Fun Friday: AR and VR

I’m pretty skeptical about the early implementations of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. I think the early versions are expensive, require powerful computers, are tethered, require headsets, and can cause headaches and worse. But I am in the minority in our business and in the tech community. VR and AR are among the most hyped and invested new areas of tech right now.

So let’s talk about this today on fun friday.

Are you bullish on AR and VR over the next several years? If so, why?

Or are you with me that the early implementations will underwhelm?, If so, why?


Comments (Archived):

  1. scottythebody

    3D stuff doesn’t work well for me and my eyes that look 2 different mutant directions, so I’m the least qualified to comment on the quality and experience. However, I do think it’s a logical progression as sensors and pervasive networking expand. The ability to interact with the world on whole new levels is nothing small in the long run. Once somebody nails it, the use cases seem endless.

  2. LIAD

    I worry about the increasingly insular world we are creating.Hunter Walk wrote an interesting post yesterday about how Amazon Echo is turning his 4yr old daughter into an asshole (his words) as she can just bark orders at something and get a response. No need for manners anymore.We see videos of employees kicking Boston Dynamic robots (acceptedly to highlight their maneuverability) but this too trains us to act like assholes with abandon.VR just another realm for us to fulfil narcissistic tendencies.

    1. JimHirshfield

      Google Glass obnoxiousness? Indeed

    2. TeddyBeingTeddy

      Yes, but it allows us to be who we secretly want to be. Peter Thiel talks a lot about the value of exploiting secrets…VR is the ultimate enabler.Ultimately we are all just dogs and VR is the ultimate dog food. Healthy? No. Highly addictive? Absolutely.Fred, you should gobble up a bunch of VR call options. You know you want to.

    3. Donna Brewington White

      My 15 y.o. son is brutal to my Echo. And a menace to Siri.What is it about these devices that brings this out in kids?However, Siri can hold it’s own — has put my son in his place on several occasions.Siri is the only thing that I as an Android user envy about iOS.

    4. Twain Twain

      I’ve shared this before …<iframe src=”//…” width=”480″ height=”465″ frameborder=”0″ class=”giphy-embed” allowfullscreen=””></iframe>Human evolution

    5. Alberto Menoni

      insular and childish, babies forever. marketeers are already taking note…

    6. Prokofy

      You know, I was all excited about that post as a title and thinking, wow, he’s now figured out something about immersion-as-assholery or some other point but it turns out it’s only about “barking orders” — as if not only parents but four-year-olds don’t already bark orders.And the dippy thing he wants to do is have it say “please” which is just insipid.

    1. jason wright

      and does it improve my spelling accuracy, or is that a US English format?

      1. JimHirshfield

        I don’t do English English

    2. Mario Cantin

      Ha ha ha! Thanks I needed a dose of “morning laughter”.

    3. Lawrence Brass

      You should try Zolift instead.

  3. William Mougayar

    I’m with you. Totally.The “reality” will set in soon, and it won’t be virtual, nor augmented.I think whoever puts those things on start inhaling something & it makes them believe in it. They remind me of the first mobile phones that were as huge as a briefcase.There’s something there, but it won’t be that bulky or that expensive.

    1. Twain Twain

      At Nvidia GPU Technology Conference, Steve Wozniak was chosen to be the pioneer technologist to experience their VR simulation of Mars.Everything was going sweet … Graphics were amazing … Audience could see what Steve was inside his headset as he drove his Rover…and then …Woz: “I’m spinning so much, I feel sick.”Jen-Hsun: “That’s NOT a helpful comment, Steve.”Right there is a big clue on why VR has all sorts of adoption issues. If one of the most pro-VR people mentions the motion sickness and does so not in jest => problem.Millions of years of evolution have given us physiology and sensory functions that provide us with coherent embodiment.It’s as I wrote when we were debating Google Glass: any equipment that obstructs our vision and requires our brains to rewire significantly to adapt to that equipment => problem.I think the R+D in terms of graphics processing will be useful and, eventually, it will be holographic AR in real environments rather than VR (with headset) that becomes mass market.

      1. SubstrateUndertow

        Yup – our biological substrateundertow triggers McLuhan’spush something too far and it flips from being a tool into being and impediment”physiology and sensory functions. . . with coherent embodiment”now that is a really tall sensory integration challenge !Breaking it down we have 3 broad categories of technological extension.1- Physical engineering technologies2- Social engineering technologies3- Meta technologies – mapping practical self-referential technological limitsVR/AR will ultimately fill some very valuable social, educational, engineering and entertainment roles as it pushing up against biologically self-referenial Meta-technology limits.

        1. Twain Twain

          Integration. I focus on the Perceptions layer which permeates and is distributed throughout the other layers.

  4. Joshua Mann

    Whether its a good investment, I don’t know. But the investments are driving a lot of development helps speed up progress, obviously. Think about how far the tech has come since the release of the Oculus Rift DK1 in 2012. Plus, on the hardware side, multiple markets are involved outside of AR/VR (think accelerometers, high res screens, etc). I suspect we’ll see a boost in resolution on all of our devices thanks to AR/VR dev.

  5. Humberto

    i’m with you Fred. I think VR AR is mostly hype. I’ve made a bold bet with a friend that it won’t be a major technology within 5 years: we defined that as the biggest player selling 10m units a year.- Expensive: not a lot of people have that much money to invest in another technology. Also, this will be competing with electric cars, wearables, IoT, house appliances, etc.. Also, in a household you can’t experience it nicely unless everyone has one..- Cumbersome: the computer thing is awful.- Weird. Just like the Google Glass project, its not fashionable or simple. I think the world is going for more harmonious devices, not less. Currently implementations are a step backwards- Headaches: I read somewhere that 30% of the population won’t ever feel comfortable with it due to motion sickness. I can barely read email on a cab without getting sick, for example. I tried a demo of oculus for 5 min and needed 10 min to recover.- Niche: I really don’t see content producers being able to invest massively and continuously for much content to truly benefit from this. I think Games, Industry and Pornography will perhaps see some demandI would add infrastructure to your points. VR and AR make sense in a connected world. Skype is barely managing to keep calls consistent at a few million DAUs.. Netflix can’t roll out 4K everywhere, Apple iTunes is still stuck on Full-HD..Overall, I think it will be a while before all the content, infrastructure can provide enough benefits for this to be even remotely mainstream – which it needs to be.

  6. Rohan

    I am optimistic about gaming companies making money with truly immersive experiences in the next 5 years. Movies would be my bet after that. And, following that, I can see lots of applications in medicine – training surgeons, psychotherapy, etc.I think entertainment will be my first bet simply because they’ve tried hard to create immersive experience.This’ll just make things easier.

  7. Jeff Casurella

    The concept looks like a gadget that may end up on the shelves after a few uses. I am bearish for the near and mid-term. However, there may be very practical uses in specific areas, but I see these are more long term uses.

  8. angelsay

    I don’t think the early implementations underwhelm. Not sure if you’ve tried an Oculus CV1 or HTC Vive, but I don’t think these are incremental improvements like 3DTV was. However, I do agree with you that they’re clunky and require too much to get started. I’m a big fan of the GearVR. It’s not quite as immersive as the Rift or Vive, but for $99 and the phone you already have in your pocket you can do quite a lot.As for people who think it’ll make us hermits who only interact with others in VR, I think it also has the potential to also make the world a better place. There is an element of empathy that it opens up that allows us to perceive the world through someone elses shoes, even if for a split second. Buildings and cities could be previewed in VR and be better optimized for humans instead of just budgets and headcounts.It may take a while for VR/AR to hit consumers, but in enterprise it’s been around for a while. CAVE’s have been used by engineering or construction teams to preview designs for years now, but they were large and expensive. Relative to that, a Rift or GearVR is cheap and super easy to set up.So, are we in the early days – absolutely, but I don’t think it’s going away any time soon.

