Monthly Archives: January 2016

VR startups: 4 lessons to learn from the AR hype cycle

Dean Takahashi Oculus Rift virtual reality headset


Back in 2008, augmented reality (AR) could do no wrong. There was unbelievable hype around the technology and a growing amount of interest from just about every brand, company, and investor. Fast-forward three years and by 2011, if you were an AR company, you might as well have worn a scarlet letter.

 

The disillusionment of AR technology was quick and painful from brands, agencies, and consumers. AR tech was limited, didn’t match the vision of concept videos and demo videos of AR tech showed optimal conditions versus how the AR tech would perform in the real world. Expectations were not met, and while some AR companies survived the hype cycle or were acquired, most AR companies closed their doors.

 

Now, five years later, with HoloLens, Kinect, Project Tango, Magic Leap, and other next-generation devices poised to take AR to its impending renaissance, AR’s tech cousin, virtual reality (VR), is entering its own hype cycle. With VR poised to bask in the spotlight as the “it” technology of 2016, what can VR companies learn from the lessons of the prior AR hype cycle?

 

1. Focus on your platform, not custom brand executions

 

Approximately 75% of the inquiries my AR company, Zugara, received from 2008-2011 involved custom AR applications. These often involved customizing our technology that didn’t help advance or build upon our platform. Some of the custom inquiries had budgets associated with them, most did not. As a VR company, it’s critical to focus on potential projects that advance your platform with minimal customization. Without any initial funding, this will be harder to do, but it’s important that you’re not recreating the wheel for others at the expense of your own product or platform.

 

2. Beware of the PR pyramid scheme

 

Like AR in 2008-2011, there is a lot of PR value for VR companies to take advantage of. However, this often comes at the expense of obtaining revenue. During this current VR hype cycle, there will be brands and agencies trying to leverage PR “value” in exchange for you absorbing the development cost for their initiative. Nothing gets the blood boiling more than a multibillion-dollar brand or tech company trying to get your small startup to subsidize costs for their brand or product. This can quickly devalue your product or platform, so choose your PR opportunities carefully and strategically.

 

3. Develop a product strategy especially for outbound sales

 

When an industry is hyped to the extent VR is right now, most of your sales and product inquiries will inevitably be inbound. From 2008-2011, approximately 95% of our inquiries were inbound. This was great for a while, but soon the inbound sales spigot shut off. VR hype will go through the same cycle as marketers and agencies leverage VR for its initial PR value before moving on. With consumers, you’ll have a longer runway, but you’ll need to be careful about the next point …

 

4. Enjoy the hype environment, prepare for the future, and avoid “And then what?”

 

From 2008-2010, AR projects involving black and white markers (and eventually images) were all the rage. The problem? They soon became a “been there done that” type of experiential project for most brands and agencies. There was nothing of value for the consumer beyond the initial gimmick of viewing an animation via a webcam or mobile browser. It’s not hard to see comparisons with current VR simulations that involve sitting or standing and viewing an environment. Though these 360-degree simulations seem new now, it’s only a matter of time until they lose their luster as the next BSO (Bright Shiny Object) lands on marketers and consumers’ radars. So it’s important to continue to evolve your technology and platform so you’re never asked, “This is cool … but then what?”

 

It’s an exciting time to be both in the AR and VR industry. Both technologies have seen their ups and downs over the years, but now that the technology is mature enough to bring the vision of AR and VR pioneers to life, it’ll be an exciting future if we can all avoid a new hype cycle.

 

Matthew Szymczyk is CEO of Zugara.

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[Checklist] Top 10 Inquiries to Ask Before You Actually Press Publish

[Checklist] Ten Questions to Ask Before You Actually Press Publish
 
 

You have got your killer article all set and ready to go – great! Time to set it live and reap the rewards, scouring the comments section of the weblog post for feedback. Prepare for fame, fortune and also the initial five comments to point out every flaw. To help counter this possibility we have three magic words for you; content marketing checklist.

 

http://www.interviewdestroyer.com/2016/01/checklist-top-10-questions-to-ask.html

Explore Mars In 360 Degrees With Rover’s New Interactive Photo

Experience what life could be like on Mars with this awe-inspiring 360 degree photograph.

 
 

NASA released the picture taken by its Curiosity Mars rover on Saturday, just a day after dazzling us with a stunning selfie beamed back from the Red Planet.

 
 

The interactive image was posted to the car-sized explorer’s official Facebook page:

 
 
 
 
 
 

“Use your smart phone to explore Mars with me in 360 degrees. #FromWhereIStand,” the space agency said.

 
 

Viewers can maneuver the image, taken on the planet’s Namib Dune, to take a closer look at sand grains, Martian rocks and NASA’s probe itself.

 
 

It’s not yet been revealed exactly how the static shot, which appears to be slightly distorted in some places, was obtained.

 
 

Some commenters speculate it’s a composite of pictures taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imagers camera at the end of the rover’s arm, much like the selfie released Friday:

 
 
 
 

Curiosity previously sent back two other selfies — here and here — and stitched together a sensational panorama earlier this month.

 
 

The probe first landed on Mars on Aug. 6, 2012. Its initial mission, since deemed a success after it discovered an ancient riverbed, was to determine whether Mars once offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life.”

 
 

For the last two months, it’s been scooping and sieving sand to investigate active dunes and how the wind moves on the Bagnold Dune Field lining the northwestern flank of the planet’s Mount Sharp.

 
 

 

 
 

Also on HuffPost:

 
 
 
 
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[Checklist] Top 10 Inquiries to Ask Before You Press Publish

[Checklist] Top 10 Questions to Ask Before You Actually Press Publish
 
 

You’ve got your killer material all set and ready to go – wonderful! Time to set it live and reap the rewards, scouring the comments section of the weblog post for feedback. Prepare for fame, fortune and also the initial 5 comments to point out every flaw. To help counter this possibility we have three magic words for you; content marketing checklist.

 

http://freetrafficwiz.com/?p=2442

[Checklist] Ten Questions to Ask Before You Actually Press Publish

[Checklist] 10 Questions to Ask Before You Actually Press Publish
 
 

You have got your killer material all set and ready to go – great! Time for you to set it live and reap the rewards, scouring the comments section of your blog post for feedback. Prepare for fame, fortune and also the five comments to point out every single flaw. To help counter this possibility we have three magic words for you; content marketing checklist.

 

http://documentcentricbpm.tumblr.com/post/138231068995/checklist-top-10-questions-to-ask-before-you