I have looked at Google Trends for the last 12 months. Despite the announcement of growth in the augmented reality technology segment, for now, virtual reality is leading the way. In 2019, it disappeared from Gartner’s Hype Cycle chart, which the studio itself justified with the fact that VR in the business segment has reached maturity for commercial implementations.
VR kit without cable, phone and computer
Moim odkryciem roku w temacie hardware’u jest zdecydowanie Oculus Quest. Okulary VR są samodzielne, co oznacza, że nie wymagają telefonu ani komputera do działania. Nie ma więc kabli. Mimo niewielkiej mocy potrafią całkiem sporo. Możesz powspinać się w Chinach, postrzelać w zwolnionym tempie i zasiąść w swoim wielkim salonie przed ekranem Netflixa. I kosztują $450. W segmencie biznesowym mają ogromny potencjał w salonach gry, na imprezach i w zdalnych spotkaniach. No i to uaktualnienie z wykrywaniem dłoni. Pamiętam jak testowaliśmy możliwości Leap Motion ponad 2 lata temu i z jakim trudem sprowadziłem do Polski taki zestaw. Teraz Quest też to wspiera.
https://www.oculus.com/experiences/quest/2184912004923042My hardware discovery of the year is definitely Oculus Quest. VR glasses are standalone, meaning they don’t require a phone or computer to function. So there are no cables. Despite their low power, they can do quite a lot. You can climb in China, shoot in slow motion, and sit in your huge living room in front of a Netflix screen. And they cost $ 450. In the business segment, they have great potential in arcades, at events and remote meetings. And that’s an upgrade with hand detection. I remember how we tested the capabilities of Leap Motion over two years ago and how hard it was to bring such a set to Poland. Now Quest supports it too.
Minecraft in the open air
A lot has happened in the gaming segment as well. The biggest “entry” in the AR area is definitely Minecraft Earth. Building together has moved into the real world and this is another proof after Pokemon Go that AR technology is explored by big players and has undiscovered potential. It is true that 1M + downloads in Google Play look modest for now with 100M + Pokemon, but this is just the beginning and it is definitely worth watching the development of this title.
Half Life in VR
VR technology has also gained a large ally. Valve has announced that it will be releasing another episode of Half Life in VR. At the moment, about 1% of players on the steam platform have VR glasses, which means that it is less than a million users. Valve wants to revive the VR gaming ecosystem in the consumer segment with one move. In my opinion, VR glasses are an ideal device for arcade salons and for multiplayer gameplay, where you do not need strong hardware configurations and are perfect for Oculus Quest. Releasem Half Life Valve wants to prove that the single-player market on fancy PCs also makes sense. We will see.
In pursuit of AR glasses
The event in the AR glasses market segment was, in turn, the streak of troubles of the Magic Leap startup. After the disappointing sale of 6,000 headsets compared to the 100,000 expected by the management board, the company decided to redirect attention to the business market. Personally, from the moment I saw the design of the first set, I knew that consumers would not wear it on their heads. There were also problems with tracking and a high price. At about the same time, Microsoft announced Hololens 2. Despite the fact that Microsoft is a bit misleading in marketing films (field of view 🙂 I recommend this set for industrial applications, because it has Microsoft’s trucks behind it, so it will not fall and does not come from Google, which kills projects without blinking an eye despite the heavy loads of money, as we experienced ourselves when we invested a lot of developer time in Project Tango in 2016. Google made a lot of promises to developers after this project, then closed it and focused on ArCore.
The holy grail of augmented reality is getting closer
Regarding Google, however, it is worth stopping for a moment, because the latest update to ArCore (AR on Android mobile devices) has been enriched with Depth Api, which finally promises what customers have been asking me for several years – will this object hide behind a chair or a table. The first was announced by Niantic on their platform, but Google will move it to thatched roofs, which I am very and shamelessly happy about, because we use ArCore, among others in our Virtualist app.
Have fun on New Years Eve. Happy New Year.