    1. Mario Cantin

      You’ve said it better than I could.

    2. Joseph K Antony

      A very similar trend is taking in autonomous cars. Though, a complete switch over into autonomous cars is quite some time away, it will creep into secure campuses, into countries like Singapore, Dubai etc. to begin with and into more specialised sectors where the costs and clunkiness of the implementation at this stage may not be a significant deterrent. Autonomous field vehicles are already mainstream. On the same lines VR/AR will get increasingly accepted in medicine, specialized education, engineering among others. This will closely trail technological breakthroughs. Gartner gives AR/VR five to ten years to mature. I would halve that time frame.

  9. Steve Ridder

    I found one called Lens Immersive that can do 4K video AR/VR streamed off a Samsung galaxy’s cell network, which makes it a bit more usable than having to run it off a PC. So I believe it’s going to quickly become more mainstream and accessible as companies like this bring it to the mass market via streaming protocols (could watch VR off Apple atV with this) vs run off machines.

  10. Terry Cook

    PC’s were once toys for hobbyists. Cell plans use to be too expensive. A century ago automobiles & flying required wealth and / or the desire to tinker. Science fiction was full of these ideas long before they became reality. Now we have virtual reality, it will grow and morph into its future.

  11. Kurt Stangl

    I love the idea of VR…because I’m a geek.The human truth about VR isn’t any different today than it was back then: no one want’s to sit around with a bucket on their head for a few hours.I think it will end up like great tablet experiences: its a specific device with specific applications and it will thrive in those niche markets.Facebook has a unique opportunity to expand the market with fun and interesting community engagement events like helping people see eclipses and stellar events and other sorts of events at the same time. Political rallies, concerts and other sorts of flash-in-the-pan moments which with the right community manager could drive a lot of traffic to monetize.Its fun to watch this develop but I’d be hesitant to put my money there and if I did, I be really hands-on.

  12. chrisdorr

    I would not venture to say how big or small the market or investment opportunity is in this field. That said, amidst all the hype in AR and VR there are some pockets of innovation that I believe will yield results. Some very smart creators (filmmakers, visual artists, 3D animators) and technologists are experimenting in this area–some experiments will fail but some will succeed. There will be some applications in areas like education, sports training and medicine that will be very powerful. Games will be were many will focus and there will be some scale there because gamers want immersive environments and will pay for the privilege.Also, keep in mind that there are some very different forms of VR, one, the kind that requires tremendous computing power–as you mentioned but also two, the kind that can be seen by people with their smart phones or on their laptops like YouTube 360 orGoogle Cardboard. Is the second type as immersive? No, but it shows where spherical video can start to take us and how simple and often moving stories can be told with VR.A big issue is this–VR can create presence–but can that presence be combined with what our best filmmakers do with visual storytelling? Put another way, can we get the equivalent of The Godfather in VR? Not yet, but I think it will be exciting to see the experiments that will try to hit that target.Someone will get there. We just don’t know who or when.

  13. markslater

    i am with you.I’ve tried Occulus – not sure what they are saying now but i got dizzy and reached out for the desk for support within 20 seconds.Big in Adult and gaming, but i dont at all see this – in its current form factor as mainstream.

  14. John Frankel

    I am with you, and though the early implementations of VR might be limited to gaming and behavioral therapy, those can be huge markets. AR, like Google Glass, can have medical and warehousing applications as well. Once AR can shrink into a contact lens then it can go mainstream.

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        Well, you win gif of the day.

      2. Twain Twain

        Coffee all over MacBook!

        1. JimHirshfield


  15. Ryan Feit

    Agreed with you Fred that it will take longer then people think for mass adoption:- Currently only 1% of computers can support a VR headset and will take 5 years until the average computer does- It currently costs $600 for an occulus and $1,000 for a high-end computer- The space is still working out the kinks – still issues with motion sickness and getting comfort with wearing awkward headsets- Content is king – it will take time until we see that killer app that broadens the reach and appeal beyond hardcore gamingBut longer-term I am bullish:- Experts expect the VR market will surpass $60B by 2025- We have had both and in our office in the past month and they are pretty incredible to experience- Large public companies like Facebook, Google, MSFT and Apple are betting on the space so there is a high likelihood they will be acquisitive- Applications in long-distance education, entertainment and virtual tourism have substantial potential in a few years

    1. TeddyBeingTeddy

      -I suspect Apple, Google and Samsung are already working on VR ready cellphones. Why else would Apple spend so many millions on VR developers? iphone 7VR anyone?-Moore’s Law-Two easy solutions: 1) use the same high speed frame rate cameras that are used in high end sports broadcasts to remedy motion sickness, and 2) broadcast compression technology is coming out that’ll allow you to “squeeze” 100lbs of data into a 1lb bag. So the combo of high speed frame rates plus the ability to compress the content will be powerful.-Check out the “Travel Experiences” on JauntVR, or the Cedar Point roller coaster experience, or the Bode Miller skiing experience on Discovery, or the NextVR/Voke NBA games. content is coming out much faster than you think.

      1. Ryan Feit

        Big fan of NextVR NBA games. Will have to check out travel experiences on JauntVR haven’t seen yet.

        1. TeddyBeingTeddy

          Check out the Machu Picchu and Nepal experiences. I think it’s the Nepal experience where you’re flying through the mountains like one of the guys in the bat suits. It’s totally ridiculous/good. Not perfect, but incredibly eye opening given it’s their first go at it.

    2. TK

      Ryan & Fred, this is a pretty neat alleviation to the motion sickness experinced with VR.Inner-ear stimulation cures VR motion sickness — vMocion’s V3 platform uses electrodes placed across the skull that mimic the motion seen by VR users in real-time, so they can ‘feel’ movement.

    3. scottythebody

      Interesting find strolling around Vienna: A virtual reality cafe. I think it is called, literally, VR Cafe. It has been full of people every time I’ve been there and filled with groups of people watching screens together or sitting around in VR headsets. It reminded me of Internet Cafes — when something really compelling was still out of reach for most people. I wonder if that cafe will succeed.

  16. Joe Lazarus

    Next two years will underwhelm. There will be a modest market for gamers playing VR in their basement. I do see a large market for AR, but the tech and form factor seem several years off for that. Once fully developed, affordable and stylish, AR seems more likely to reach a large market in that you can experience it in the wild with other people, vs VR that seems confined and anti-social, which works for games and certain types of film, but not as mainstream as augmenting our normal routine.

    1. TeddyBeingTeddy

      VR Gaming->moore’s law ->porn->sports->world domination.Tesla Roadster->Model S->Model 3->Tesla AutoPilot->world domination.Google search->Google maps->Google balloons->Google cars->world domination.

  17. Geoff De Weaver, CEO + Founder

    Fred, last year Apple swallowed up Metaio of Germany, and in my opinion the world’s best practice and, the German’s have truly been worldclass and best practice for at least 10 years and have produced many amazing companies work in Europe including Lego and others. keep an eye on Apple is my advice to American’s. They did have a small office in SF BUT, focus was Germany/Europe for past decade. Stay tuned…it is amazing!

  18. Chuk

    It’s all hype until someone actually invents the holodeck 🙂

  19. Guy Hargreaves

    Google glass, say no more in my opinion.

