VR: 4 news stories from 2022 // Konrad Krawczyk

Chinese and Korean storefronts emptied as AR conquers visual merchandising

Mass luxury brands and retailers never fail to come up with new ways to steal fashionistas’ attention. We’ve seen collaborations with artists, giant public sculptures, even holographic exhibits. But this year, fashion brands are betting on personal appeal.

This season, several fashion houses – including Kenzo, Balenciaga, and even Chanel, decided to empty their storefronts of any actual apparel. Instead, their storefronts became wireframes for virtual exhibits displayed personally for the passers-by on their own AR screens, whether it’s Apple Lens or Baidu Glasses. Not to mention – the ads are based on personalised profiles of customers’ previous purchases and current searches, downloaded from the mainland Chinese Social Profile.

These breakthrough campaigns now have only been presented in several flagship stores in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing and Seoul. These are likely the only cities so far with enough AR users for the storefronts not to come across as what they are – empty.

The new Apple X headset is lighter than your sunglasses

“The future. Right in front of your eyes” – says the slogan of the new Apple X virtual reality headset.

The new VR goggles designed by Apple in California certainly are easier on the eyes than their predecessors. Last year, the Apple’s CEO presented the first 32K screen to ever be implemented on a VR headset. This, as often with Apple, has been a sensation, and quite a controversial one, after several people passed away while waiting in line for the first release of Apple X at 5th Ave flagship store. But that’s not it: the headset itself had some major technical issues on the way, most of which were related to its enormous use of electricity and Internet bandwidth.

Apple did not pull from the idea, however. As East Asian countries are adapting XR technologies (and 5G Internet) at an exponential rate, Apple sees an enormous opportunity for growth. And this year during WWDC, they presented an entirely new version of their headset. It has the same screen as its predecessor, but it’s wrapped up in an entirely new design – which looks like a hybrid of a headset from Ready Player One and classic  Wayfarer sunglasses. The weight is extraordinary – less than 6 ounces, placing it below some of the most well-known Ray Ban sunglasses models.

We can’t wait to see it in real life.

Korean average broadband peaks at 200 mbps. But not everyone can enjoy it. [See video]

The new governmental 3-year plan to increase the average internet speed tenfold by 2022 has been more than accomplished. “This is an enormous step for Korea’s growth online and offline” – said the Korea’s Minister of Computing and Virtual Environments – “The new Internet speed benchmark is crucial for growth of areas such as virtual and augmented reality, digital schooling, international communication, finances and science.

This statistic, however, only applies to the Southern part of Korea. Although it’s been two years since the Korean Pact has been ratified, with open borders and plans for steady unification of Koreas, these two areas remain to be parallel universes in terms of access to digital technology. The South Korean growth, largely driven by hi-tech, has given its citizens the privilege of access to the most cutting-edge technology worldwide. This has not been the case for the North, where only the chosen few have been given access to very limited and sluggish connections and devices. As the Internet penetration for South Korea peaks at 98%, this statistic for the North is only 53%.

See the video in your glasses: South Korean tries to explain virtual reality to a North Korean. [LINK]

The Real Virtual Family reunites in California

Ashley and Francisco have met in San Jose in 2015, and fell in love at the first sight. Ever since, everything went perfect. But there was just one thing – Francisco was an undocumented immigrant. In 2019, he has been found by the immigration office and deported across the Mexican border. It seemed like everything’s over – but these two extremely skilful engineers didn’t give up. Instead, they gave Francisco a digital persona, wrapped in a two-wheeled robot. The robot featured a screen and a 360 stereoscopic camera – so that Francisco could see audiovisual footage from California in his VR glasses.

Francisco’s partner, Ashley, has documented their lives on a YouTube channel called the Real Virtual Family, which has quickly become viral. Prior to the deportation, they worked at the same startup, therefore Francisco could continue working remotely across the wall, while Ashley technically received wage for Francisco’s work and passed it forward as remittance through bitcoin. Nothing about Francisco’s presence in San Jose could be deemed illegal.

After the Trump era deportation laws have been repealed in 2021, Francisco instantly applied for a skilled work permit in America, and got it after 15 months. Maybe happy endings exist, after all.

