Below is a guest post from Wolfprint 3D CEO, Timmu Tõke. Wolfprint 3D believes that the future of virtual reality goes beyond individual experiences and that the potential of VR allows for social and shared-space participation in virtual worlds. Wolfprint 3D has developed a 3D scanner that creates photorealistic avatars of people for VR, autonomously (i.e. with no operators needed). Its goal is bring humanity into VR. Wolfprint 3D is currently raising capital on SeedInvest.
It’s been a great month for VR!
We’ve seen some amazing announcements and demos that give us confidence that VR is really here to stay this time. The key to mass adoption is a mix between affordable, high quality hardware and compelling content. Nobody knows when the VR mass adoption will happen, but there’s been a lot going on in the VR space that makes us excited!
The launch of PlayStation VR
A few weeks ago Sony launched a VR set that works with Playstation 4 called PSVR.
The hardware itself costs only $399. Bundled with PS4, the cost of getting a high-quality VR device is now around $700. It’s a significant improvement compared to Oculus Rift or HTC Vive — both of which would’ve costed you around $2000–2500 combined with the high-end gaming PC you would’ve needed to buy to actually run them.
PSVR had the quickest sellout in GameStop’s history and has already pre-sold many hundreds of thousands of units so far. Research Firm SuperData estimates that PlayStation VR will sell as many as 2.6 million units by the end of 2016, which is a very big deal for VR. In comparison — HTC Vive lifetime sales are around 140k units.
PlayStation 4 has sold more than 40 million units since its launch in 2012. This means there are now 40 million people that can get their hands on a high-quality VR set for just $399, which is 3–4x less than it was before. Exciting!
Microsoft announces new VR headsets
Microsoft had a big surprise for the VR community at the Windows 10 event just a few days ago when they revealed an entire line of VR sets they’ve been working.
Microsoft will partner with several PC makers including HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus and Acer to create their own VR headsets starting at $299.
According to Terry Myerson, Microsoft Executive Vice President of the Windows and Devices Group, “these headsets will be the first and only to ship with inside-out, six degrees of freedom sensors. Unlike every other virtual reality headset in the market today this means there’ll be zero need for a separate room, zero need for a complicated setup.”
Microsoft claims that the devices are not only cheaper than the Oculus and Vive, but better too.
It’s great to see another tech giant making a big move in VR.
Google launched a VR platform called “Daydream”, which will be in the core of their VR developments.
Google also announced their second mobile VR viewer called “Google Daydream View”. It’s a $79 VR viewer that works with “Daydream Ready” smartphones to deliver a high-quality mobile VR experiences. Daydream View comes with a small motion controller that helps its users navigate through VR.
In addition to building their own headsets, Google also shared specifications with other manufacturers to create “Daydream Ready” devices. With Daydream, Google wants to make sure that all of the experiences are high quality and consistent.
A very important part of making VR a part of our everyday lives is mobile VR. While the quality of experiences is lower, the ease of use and hardware accessibility is far higher than PC VR. It’s great to see one of the biggest companies in the world putting its full weight behind VR. I’m excited to see where it takes us in a few years!
A few weeks ago Facebook held an annual developers conference focused exclusively on VR — Oculus Connect. Many important developments were announced during the keynote.
A big part of the event was focused on social VR — interactions between real people in virtual reality. (This is also something that we at Wolfprint 3D are working on).
Facebook showed a platform where you can play games like chess or cards, sword fight with pre-made or DIY-drawn swords, or watch a giant TV screen together with your friends in VR. You can even take a phone call inside Facebook Messenger or take a VR selfie and instantly share it to Facebook
We think that social VR can be the “killer app” of VR. It’s great to see the biggest social company in the world betting heavily on this to become a reality in the near future.
Zuckerberg also announced an upcoming standalone VR headset nicknamed “Santa Cruz”. It will have inside-out tracking (meaning that there are no outside sensors needed) and it’s fully untethered. Without a cable, it’s so much easier to feel totally immersed in the environment. Add in full room-scale support, and you’ll forget the headset is even there at all, until the boundary pops up.
In addition to that, Brendan Iribe, the CEO of Oculus, announced that the company’s VR system will now be compatible with much cheaper, less powerful PCs. In the past Oculus had certified a number of machines as compatible, but all cost around $1,000 at a minimum. Today it showed off some new engineering advances that allow Oculus to provide a smooth VR experience with a PC that costs just $499.
Facebook also said that they have invested more than $250 million into the VR content ecosystem to date and is planning to invest another $250 million into VR content companies in the next few years.
Most of the tech giants agree that VR/AR is a top priority and are making big moves to assure their position on the rapidly growing market. We strongly believe consumer adoption will be the result of that.
Sometimes I need to remind myself that consumer VR is just 6 months old. Sounds crazy, right? I think we have come a long way in such a short amount of time, and I strongly believe the future is looking bright!
Wolfprint 3D is currently raising capital on SeedInvest. If you wish to learn more, feel free to visit Wolfprint 3D’s campaign page on SeedInvest.