  20. jason wright

    why do i need VR?

    1. Girish Mehta

      Reality itself is magnificent / immersive / worthy of a lifetime of understanding and exploration.I can see some specific worthwhile (medicine, education) applications for VR, but do not (want to) get excited about Virtual Reality personally.A little more Virtuous Reality instead of Virtual Reality…now, that would be something.

      1. jason wright

        yes, we were born with AR. it works well.

      2. SubstrateUndertow

        Yes indeed !All the most important human realities are in fact virtual-realities in that they exist only by virtue of our cognitive/imaginative power to remix/reconfigure natural occurrences in ways that would otherwise never have surfaced without our mind-over-matter interventions. All human artifacts are indeed virtual-realities!Now if only we could focus a little more of that same cognitive/imaginative power to remix/reconfigure our primitive natural social-organizational occurrences into the same sort of elevated virtual-social-realities using the same mind-over-matter interventions.Constructing effective human social-organizational-artifacts is of course much more challenging as we run up against the volatility of localized volitional self-interest honed by millions of years of evolution.Maybe that volitional self-interest is our virtual-reality-building upper limit, our biologically enforced social-organization hull-speed?Our mission should we accept it – hope springs eternal !

    2. TeddyBeingTeddy

      Why do you need to watch porn?

  21. bfeld

    VR: not optimistic except for entertainment / video gamesAR: very optimistic but it will take a long timeAnd you are wise to separate them as a bunch of folks are munging them together already and not really understand how fundamentally different the user dynamics are.

    1. Amar

      Brad,Do you have a one line definition for each that differentiates them quickly. It would help me if I have a bumper sticker view of how they are different. Both in actuality and as perceived by the investment community.

      1. bfeld

        The foundational difference is the way the hardware interacts with you.VR: Full immersion (you encase your face in something – like the current VR hardware coming out).AR: Freedom of vision and movement. You add to your current real world environment.

        1. Kirsten Lambertsen

          So, The Matrix vs The Minority Report 😉

          1. bfeld


    2. Michael

      Curious, on your AR comment, what are you optimistic about and what do you consider a ‘long time’?

      1. bfeld

        I believe that we will have computers tightly integrated with us (as humans). If you go forward hundreds of years, the idea of a computer physically separate from a human will be quaint.If this makes you smirk, just think about a pacemaker, which is a good example of this in today’s technology.While I’m the first in line to jack in to the metaverse when that becomes available, I think it’s much more appealing to integrate into the metaverse. And I think humans will want to be aggressively augmented with computing on a continual basis.I guess that’s the fundamental part for me – I think we are (and have been doing) AR for a long time – just with a shitty general case UX because of the limitations of technology. As technology continues its geometric advance across multiple dimensions of hardware and software, AR improves geometrically as well.But I have no idea what the time scale really is so I just say “a long time.”

        1. Michael

          Neat. Yes, in agreement. We need improvements in UX and consumer value in the form of increased utility or entertainment.When I look at closely at Augmented Reality, many of the pieces are here and getting better. What I would call low end AR, using your phone as a ‘lens’, (object recognition and display) its getting better every day. (e.g. investments, time and dollars, in image recognition and computer vision continue to increase + more powerful mobile devices)And there are lots of real world use cases for the technology. I like approach of Amazon. They have quietly been working away experimenting with image recognition via their labs, starting with the ‘flow’ app and now its experimental tech is part of the main application. Open up the Amazon app, hit the camera icon, point it at a consumer logo or object, boom, up comes the Amazon listings for that product.The success of Snapchat in ‘photo’ing to friend via QR code and the announcement by Facebook regarding their similar approach for businesses via messenger leads me to believe these new consumer behaviors (point phone camera, get result) will help develop and advance the low end use case for AR.That’s the now, short term opportunity. I believe those who play in this space today will be best positioned for when the ‘high end’ technologies are ready (Magic Leap, Hololens, Meta, Apple(?), Google).

        2. SubstrateUndertow

          Doesn’t the human nervous system place some serious upper limit on that tight AR integration ?Sure there is still some integrational headroom but I sense a disturbance in the neurological overload circuits 🙂

    3. fredwilson

      yes, i totally agree

    4. Stephen Palmer

      Brad, how about education, travel, and medicine as use-cases for VR?

      1. bfeld

        Highly skeptical. Possible, but skeptical.

        1. SubstrateUndertow

          Why the scepticism don’t those 3 use-cases have huge cost/benefit value ?

          1. Phillip Trotter

            Eventually yes they may but each market has different cost dynamics and barriers to adoption.Education – cost to create compelling content and accessible systems will delay for 3 to 5 years before even considered for mainstream education.(and thats assuming schools will invest in then available hardware – tablet investments were generally unsuccesful leaving a lot of schoolboards wary) For now its a niche markets – there are good opportunities especially in industrial training and some interesting titles will be very viable now – but overall major market opp is still 3 to 5 years off.Travel – maybe – Gear VR has some interesting demos – unclear business model at this stage combining with low adoption in hardware to drive significant revenue – so its a wait and see. LIkely to be a few successful titles for early systems (virtual pompei etc) but long way off from succesful sustainable scalable business – needs developers to learn from this generation and mass market requires next generation of headsets in placeMedical – it takes between 3 and 7 years to prove a medical vr system (either system/surgery trainer) or medicinal treatment app is valid in multiple countries. There are companies such as Mentice AB who do this well now – but its a long haul investment.Disclaimer: I have been building research and commercial VR and 3D visualization systems for various industries since 1991 including medical and training. I think the new platforms are awesome – solve multiple cost issues – but will be niche for next 2 years – until untethered mobile headsets with better displays, ergonomics (weight) and aesthetics – become available at iphone prices – at that point – game change.

          2. Stephen Palmer

            Agree, but many things that VCs fund are niche for a couple of years.

      2. Christie Ma

        I’m not bullish on either AR or VR but I’m excited by two stories about VR applications in the medical space.1) a friend (who had several surgeries to correct his sever cross-eyes) used VR to strengthen his eye muscles through a simple flying a plane game. In the 40+ years of dealing with this problem, 30mins of VR every day for a few months gave him the ability to see depth (his doctor couldn’t believe it).2) another friend invested in a company in Asia that uses VR (another simple flying plane game) to help kids learn to understand what “focus” means (especially helpful for kids with ADHD). The program teaches the child what it feels like to “focus” and has successfully taught the concept of focus to 1000+ children. The program is only meant to be used for a few therapy sessions. How the program works: the VR device connects to a child’s brain wave activity. The more “focused” and calm the child is, the more steady the plane will fly over a horizon line.

  22. Bruce MacDonald

    Time frames are shrinking. What used to take years to adopt may not take as long now. I believe we get usable products in the next 2 years. I don’t think we avoid this technology.

  23. pointsnfigures

    I tend to discount the first iterations of products like this. They get better and cheaper over time. It also depends on the target market. I am not as jazzed about younger people, I am jazzed about older or infirm people that cannot travel or move about. I also see potential in medicine, and in financial services.

  24. TeddyBeingTeddy

    Why are some people addicted to drugs. Or booze. Or porn, or shopping. At the core, it’s probably to escape reality. The reason VR will be the new monster industry is because it’s the optimally efficient way to escape reality. The magic bullet, and you can be anyone you want to be, anywhere you want to be.Have you seen the travel section on Jaunt VR app, for example?And consider the ability for college kids that can strap on a VR headset to attend the 9am class. Or the college QB trying to take some virtual snaps before the big game.The use cases are infinite, it’s cost efficient, it solves problems, it’s a new exciting place people want to visit… And eventually live.VR is coming and it’s going to be enormous. How else are you going to spend your time on your way to work in your self driving Tesla 5?

