Serious Insights Business VR Weekly
February 8, 2016
Daniel W. Rasmus
Serious Insights, Principal Analyst
Serious Insights Business VR Weekly – February 8 2016
All Abuzz About Apple VR
The Internet was all abuzz about Apple’s apparent entry into the virtual reality market. Serious Insights views most of the “insights” as pure speculation. Re/code’s Eric Johnson suggested that Apple hold off. We disagree. Apple shouldn’t come to market if they aren’t ready, but that isn’t Apple’s MO anyway. While experiencing VR is pretty cool, having someone look at you while you do it will be the throwback image of 2025 (it is already becoming proof of uber nerdiness). Apple may be able to bring its cool design aesthetic to VR, and help the burgeoning technology avoid death by clunkiness. But hardware may not be Apple’s real interest. VR today is fragmented with many different interfaces, much as the music market was before the iPod and eventually iTunes. Apple may bring some much needed rationalization to the app launch experience and the sales model. Sure, Facebook’s Oculus has a store, as does HTC through Steam, but without hardware on the market, those markets are still pretty experimental. Apple will likely watch and learn. And sure, they will bring out something that turns some future iPhone into a wildly appealing headset, but look for them to deliver a stereo camera experience as well. The iPhone is not a one trick pony, and odds are Apple will make it utilitarian in the VR market as well.
Various takes on Apple’s rumored entry into the market can be found here:
- RE/code: Here’s Why Apple Should Hold Off on Entering Virtual Reality
- M&M Global: Apple assembles ‘secret’ team of virtual reality experts
- CBS News: Apple reportedly starts a virtual reality team
- Motley Fool: Apple’s Virtual Reality Ambitions: Finally Too Big to Hide?
MIT Technology Review
Serious Insights commentary: This article looks at some of the limitations of current VR hardware. It explores Eyefluence eye tracking, which tracks where eyes are looking and uses them for control within the VR environment. They also look at Gest, that offers basic control sensors via fingers and palm, without the heaviness of a glove — and Metta which is focused on head-tracking.
Serious Insights commentary: ZDNet’s Erin Carson looks at how VR might be used in education, healthcare, air and space, marketing, journalism, travel, real estate, skilled trades, automotive and retail.
Serious Insights commentary: eMarketer looks at investments in VR and speculates about how they will be used for enhanced marketing. One example of marketing that also ran this week was the VRification of Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl XII.
ABC News – KGO
Serious Insights commentary: And ahead of the Super Bowl, STRIVR Lab’s VR is getting good pickup for helping players learn the game via virtual game books that put them in the play, rather than studying film or looking at circles and squares on a tablet or piece of paper. Inc. also ran a piece on Why the Super Bowl Will Be Much Better in Virtual Reality, that describes how the Microsoft HoloLens may change our relationship to the Big Game, including a wider field of view, 3D instant replay and a display that floats the state of fantasy football teams right over whatever game you are watching. USA Today posted a piece (Super Bowl fans get hit of virtual reality future) on the wider use of VR ahead of Super Bowl 50, including investments by SAP, Jaunt VR, NextVR and Microsoft. They describe the NextVR video making regular television look like radio. Also see Want to watch a Super Bowl in virtual reality? from CNBC.