4 new predictions (Ellen)

Extension to “Microsoft Layout”

This prediction is an extension of “Microsoft Layout”. According to the introduction of it, Microsoft Layout is a VR-based preset of floor building that allows people to set the items before setting them in reality to find out what should be fixed. My prediction contains some specific details. First of all, this layout should have the function to set the whole plane before the items, for example, how large exactly should the plane be? From this perspective, I suggest a square-based plane set. The whole plane is divided by squares that share the same size. For example, one plane is a 100*100 size square. What’s more, the squares are not fixed. They are editable, because if the builders would like to adjust the fineness of the plane, they can change the squares from 100*100 10 square meters squares to 1000*1000 1 square meter squares. Then secondly, the items should be set according to the squares of the plane. For example, a printer can occupy a 2*2 place in the plane. To realize this, the layout should collect as much information of different items as possible to let the builders use correct data to build the plane. Last but not least, Microsoft Layout can also be applied to architecture industry.

Facebook VR live experience

This prediction is based on the Oculus Research on Facebook reality lab. My prediction consists of 1. camera for live shooting 2. VR headset for user experience. First, when the Facebook user starts a live video, he or she is wearing a VR headset that contains a camera that is 360 shooting the things around him/her. Through Facebook, the audience can see whatever the camera is shooting, they can even see the things that are behind the user.

VR game market gets rapidly growth

Actually this is a fact that is already happening. My prediction is more than that. I think that several hitting games like Oasis in Ready Player One or Sword Art Online will become a really popular game throughout the mainstream society. At that time, a VR headset should be as popular as smartphones, because the games are based on a large number of users or gamers. As more and more people are getting used to VR headsets and VR games, the VR game market will be a new popular industry that attracts many investors and manufacturers. Game platforms such as steam will earn more money and more games will be produced at that time.

AR museum

A museum that consists of AR items will appear in 4 years! This museum contains nothing except for AR equipment. As VR games get more and more popular, the AR museum will become a place that allows people to experience the VR world in the actual reality. Except for presenting VR game world, this museum will also be used to present the latest VR/AR technologies that are not yet complete to present the actual thing. AR robot will be the guide in this museum.

VR/AR | Four Predictions

Record, Edit, Publish and View Your Own VR film, All with Your Samsung Smartphone

We have all waited long enough for this to happen. Remember four years ago when VR filmmakers needed to rent out thousand-dollar worth of VR cameras and spent hours stitching and rendering footages? Well, not anymore. Samsung has always been an active player in the VR world and it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that it is the first smartphone brand to release the full VR package with its products. With a simple camera plugin, you can turn your Samsung into a VR mono camera (just like the old school Ricoh Theta, if you still remember that) and record with the built-in app. What’s really impressive is this app that combines shooting, stitching, editing, publishing and viewing all in one. We have all the reasons to believe that this app is going to democratize VR film making even more just from the fact that it is saving so much time and energy from switching between applications. Now it finally comes the time that anyone can be a VR filmmaker.

 

Another Data Leak? Not Even a Surprise. This time it’s Facebook Spaces.

We are all aware that the VR platform we use knows too much about us now that it is already the fourth data leak news in three months. But this time, it’s Spaces the VR app by one of the major VR players Facebook. Customization of your own VR character has always been the selling point of Spaces’ marketing team. The character can highly resemble the photo of your choice and they also recently released the feature to turn your real-life wardrobe into your VR wardrobe too. Critics have raised concerns on the privacy protection of such personal data but it does not stop the enthusiastic users from trying out this tempting new feature. Two months after the release of the feature, it is reported that a data analysis company successfully stole data of the virtual wardrobes.

 

China’s First Nursing Center with VR Therapy Rooms Now Has a One-year Waitlist to Get a Spot

Following the footprints of several Swiss and American Nursing Centers, a nursing center in Shanghai set up a VR therapy program for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease six months ago. As we expected in our previous report, this nursing center has immediately become a big bit all over China and signups have extended to a one-year waitlist in order to get a spot at the center. The VR therapy program was set up by a team of medical experts and technologists from (insert a famous Western medical school name here) and have earned great reputation since it opened to the public.

 

We Thought the AR Dating Coach Would Freak People Out, But We Were Wrong

We knew the launch of an AR Dating Coach is only a matter of time when Kopin released the first AR glasses that look exactly like a pair of normal glasses. With the AR company partnering with Tinder on the development of an application that teaches its users to make a better impression on dates, it soon received a huge number of responses from their user basis despite the mix of positive and negative feedback. The application launched two weeks ago and the download is already reaching million. According to the survey we sent out last week, a lot of the participants downloaded out of curiosity but 64% of them actually expected the app to be helpful in improving their dating lives. It is still too early to tell if the coach is going to be helpful at all, but we will keep you updated on that.

4 predictions, Final Assignment, Olesia

VR has a special place in my heart. As a matter of fact, in 4 years from now, I’m hoping I will have been working in this field for at least 3 years.

