Long time, no talk. Another busy couple weeks of travel. Hello from New York City, where it’s roughly 100 degrees with 100% humidity. Enough weather, on to a Friday night newsletter.
A few weeks ago, I was at the Collision Conference
where they host a smaller subset of folks afterwards for an event called “Creators”. I was asked to lead a discussion there about the current state of VR. Unfortunately, it was off-the-record, but I was thinking back on it after reading this great post by Clay Bavor
, Google’s VP of VR.
Basically, it’s still early days. Extremely early days. Which is frustrating because it has now been three years since Facebook bought Oculus, and kickstarted the current hype cycle. In this day and age, we’re not used to waiting so long for a payoff. But the wait continues…
The good news is that many of the powers that be: Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, etc continue to pour billions into the space. It may not be too big to fail, but it’s getting too big for all the capex not to produce something interesting.
More importantly, these are the two keys to the post by Bavor:
Over the past several decades, every time people made computers work more like we do – every time we removed a layer of abstraction between us and them – computers became more broadly accessible, useful, and valuable to us. We, in turn, became more capable and productive.
With immersive computing, instead of staring at screens or constantly checking our phones, we’ll hold our heads up to the real and virtual worlds around us. We’ll be able to move things directly using our hands, or simply look at them to take action. Immersive computing will remove more of the abstractions between us and our computers. You’ll have access to information in context, with computing woven seamlessly into your environment. It’s the inevitable next step in the arc of computing interfaces.
Note his use of “immersive computing”. In recent months there has been this weird VR vs. AR thing going on. They’re not the exact same thing, of course. But the basic goal is the same: to move computing forward. They are two points on a spectrum, As Bavor notes. One doesn’t have to “lose” for the other to “win” – and, in fact, it’s more likely that both “win” (or “lose”, for that matter).
Anyway, this all still seems inevitable. It’s just a matter of what timetable we’re looking at and looking for. Long is the answer.