I know I'm supposed to be talking about VR or even it's cousin AR, but I decided to take a little break writing about the industry. There was nothing new for me to write about and even though I've been fully engaged every day in the industry, I wanted to look into some other things happening.
I know that I'm probably late to the Podcast party, but I am at the party and thoroughly enjoying it. I was introduced to the Podcast from a friend of mine that is the Executive Director of the Board of a charity that I work with called Teen Cancer America. This charity is amazing and it was co-founded by Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of the Who. If you're interested in reading more about the charity, go to www.teencanceramerica.org
My friend is Rebecca Rothstein and the she was telling me about her own Podcast called "Say it Forward", which you can subscribe to here. As I said, I didn't know anything about Podcasts and I was going on a business trip so I decided to download Rebecca's first 2 episodes and her guests were Howie Mandel and Roger Daltrey. I really enjoyed this Podcast. No commercials. Each episode was a 60 minute interview of a great guest.
I happen to like long celebrity interviews and in this format, the interviewer is able to get way more information from their guest than a 5 minute talk show interview. I started to research these Podcasts and there is such a huge variety that anyone can find something that they will enjoy listening to. I like comedy and there is an endless supply of comedians with Podcasts and many of them are great. They have business, food, music, conspiracy theories, politics and anything else you could imagine.
In fact, you can check out the top 100 ranked Podcasts from podbay.fm right here. What I'm trying to say is if you like talk radio, you will love Podcasts and you can find anything that you have an interest in. If you can't find anything that peaks your interest, just start your own Podcast!
Feel free to tell me your favorite Podcasts!
I know most of you have missed me and it's been over 2 weeks since my last Blog post, but I wrote such a meaningful, nice Blog last time and I was hoping to come back with something similar to that. I've been trying to find some other things to write about on how VR is affecting the world in a good way and nothing has jumped out at me in the past couple of weeks.
This week, I ask you another question in my title and am anxious to hear your thoughts. Since this is my Blog, it is my duty to share with you my answer to the question. My answer is "Maybe?"
If I could predict the future, I'd be sitting somewhere on the Amalfi Coast looking at the beautiful view and telling everyone here how I predicted the huge success of VR in 2017. The truth is that I really don't know what's going to happen as a result of this "VR" movie that comes out on March 29th. I read this book and it was awesome for a VR geek such as myself. The premise is where people still exist in the real world, but spend most of their time in the virtual world. They go to virtual school, they have an avatar that can be anyone you want it to be and you have virtual money to virtually travel anywhere in the Universe. It's an incredibly cool concept and it certainly could be a look into our future.
As I've stated consistently in my blogs, VR has not made its way to the masses and by the masses, I mean people using Cardboard to see it, because that is the only way to get the content to the most amount of people. In Ready Player One, everyone has their very own headset and that's exactly what we're trying to do at Unofficial Cardboard. We want you to experience any type of VR so you can just dip your toe into the virtual world and then maybe you'll get a high-end device to experience a fully immersive experience.
This potential blockbuster movie was directed by Steven Spielberg (perhaps you've heard of him) and has received a lot of press prior to its release. The real question is how many people are going to see this movie and if the movie motivates them to experience any type of VR. It certainly gives people a look behind the curtain into a virtual world that was created by Ernest Cline, who authored the book. I'm hoping that people really love the movie and see the potential of what the future will bring us. If that happens, we hope you come to our website and purchase viewers for under $10, which will allow you to experience VR at the beginner level, but it's enough to get you hooked and propel you to further experience VR in higher end headsets.
HTC and Warner Bros just released 8 unique VR experiences that can be seen in the Vive and eventually in the Rift and in VRcades. That is great and amazing for the very small number of the population that have those HMD's or go to a VRcade, but again it leaves out the masses. I know that this was a big money deal for WB, but they are so short-sighted by not creating something for the average person to experience. Maybe even some 360 photos that would allow people into some book/movie related content. I might be speaking out of turn because there are still 17 days to the release date and they might surprise us with some Cardboard capable content. I highly doubt this will happen, but we never know.
So, what do you think? Is Ready Player One going to propel VR into the Stratosphere?
We'll find out soon enough!
