Oculus Connect 4

About 2 weeks ago, Jack and Jaehee set off to Oculus Connect 4 in San Jose while Sarabeth held down the fort in Pittsburgh. 


Jack's experience at OC4:

On the announcement for Oculus GO and Project Santa Cruz:

It's great to see Oculus make the VR device more portable and convenient. Since the price goes down, this will help spur more people to embrace the medium. In my opinion, the main advantages are:

  1. Users will be able to have more chances to experience VR.
  2. Developers are able to design better VR experiences without the cord limitation, which in turn will help inspire more people to try VR.
  3. Once VR's accessibility improves, demand will surely grow in both the consumer facing and B2B sectors.

After this announcement, I felt very excited - it's a great time to work in this field and develop in VR, especially since technical innovation continues to be a priority for the big companies (like Oculus) in this space. A better future of VR is coming soon!

During Mark Zuckerberg's opening address, he talked a bit about the possibility of VR in healthcare, and how it can improve both the patient and provider experience. (Check it out here, starts from 1:24). He talked about this before announcing the new devices, which means that the value of VR is worth looking beyond games, and has a real potential to change the world in meaningful ways! This resonated with us because we've been exploring these same use cases within our won business. We (and others) share this vision of VR being a platform to change the world for the better. 

On this note, I attended a session called "Improving Healthcare Education Through VR" moderated by Kumal Jacob with a panel including Dr. Todd Chang (Children's Hospital LA), Devi Kolli (AI Solve) Dr. David Axelrod (Stanford School of Medicine). They talked about the limitation for people in learning solely from a textbook, and that VR could simulate in a truer, more realistic way the emergent issues in healthcare - in other words, build more real world knowledge than reading a case study. Both the hospitals and patients can learn from the perspective of one another, through collaborations in VR experiences. 

Another session I enjoyed was "Scaling Immersive Media on Facebook" which I think is important because the issue of scale comes up frequently when we talk about VR, especially in the context of media and content production. When will VR development become "worth" it? Well, developers in the space certainly find value in this kind of content creation, but what will fuel the majority of the content in this space? For Facebook its seems obvious to point to user-generated content, its bread and butter. In the session, Facebook made the point that more and more 360-video content was uploaded, with over 70M photos and over 1M 360-videos out there. Many different 360-video cameras are already affordable and available to the consumer market, and as more people upload and share these videos, services and ways to access this content will improve. 

Finally, I'll touch on one final session, "DAGER System (Disability Accessibility Gaming Rating)" by Josh Straab of DAGERS. He talked a lot about making VR accessible to all, and how it should be at the center of the development process. Spears from DAGER and ILMxLAB discussed best practices to create accessible content for more people around the world. They shared a lot of valuable design experience based on their work and feedback from different audiences. They expressed how much impact VR could give to improve the quality of experience for disabled people, again with the theme of VR's impact beyond games. 

Overall, what I found most engaging was the momentum and discussion around VR's potential to help the world in real ways. That's what ultimately leads to something meaningful, and I think as developers, we're all looking for ways to create something that achieves that. 

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That's all for this post, folks! Look out for some more updates as we approach Demo Day. 

Nov. 2, 5:30-9pm, Stage AE, Pittsburgh, PA


Sarabeth Boak