STITCHING WILL BECOME OBSOLETE

At least I hope so. Maybe not in 4 years but definitely in a decade there is going to be a new generation of cameras that will not require stitching while also having higher 8k or 16k resolution. Right now, the tech is not there yet, and creation of a simple experience takes way too much time. I believe in 4 years from now, stitching time will at least be shorter.

VR HEADSETS WILL BE COMPLETELY WIRELESS

Even right now, several companies are already working on this and there are decent prototypes already. HTC Vive will definitely go out of business as even today their headsets are relatively low-rise, bulky, and inconvenient. I believe all VR headsets will be wireless, powered by Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Here is an article that even talks about the companies that are currently working on this: https://www.roadtovr.com/5-wireless-vr-companies-htc-vive-oculus-rift-technology-overview/

VR IS TAKING OVER

Within 4 years, we will be chatting with our friends in VR spaces. It’s going to be as easy as calling your mom now. With the help of AR, our phones will be enhanced, enabling us to communicate way more effectively. It’s going to be in the form of a hologram: a person talking to you will be projected onto any surface in your room.

VR PORN IS BECOMING MORE AND MORE POPULAR

Within 4 years, VR pornography will be gaining popularity. Since almost everybody watches it, the demand for VR porn will be extremely high, as it reinforces all the purposes of traditional porn. Even now, there are porn movies filmed with the help of 360 cameras. They are publically available and ready for download. So, in 4 years the popularity will only increase. Along with better affordability of VR headsets, VR porn will enter people’s lives.

Predictions: Future VR Headlines (Lillian Korinek)

  1. Heads of State Host Official Meeting in VR

You know what’s less expensive and more convenient than Air Force One? An internet connection. President Kanye and Prime Minister Harry Styles met virtually to discuss the date of this year’s VMA awards in relation to the upcoming elections in both the United States and the U.K. There’s no such thing as bad publicity, am…i..right…? #getoutandvote In all seriousness, the introduction of VR technologies in politics doesn’t appear to be that far away. Especially after VR made a guest appearance in a Beijing court back in March.

2. BangBros Production Announces VR Porn Series

This seems like a no brainer, literally. If it’s already started to make head-way in Japan, it’s only a matter of time until VR porn is available everywhere, and who will be leading the production? Obviously the largest Adult Entertainment Company in the world.

3. U.S. Doctor Supervises Nigerian Heart Surgery in VR

Well, this could be more of an augmented reality thing. I expect the near future will host an array of innovations to the OR, one being the introduction of VR/AR through technologies such as the HoloLens.  A UK start-up has been trying to do this since 2015, working with medical schools and universities to make VR a central part of the classroom and thus, the OR.

4. RoomZoom App Drives VR Engagement on a Daily Basis

This has been a central question since the beginning of this process: where can I download/stream VR movies and games. I wasn’t a huge gamer previously and wasn’t too familiar with steam. Of course I was familiar with Youtube and Vimeo, but I had so many questions regarding the process of actually watching videos in VR. How do I find videos that are adapted for VR? Once I locate VR videos, how do I fit them into a VR environment? What the heck does stereoscopic mean? There needs to be a streamlined system if VR is going to be accepted by the masses. An iTunes for VR materials as opposed to music.

 

4 Predictions: Linjie Kang

New Google Glass will be released in 3 months!

Even though google closed their Explorer Program and stopped selling google glasses in 2015, the new tech has not yet faded out, and there have always been rumors claiming on the coming back of google glass. Now, google literally comes back with a brand new version of google glass, the team has announced that the latest version of google glass will be released in 3 months!
The new version of google glass is claimed to, based on the functions the old version had and its combination with several new explorations, provide users with a new level of mix reality experience. What’s surprising is that it only costs $1000, 30% lower than its first version released in 2014, indicating a real technical breakthrough.
However, it is still unclear whether the newly released google glass will solve the problems left by its former version, people still show concern about problems that might damage their personal safety or privacy, the situation google faces to push their new product remains quite severe.

VR Using Rate among People under 35 Rises to 30% in China

The latest survey by CSTNET shows that in the past two years, there’s a huge rise on the use of VR technology among young people. Starting from the age of fifteen, the survey shows that in China people’s preference of VR reaches its peak at the age of 30 and falls dramatically after it gets the number of 35. What’s more, compared to the survey made by the past 4 years, data show that the VR using rate among young people under the age of 35 has been rising steadily during the past two years and reaches the number of 30% (which is twice as much as the year before last year), possibly due to the newly released versions of Facebook Oculus Go, which is easy to get and affordable to quite a lot of families.