I'm not going to rant today. I've been seeing some really good stories this week about people using VR for Good so I'd like to share those stories with you. I'm going to give you a little synopsis of each program and then provide you a link so you can see the full story I read.
I've been telling everyone about how cool VR is and why you MUST take some time and check it out, but it's also being used to help people that are struggling in various ways.
The first company I'd like to talk about is called StoryUp. I met their CEO and Chief Storyteller (as she calls herself), Sarah Hill and absolutely love what they are doing. Sarah is a 20 year veteran of the interactive media industry. She got into virtual reality trying to find a solution for a group of terminally-ill Veterans who weren't able to physically travel. She is a national Edward R. Murrow, Sigma Delta Chi, and 12-time mid-America Emmy award-winning storyteller with VR work that spans 5 continents. Sarah started using augmented reality in 2011 to interact with TV viewers behind the scenes of a newscast. To see more about all the good that StoryUp does, visit their website at www.story-up.com or download their app for Apple and Android.
I read a few articles this week and wanted to give you an opportunity to see other great ways VR is helping people. Here is a link to an article that was featured on Reuters called, "Virtual reality coronation takes dementia patients down memory lane." The VR film that was discussed in this article "is the work of a project called The Wayback, designed to trigger memories and emotions in people with dementia and help them re-engage with relatives and carers." You can access the video here
This next story appeared is a blog that appeared on the International Journalists Networks Blog (Ijnet.org) and is titled, "Exploring the possibilities of virtual reality in Latin America," and discusses how the Guardian passed out Cardboard viewers to view VR content. The blog states, "One of the most attractive VR storytelling projects was The Party, the story of Layla, a girl with autism who attends a birthday party. Through the story, users experienced the intensity with which Layla hears, sees and thinks — a feeling that would be impossible to understand without this technology."
The next article that I read was on the WISTV (in Columbia, SC) website and it's titled, "Radiothon funds to help provide virtual reality goggles for young hospital patients, " and after reading this entire article, we decided to donate 100 pairs of our custom branded cardboard VR headsets to the Palmetto Health Children's Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina.
Below is the article in its entirety and here is a link to see the video of the story that appeared on the news
The Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital team is utilizing innovative technology to help ease the pain for children undergoing procedures.
Virtual reality allows children to put on goggles and “escape” the scary hospital while they're getting treated.
The goal is to help the child take their mind off of the medical procedure and allow them to virtually see and experience something new.
The hospital has been using virtual reality goggles for less than six months and employees say they’ve already seen a positive impact for the children.
"We need these tools that are so important to get our kids through these procedures without anxiety and what we can do with this technology is we use it as an analgesia we don’t have to use as much pain medicine which is better for everyone involved,” Child Life manager at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital Christy Fink said.
The goggles can help distract a child from pain by allowing them to have a relaxing experience with music and nature.
“It captures all of their senses and so what that does it decreases their anxiety about the procedures that they are having and it helps us to help them master the experiences they’re going through for healthcare,” Fink said.
As for right now, Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital only has one set of virtual reality glasses and they have 74 beds at the hospital. They would like for each child life specialist to have a virtual reality set.
"Our goal is to make the hospital as less traumatic as possible and to keep it as normal as possible, so that when they come here they’re not as scared or terrified,” Child Life Specialist Abbey Anderson said.
The hospital is asking for support from the community to help fund new technology like virtual reality." END
Thank you to all of the people who are using VR for Good.
Anyone that has read my blog probably knows my answer and I'm just going to be honest. Imagine that, me being brutally honest. That's who I am and as many of you know, it's a part of my very unorthodox writing style.
You don't just have to listen to my opinion this time, let's hear from the public. I have an Android phone (no jokes from the Apple lovers please). According to my Google Play store, it shows less than 10,000 downloads of the NBC Sports VR app (powered by Intel) and an average rating of 2.1 stars based on 138 reviews (as of this writing), with 80 of those reviews being 1 star.
