The mission within this publication, as with my personal and professional life, is to relieve human suffering. I believe this is possible in our lifetime that human consciousness can ascend to a point where we can heal this planet and all beings that inhabit it. We all know the clock is ticking and it’s clear that we are hitting a crescendo in the journey. I have always been an optimist. I have seen the power of human awakening, in my personal journey and the journey of others, and it seems it is time to speed this train up!
I see VR as the next medium. This is the “Motion Picture” of our generation while everyone up until this point has only been able to listen to the radio. Taking the static 2D, non interactive world and turning it into an interactive simulation. The motion picture was almost devastating, turning multiple generations into literal couch potatoes, binge watching tv shows, endless sports games. On the other hand it is also used to create beautiful, transformational experiences. You can learn anything on the planet, watch the most inspirational speakers, discover enlightening ideas, and blossom into an entirely new person.
I am in this industry because technology is exponentially growing, and as of now, 99.9 percent of content is made to distract and subdue us. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We have the power to get in on the ground floor of the next “ultimate distraction” and produce content that brings you closer to your true essence instead of pulling you away from it. This is our chance to speed up the train.
This can manifest in many ways. Empathy-generating content, community creation, digital therapeutics, biofeedback and neurofeedback experience, or simply journeys into inspiring lands. The key is that it's enjoyable. These experiences are not made to feel like you're eating your digital vegetables, they are meant to taste delicious. A delight to consume but with a message that impacts the masses in an extremely positive way. As I always say “lets upgrade the real-world avatar that is you.”
Question I Have Been Pondering
What will happen as Blockchain and XR continue to grow exponentially and merge with one another?
The latest trend in the rise of the Metaverse is Blockchain accelerating along with VR. I was inspired by this article that was sent to me a few weeks ago: How Can Blockchain Accelerate the Virtual Reality Revolution? - showcasing the future of spending your free time in virtual worlds with your closest friends and actually making a living doing so. A few companies like Victoria VR and Decentraland are building worlds for just that purpose..
I was speaking with a good friend Shuang, better known in the digital world as SwanVR. She showed me what a VR NFT art gallery can look like in Cryptovoxels “a virtual world powered by the Ethereum blockchain. Players can buy land and build stores and art galleries. Editing tools, avatars and text chat are built in.”
A few things really get me excited about this space:
The ability to buy and sell virtual land.
Decentralands main value proposition is "Explore LANDs owned by users to experience incredible scenes and structures. From a space adventure to a medieval dungeon maze to entire villages crafted from the minds of community members.” And “Buy and sell LAND, Estates, Avatar wearables and names in the Decentraland Marketplace: stocking the very best digital goods and paraphernalia backed by the ethereum blockchain.” What does this mean for the future of the metaverse? Building real-estate as a digital asset that evolves and grows with the community and the technology itself. This feels comparable to an opportunity to buy oceanfront property in New York City back in the 17th century!
Creating virtual, spatialized communities that can build and scale.
The Bit Country website puts it simply “Start your world, rule your bit country and economy [...] Start your own bit country and community. Attract more people to join using the rules and policies you can set by your will. Grow your bit country and monetize your community in multiple ways without any intermediaries.” It is one thing to build a Facebook group or a Mighty Network, it is another thing to build a virtual city for your community to populate and build businesses within. Real estate meets content creators, meets social hangout. Are Zillow, YouTube, and Clubhouse having a baby?
NFT’s have value beyond a storage of assets.
In Victoria VR "The NFTs are not just rare decorations, but there are NFTs that will actually have a real use case, or that will bring you highly epic advantages (gives you superpowers or produce more VR tokens for you). You can also modify your assets (NFTs), combine them, or even create your own assets (NFTs)!" I am far from a blockchain expert, honestly anything in finance bores me to tears so it has been hard to get too excited about this movement, but understanding the deep impact on the XR community is important to grasp and leverage as we work towards a brighter future.
Projects I Have My Eyes On
This Month I focus on the rise of VR as the extension of reality that we all know from Science Fiction. The Matrix Upload isn’t here yet, but these tools will bring us a few steps closer.
Valve plans to stay on the cutting edge of immersive entertainment. Co-founder Gabe Newell states “If you’re a software developer in 2022 who doesn’t have one of these in your test lab, you’re making a silly mistake […] Software developers for interactive experiences — you’ll be absolutely using one of these modified VR head straps to be doing that routinely — simply because there’s too much useful data.”
Although they are still somewhat clunky and impractical to wear for an extended period of time. What these gloves are capable of doing is beyond what I ever imagined. "As you grab an object, the air bladder inflates on that specific point of contact between your hand and the virtual object while the gloves exotendons provide up to 40 pounds of dynamic force feedback per hand (8lbs/35 N per finger). If, for example, you were to pick up a digital orange in VR using your fingertips, only your fingertips would receive that tactile feedback. At the same time, the exotendons would tighten up, delivering a sense of resistance throughout your entire hand as if holding a physical object.”
Immersive narratives, richer environments, and emotional feedback, all through the power of your voice. Diving into a role-playing game or interactive film where you don’t just select from a few options of dialog when asked a question. Instead you respond in natural language and the NPC characters move the conversation forward naturally. Walk into a room and command a door to open. Speak into existence the world you want to create and the environment changes as you imagine it. With AI, this is only the beginning.
With a handful of cost effective solutions, such as the Manus Pro Tracker from Steam or this full-face tracker from HTC you are no longer limited to the movement of your hands and head. Everything is now added to the in-game interaction: waist, feet, legs, chest, lips, eyes, smile wrinkles, you name it. Your dance moves, body language and communication style in a virtual environment has just been seriously upgraded!
After this quick 1 minute read, you will find Augmented Realities integration into our day to day is already here.
We have seen omni-directional treadmills for years and they finally look like they’re getting closer to a viable product for the end consumer. Soon, we will all be sprinting up a hill or walking through a magical forest without using a joystick.
The Future of VR
I included this new segment because this is something I have been tracking, as the Quest 2 continues to dominate the market. So far, there have been few other outlets for developers to sell their wireless content. We enjoy working with the Quest team and Facebook has done a great job curating a group of highly skilled individuals who are propelling the industry forward. But what comes next in the wireless, mainstream headset space, and how long will it remain a closed ecosystem?
As a consumer or an industry expert we all know at this point, the Quest is the only show in town. But for how long? Here are some of the Quest 2 competitors about to hit the consumer market.
I think it’s safe to say there are a lot of competitors entering the space. I can not wait to see what blossoms from this innovation and the communities that will be built over the next few years. Facebook has no plans of slowing down, and has already announced plans for the Quest 3 and Quest 4. Recent reports have shown that 10,000 employees within their company are now focussed solely on building the XR metaverse. Almost a fifth of Facebook employees are now working on VR and AR. Let the games begin.
It’s been a pleasure to upload the future into your consciousness,