VR chatting platforms getting popular!

In last two years, besides the custom social applications such as WeChat, QQ and Weibo that had been popular in China for years, a new social platform is also getting popular – the VR chatting platforms, with Tencent’s app “VRshow” as the leading role. VRshow is a VR platform that allows users to make up their own avatars and chat in virtual reality costumed with their own characters. The app got popular quickly among youth once it was released, and because this app can be used without giving any payment as Tencent always does, it quickly established its leading status among other VR chatting platforms.
However, even though the platform is a huge success and strikes China’s VR market, parents are still responding negatively to these technologies. “It destroys my children’s life and traps them in just as cell phones and video games.” One angry mother protests.

The First VR “School” Opens This Fall

Facebook has announced that they are establishing a new VR resource center through Oculus platform on educational purposes.
The center, which is planned to be open in 2020 and finished before 2025, is supposed to gain access to several world’s major libraries and museums and build up theirVR versions on the platform, and is planned to collect academic lectures from some of the Top50 collages as they are associating with Ivy League Schools on this project.
“This is a new exploration. It is about the future, and the share and recycle of resources,” as the spokesman claims, “we believe that no matter what obstacles we will face, the Oculus School will finally be a great success.”

Week 14: VR and AR Predictions

Amazon Launches a Virtual Reality Online Shopping  Experience 

With the increasing use of VR headsets, Amazon has finally decided to launch it’s own VR online shopping platform. By introducing this VR online shopping experience, Amazon hopes to attract attention from the market again, and it definitely will. Put on your VR headset and start shopping!

Research Confirms VR’s Danger to Eyesight

After many years of doubt, it has finally been proven that frequent use of VR headset is detrimental to your eyesight. Whether this issue will matter in the future I cannot say (considering that most people will probably wear AR glasses which will serve as eyeglasses). But even if people still try to deny this, it has finally being proven! The data is there.

Is This the End of Call of Duty? 

Call of Duty’s realistic graphics and violent scenes have triggered a psychotic breakdown to over 500 players in the last year. The designers have been trying to hide this data, but the numbers are getting to high to hide. Should this first-person shooter video game continue being sold? Some argue it shouldn’t.

Psychologists Introduce Post-VR Depression

Virtual reality environments are causing their most frequent users to experience post-VR depression. VR experiences are extremely attractive when compared to the real world, but is virtual reality really that worth it? Psychiatrists are now prescribing antidepressants to patients diagnosed with post-VR depression.

 

 

4 predictions from Steven

1. Online VR Game released by Sony

The new VR game is lauched in an online platform. The combination of VR experiences and online multi-players gaming bring VR games to a new stage. The purchases on Sony VR headset increase dramatically after the online game is released. High speed gaming experience is supported by the powerful PS10.

2.PetAR: Customized AR headset for your pets

While we spend our lives outside of our houses for most of the time in a day, our pets stay home along. PetAR is the AR headset designed for your pets. With PetAR, your dog can play with a virtual ball, and your cat can chase a virtual mouse around. The headset can also help train your pets with visual cues for certain purposes.

3. AR Health program – Help those in need

The newly lauched AR health program release their first AR health glass to help people who are experiencing sensory diseases such as hearing loss. The AR glass is able to detect environmental information such as sound, and sending feedback to the glass user to compensate their lost senses. People who cannot hear is able to localize a certain sound source using AR, and at the same time the glasses can also perform information decoding to help the user visualize the meaning of vocal sound in words. This technology promotes the communication between deaf people and those who don’t know how to use sign language.

4. 6 DOF VR movie – The New Era of Theatre

Have you ever pictured yourself in a movie scene as a “ghost”, where you can move around and watch the characters at different angles? The VR theatre provides you not only a headset to watch a 360 degree movie, but also the freedom to walk in the space and be that “ghost” – imagine you’re at a party where different characters are talking about different things at different locations, and you’re able to explore the whole thing and choose to see whichever you’re most interested in. It makes your movie experience unique to yourself, and everytime you watch. The movie is no more something that shows the scenes in a serial order, but a parallel order.

 

VR / AR Predictions for 2022

“The Number 1 ‘Must Have’ for 2022… The Roto Motorized VR Chair”

It was announced today that the number one ‘Must Have’ for the 2022 calendar year was Roto’s motorized chair. Originally priced at over $1000 in 2018, over the past four years the price has decreased by over 70% to just $300. This allows more households than before to be able to purchase the chair and have the complete VR experience. The chair has enhanced the VR experience more than anything else allowing users to feel more motion than ever before, it is no surprise that the most recent adaptation has caused more buying and has enabled the chairs to be produced at the lowest price ever. 