I asked one of my "Apple friends" to get me the info for the App and no surprise to me, similar results. They couldn't find downloads, but assume it's not a huge number. 205 reviews with an average of 1.6 stars and you should read some of those reviews! They make my opinions look somewhat gentle in comparison. You must go read some and don't worry, I'll make it easy, here is a link. This is what I found online, but if you have the App store, I'm sure you can find more. It's kind of fun for me :)
Now the media hasn't quite been bashing the "VR Experience" yet because NBC and Intel have a lot of power and 95% of the media coverage so far has stories like "How to watch the Olympics in VR" and "Intel and NBC brings you to Pyongyang with VR" Blah, Blah, Blah. Here is my favorite story so far, which completely tells the truth and it's written in the MIT Technology Review by Rachel Metz. Now this makes me feel good, really good actually. You've all read my rants (uh, I mean blogs) and you would never confuse me for an MIT graduate based on my writing skills, but Rachel and I are agreeing on this experience. Maybe I'll go back to MIT for my PHD in VR. I LOVE this article title, it's so ME! You ready? Wait for it.... Wait for it ....
"I thought VR would make watching Olympic snowboarding awesome. Sadly, it sucked." You can read this article here
Rachel talks mostly about the technical glitches, which are many and she touched upon one of my constant messages, she says, "while it’s cheaper and more widely available than ever before, it’s still not great at transforming visual experiences for the masses." There is one thing you left out Rachel, the masses aren't seeing it. 10,000 downloads on Google Play and let's assume approximately the same on Apple, that certainly is not "the masses". The reason the masses aren't seeing this underwhelming content is because as I'm sure my readers all know by now, repeat it with me, "The only way to get VR to the masses is cardboard". It's inexpensive and the most amount of people can experience content for the first time and not spend $60 on devices in case they don't like it.
Now let me advocate very strongly for our industry and tell the person that hasn't experienced VR before that they would probably be "blown away" by seeing Gold Medal winner Shaun White fly over their head. It's fricken awesome actually so I encourage people to buy our Team USA Olympic inspired viewers still at www.unofficialcardboard.com/olympics because the content will be available for awhile on the app or better yet, just look at more great content on your YouTube app and follow the directions on this video.
Here's the other thing that Rachel forgot to mention. The app has been all over the place in the first week of the Olympics. First it was an easy download and watch process, then they added a second app that looks the same on the Google Play store that ONLY works with the Google Daydream, so that added confusion. Within the last couple of days they've added the "you must login with their cable provider" BS. Really Intel and NBC, do millennials even have a cable provider anymore? You certainly don't have to go to MIT to figure that one out.
One more thing before I leave you today. This time, our company actually lost money because of this blunder by NBC and Intel. Unofficial Cardboard paid for an influencer campaign to encourage followers of these influencers to purchase our viewers and follow along with the Olympics in VR. We gave very specific instructions to these influencers on how to view the content and that included downloading the NBC Sports VR app. As I mentioned before, they changed the app and now people have to login with a cable company (if you have one) and then, and only then, do you get a choice to watch a VR Replay (with your cable login) or Watch on NBC Sports (doesn't say app) and when you press this button, guess what you get? A chance to download another app. How frustrating is that! In any case, NBC made this so confusing, that we didn't have many people know how to see the content in our custom viewers. NBC, you can make that $1700 check out to Unofficial Cardboard.
I'll pose this question to you again, "Is NBC and Intel doing a good job or bad job with their Olympics VR coverage?
Please give your opinions, I'm eager to see what you think.
Thanks for listening
OK friends, I'm going to share my frustration with you as I sit on a plane back from the DEW Expo in Los Angeles, which by the way, was a first-class event. Very well done. It was called the Digital Entertainment World Expo and it covered VR/AR with one session, which we attended. The people at the event were a great group of incredibly knowledgeable people within the industry and it was great to be there. The VR/AR session had a huge crowd and was very informative, but all they talked about was the future. So, of course, I had to try to get in a question about cardboard viewers (and get in a nice plug for UC). I told the audience that everyone talks about the high-end HMD's (head mounted devices) and location-based VR experiences, but nobody even has an HMD (OK, not nobody, but practically nobody) and location-based doesn't get a lot of people through the experience at once. After I got off my soapbox, I simply asked the question, "Why do you think cardboard hasn't been adopted yet"? I waited with great anticipation for the answer that would help us explode in the marketplace and after the first 2 people on the panel didn't even answer my question, Christina Heller from VR Playhouse, was kind enough to answer and say that she really liked cardboard, but it doesn't fit into fully immersive content. She is 100% correct. cardboard headsets are not for fully immersive content that you can see on the Vive and Oculus, but what's wrong with that?
