Welcome to day one of a brand new initiative: VR/AR Pioneers, a website dedicated to supporting the developers working within the immersive technology sector. I want to take a few moments of your time to discuss the why’s, where’s and how for’s of this new project, and – should you be part of this website’s intended audience! – hopefully catch your pique your interest towards making your own contribution.
VR/AR Pioneers began life as a Facebook Group founded by Admix CEO, Samuel Huber, as a way to reach out and connect with the virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) development community. The group has rapidly grown to become one of the largest spaces for developers within the sector on Facebook, and so with my arrival at Admix, given my journalistic background, it was only natural that a more comprehensive space for the community would be developed. Here, on VR/AR Pioneers, there’ll be plenty to excite, entertain and inform the development community, with an emphasis on delivering content that will be of benefit to the immersive technology industry as a whole.
VR & AR: Where We’re At
So of course I’m writing this piece on the understanding that everyone still reading is familiar with the industry as a whole. I won’t need to continually explain what a HMD is or way refresh rates are super important; instead I can concentrate on delivering assets and content that matter to VR and AR developers. I feel this is needed as the industry is in a bit of a wavy place right now; we’re past the point of rapid, large-scale investment and anticipation and into the real beginnings of a new medium. We’re in the part of the hype cycle commonly referred to as the ‘trough of disillusionment’, which doesn’t have the nicest of rings to it. We can all argue for the reasons why VR and AR – and each of the technologies surely has different reasons – haven’t quite reached critical mass yet, but by-and-large we’ll likely be in agreement that they will. One day.
Reaching Your Audience: What’s Coming Next
With that said, and everyone here in agreement, we need to start planning for the interim between eating dry noodles and buying Ferrari’s. How long will that be? Years. Yup, you’d hoped to be retiring six months after the Oculus Rift launched but, 3 years later, there’s still just that glimmering shine of hope on the horizon. So until that day as developers you need to plan a strategy for not only creating the best content possible but also reaching the largest audience possible for making use of it. It’s not a case of ‘launch it and they will come’, it’s a definite need to perfectly pitch your position in the market; reaching out to communities; identifying your KPIs and who they appeal to; spending your marketing budget (if you even have one, and, you should) incredibly wisely. This is where VR/AR Pioneers comes in. It’s a resource to offer guidance on how best to invest your time and money, presented by those who already have extensive knowledge and experience in doing so.
The Future of VR & AR: You are the Pioneers
The development community for VR and AR is wonderful, and you all know you are. When I took my first steps into the industry back in 2013 with the launch of VRFocus.com, there was a genuine sense of welcoming; of pride that we’d all taken the somewhat risky step of working with an unproven technology because we were the visionaries. The latter part of this hasn’t changed; anyone working in VR and AR today are truly innovators within technology, but the community feel we once had is being hidden behind a wall of secrecy and marketing managers. Let’s get back to basics and share our experiences, our successes and our failures, our intentions and our concerns. Let’s shape the future of immersive technology as pioneers together.
VR/AR Pioneers is designed with the sole purpose of supporting the VR and AR development community. If you have a story to share or would like to contribute some resources or a guest article, please contact us here.