“AR Glasses – Fashion Statement or Prescription Lens?”

After Google released their new AR glasses this past yearOne google PR representative states “we have seen rapid adoption and use of the glasses especially amongst the former glasses wearing community.” That’s correct those people who have formerly worn glasses have now gotten into wearing AR glasses. These AR glasses are meant to look, feel and purpose as AR glasses with their built in prescription lenses so it makes sense why the first people to be on board for this new accessory, essentially already wore this accessory. When the glasses are off they still function as normal glasses, allowing for literally no one to know that you are even wearing these glasses. This rapid adoption has been unprecedented. However, moving forward it will be interesting to see if the contact wearing, or perhaps former glasses wearing, community will also adapt these new technologies allowing for new functionalities that glasses did not contain previously. Lastly, it is yet to be seen whether people who have never needed glasses, nor contacts will still be adopting these technologies for every day use… 

“Chanel Launches First AR Clothing Store”

It was announced this morning that as of June 1st, 2022, Chanel will launch the first ever zero inventory clothing store. How it works is customers will enter the store and immediately go into a dressing room. Here they will put on a AR headset, take off their clothes and go through the store catalog on and choose an outfit. From here they can “try it on” and the clothing will appear on their body. If it looks too small you can try on a size up, if you want a different color you can do that too. All without having to leave the dressing room.  If you like the clothing you can add it to your cart, or if you think it needs some additional touches you can do that, like adding a different design on inserting pockets, or sleeves. All of this can be done seamlessly, and at a seconds notice. Although, Chanel is the first clothing store of its kind to do anything like this, prior to the release Gucci has just announced a similar clothing concept store which will open by the end of July.

“Buy a Headset, Give a Headset”

Samsung today announced their new plan to donate VR headsets. They plan to donate 1 million headsets over the next 5 years. To do this, every time someone buys a Samsung Gear VRheadset one will be given to someone in need of a headset. Due to the increasing popularity of these headsets, Samsung has been able to make them for cheaper then ever, which enables even more people to have access to affordable headsets. These headsets along with virtual reality have made tremendous gains in education and teaching over the past few years and now Samsung wants to make that knowledge more universal. “These strides in education will enable the next generation of thinkers, believers and influencers and we could not be more excited at the possibilities…” Samsung HR representative says. 

Four Predictions for VR in 2022 (Mark)

“New Zealand man Marries Virtual Reality ‘Person’”

A New Zealand man, Jeffery Harbinger, 47, legally married an artificial intelligence ‘person’ today. This comes after New Zealand’s national court ruled in favor of marriage between humans and artificial intelligence earlier this week. The man’s partner, Zeta Jones, exists in virtual reality, and has grown to become an individual intelligence, different from any other artificial intelligence. This was the key to organizing a legal position which allowed marriage between the couple, judges ruled. This has been compared to Hanson Robotics AI, Sophia, being granted citizenship in Saudi Arabia in 2017.

 

“Facebook’s Oculus Launches Children’s Headset and Applications” 

This week, Oculus launched the new Oculus Kids, a smaller headset targeted at children 12 to 18 years old. The hardware release is paired with a line of children’s applications which can be purchased in the online store, Steam. The headset sparked criticism among advocacy groups which warned that introducing VR to children may have significant impacts on brain development, or other health problems, such as vision depreciation.

 

“Lynn University Launches the first ‘Virtual University’ in the United States.”

The Chancellor of Lynn University announced Friday that the university was launching a ‘Virtual University’, the first to go live by an accredited college in the United States. The new ‘school’ operates much like Lynn’s satellite campuses in alternate locations: teachers and students, as well as auxiliary administrative staff can be located geographically anywhere, as long as they are available on the ‘virtual campus’ – which has been dubbed Virtulantis. The University, which has previously sent remote students iPads through their partnership with Apple, now leverages the same partnership to provide VR headsets and equipment.

 

“Microsoft Launches Remote Controlled Virtual Reality Robot as Alternative to Corporate Travel”

On Thursday, images of Microsoft’s robotics collaboration with Segway and Kandao appeared on twitter. The new device is the full height of a person, 5 feet 10 inches, and the user wears a virtual reality headset to control the unit. A speaker on the unit transmits voice from the user’s headset, and vice versa. The immersive remote work experience allows workers to telecommute, interacting physically with colleagues in other countries. This was flouted by Microsoft as the next age of office interaction, suggesting that this technology might dramatically alter the cost structure of large corporate offices, while expanding employees freedom.