We spent 2 days at this event and gave away hundreds of free headsets to people in the industry who understand what VR is all about. 80% of the people that came by our booth who had experienced VR in the Oculus and Vive, DIDN'T EVEN KNOW that you can watch VR on YouTube. Let me repeat that so it can really sink-on on people reading this, 80% of people that came to our booth didn't know they could view VR on YouTube with cardboard headsets. OK, so you're wondering what they thought, I know you are. BLOWN AWAY. VR jaw all over the place (a term for when people first see VR and their jaw hits the floor). It doesn't really "hit the floor" in case you thought we had hundreds of broken jaws at our booth, but you get the idea. So, if people "in the know" about VR don't know that YouTube has tens of thousands of great VR videos, how will the general public know?
Cardboard is treated like the ugly stepchild and that's just not fair. Everyone talks about the future of VR, but let me just say that "It's time to make the old, new again". Google Cardboard came out in 2014 and the NY Times made a huge impact by sending out over 1 million headsets to experience great content, but 1 million doesn't cover that much of the world. Actually, let me do the math for you, it covers 1 million people, but if they share it with a 2 friends and so on and so on, you never know, right? Sorry about the tangent, but that's how it goes with me. So I say, let's bring back cardboard and get it out to the masses.
I need to quickly jump back on my soapbox to share an article that I read today by someone named Kristian Bouw entitled "The Comprehensive Guide to Getting Started in Virtual Reality: A curated collection of virtual reality links and resources" I'm thinking, finally someone that's going to discuss cardboard headsets and tell them it is the way to get started in VR and I read through the article and the only mention of viewers is Google Daydream and the Samsung GearVR. Fine headsets by the way, but they cost over $75. Who is going to spend $75 to "get started" in VR? Not me, that's for sure. OK, I'm done with the soapbox (for this post anyway).
I need your help people, please share this blog, let's get people to understand how much great content is out there and show them how easy it is to access. All you need is a cardboard headset, which you can purchase for under $8.00 at www.unofficialcardboard.com and a YouTube app (which is free). Spread the word! Friends, Romans, country people (that's PC for 2018), lend me your ears. You don't have to be Roman either, anyone can participate. The first 100 people that share this blog with #bringbackvrcardboard will receive a free pair of viewers.
That's all for today because the plane is about to land and I'm spent!
Thanks for listening.
By now you must realize that I believe there is a lot of great content out there. Hell, I've been bombarding all of you for the last few weeks including my feedback given directly to the writer of the Adweek article (still no response, in case you were wondering).
Well, it's time to share my secrets with you, which shouldn't be so secret. This week let's talk about YouTube. You might have heard of it. A small little website that has a few videos on it that people watch from time to time. They even have their own VR channel called YouTube VR (very clever, right?). I did some investigating on Google, but I couldn't find how many 360/VR videos are on YouTube and YouTube VR, but I can assure you there are tens of thousands.
I am going to let you know again, that anyone can view VR videos on YouTube with a cardboard viewer. Click here to find out how. There are a lot of phenomenal 360/VR videos on YouTube so I'm going to break down some of my favorites by categories.
The Jungle Book
Extreme Sports VR
Hammerhead Shark Encounter
Baby Pandas (everyone needs to see a cute Panda video)
The USA Today has put out amazing content, but as far as I know, they've never handed out cardboard viewers for anyone to experience this content Come on USA Today, call me and let's get one of your clients to pay for some viewers so you can show people your content in VR.
Surf with pro Malia Manuel
Skydive with the Army Golden Knights
My favorite VR video, over 8.5 million views on YouTube, how many in VR, your guess is as good as mine, but I'm guessing less than 5% (can you confirm YouTube?)
Fly with the US Navy Blue Angels
There is a brief collection of 360 videos on YouTube. Remember, just go to the YouTube app on your phone, search whatever you want and type the words "360 video" after it and 95% of the time, some kind of content will pop-up. For directions on how to watch YouTube 360 videos in VR, click here. All you need is a pair of our viewers, buy them here.
