At the Global Open Innovation Network, we have been covering AR and VR for the past two years. With a somehow disappointing 2017 for the AR/VR industry, we took the pulse of these two technologies by organizing two TechMeeting in both San Francisco and Paris.

We kicked off the event with a panel discussion focused on the state of AR/VR with:

  • David Gene Oh (moderator), Head of Developer Relations at Meta
  • Wallace Poulter, Consultant & former Director of Strategic Insight at Magic Leap
  • Damon Hernandez, Product manager at Samsung Research America
  • Tish Shute, Director AR/VR/MR, Corporate Technology Strategy at Huawei USA &Co-Founder at Augmented World Expo.

 

All the panelists agreed AR/VR will be disruptive and will change our lives. However, there were some discrepancies about when it will become mainstream.

Wallace, former Strategic Insight Director of Magic Leap, stated AR/VR will take longer than expected to go mainstream. The hype around some companies, including Magic Leap, raised too high expectations making it harder for those companies to meet them. Wallace also believes AR/VR has entered a delusional phase, which could drastically slow down the adoption process.

Tish, on the contrary, noted AR/VR is close enough to going mainstream and it could take off within two years. 

Indeed, Tish noted that the AR Kit (Apple) and ARCore (Google) are democratizing AR/VR technologies and allowing more developers to easily build relevant products.

However, there are still challenges to overcome. The dependence on eyewear is still a limitation. Also, it is still not comfortable to wear an AR or VR device for a long period of time. Somehow related, autonomy and power of devices are not still good enough.

According to Damon, as of today, the main barrier to mass adoption remains content. Simply put, there is still not enough content to justify the purchase price for non-early adopters. We still don’t have a launch app that will get the mainstream attention, key to a mass adoption.

Two trends could overcome these challenges. There is a shift of AR/VR from the gaming and entertaining space to the enterprise. Enterprise use cases in the medical field, factory settings, employee training, could drastically accelerate AR/VR adoption. Finally, we have noticed that AI and AR/VR are converging,  and predict that the breakthrough will be huge once they fully converge.

After such an interesting discussion, nine innovative startups showcased their solutions to the audience and the Global Open Innovation Network to explore potential collaboration opportunities.

ObserVR is a behavioral analytics platform for virtual reality, tracking user engagement, and scene analytics to help build content.
Leap Motion is the leading creator of motion tracking technology for virtual and augmented reality. It is our mission build a natural connection between people and technology, unlocking the potential of both.
Lightform is the first computer made for projected augmented reality.
Virtualitics is the first platform to merge Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Virtual/Augmented Reality. Visualize and understand your data as never before thanks to our innovative use of VR/AR, Machine Learning and Natural Language.
Mursion is the virtual reality environment where professionals practice and master the complex interpersonal skills necessary to be effective in high-stakes professions.
Etho is an augmented reality for mobility company. They are developing a platform for smart helmets with a HUD and voice assistant.
Izmocars provide advanced online marketing suite for automotive retail that integrates imagery, interactive tools, video, CGI and Virtual Reality with cutting edge online marketing, social advertising and big data analytics.
Primitive.io offers collaborative graphical programming services in virtual reality (VR) and turns the output of software analyses into interactive 3D structures that are displayed in immersive VR.

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