  25. Robert Bouthillier

    VR in its current form is being adopted for applications where it can solve a problem, such as for visualizing a difficult surgical procedure prior to going into the OR. This is useful and may spawn some other use cases, but this will not be the path to mass adoption.I believe thatthe present state of VR is similar to that ofthe Apple Newton compared to an iPhone 6. The basic concept was there but it was like having the diving board before the pool was ready. I also believe that the implementation will morph dramatically and the head-worn display will not be the final form.With respect to investment in the spsce, I would seed multiple approaches rather than bank j on any singke one for now,Just my two cents.

  26. mikenolan99

    I remember a comedian once saying that the holodeck would be mankind’s last invention. Once you can take a “quick break” from curing cancer to duck into the holodeck… well, you get it.

  27. panterosa,

    I’m bullish on Imagination. Aren’t they the original AR and VR?I’d invest in more imagination.

    1. SubstrateUndertow

      “Imagination”The true source of mind over matter !

  28. sdso234

    I agree early implementations are underwhelming. But I think VR is the mirror image of mobile. Mobile (and AR) allows you to take computing power with you to enhance your experiences wherever you are.By contrast, VR enables you to bring any experience to where you are.All of these technologies compress TIME- enabling you to do things faster.We are very early in my view, but if I were betting, I would say the next 5-7 years will be focused on hardware improvement and deployment. I think that as replacement cycles for smartphones and console gaming systems slows, VR applications provide a spark for chip and graphics businesses.I think the time horizon for VR to actually change the world is 10-15 years. But I do think the changes will be sizable, especially in poor parts of the world, where it is harder to travel.

  29. Brandon Burns

    The key to creating VR content is, in most cases, a 360 camera. Currently, these are in the thousands of dollars and are only used by a few professionals. However, affordable, quality cameras will start hitting the consumer market at a friendly sub-$500 price point this year (the Samsung Gear 360 is the flagship here). With that, you’ll see more creative folks buying up cameras just to try them out, experimenting with VR, and if anything good comes out of VR, that’s where it’ll come from.

  30. Mario Cantin

    Who am I to say? But then again it’s Fun Friday and it’s OK to speculate, right? I love making predictions anyway.Do you think the Apple Watch was a success? The tech pundits don’t, but to me selling millions of anything is not failure either.It will be the same with VR and AR.With the current limitations, as you’ve described, it is not possible for mass market adoption to occur.But it will be a viable and growing industry, that will only get bigger adoption over time; and that will largely depend on the iterations that will be rolled out.

  31. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Bullish on both. Not for any particularly intellectual reason. It’s just one of those things that it seems like it should exist, like video calls used to be.Current implementations are obviously the awkward first baby steps. But I think it’s one of those things that’s going to be clunky for a long time and then suddenly awesome.I think both present wonderful possibilities for assisting neuro-diverse and sensory-diverse people.

  32. awaldstein

    I’m inclined to agree with you Fred. I don’t like isolating experiences by nature.The cost and changes in content production are not the kicker though, it is the core appeal.What I learned from building the cinema 3d channel is that you can change the projectors, the screens, mandate glasses, change movie cameras, ad reels and how you craft a story–if and only if it touches a chord with peoples hearts and the bottom lines of your partners.I don’t think this does as currently envisioned.

    1. Sebastien Latapie

      The way things are moving forward, it doesn’t have to be an isolating experience. Take a look at – you frequently have a single person streaming. While physically isolated, they are broadcasting their experience and sharing it with thousands of viewers. VR could enable much more engaging version of that platform creating different yet connected experience.

      1. awaldstein

        thanks.i’ve been delivering entertainment new paradigms with hardware components for years. never daunted by the logistics.emotions rule and that is where markets in this category are made.

  33. RameshJain

    In the long term, AR will be a lot more applied than VR.AR is all about using context to provide you relevant general, social, personal, … information. Providing this information in a non-obtrusive, spontaneous, and usable way is what we all want. The popularity of Mobile is really the beginning of pulling that information. Can that information be pushed and how can one determine what is that ‘relevant’ information is being researched by many organizations in many different forms.VR is about immersing you in some ‘foreign’ or ‘virtual’ environment. It is extension of movies. Has lots of uses, but definitely has different uses. Will require artificial settings.

  34. Kevin Hill

    I haven’t gotten a chance to try them first hand, but I think by listing out their current shortcomings your are missing the point.Those are all (except maybe headaches/nausea) engineering challenges, not challenges to the core experience. Early mobile phones were terrible, but the core experience of mobile communication was compelling enough to set us up to overcome those challenges, and I think the same can be said of VR for entertainment and AR for functional apps (and social gaming).

    1. Kevin Hill

      I guess the only hard thing from an investor standpoint is to figure out if these early companies are more like Motorola or Nokia.

    2. SubstrateUndertow

      You have to wonder whether, like natural-language/AI processing, healthy VR technology will turn out to be a bigger nut to crack than we now appreciate ?It will require fully integrated visual/audio/balance/motion sensory coherence.

      1. Kevin Hill

        For nausea and headaches, I’ll agree with you. But for price, specialized PC, and tethers? That stuff will drop away in a few years almost for sure.

  35. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Think about the possibilities of shared VR, where one person can share their actual realtime reality with others via virtual reality.

  36. Sebastien Latapie

    I’m bullish on both! There is so much potential for amazing new experiences. VR is one of the few platforms that can really engage you completely – much more than the failed 3D TVs. Video games are definitely where I see this evolving first, and the one that I have demoed were truly promising. The potential for new storytelling and new experiences are really enticing. I can only imagine what a Planet Earth would be like in VR.That being said, the barriers to adoption are still to high – I really want to get one, but I don’t have a desktop. Total costs would probably be around $1.5K which is simply too much at this point. I’m sufficiently satisfied with my Xbox and TV (sunk costs at this point).

  37. JaredMermey

    Zach Morris Cell Phone era for each. By the time we are at Blackberry era it should be fun.

  38. S. Turner Dean

    I’m surprised by the negativity. IMO both technologies are inevitable and will find their way into our everyday lives. However they are tech plays while in both cases its the content that really matters. So like video they eventually become pervasive technology but it becomes more about delivery platforms and content than the tech itself.

  39. William Gadea

    We’re talking with a client now about creating a VR video for a trade show, so this has been on my mind.Regarding the current bulkiness of the headsets, this is surely only a temporary obstacle. Miniaturization is something we’re definitely good at. The dizziness you get from the headset is only a temporary problem too; from my understanding, this is not something that comes from the medium itself, but from artifacts of the medium (i.e., lag time in updating the image.)I think the biggest obstacle — which might be overcome well, badly or not at all — is the aesthetics. Remember, between the invention of the motion picture camera to the evolution of a true film grammar in the teens, 20-30 years passed. I don’t expect it to take that long for us to discover whether or how we can tell stories in VR, but I can tell you now… we’re not there yet.The big challenge is how do you deal with the unseen 270 degrees? Do you guide the viewer to where you want them to be? Or do you let them discover things serendipitously? One of the first genres where VR could pay off is horror, because horror films are all about the tension of what you don’t see.Games are a different issue: I can’t see how stereoscopic 360 can fail there. But set narratives? I’m optimistic and definitely curious, but not certain either way.