Don't be scared of VR out there. Jump in, the water is warm. Maybe you'll see shark behind you or you'll be surfing with a pro or you'll be kite surfing.
Try VR, you'll like it! I promise.
My name is Richard Oleff and I am the co-owner/CMO of Unofficial Cardboard. We make custom branded cardboard VR headsets. I wanted to give you my feedback on your article since you asked a question in the title.
For my latest Blog, I'm going to repost this email (with your responses if you agree) so I want to give my readers the full article name and advise them to read it. (He never responded to my feedback)
The article I refer to is in AdWeek and written very well and thorough by Marty Swant. It is called "Which comes first? Will it be cool content that makes consumers buy VR headsets or powerful technology that creates demand for the content?
We took over majority ownership of UC almost a year ago and what I learned in that time, I mentioned in my blog titled, What I learned in my first year as co-owner of Unofficial Cardboard. I know, perfect Blog title, right?
In any case, I talk about a lot of the things that you mention in your article and have literally been obsessed with the question you ask because for me, the answer is EASY. There ALREADY IS great content out there, regardless of what anyone in your article says. What the so-called "experts" don't understand is that the content that is on YouTube, Vimeo, LittleStar, Within, Jaunt and other great content providers IS GREAT CONTENT for the AVERAGE EVERYDAY PERSON THAT HAS NEVER EXPERIENCE VR. The ONLY way to get that content to the masses is with Cardboard viewers because they are affordable and they can also market the content itself on the viewers.
This is what I've been trying to get out to the public Marty. It's very frustrating because all the HMD companies talk about the latest and greatest new technology for headsets The long-awaited device-free headset coming from Google (how exciting). What frustrates me most is that these big companies that put out this new technology don't understand that the public isn't going to purchase these high-end HMD's until they come way way down in price. These companies should actually allow us to make custom cardboard for individuals just to SEE VR for the first time. If someone really likes it, which most people will, maybe then they'll pony up the big money for a high-end device.
YouTube introduced 360 videos years ago and then soon after the ability to view them in VR, but they did a very poor job of educating the public about this and therefore most people in this universe haven't experienced VR and it's a shame. Sony sold 2 million viewers in 2017, but how many people are on this planet? How many of them have phones that they carry everywhere? Why fight it, this is the year for the Cardboard Revolution, which hopefully makes those numbers you mention for purchases of HMD's by 2021 (by the so-called experts) come true.
It is my hope that the AVERAGE EVERYDAY PERSON either buy custom branded cardboard, which they can do from our website for $9.95. That's right, 1 custom viewer for $9.95, under $10 US dollars. OR these big companies that are producing content should purchase our viewers and give them away for marketing purposes with their logo all over them for less than a premium giveaway that they pass out at sporting events.
If you create 360 content, don't you want people to see it in VR or do you want it to sit out there in cyberspace for people to view in 360. People need to "get it" Marty, that's all I"m saying.
THE CONTENT IS THERE PEOPLE AND EVERYONE SHOULD EXPERIENCE IT BECAUSE IT'S AWESOME. THE BEST WAY TO JUMP IN TODAY IS BY PURCHASING CARDBOARD AND THEN, AND ONLY THEN, THEY CAN DECIDE FOR THEMSELVES IF THEY WANT TO SPEND THEIR HARD EARNED DOLLARS TO UPGRADE THEIR DEVICE.
I'm very passionate about this Marty and apologize about all the capital letters, but you finally gave me a great story to respond to and I hope you will publish this response in your publication.
Thanks for listening,
In order to give you my prediction for 2018, I'm going to start with a little story about a commercial for a car dealership that I've seen over the years. This guy would always end the commercial almost like one of those wrestler promos "IT'S GONNA BE HUGE." Now, I never understood what this obnoxious man was talking about in his commercial. I asked myself, What's gonna be HUGE? Is the deal gonna be HUGE?, Is the dealership gonna be HUGE?, or is it just that the guy is HUGE?" I'm sorry, I digress. My prediction for VR in 2018 is that IT'S GONNA BE HUGE!!
