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The Future is Getting Crowded...


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I've been saying for some time that I think the mainstream future for visual worlds is in augmentation, not virtualization. Google seems to be investing in that direction rather than Facebook's immersive Oculus VR...

http://www.theverge.com/2014/10/21/7026889/magic-leap-google-leads-542-million-investment-in-augmented-reality-startup

ETA:

A quote from the article...

"The eclectic mix of companies participating in this investment round speak to how broadly Magic Leap sees its potential. Its founder says that he wants the company to become "a creative hub for gamers, game designers, writers, coders, musicians, filmmakers, and artists." Legendary, which makes films including Godzilla and The Dark Knight, is interested in its potential for movies. Google likely sees far more ways to put it to use."

This is reminiscent of SL, and Ebbe's goal of making The Thing After SL a platform on which creators will craft experiences. To put things in perspective, LL attracted a total of about $75 million in venture capital (that's what I recall from a little digging a few years ago). Minecraft just sold for $2.5 Billion, Oculus for $2 Billion. I don't know how much of Magic Leap that $542 million investment is buying, but I think it's safe to say the effective valuation is greater than the investment.

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I think we'll see both, but they will be targeting different markets.

VR in games and social virtual worlds will be niche for a while, until products like the Occulus are a $100 piece of hardware that's completely plug-and-play. But it has uses beyond that, namely streaming panoramic video of things like concerts/sporting events.

AR has massive potential for advertisers, but it will be interesting to see how consumers respond to that. I love the idea of virtual tagging and the kind of art installations seen in Gibson's 'Spook Country' novel, but I know that what we'll actually get is virtual billboards and advertising everywhere. Google Glass was supposed to be a big thing, but instead it turns out consumers are pretty hostile to the idea of people walking around with cameras on their faces.

I don't think anyone really knows how it will pan out, which is why money is being thrown around at all the possibilities. It's going to be interesting, that's for sure.

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IvanBenjammin wrote:

I don't think anyone really knows how it will pan out, which is why money is being thrown around at all the possibilities. It's going to be interesting, that's for sure.

I agree. I find it interesting, but not surprising, that huge money is flowing into start-ups with little history in the field.

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:


IvanBenjammin wrote:

I don't think anyone really knows how it will pan out, which is why money is being thrown around at all the possibilities. It's going to be interesting, that's for sure.

I agree. I find it interesting, but not surprising, that huge money is flowing into start-ups with little history in the field.

I expect it'll be like the late 90's 'dotcom' bubble - lots of money will be spent and most startups will fail, but a few will be winners.

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It´s a different pair of shoes, but it proves the overall trend: Projects like Minecraft, which are designed simple, user friendly and effective and which are based on in-world user creativity alone are a proven mainsream success. Google tries the other extreme way. But no one will invest millions into a SL 2014 (or "the next generation LL thing"  like project), because such conceptional wishiwashi can only end in a niche - if anywhere at all.

Either go in-world and provide the necessary tools or go into a completely different direction, that´s the trend. And not "Second Life 2.0". What for? We already have a life. No one needs a third one.

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IvanBenjammin wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:


IvanBenjammin wrote:

I don't think anyone really knows how it will pan out, which is why money is being thrown around at all the possibilities. It's going to be interesting, that's for sure.

I agree. I find it interesting, but not surprising, that huge money is flowing into start-ups with little history in the field.

I expect it'll be like the late 90's 'dotcom' bubble - lots of money will be spent and most startups will fail, but a few will be winners.

I don't think this is like dotcom. Both Google and Facebook have real revenues, and they're the ones investing. This is not wild speculation by breathless and clueless venture funds. Of course there is the possibility the investment will produce nothing. Google has numerous failures from its "see what sticks" development strategy.

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Vivienne Schell wrote:

But no one will invest millions into a SL 2014 (or "the next generation LL thing"  like project), because such conceptional wishiwashi can only end in a niche - if anywhere at all.

I think that's an issue LL has to deal with. Google and Facebook are looking for disruption. That rarely comes from industry old timers.

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I think that's an issue LL has to deal with. Google and Facebook are looking for disruption. That rarely comes from industry old timers.


True. Minecraft worked by shocking cubic disruption, too, btw. But Mitch Kapor didn´t want further "experiments" and disruption back in 2008/09 (I recall some famous speech there). And since then SL is in decline. Dunno if Kapor and the other BOF´s still are on the LL board, but it´s no surprise that they sponsor good old Phil with his "next generation" attempt to attract the masses and corporations by supposed to be fancy technology.

Unfortunately the people go to where the fun is, technology doesn´t matter much to them. And the corporations go to where the people are. Something the industry oldtimers never really got.

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I see two things.

 

First, we'll be seeing a swarm of new vr applications. Most from previous Playstation Home developers who are more familiar with making content rather than maintaining servers and worlds.

With so many cooks coming into the kitchen targeting the same niche audience, it's plain to see that their biggest downfall will be them not pooling their individual strengths.

 

Second, vr won't be publicly accepted until it's treated similar to phone or internet, with no one company owning the platform/grid but instead you'll have service providers that sell monthly contracts for access to it with their devices.

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LeonardoMyst wrote:

I see two things.

 

First, we'll be seeing a swarm of new vr applications. Most from previous Playstation Home developers who are more familiar with making content rather than maintaining servers and worlds.

With so many cooks coming into the kitchen targeting the same niche audience, it's plain to see that their biggest downfall will be them not pooling their individual strengths.

 

Second, vr won't be publicly accepted until it's treated similar to phone or internet, with no one company owning the platform/grid but instead you'll have service providers that sell monthly contracts for access to it with their devices.

I'm not sure what I see.

I thought Facebook's acquisition of Oculus was curious. Zuck and company don't seem like game geeks, so I think they've got something else in mind. Augmentation isn't a good fit for something that blocks you off from the real world, so I've no idea what to expect from them.

And I don't think Facebook and Google are targeting niches. There's something else afoot here.

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:

There's something else afoot here.

The game is afoot, my dear Maddy - or it's those things on the ends of legs with little wriggly bits on the front.

 

The future is getting crowded,

The game is getting hot.

Please put a dollar

In Mr. Deakins' pot.

 

There's a good girl :)

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Phil Deakins wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:

There's something else afoot here.

The game is afoot, my dear Maddy - or it's those things on the ends of legs with little wriggly bits on the front.

 

The future is getting crowded,

The game is getting hot.

Please put a dollar

In Mr. Deakins' pot.

 

There's a good girl
:)

As an erstwhile rock musician, I'd have thought you'd want your pot unadulterated.

Just look at what capitalism has done to you.

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