  40. JordanCooper_NYC

    i think the near term market is actually 360 video rendered in the browser/apps…when i see a 360 video that i can move around in within my FB feed that’s actually a pretty awesome experience…even on my pc or phone…don’t need to put any goggles up to my head or whatever…it’s just a new content type/unit that is pretty immersive and compelling. I think you are seeing some interesting camera innovation partially driven by the promise of VR, but the immediate implication is some smart publishers/content folks are going to go build large 360 video content assets and fill existing pipes with it…if it was in my DNA i’d go by 20 $5K cameras, the 20 most popular Lonely Planet travel guides, and have a bunch of kids go capture 360 video of every POI in the guide book, for example…google streetview style. I haven’t fully dived into how repurposable that asset is when the VR market matures (but i think it’s a question of post production vs needing new raw files), and that’s one way to invest in and enter the market today…i don’t think tons of people are going to be strapping on VR headsets in the next 18 months, but I do think people are going to expect to be able to move around in a browser based video much more often in that timeframe…

    1. SubstrateUndertow

      I wonder how far that “degrees of screen-motion freedom”law-of-diminishing-returns approach will ultimately be able to compete against the all out VR/AR helmet/glasses approach for everyday functional market share ?The good-enough-factor seems to favour the pocket books of most world citizens ?

  41. Harrison May

    If we are going to consider the current wave of VR/AR technologies as “Generation 1” (HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Hololense, PlaystationVR, …) Then I am very excited about THE FUTURE of AR/VR. The applications for present VR/AR are very limited by both hardware constraints and societal constraints. I believe that the Gen 1 VR/AR technologies are amazing first gen products, that have more time and thought put into them then most first iterations of a new technology. The life changing applications that VR/AR can bring to the world are at least 5 years away. This will likely be driven by Cost (remember the Hololense Dev Kit is 3K), technology (devices are limited to a certain distance and are bulky), and societies ability to understand the applications of VR/AR technology. The Amazon Echo has been a massive success, but it has taken consumers are while to understand how to integrate a “UI-less” technology into their day to day lives. Even developers have struggled with the Echo. Just scroll through the list of “Echo Skills” and you will see a great deal of skills that do not improve or help my everyday life (I am not hating on the Echo and Alexa…. I love my Echo). The true potential of the echo is yet to be discovered by both consumers and developers. VR/AR developers have the incredible task of creating applications that are designed to impact our day to day living, but under the constraint that most people cant afford it, are limited in where they can use it, and have to learn how to use it properly to help improve their life.

  42. Salt Shaker

    VR is here and it’s already startingly big! It’s called 150+ startups w/ valuations in excess of $1B. No headsets, just a lot of swollen heads.

  43. habi

    The biggest problem for most applications is that the brain’s VR experience differs from what the body feels. The result is nausea, Nausea onset differs by person and the extent is often a function of how radically different are the brain vs. body experiences.There are killer apps that side step the problem. One obvious one is amusement park rides. The body experiences exactly what the mind sees, only the reality is different. There is no nausea issue. Moreover, the opportunity and model is extraordinary. New roller coaster rides cost $20+ million. Now, take an old, underutilized ride and VR-revamp it for under $1 million. In year two, offer riders different VR experiences. Add sound and virtual weapons. Start strategic marketing tie-ins. For a park, each iteration has the revenue impact of bringing in a new ride at 5% of the cost. There are 4000 RCs and 8000 other rides that are or will be candidates for upgrade.Huge companies like Disney and Universal will go it their own and primarily use VR for new rides. That leaves 80% of the market for the above model. One VR ride company is commercial (VR Coaster, Germany). They have announced about 15 implementations this year. They use GearVR. Initial comment are their VR could be better and lacks sound. This will change. You need to hear the aliens blow up the space ship as it passes by.I am financing an Israeli company that will implement its first ride later this month. They also use GearVR but have sound and a much better VR implementation (per Samsung). I am leaving their name out because this is not meant to be a plug. No doubt there will be others. The market is far too big, the economics compelling and the application (as mentioned) is devoid of the drawbacks that dominate other apps..

  44. JamesHRH

    I’m with you. And Charlie – Actual Reality is a huge time suck.

  45. Barabare

    Fred, can you please let us know what VR/AR you have personally tried (e.g. Oculus DK1, DK2, CV1, HTC Vive, Magic Leap, Gear VR, etc.)? Have you tried touch controls (HTC Vive or Oculus Touch)?Having tried a DK2 and a Vive, I am confident this technology is a game changer. When you feel presence, it is a unique experience and really mind blowing.That said, you are of course right that it is early days. I had to buy a $1k gaming PC, an $800 headset, and the resolution is lower than I’d like. But that’s like looking at the first iPhone and saying “no apps, terrible screen, slow Internet” etc. All completely true, but give both that iPhone and VR a few generations of improvement…So yes, 100% bullish.

  46. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Apparently we’ve all missed the point ;-)http://www.scientificameric…

    1. Twain Twain

      Thanks for sharing.THIS from article: “Lisa Randall, a theoretical physicist at Harvard University. “It’s just not based on well-defined probabilities.”So two things:(1.) “I cannot believe that God plays dice with the Universe.” — EinsteinIf God doesn’t play dice => he doesn’t do probabilities. So any theory that the Universe and we are probabilistic doesn’t pass Einstein’s tests.(2.) Harvard Medical Research is showing our neuroscience isn’t simply probabilistic:* @wmoug:disqus — HUGE implications for AI because it’s evidence, at a biological level, that the assumptions that we think merely probabilistically and, therefore, AI should be modeled probabilistically are … AMISS.I’d already invented my system before this Harvard Medical Research emerged AND before Max Tegmark of MIT published his paper on “Perceptronium, the most general substance that can feel subjectively self-aware.”Compounding the research that we don’t think probabilistically is Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel prize winner in Economics’, work: “Our brains were not built for probability. “System 1” is fast, instinctive and emotional => meanings; “System 2″ (mathematics) is slower, more deliberative, and more logical.”

      1. SubstrateUndertow

        That all sounds like self-referential linguistic semantics.

  47. Vitor Conceicao

    Count me on the skeptical side as well. I think it has a big potential in gaming and for a few very specific niche business uses. I think it will be something like 3D Movies of Second Life a huge hype, lots of talk, lots of experimentation and a slow move back to reality.But lets see how it goes. Will be fun to watch.

  48. Alex Christodoulou

    Apart from killer apps, it’s also killer content that will define how fast VR will evolve. VideoStitch released their 360 camera for live VR streaming at $1,750 – that is, many businesses and organisations will start creating content for VR. If we see live VR streaming for football, F1 etc soon, more consumers will get attracted.In terms of cost, VR cannot be compared to a personal device. It’s like the VCR in the early days. An expensive device with limited content for all the family. Nowadays the penetration in homes will be much faster than the VCR.There’s no such thing as “still issues with motion”. If you’ve tried a well designed game in a good VR device with controls (e.g. HTC Vive) the experience is so engaging you just don’t want to stop it. It needs much more to be done, but the current experience is by a magnitude better than other entertainment options.As iPod and iPhone have shown, the world is adopting faster than ever new technologies.

  49. Susan Rubinsky

    This is a question for my 19 year old son.

    1. LE

      All this is the fall of the roman empire. Otoh it’s a bit better than getting addicted to drugs, sex or alcohol … probably on par with getting addicted to sports. But actually worse then sports since you are subject to the start and stop times of games which acts as a governor.