It's approaching the end of the first week of 2018 and I've been reading a lot of articles that have come out this week talking about VR in 2018. Of course, I've been reading these articles because I have a Google alert set-up for articles that mention virtual reality or VR. By the way, doesn't everyone in the industry do that? I'm not the only one, am I?
I'm going to save you time on a recurring theme that is already happening this week in a lot of articles. They all talk about the high-end HMD's (head mounted devices) and how they are going to be dropping in price, become untethered, not need a phone to view WebVR videos, etc., etc., etc.. I think we've all heard this before, haven't we? OK, let's say these people are right, there is a drop in pricing for these high-end devices, are people still going to buy these to try out VR for the first time? I think not, but that's just my humble opinion.
I know I've said this before, but I truly believe (and not just because I am CMO for Unofficial Cardboard) that Cardboard is the most effective way to get VR to the masses. Companies can buy these viewers and pass them out to customers to show their own content. Individuals can buy them and customize them with their very own design on our website for only $9.95 for one viewer. These people can view all sorts of great content using Cardboard on YouTube, Littlestar, Within, Vimeo and many other apps.
I'm going to keep preaching about Cardboard until we start a Cardboard revolution. I love VR and I want as many people to experience it as humanly possible. I'm afraid the VR revolution won't get to full capacity that all of the "experts" predict if people don't experience VR at all. Help us jump-start the revolution and get your Cardboard viewers today. I promise you'll love the VR experience and maybe you'll end up getting a high-end HMD because they are truly amazing and the experiences will blow your mind.
The only way that VR in 2018 "IS GONNA BE HUGE" is for all of you reading this to spread the word. If you've seen VR before in any type of viewer, tell people how cool it is. If you haven't seen VR at all, make sure you get any viewer and experience it yourself and spread the word.
Let's make this year HUGE!!!
At the beginning of 2017, we purchased Unofficial Cardboard and kept on the founder of the company as a partner. Prior to this purchase, I was like the average person that was interested in virtual reality because I heard it was the “next big thing” along with Augmented Reality. What I quickly learned is that it wasn’t ready to become the “next big thing”, but it just might be ready now.
I learned a lot of things in the last year and have come to the conclusion that this just might be the year that VR (and AR) hit it big. 2016 was a very big year in the Cardboard industry because there were a lot of “early adopters” jumping into the VR world with both feet. In fact, it started at the end of 2015 with the New York Times partnering with Google to distribute over 1 million Cardboard viewers to see some great content produced by VRSE (now Within). What a great way to hit the ground running, right? Over 1 million viewers distributed by the New York Times, showing great content by VRSE/Within. This helped launch the VR Cardboard industry and sales went up across the board for the roughly 5-10 companies out there selling Google Cardboard.
Now, I start to dabble in the VR industry in mid-2016, when one of my long-time friends and soon to be business partner, who has 30 years experience in the print and packaging business starts as a salesman for Unofficial Cardboard. He asks me what I think about VR and I tell him that I’ve heard a lot about VR and would love to learn more. He shows me NYT Google Cardboard paired with content produced by the aforementioned VRSE (Within) including a U2 video that was awesome plus a horror short called Catatonic that literally made me jump out of my seat. It was my “aha moment” and I was hooked. I immediately saw the huge potential in the industry. During the second half of 2016, I started to familiarize myself with the industry and where it was going. My background is in marketing, promotions and events so I began thinking about how I could use it with my clients plus generate new business using this great new tool called VR. I learned plenty during the 2nd half of the year and presented VR to some of my clients and even though it made a huge breakthrough, the mainstream wasn’t ready to jump in just yet. Fast forward to the end of 2016 and we find out that the planets are aligning and we can buy into Unofficial Cardboard. I feel that I’ve done my research and the mainstream will be ready to take the next step.
