I know that’s a big statement. Please give me a chance to back it up and then feel free to rip my logic to shreds. I’m going to state the problems first and then I’ll outline the market conditions that lead me to this conclusion. Also, the article title is not not meant to be hyperbole and/or clickbait.
So what are the three problems?
Create a Head Mounted device (HMd) that will conveniently work with an unprecedented array of phone models and operating systems.
Implement a remote, super-powered, reliable, scalable, and upgradable server network that can handle the vast amount of processing necessary for 90 frame per second visual rendering, 3D sound, and haptic/other sensory data.
Create a compression algorithm which will allow the upload and download speeds necessary for running VR web apps over current and near-future (Google Fiber) infrastructure.
Ok. So why do I think the person who leads the team to accomplish these three things will go down as the next Steve Jobs?
Virtual Reality is the next big platform and Information Technology advances exponentially. Most people still have a tendency to see the evolution of technology as a linear progression, but in reality it’s not. Regardless of your age think about how many things have been invented just since you were born. Now think of how many things would have been invented in your entire lifetime if you were born ANY YEAR before America was colonized and if you lived to be 100. You would only see a fraction of the advancements and the number would be smaller and smaller the further back you go all the way to the dawn of humankind. Is this only because America is so great? No. Each advancement builds on the last and so on. This leads to an increase in the frequency of innovation and explains the ONE MAIN REASON widespread virtual reality is becoming possible today: the smartphone. The continual creation/advancement of chips and displays for these devices has made it possible to introduce the new platform.
In less than 5 years (2020) over 6 billion people will have smartphones. How many of these people will have the money to buy an HMD with a built-in display? And then after that, how many of them will have the money to buy a computer to plug the HMD into? Lastly, factor in all 3 of these products needing to be replaced, repaired, or upgraded at some point in the future.
Now imagine a device that could outsource and integrate the continual advancements in smartphone technology as well as super high speed internet connections. Then imagine a monthly tiered tower power** and content library pricing structure with various levels of advertising and a la carte content items as well. The business with such a device would be profiting from hardware and software sales without having to physically ship product beyond the initial HMd.
There would be one huge winner in this particular scenario. However, there would be a myriad of big winners too. This scenario only works if there is great content, but it’s also true that virtual reality in general will only work if there’s great content. So, VERY SOON lots of people will be able to start paying their bills by creating VR content and applications. I’m excited for this and that’s why I started writing about it. I want to help people become part of the movement now while it’s an even playing field. It’s an exciting time and if it interests you to learn more you can subscribe for free or go to vrmakingmoney.com and read more.
PS. I chose Steve Jobs for the article title because he is an iconic figure in technology. Obviously I want people to read the article and learn how they can become VR content creators and part of this cool new platform. However, I must say I’m actually more of a Woz fan. I have a great respect and admiration for Steve Wozniak’s contribution to Personal Computing and I think his role and impact cannot be overstated.
**The “cloud” is actually just another person’s computer. I like the terms “tower power” better than “cloud”. But they could be interchangeable here. Think of the current Oculus Rift. It has a cord attaching it’s HMD to a powerful PC tower. Now pretend like that cord is miles and miles long. With fast enough speeds in place, a person could think of the internet as a long cord to the computer that powers the phone that works as a display on their HMd. That’s HMd, not HMD. Head Mounted device =/= Head Mounted Display.