      1. Simone

        I would think all addictions are as bad…

  50. creative group

    FRED:Dialogue from Crimson Tide (Gene Hackman (Capt. Ramsey) and Denzel Washington XO Hunter).Capt. Ramsey: God help you if you’re wrong.Hunter: If I’m wrong, then we’re at war. God help us all.For VC’s and Angel investors the protential for profit will deter any potential medical side effects. We experiented with both platforms and the large goggles would deter us from being a user.When a large financial stake is placed on New and innovative technology usually the advice is get it to market and we can figure out the bugs in upgrades, etc.Capt. (Fred) we concur with your assesment.PS: A telling sign when adult men play video games (non competitive, non prize money).A different generational mindset.

  51. falicon

    I think it will only grow from here…but it’s def. early days and needs a lot of love & attention to properly evolve.Personally – I don’t want goggles or glasses or head gear…I want the holodeck in my house. Let my entire physical body enter, and take part, in the experience and I’m in (not required, but even better if multiple people can enter the same physical room and share the entire experience)Meanwhile, the grumpy old man of me says It’s already bad enough that we can be in public, physically near others, and yet completely isolated in our phones and devices…now we’re going to be putting those devices around all of our sensory inputs (i.e. heads & hands) and shutting out ‘real’ people even more.But it seems as though the goggles, glasses, and headsets are a required path to (hopefully) getting me to my holodeck…and so while I’m not going to be much of a personal user, or fan, I do endorse the path…let’s just hope it evolves beyond today quickly 🙂

  52. creative group

    Repost: (Posted late)Merle Ronald Haggard (April 6, 1937-April 6, 2016 died on his Birthday, has that ever happened to someone famous?) who sung about his experience in prison at 21 was one of the only country singers we could ever listen to that we felt was sincere in what he sung. RIP…

  53. kidmercury

    i’m surprised you’re on the hate train here fred. lately i’ve been thinking FB buying oculus in 2014 reminds me of google buying android in 2005. the computing power is here, the demand from early adopters (gamers) is here, the opportunity as a low end disruption in education, healthcare, and entertainment (among others) is clear in theory. all that’s missing is product market time we’ll look back at education without VR the way we look at traveling to a new location without maps on a mobile device (typically the phone). it’s like, wtf how did people live like that? in a few decades or less we’ll wonder how people thought paying 100k to sit in lectures for a few years was a worthwhile way of educating one’s self instead of utilizing experiential and collaborative VR-based education solutions.

    1. SubstrateUndertow

      VR’s power to convey educational abstractions especially distributive-social-structure abstractions is a political time bomb !

  54. Robert Heiblim

    Yes, I am with you Fred though I do think the potential is real. These are all first generation products and also first generation software and development solutions. They will all be surpassed multiple times over. As you state, a good percentage of people will experience motion sickness, headache or other somatic effects due to the state of the system. Content developers are still working out how to compose and create VR experiences and today some of them are the cause of poor effects, but with these tools in development still there is a very wide range of quality in the experiences. Along with really high pricing for the entire system for solutions like Oculus and Vive and not that much less for Sony I would expect mixed reviews on the value here. We also need to recognize the amount of software is still very limited. Taken as a whole I expect sales results to underwhelm at first. These are niche products. Much as Palmer Luckey worried over this could produce a “dip” that VR may have to work through as these are not going to fly off the shelf. However, I also still think the longer term potential is too great for work not to continue and too compelling on the gaming side not to go forward. It will be interesting to watch. For you the question remains, how do you invest in VR? That is a question I have spoken to many about with few good answers. In the end it will be content driven I think but we are now in the hardware phase and it is very early.

  55. LE

    Are you bullish on AR and VR over the next several years? If so, why?I don’t play games on computers (or off computers) so to me this has no value. I like real world experiences. [1][1] Otoh I do like movies so maybe if I gave it a try I might find value.

  56. Susan Rubinsky

    I hate to say this, but I suspect there are great porn opportunities.

    1. SubstrateUndertow

      Am I the only one here that does not dare to respond.

      1. Susan Rubinsky

        I almost didn’t post it. Sat here staring at the screen a bit before deciding to. The reason I decided to post it is because it was the first thing that popped into my mind. Not that I personally have any interest in virtual reality porn, but it seems obvious to me that it’s an area with great ROI.

    2. scottythebody

      It will be leading edge for sure.

  57. Yoschmitty

    Went to an Escape room where one of us in the group had to put on a VR helmet. His response was overwhelmingly positive in a totally amazed and awestruck way.If I could get a front row seat to a concert or sit at a dinner table with the cast of my favorite show, things that can’t be handled by current methods of digital image distribution, then there will be a demand, no matter how steep the initial costs, for an experience you can’t get anywhere.It is too expensive and if the experience is a copy of a current format, you will be underwhelmed. But soon the marketers of this service will find the right experiences to change your opinion, but not unfortunately, the initial over-hype.

  58. Diane Levitt

    I’m with you. My concern is that there’s momentum to sell this into schools as an instructional tool, but many children have trouble managing it physically. Students who suffer from motion sickness find it unbearable (motion sickness is most prevalent between ages 2-10). So do they have to have a lesser learning experience? They’re stuck with a textbook while everyone else is “soaring.” It’s also one more thing for teachers to learn to manage, schools to stock up on, and then–to sit in a closet as the next thing comes down the river.

  59. Sierra Choi

    Holographic phones. Since Apple & Samsung have already launched patents into 3D touchable holograms following Takee-Estar’s lead, I think we will have a lot more “mixed reality”/ AR in the next 5 years.As for VR headsets, no.

  60. Max Abbott

    With time, cost and inconvenience (tether, headsets, etc.) will be corrected, however I think a lot of the commotion and excitement is about how cool the product is, not about there being a major market for it. People see this amazing product and automatically think “Wow! This is amazing, everyone will want this!” Well, todays gaming consoles are cool but there isn’t one in every home. I think it will be a specific market, a much smaller market than many are projecting. It will have it’s uses but it won’t be everywhere. VR and AR are awesome technologies. They will continue to be amazing and a lot of people will buy into it, however I think many people are getting carried away with their projections. Similar to the “Everyone is going to own an Apple watch!” craze. Everyone doesn’t own an Apple watch and they sold about 2/3 of publishers estimates. An amazing product does not a market make.

  61. joelatone

    2nd most-hyped, behind messaging bots. in any case, both have broken the trigger-peak-trough speed record. where next? take your choice from the image below.i’ll bet on the obvious path: apple’s the only company that can do it, from hardware/microelectronics to the consumer experience (and it’s not going to happen overnight).as for today’s vr/ar, maybe microsoft/sony can push them as part of their gaming consoles. i consulted my 12yo son, and he said, “it’s not what gaming’s about, dad.”it’s 2nd life 2.0 (better hardware/graphics) but poor hardware/graphics are not what killed 2nd life.p.s. not my graphic, apologies for leaving out the attribution, i poached it directly from google image search.

  62. Donna Brewington White

    I have no doubt that it will take off in one way or another, raising new philosophical, moral, psychological… and not to mention, parenting …questions.Technology has a way with showing us what we are made of — in terms of what it enables/empowers us to do and what we choose to do with it.

    1. SubstrateUndertow

      At some point we ultimately reach the biological self-referential danger limits of applied technology. (i.e. genetic engineering and maybe VR based social engineering)Your mentioning of VR and parenting is a scary reminder that we have no real frame of reference on exactly when we will be crossing that line!

