Insights

One of these innovations will soon outperform the VR Headset

February 14, 2022

VR headsets are practically mainstream in gaming communities, but they are failing to make the jump to other consumer markets. A recent CrunchBase article forecasts that mixed reality devices will not be mainstream for at least half a decade. The following three innovations are challenging that timeline and are poised to outperform the VR headset in industry and widespread consumer use.

Pixel streaming is already transforming journalism and reporting

The New York Times research and development team began experimenting with pixel streaming as early as 2019 when they rendered a 3D model of a city block.  By the spring  of 2021, the publication found a way to make detailed graphics accessible to a large percentage of subscribers using 3D web technology. Pixel streaming allows journalists the opportunity to create composite, 3D images. You may have seen weather forecasters reveal what a stunning amount of snowfall could look like in Northern Virginia or what a city might look like after an earthquake. Mixed reality combines actual geospatial information with augmented information to provide a visually immersive experience.

Initially, 3D web technology was impossible to access on mobile or via laptop and desktop browsers. Consumer devices simply do not have the capacity to process the amount of data required. However, thanks to cloud computing and volumetric video streaming, consumer devices are able to stream video progressively, meaning that browsers can handle the amount of incoming data without disturbing the user experience.

Unreal Engine and PureWeb are innovating in the delivery of real-time 3D experiences through the cloud.

On the business side, pixel streaming platforms, like Pureweb, provide technology that assists architects, engineers and manufacturers to render realistic models. In addition, automotive sales and other products can provide potential customers with an immersive mixed reality experience of a product.

On the developer side, many pixel streaming platforms are agnostic. Developers can collaborate across platforms and share data that will allow them to create detailed models for multiple, visually immersive uses.

AR Glass technology sees growth and development

Haptic technology creates a truly immersive experience that appeals to a multitude of user senses. While pixel streaming immerses a viewer visually,  VR headsets coupled with haptic wearables can provide deeply immersive visual and tactile experiences. Most consumers, however, are not architects, surgeons or gamers. They don't need full-on immersive experiences. But they do need better ways to access digital information. That's where AR Glass technology meets a wide demand.

Apple, as well as other tech leaders, have spent time, money and talent developing mixed reality technologies that appeal to the everyday user. Lessons were learned from Google's issues with eyewear and each tech heavyweight is looking to improve on that experience. Battery life needs to be improved. Apps exclusive to AR/VR tech need to be developed further. And finally, consumer demand needs to increase.

Apple Eyewear will utilize cutting-edge OLED displays to produce realistic AR experiences

Apple's AR/VR headsets are expected to be released by 2023 with eyewear slated to be available to mainstream users by 2025. Entrepreneurs can make use of this time to better understand and leverage AR Glass technology. For instance, Apple's AR Glass is expected to be an extension of the iPhone. Users will gesture and information that they may have accessed on their phone or watch will be displayed across their eyewear. They can take pictures and videos without having to use their phone's camera. They can also record audio. Organizations that develop apps for AR Glass wearers will be well-positioned to meet this demographic as soon as AR Glass becomes mainstream.

AR lenses are a natural extension of AR glass technologies

For social or aesthetic reasons, some individuals choose not  to wear eyeglasses. Mojo Vision anticipated this and is in the process of completing the development of AR lenses. They are what they sound like -- AR contact lenses. The company has already partnered with Nike. Their website features a runner keeping on course by using a virtual map displayed on the lenses. Mojo Vision is positioned to take on the athletic and recreational user, but a recent agreement with Disney suggests that entertainment companies are also interested in bringing their products to the AR lens demographic.

Mojo Vision is now part of the Disney Accelerator Program

The next wave in storytelling will happen outside the headset

We’re aware that there is a tremendous amount of noise and marketing happening around the “metaverse” theses days. However, smart brands are already looking beyond VR in anticipation of these new technologies to enhance utility and storytelling.

If you are ready to position your company, product or brand using some of these or other new technologies, then reach out to our creative team for ideas and inspiration.