As some of you may know, I have a background in software engineering and CAD and have been active in emerging tech field over the last ten years through investments as well as growing start-ups in mobile IoT, AI and, recently, augmented reality (AR) and/or virtual reality (VR). We then have set up the Realities Centre to help filter through the hype and offer environments for the start-ups and corporates to harness those technologies for industry-specific verticals for AR/VR innovation and to learn more about the technologies.

This has enabled us to see where there is real traction, and we have been lucky to run great events, such as many hackathons, to validate industries and ideas as well as build what is probably the largest ecosystem of developers, mentors and corporate partners. I have seen first-hand how new users react to technology, interfaces and experiences through our many public and private conferences, and also having been personally involved in a company that offers virtual reality tours for multi-user property.

I have been scaring many IT directors with the account of the number of involved cables as well as the software restarts and computer requirements for the package that would be needed for them to run our experiences. Moreover, I have seen companies finding ways around that problem by on-boarding clients first with a preloaded mobile VR package, which is an all-in-one “case” to reduce this hardware pain, and then trying to upgrade them to a full high spec solution.

It is, therefore, out of genuine sentiment that I think that this year’s upcoming standalone headsets that include room-scale tracking (called 6 degrees of freedom or “6DoF”, as opposed to 3DoF like in mobile VR), such as the HTC Vive Focus, Pico Goblin and Google Mirage Solo with Daydream (pictured below), are going to really solve a lot of the difficulties that the potential large-scale B2B2C users experienced. As those were eliminated, their decision to adopt VR at scale for their organisation and to deliver to end-users shall be much easier.

Of course, high-end tethered headsets still have an important role to play for engineers, designers, arcades and gamers as they benefit from higher specifications, such as the HTC Vive Pro, which delivers optimal graphics and positional tracking with wireless options coming soon. Those still have very legitimate uses and innovations, such as eye tracking, Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) and more, are key. Read more from…

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