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Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality

Virtual reality and Augmented reality
The new new old thing

by Sanford Rosenberg, PhD


Having recently attended the Silicon Valley Virtual Reality conference as well as the AR/VR conference and the Neurogaming conference, I can attest that AR and VR are hot.


No one has resolved satisfactorily yet the dizzy/nauseousness problem, especially for women, interestingly enough, according to one report.


The emerging platforms, Oculus Rift, Sony, Samsung, all have improved features and a more comfortable form factor.  However beyond the almost arcade-like fun of the running and shooter games, I am not yet sure as to who the audience is for headsets and wearing them outside vid gamers.  Clearly Sony with its significant installed base of Playstations, reported 300 games in development, and its own proprietary headset, believes it has the edge.  Of course, Samsung is no slouch with its eye-gear and its arrangement with Google and the Android operating system.  Naturally Facebook, with its purchase of Oculus Rift and its large user base, believes that the key to successful AR/VR implementation lies in social interactivity and game playing.


As with VR, the promise of which has been with us for 30 years, the technology which has certainly improved does not tell the whole story.  In fact, the key to AR/VR success lies in story telling.  The creation of engaging interactive stories that utilize the AR/VR technology in ways that facilitate and enhance user engagement with the experience they are being invited to participate in is what makes the promise of AR and VR so compelling.  Inhabiting a VR world is a visceral experience by definition.  It engages your proprioceptive system in such a way that it makes you feel AS IF you are inhabiting a real world. 


The closest analog to this experience that has been researched and documented is what is know as lucid dreaming.  Lucid dreaming, a phenomena that had been remarked upon and reported in many diverse cultures around the globe as a method of spiritual journeying, transformation or healing, was brought into modern psychological research by Dr. Steven Laberge at Stanford University 20+ years ago and is a method which has been utilized in clinical counseling for a number of years.


I found that most of the creators of VR worlds were unfamiliar with lucid dreaming as an analog for VR experiencing.  I would strongly recommend this line of inquiry be pursued, both from a story telling standpoint as well as examining the implications of VR experiencing for consumers.


In the charts below, you will find numerous references to various aspects of AR and VR, including emerging platforms, as well as implications for gaming, enterprise, entertainment, advertising, etc.  Please review.  There are also a number of applications that are being developed for medical, educational, and government sectors.


However, you will not find amongst these sources anyone who addresses the psychological and psychosocial dimensions of and implications of virtual reality experiencing.   In my opinion, understanding these aspects of VR worlds is the key to successful implementation of virtual reality in all of its vast potential.

 

 AR-VR revenue forecast

 

SOURCE: Tech Crunch: Augmented and Virtual Reality to Hit $150 Billion, Disrupting Mobile by 2020, by Tim Merel, April 6, 2015

 

 AR-VR revenue share 2020F

 

SOURCE: Tech Crunch: Augmented and Virtual Reality to Hit $150 Billion, Disrupting Mobile by 2020, by Tim Merel, April 6, 2015

 

 

Annual Unit Sales for Consumer VR Devices

SOURCE: KZero Worldwide: Consumer virtual reality market worth $5.2bn by 2018

Annual Revenues for Consumer VR Devices

SOURCE: KZero Worldwide: Consumer virtual reality market worth $5.2bn by 2018

Annual Game-App revenues by type

SOURCE: KZero Worldwide: Consumer virtual reality market worth $5.2bn by 2018

Hardware and Software Total revenue for-consumer VR

SOURCE: KZero Worldwide: Consumer virtual reality market worth $5.2bn by 2018