  63. Annelies Gamble

    I’m bullish. VR could open an entirely new computing platform, which would undoubtedly have a huge impact on education, social, communication, medicine, shopping, and I’m sure much much more. Given this potential for impact, I think it’s a matter of time before someone gets it right. 3 factors for why this will happen..soon: mobile GPU will continue to improve (Moore’s Law), the price for components needed for VR will continue to decrease (mobile proliferation has helped with this), competition between Google, Apple, Facebook (look at what competition did for the PC, smartphones..and is doing for space travel, self-driving cars, etc).

  64. Lawrence Brass

    I don’t see AR/VR being a hit in the consumer markets soon, gaming enthusiasts being an exception. People that usually buy the highest end consumer GPUs will probably buy VR googles too. A perfect gift for a gamer if you buy the top ones.I see a huge potential in AR/VR in the training and education fields, because it makes sense and the gains in productivity are evident. Commercial pilots have been trained using VR in simulators for decades, going the next level with cheaper VR hardware could open a huge market in this field. AR/VR training R&D could be a very interesting field to invest in. I have seen some work in remote assistance + AR for industrial maintenance and it really looks promising.I like VR games and flight simulators, have a lot of virtual flight hours in my log and I could swear that I can take off in a real Cessna and probably land too, with the risk of “actual reality” taking me down of course. Would love to hear @JLM’s opinion on this, not me flying, about how many real flight hours can be saved using VR training.

  65. Aashay Mody

    For consumers, I do think the early versions of VR/AR products will underwhelm, be clunky and be mostly limited to an innovator/early adopter audience.But over the next several years, its hard to bet against the host of companies investing in VR to make it mainstream. There are some obvious benefits to this type of technology like being immersed in an experience that would otherwise require you to travel to a different location (think a movie theater or a sports stadium).For investors, I would imagine now (or yesterday) being the best time to get in before we get to the inflection point of the hockey stick curve.

  66. UnfoldLabs

    This is in line with our thinking. We think there is a lot of hype on VR right now. The end to end ecosystem is still weak. Maybe 2020? 🙂 More about out take on the VR industry here:… You can follow us at @UnfoldLabs or our CEO at @asokan_telecom

  67. Rich Garrabrant

    I think there is potential in construction wearables. Such as hard hats equipped with VR glasses that can allow the worker to walk a construction site with an augmented reality overlay of an AutoCadd or BIM drawing.

  68. Murtaugh

    I work in the kitchen and bath industry and see a huge opportunity here. Consumers spend huge amounts of money on new homes, kitchens, baths etc and most just see an architectural plan and 2D elevations. Very few see even 3D renderings. If a client could literally walk through and “touch” their design they would feel closer to the design process, it would likely yield higher customer satisfaction, and probably catalyze higher ASPs so to speak (e.g., do I want spend an extra $10K on another kitchen window – if they can experience the benefits of the natural light and views they will be more likely to pull the trigger).

    1. Murtaugh

      And quick follow-up in terms of computing power, this wouldn’t have to be an application you need to have the computing power to do on your own. Architectural firms could have the higher priced machines in their offices for clients to come and utilize.

  69. Rick Mason

    I’ve observed even the most enthusiastic young people can’t immerse themselves for very long. I can’t even tolerate Oculus use after I’ve eaten. I liken this generation to 3D TV, all the people who want the latest gadget will buy them but after awhile most of them will be gathering dust. In a year the business magazines will be calling it Zuckerberg’s first failed acquisition. But eventually something will emerge from the labs that will make the current models look like the 1903 curved dash Oldsmobile.

  70. sigmaalgebra

    I have to believe that AR and VR combine to form a well known four letter word — hype.For at least a long time, way over the visible horizon, the AR and VR business will be messing around with small potatoes, most of them rotten.AR/VR can be useful in some niche applications, say, visualing a walk-through of some complicated mechanical engineering design, say, inside a new US SSBN submarine.In nearly all cases otherwise, to the users, AR/VR are not worth the “botheration”.And, for more, there is a fundamental problem: From 100,000 feet up, the main goal now, of computing, information technology, and, indeed, both our economy and civilization, is in one word. And the candidates are: Love, life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, democracy, socialism, prosperity, physical security, emotional security, community, art, science, strong families, information, quantum computing, and the Webb space telescope at a Lagrangian point. And may I have the envelope, please? [drum roll]. And the winner is [rip] — INFORMATION! Now, will the President of the American Mathematical Society come to the stage to accept the award …. No, no, not the ACM; the AMS!Well, yes, first cut, we live in a 3 D world, and, yes, we see that world in 2 D. So, we’d like to use AR/VR to let our 2 D seeing do better in the 3 D world, and, yes, there will be some applications.But what about 4 D, 5 D, …? Yup, too often, indeed, nearly always, for the information we want, we have to work with positive integer n dimensions where n > 3, possibly in the thousands, or more. In many cases we have to work with infinitely many dimensions, and, there, yes, approximate with large but still finitely many dimensions. There, 3 D visualization is not much help. Instead, we need tools that let us work in several or many dimensions. And we have a lot of such tools, some of them still not well exploited. And we are developing more such tools, for exploitation.So, 3 D and AR/VR for letting us visualize better for 3 D? For the information we need, kid’s stuff, small potatoes. Trivial. F’get about it.

  71. Pete Griffiths

    They don’t require powerful computers. The next gen phones are more than sufficiently powerful.

  72. Intergalpol

    Agree it will take a couple iterations, but I think the Sony Playstation VR has a lot of potential given its lower price point, an addressable audience that already has the hardware (PS4), and the easily accessible / fun use case of games. Will be interested in seeing what happens.

  73. Carla Holtze

    I believe that to be truly commercially viable in the long-term, there will need to be a solid data management platform to support the rich insights created by AR / VR

  74. cavepainting

    Even if VR gets progressively miniaturized over time and becomes usable for mass market, it raises serious questions about what we are trying to do to ourselves. Life is about living in the real world, traveling to real places, touching real things, and meeting and interacting with real people. As long as the digital world enables us to live our real lives better, it is great. When it starts to create an alternate reality, it deepens the device addiction that is already rampant and seriously threatens the quality of our lives.

  75. TK

    Is VR/AR really in its infancy? Or in a state of maturity?Sometimes we are so far behind, we can think that we are ahead and sometimes we are so far ahead, that we think we are behind. I bring this up because the world that we live in very well could be one of the oldest, most mature forms of virtual/augmented reality that we “know”, but because we don’t really know, we think we are in the infancy of VR/AR, we are so far ahead, we think we are behind (we are living in the greatest virtual reality right now) and we are so far behind we think we are ahead (the VR and AR that we are creating is nothing in comparison to the world that we already live in).But I recognize that was not the headspace that you were in when asking the question, so I will answer the question in that space: And I will begin by saying: “As Above, So Below”, meaning, that if we consider what a little up and coming mathematician and philosopher, Rene Descartes, considered, which was that this existence that we experience is just a simulated reality, then as above, so below, and so we will continue to proliferate that same vein, in this “reality” as well. With that said, I am bullish on VR and AR holistically. However, would I invest right now – No.The form in which you see AR and VR taking right now, i.e. headsets, haptic sets, etc. will not be the form that brings success, scalability, and mass adoption.

