IDC Herzliya VR Conf. – Predictions on Future of VR [16 Dec, 2016]

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VR future trends - predictions by Noam Levavi, CEO Byond

At the end of November, which was two weeks ago, our CEO – Noam Levavi was invited as a guest speaker at a VR/MR Conference. The conference took place in IDC Herzliya, one of the top universities in Israel, and focused on future trends and predictions in VR.

It saw the attendance of hundreds of students, industry leaders, other VR companies, as well as individuals coming from academic backgrounds.

Noam started off by sharing his story of how he jumped into the world of VR, following his 20 years of experience in the digital industry. The presentation was in Hebrew, but just so you don’t miss out, we have translated the most interesting parts into English for you – the predictions on the future of the industry and how you can take advantage of this new medium now for your business needs and to engage your target audience.

Noam is a serial entrepreneur with more than 18 years of innovations in user experience technologies.

As former CEO and founder of YCD, one of the world’s leading digital signage companies, Noam is a pioneer of digital experience inventions. However, despite great advancements in technology over the past decades, Noam has noticed that the technology that served as the medium for digital media was still contained in our world in the form of screens.

byond presentation virtual reality headsets in the 1990s - ByondVR blog
Bulky virtual reality headsets back in the 1990s

The first time Noam encountered virtual reality was in the 1990s. Back then, VR headsets were extremely bulky and made people wearing them look quite ridiculous. It was enough to get a neck ache from it by merely wearing the headset for three minutes. But even at that point of time, this technology invoked Noam’s imagination and inspired him to think about where it can take all of us in the future.

It took quite a few years until VR technology has advanced to where we are today. One of the reasons can be attributed to the rapid development of mobile technology, which has increased greatly in processing power and quality over the years. Here, Noam began sharing his thoughts on the development of VR and his insights on the direction that it’s heading.

We as consumers today are consuming media and information at one of the highest rates ever, mainly from the platforms we are familiar with – mobile, web, television, etc. These media channels are where we obtain our information and are also our sources of entertainment. The average American watches television up to four hours a day, which is twice the amount of time spent using all other media channels combined! However, you’ll find that these conventional channels are in decline – one evident example would be the radio.

The world of the mobile is heading towards its pinnacle, and will eventually reach the stage of decline in the next few years.

However, although VR has been out for the more than 10 years it is now finally reaching its period of exponential growth. And this trend will just keep continuing in its upward trend. This process will quicken as technology advances even faster in the next few years. Noam predicts that this process of technological advancement will quicken to reach a point in the future where all these media channels can be integrated into VR, and perhaps can even be integrated with us in the form of devices such as contact lens.

Physical or external screens will become obsolete, and we can be in full control of how and where we consume our media. To reach such a stage, there’s more work to be done in terms of hardware customizations, software programming, and lastly the methods of storytelling in VR.

We can all already start seeing how major companies are advancing their technologies and pushing out their own headsets. Next year in 2017, we will see even more devices coming into the market along with AR integrated into them.

If we look even further, we will see that new versions of VR will continue to be launched every year – complete with updated versions, hardware, software, experiences, etc. This would be similar to how the big players in the mobile industry are coming up with annual major updates to their technology.

mobile phone trend ByondVR blog

Following this trend, VR headsets will get smaller and smaller until they can easily fit into spectacle sized devices and perhaps even contact lenses as mentioned above. (VR right now is like the Nokia phones in the above picture, if a comparison is drawn between VR and the transformation experienced by mobile phones). As we keep looking forward, it is interesting to see that even today there are patents from Samsung, Apple, Google, and other tech giants for futuristic products that you wouldn’t be able to imagine on the spot.

Bringing us back to the present, we are at a point where VR is very much hyped and talked about. It is probably not going to continue like this – the hype will go down in the next year or two. This is where we will streamline and see which use-cases in this technology will be the most relevant and valuable to businesses and consumers.

All the investments and progressions in current headsets will allow us to continue to minimize the system and give it a more compact appearance.

We are now in the wild west of VR, where there still isn’t a unified standard for VR across the industry. Hence, if anyone were to venture into it to make use of this new medium of media consumption they would find that they will be overwhelmed with information and be very confused. Especially for businesses that do not have a basic understanding or know about VR, their best course of action would be to turn to companies who are experts in VR to create the VR experiences for them.

This is where Byond solves the problem. 

byondvr vr publishing platform offerings - ByondVR blog

In the last two years, we have been working really really hard with an amazing team to make the abovementioned problem simpler and easier. What we have come up with is a platform that allows you create your VR experience in an intuitive and efficient. It’s like what WordPress is to web development – allowing you to customise your website without much coding.

We take a similar approach.

With our VR publisher, you can to take your own media content and create immersive virtual reality experiences without the need to go into coding or the backend. We will also publish the completed experience across different VR headsets, along with compatibility for the respective interactions and dynamic components inside the experience.

If you would like to find out more, leave us a message on our website today and we’ll take care of the rest!