VR enters new phase amid tech sector restructuring | Commentary

    Published on:

    2023 is the time to move towards the coined term “Phase 5”. This is an ultra slim his headset with wireless or tethered technology that incorporates advanced haptic and eye tracking technology.

    Image: Adobe Stock.

    It’s easy to think that the issues affecting today’s virtual reality scene are a reflection of the “tech job apocalypse” that has swept the field. But the reality is that we are seeing a massive restructuring of the tech boom. It’s been almost a decade since his latest phase of VR, dubbed “Phase 3,” culminated in the launch of the HTC Vive headset in 2016.

    Following this first highlighted investment phase, we have seen Meta take the lead on what they have dubbed the Metaverse. At the same time, heavy investment in VR technology, content creation, and patenting has resulted in a number of problems.

    did not live up to expectations

    In fact, the number of active users of leading VR headsets is calculated at 15 million. Meanwhile, hopes of building a unified, mainstream metaverse environment have waned.

    Meta’s hopes of maintaining 300,000 monthly users on Horizon Worlds have dropped significantly, and the company’s goal of having 1 billion active users on its VR platform by the end of 2024 is now a pipe dream. It looks like

    This failure to meet expectations seems to pervade the current VR landscape. This demonstrates the volatility of the promises and expectations of this technology.

    A new phase emerges

    2023 seems to be the time to move to ultra-slim headsets with wireless or tethered technology, dubbed “Phase 5.” Incorporates advanced haptics and eye-tracking technology.

    Sony has released a sequel for PlayStation VR2.

    Similarly, Meta plans to release the current platform in October with Quest 3.

    But the storm clouds seem to be growing.

    Tech industry layoffs have resulted in considerable restructuring across the VR landscape. Originally it was his 10,000 layoffs at Meta, but it’s also seen before at Google and HP, specifically staffing adjustments in his VR space.

    At the same time, the once-popular multiplayer virtual worlds are shutting down to make way for new developments, as well as addressing the need to see the business proposition out of this investment. has been confirmed to extend not only to American technology companies, but also to Chinese people.

    China responds

    ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok and newly acquired VR company Pico, has carried out a series of layoffs leaving hundreds of people. This comes on the heels of reports that the new Pico 4 VR headset has fewer pre-orders than estimated. Some sources suggest that the latest layoffs will see his VR division cut by 30%.

    The Chinese government has put considerable faith in VR to develop its own domestic technology industry. This is called a new period of “explosive” growth, as the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China defined in his 2022, with 350 billion yuan ($50 billion) invested in VR by 2026, and over 25 million It promises to generate VR sales. domestic device.

    China-based Pimax Technology, known for developing Kickstarter and various high-end PC VR headsets, has secured a $30 million investment led by Beijing-based Danmu Capital. This investment will allow the company to continue developing a new generation of high-end VR systems for consumer and enterprise applications.

    Mixed reality awaits

    One of the biggest developments to get to this stage in VR lurks in the shadows with the launch of mixed reality technology, which mixes virtual objects and environments with real-world visuals.

    With this technology, Meta pivoted to launch the Quest Pro platform as a general computing system for creative Pathfinders. At the same time, Apple is preparing to launch his MR headset in June.

    MR seems to have become a new heat beyond VR now. A partnership between Google, Samsung and Qualcomm has been announced to launch an MR headset in the coming months.

    Meanwhile, other manufacturers such as HTC and Canon have also released their own platforms.

    For VR, this move to MR is fueled by corporate ambitions rather than by strong gaming advocates. Also, many are concerned that, like previous augmented reality, there are no legs to gain traction.

    The sector’s continued volatility was best illustrated at the Mobile World Congress in Spain in February. The competition focused on smartphone technology and the latest connectivity tools. The show also provided a means to chart trends in smart his devices, including VR and AR platforms, and the transition to MR.

    Evolution of AR

    As for AR, it can be traced back to the arrival of Google Glass in 2013 and the hope that AR would be the next tech gold mine. This was followed by Snap Spectacles in 2016 and Echo Frames from Amazon in 2017. Add to that the massive investment of over $4 billion in Magic Leap, the Ray Bands partnership with Meta, or the launch of HoloLens by Microsoft.

    There was hope that augmented glasses, which provide computer visuals overlaid on real-world scenes, would become a mainstay of entertainment, social, and commercial apps, heralding the dream of millions of sales.

    But the overly exaggerated claims about what the AR market represents have failed to materialize and are already starting to come true.

    Magic Leap was bailed out and acquired by a Saudi sovereign wealth fund, consuming billions of dollars of debt.

    Microsoft is shutting down its HoloLens and MR businesses, and there have been other major layoffs across the scene from those who once declared AR as the next sure bet for mainstream technology.

    Among all the hype, there is only one significant example of AR that has met critical acclaim and success in real-world environments. That’s Pokemon GO!, a smartphone location-based game app developed by Niantic, an AR game developer from San Francisco. It was downloaded about 500 million times in his first year, with an estimated revenue of about $6 billion by 2020.

    But no matter how hard Niantic tries with other AR-based releases, even if it abandons its partnership with Microsoft, this “lightning bolt” is proving difficult to regain.

    Niantic has since raised $300 million for development and is now partnering with Qualcomm to launch its own AR glasses called Lightship. This is supported by what we call the “Niantic Real-World Metaverse”, which is based on the Lightship Positioning System.

    Working with developers to implement web-based technology, with a rumored 2023 release date, Niantic hopes to establish itself as a tentpole in time to go head-to-head with Apple.

    Meanwhile, several multiplayer online VR gaming environments have announced plans to shut down. Most notably, his Meta-owned studio, which developed his popular VR esports game Echo VR, has revealed its intention to end the service.

    A new vision of an immersive future threatens to once again push VR to the sidelines.

    (Editor’s Note: This blog excerpt is from a recent report in The Stinger Report published by Spider Entertainment and its director Kevin Williams.

    In addition to his advisory position with other entrants to the market, he is the founder of Stinger Report, a “must read” e-zine for those working in or investing in the amusement, attractions and entertainment industry, and Also a publisher. He is a prolific writer and regularly contributes his news columns to major trade publications. He also travels the world as a keynote speaker, moderator and panelist at numerous industry conferences and events. Author of The Out-of-Home Immersive Entertainment Frontier: Expanding Interactive Boundaries in Leisure Facilities, the only book on this side of the market, the second edition of which he plans to release in 2023.


    Leave a Reply

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here