  76. hypermark

    A great app that captures the near term potential for AR is MSQRD by Masquerade Technologies. It is essentially a live mask (the category is face swapping) that instantly, and with no manipulation by the user, overlays the user’s face with a dynamic, form fitting mask.If you hold your phone over a TV screen, you can get a sense of the potential for augmented entertainment programming, whereby you, your family or a favorite actor can play the lead character in a show, sporting event or movie.Imagine seeing yourself as Stephen Curry in Game 7 of the NBA Finals, or being Tyrion for a season of Game of Thrones.Now, merge this concept with the nascent approach to filmed entertainment that incorporates point of view into the production process (e.g., ‘Hardcore Henry’), and you see how a new medium emerges.MSQRD App:…Hardcore Henry:

  77. george

    This reminds me of the time when 3D was all the hype. Everyone was pumping it and what happened, it essentially flamed out. VR/AR may be different, some serious investment and visionary people are behind its success but I think it’s going to take some time to develop that market, especially from a user design perspective – cardboard designs are embarrassing.

  78. Mark Essel

    Expect AR to take off for contextual information all the time you want it. VR, maybe when they get it right, simulation of moving around without your body moving around / feedback.

  79. Charles

    Wait for digitizing of the senses to catch up with this technology.

  80. Prokofy

    Yes, underwhelming, expensive, and you know, Second Life is better (but SL is not virtual reality, it’s a virtual world, and they are different).Whenever you see geeks go on and on about how something will have some medical use or training use, you know they are groping for a reason to exist. Even gamers give it a wide birth.I oppose augmented reality until we can fix the horrid, oppressive “fact” underpinnings that will gird it, namely Wikipedia and for that matter, Google search.I do not want Wikipedia to augment my reality.

  81. jason wright

    if you’re not the market then most people on here are not the market and most people out there are not the market, and so where is the big investment opportunity?

  82. fredwilson

    “actual reality” – i want to invest in that!!!!!

  83. kevando to this website, i think i would fit in real well to actual reality

  84. Phil Chacko

    We got our Vive this week. Myself and my roommate/cofounder were playing with it, looking goofy as everyone does while using VR. Three friends walked in and laughed at us. “Just put it on,” I said. 3 skeptics turned into three fanatics.VR/AR for the first time provide a 3D way to interact with digital data that will have a huge effect on the real world. Being able to reach out, and grab and move things, is a revelation with the Vive’s motion controllers.We’re working on bringing CAD for real world applications to VR at FeatherFab.comYes, the early versions are clunky, require too many wires, too much setup, and mostly hobbyists will be buying it first. But just like the PC it’ll get smaller and sleeker and will be used for all sorts of things. It’s valid to argue about VR/AR’s potential growth trajectory, but it’ll happen.

  85. Donna Brewington White

    Does AR/VR have a numbing effect or an enhancing effect? An escape from reality or an increased ability to influence/change reality?Will those in Actual Reality someday be the ruling class?Maybe I watched The Matrix too many times.

  86. Ryan Feit

    Just go on…. All start at $1,000. Not going to debate what high end means but these are the min specs to power the Oculus.

  87. Barabare

    A bit more than $1k, but here’s a monster of a gaming computer (i7-6700 with a 980ti) for $1127:

  88. Da To

    Ha, loved this term too.

  89. sigmaalgebra

    We approximate “actual reality”, but generally we need more than three dimensions.

  90. TeddyBeingTeddy

    A/R is a gateway drug to VR. And not mutually exclusive. Consider the ability to highly customize ads within a VR experience based on your preferences/location/behavior, etc. So I’m not surprised Google is chasing A/R first given the ad revenue play/potential, but I’d make a bet that Google X is currently working on VR too, crossing the mountain from different sides at the same time. time will tell…

  91. falicon

    This is a classic example of “looks like a game” entry to market though.Gaming is driving the early days and advancements, but education and training won’t be far behind…and then my guess is some version of ‘social’ will also come around quickly…from there, who knows.Sci. fi. movies have been wanting and predicting this forever…so it’s def. not going away and will be mainstream in some form…many techies live to turn sci. fi into mainstream reality.

  92. LE

    I don’t watch that show so can you explain to me what the story is with Martin Sheen being so short compared to Christine Lahti? He is 3 inches shorter IRL but in the movies (ala Tom Cruise) they typically jack up the height of any leading man relative to others, especially to women, unless they are trying to prove a point. Is the Sheen character some kind of Napoleon?

  93. Amar

    This is my all time favorite show and this scene is one of my top 10 favorite scenes :-). Btw, whenever I need to a good laugh, i cue up “I am Mariam Coatsworth Hayes” :-)…

  94. Roberto

    great, great video !!!! Was never so real !!!!

  95. TeddyBeingTeddy

    Think about this from a different perspective Paul. Holiday shopping. I think word is catching on that 4K TVs are stupid. The data is so compressed by the time that it gets to your house that it makes 4K useless (HD hasn’t even reached it’s full potential). Without totally retrofitting the entire plumbing between the camera and your house, TV quality has reached about as far is it’ll go for a while. So what will people buy at Xmas for that next big tech purchase? A new TV? I think not. A new ipad? Nope. A new gas guzzling car? negative. Don’t you think a VR system could be that next big family purchase? the video game/TV/vacation all in one bundle? consider – what are people going to buy their for birthdays and xmas this year? If they paid $2k for a 4k TV two years ago…what now?

  96. LE

    Hot button issue of mine as well. [1] However now you can see why it’s so easy to fool some of the people some of the time and make money in business. [2][1] I don’t know if what you are saying is true btw (I haven’t done the homework but I agree with the point).[2] Or politics.

  97. Barabare

    Not a bait and switch, read the Reddit thread. With the coupon mentioned, it is 100% $1,127 for the 6700/980ti combo. You are correct that it’s not with an SSD, but you could buy that separately for $50. Not sure about sound, but you don’t need 5.1 for VR, and most consumers won’t use 5.1.This is admittedly a deal where you need to look around and use the coupon, however. An average consumer buying the first thing they see will be spending closer to $1400+ for a 980ti computer.

  98. LE

    I found that out when I bought one at Best Buy that in no way resembled what I saw at the Best Buy showroom. The TV is still good and I am happy with it but we returned it for a smaller model (65″ was way to big for the room). Of course I wasn’t fooled as much as I simply didn’t care. I was fine with the old 32″ Sony tube set. It’s my wife that wanted a new TV.

  99. Lawrence Brass

    You are right Teddy, the only place you see plenty of gorgeous images displayed on large screens at 4K quality and resolution is usually the stores. The only way to see really sharp HD+ is to play a Blu-ray disk, nothing online that is tagged HD can beat that.

  100. LE

    Hunter may have been exaggerating though by using “bark”. I mean look at the way these people used “the clapper”. Imagine if the clapper was the maid or their kids.

  101. Donna Brewington White

    @aexm:disqus and I were involved in a brief Twitter convo recently with a third person about how we find ourselves saying “thank you” or otherwise being polite to Echo and, in Ana’s case an AI virtual assistant. I think the conclusion in the end was that it wasn’t about the devices being able to appreciate our response, but about the type of person we want to be.That’s the point I’ve been making to my 15 y.o. with his Siri.Of course, I’m from another planet.

  102. TeddyBeingTeddy

    Yup, I agree. I think VR is at the Roadster level now where only hard core enthusiasts will buy it. Hopefully tech advancements over that 12-24 months enable them to be at price that equates to a Model 3 kind of accessibility in 2-3 years. It’s a Lambo for now, Camry in a couple years.

  103. Mark Moran

    If by “education” you mean the K-12 public school system in the U.S., then I think we are a decade or more away before it is widely adopted. Years ago I created a search engine for students and marketed it as better than Google for student research. My wife, who spends a lot of time in classrooms, finally convinced me that I was not competing against Google – I was competing against books. Until very recently, she was right.