I’ve had my own business for 14 years and have seen great technology ideas come and go in that time frame. I used many of them in my marketing efforts. Some stayed, but many went away. I felt VR is one of those that would take off and stay. The more I researched VR at the beginning of 2017, I realized that the industry wasn’t ready to move forward quite so fast. I learned that the average person didn’t know about how to access VR. They didn’t know the difference between 360 video, (which was now displayed by Facebook and YouTube) and Virtual Reality. I found that to be incredibly frustrating that a company as large as YouTube would announce they support 360 video and virtual reality, but not do a good job of educating people on how to experience VR (using Google Cardboard). Yes, Google, the same company that owns YouTube introduced the open platform Google Cardboard that turns 360 video (that is shown on YouTube) into VR, by just touching the screen of your phone. See how to view VR on the YouTube app by clicking here
So, the bulk of 2017 has been educating the public in anyway we can (along with the rest of the VR community). It’s known in the VR community that even though VR is accessible to everyone with a smart phone, that people still didn’t know how to view it. Well, I can say the VR industry is making a paradigm shift and people are finally aware. They are aware because companies like Warner Bros created a VR experience for IT (which happened to become the largest grossing horror film of all time). Universities throughout the United States are sending out Cardboard viewers to give virtual tours of their schools. Museums, real estate, professional sports, education and travel have all created VR experiences and many of them are easy to find on the YouTube app and other great apps such as Within and Jaunt. Just add the words 360 video after anything you want to see in VR on the YouTube app and you most likely will find it.
Now you might understand why I think 2018 might be the breakout year for VR. It seems that you can view it anywhere and all you need to see it is a pair of cardboard viewers. You can customize your own viewers and print just one on our website for just $9.95. Open up the world of VR for under $10.00. Everyone, and I mean everyone that tries VR for the first time all say and do the same thing. They usually say “WOW, this is cool” and their mouth drops open and they get “VR Face”. I think it’s time you experienced VR Face. It’s time to take the leap into VR with Unofficial Cardboard viewers.
Below is a great article written for Forbes by Azad Abbasi. He hits the nail right on the head. I've read a lot of articles about VR over the last year, but Azad breaks it down to an easy to understand synopsis of how VR works, the difference between VR and 360 videos. It's like he read my mind. So, I want to sincerely thank Azad for a perfect article to share to all of our email subscribers. Please read below to get a nice lesson on the benefits of VR.
Five Ways To Incorporate Virtual Reality Into Your Marketing Campaign
by: Azad Abbasi
Virtual reality and 360-degree virtual reality: Everyone seems to be talking about it nowadays. But what is it exactly, and how does it work? First, you must know that there are two sides to the VR coin:
Click here to continue reading on forbes.com
Then, of course, follow Azad's advice and come back here to order your custom VR viewers for yourself, or any company projects you have coming up.
I just read a great article on forbes.com by Andrew Arnold . The article talks about how 80% of Millennials are looking to purchase a house, and how VR will be a major part of their purchase.
I agree with a lot of what Andrew has to say because not only do we produce cardboard viewers for a LOT of real estate agents, but we are also a preferred vendor of Matterport. We own 3 of Matterport's cameras to shoot the content and use their proprietary software to share that content online. They are the leader in this VR market.
Here is a tour that we shot with our Matterport camera and, of course, this can also be seen in VR with the touch of a button on your phone's screen.
What VR offers the home buyer is a great way to see the entire house by virtually “walking through” the space and seeing every inch of the house. This not only saves time for the real estate agent, who can purchase this tour for as little as .10 cents per square feet, but also for the buyer. In the old days, an agent might show 10 houses in person to the buyer before they purchase. With this technology they can show 10 house in VR, narrow it down to 3, and save the time of visiting 7 houses.
It’s a great solution for everyone involved in the purchase and sale of a house. As of now, it’s still a very small part of the real estate market. Mark Tepper, VP of Sales, America’s for Matterport says, “3D tours are only 3%-4% of the market this year,” but says, “Matterport expects to see 100% growth year over year in the use of VR.” That is still a very small percentage of the overall real estate market, but it is something that is growing and you can expect it to not go away anytime soon.
Another article on forbes.com says the VR headsets will sell 81.2 million units by 2021 according to industry analyst International Data Corporation. Industry experts also expect the AR/VR business to bring in over $100 billion by 2020. There are plenty of expectations for the industry to explode and real estate is a prime candidate to be one of the lead players in that growth.
To read Andrew Arnold’s full article, click here
Chief Marketing Officer at Unofficial Cardboard