demand is necessary.
  • User Experience - A fluid and easy to use user interface, simple setup, reduced motion sickness and latency issues, etc. The UX needs to be consistently positive to avoid bad experiences.
  • Marketing- Convincing consumers they need this. Great games or videos, celebrity endorsements, etc. creating excellent content will help overcome this challenge.
  • Accessibility- Having high quality hardware at an affordable price is key. Getting VR into the hands of the mainstream or "Wal-Mart gamers", will allow for this to happen. Economies of scale.

It is estimated there are 1.4 billion smartphone users across the globe with 60.4 million using phones with a screen size 5 inches or larger. These 60 million smartphone users definitely have capable hardware and many of the smaller phones throughout the world have decent enough tech specs to play in VR too. All they need is the very cheap Google Cardboard headset or one of the many alternatives, such as 3D printing your way out of reality.

The stage is set. VAR-Port fills the platform void needed to help bring virtual and augmented reality mainstream. Only time will tell.