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In this episode, we channel our inner Doc Brown and go Back … to the future! One year into the future, to be specific. With 2019 on the doorstop, we’re going to take a crack at predicting as many hot trends, hardware breakthroughs, and unexpected surprises in AR and VR that we’ll see over the next 12 months.
Joe B. wearing a Magic Leap:
FULL TRANSCRIPT OF SEASON 2: EPISODE 7
0:00:00 Joe Johnson: Welcome to the In Reality podcast. Now starting in three, two, one.
0:00:08 JJ: Welcome to the In Reality podcast, where we cover all things augmented and virtual reality. The In Reality podcast is hosted by Joe Bardi and Joe Johnson, and features news, commentary, and perspective from industry veterans and experts. First up, introductions. I’m Joe Johnson, Creative Director at Marxent.
0:00:23 Joe Bardi: And I’m Joe Bardi, Marxent’s Communications Director. In this episode, we channel our inner Doc Brown and go back to the future. One year into the future, to be specific. With 2019 on the doorstep, we’re going to take a crack at predicting as many hot trends, hardware breakthroughs, and unexpected surprises in AR and VR that we’ll see over the next 12 months. In the second half of the show, we’ll look at other predictions for 2019 from some of the soothsayers on the Marxent staff. You ready?
0:00:50 JJ: Oh, they’re ready.
0:00:50 JB: I knew you’d say that.
0:01:01 JJ: All right, my dude, how do you wanna do this? Back and forth, to and fro, stop and go, or do we just rattle them off in a big list?
0:01:07 JB: I think we’ll alternate a little bit, although I feel like we’ll probably group some together. And since I know the order, I’m just gonna say we’re gonna start with two of yours.
0:01:15 JJ: Are we? Okay.
0:01:16 JB: We are.
0:01:17 JJ: All right, well, let’s read my predictions. I guess the first one I made, 2019 will be a big year for augmented reality. AR will be more tightly integrated into smartphones than ever before, and will expand to more real-world uses beyond just gaming.
0:01:29 JB: And why don’t you read your second one, which is kind of a follow-up?
0:01:33 JJ: Oh, are they related?
0:01:33 JB: They are.
0:01:34 JJ: I don’t even remember what I wrote. AR will also benefit from an increased focus by “the big guys.” Who are the big guys again, who are we talking about?
0:01:42 JB: You wrote this, I’m assuming you mean Apple and Google.
0:01:45 JJ: I mean Apple, Google, Samsung, probably Microsoft to a greater or lesser extent.
0:01:50 JB: Sure.
0:01:51 JJ: Magic Leap’s playing, too. There’s a lot of AR players all of a sudden who will spend 2019 neglecting VR to push AR applications harder than ever before. One big hurdle to adoption, augmented reality collaboration, since the only thing that people really care about is communicating with each other anyway.
0:02:09 JB: So now what I’ll do is I’ll read my two, which dovetail your two and are completely opposite.
0:02:14 JJ: And then we’ll just argue about the whole thing.
0:02:16 JB: And then we will argue about the future, Joe.
0:02:18 JJ: I’m excited to argue about the future with you.
0:02:20 JB: Yeah, oh, I already know how it goes.
0:02:22 JJ: Okay.
0:02:23 JB: So my two, which dovetail yours, are number one, is the hype cycle will flip yet again. Conventional wisdom has become that AR is the usable tech and VR is largely not ready for prime time, but the mid-year release of Oculus Quest is gonna change that. It’s powerful, it’s portable, it’s priced to sell at 399. By this time next year, VR will be the hot holiday gift and the talking heads will be wondering why AR squandered its lead.
0:02:45 JJ: Before you get into your next one, you need to tell me what the Oculus Quest is.
0:02:47 JB: Okay, so yeah, we’ll stop there and we’ll talk about this now. So the Oculus Quest is… Oculus is standalone headset, so there’s already the Oculus Go, which has been out for a while, it was priced at $200, it’s a very…
0:02:58 JJ: By the way, by the way, saw a commercial for it on ESPN today. It actually looked usable ’cause they did it the way that I want people to do VR. It was Leslie Jones and some lady who I couldn’t tell because she had a VR headset on her face…
0:03:10 JB: That makes sense.
0:03:11 JJ: Watching a movie together in big screen in a movie theater. But anyway, keep going.
0:03:15 JB: So yeah, so the Oculus Go is a very cool product. It’s…
0:03:20 JJ: You mean Quest?
0:03:21 JB: No. Go. Hold on.
0:03:22 JJ: Sorry.
0:03:23 JB: So the Go is a very cool little product, it’s relatively inexpensive at 200 bucks. It’s… I’m gonna use the word underpowered. It does what it does very well, but it does not offer a lot of the bells and whistles that came with other VR setups: There’s no tracking, there is a controller but it’s very limited, it’s an entry level experience. The Oculus Quest is going to be $400, 399, and it incorporates a lot more of the technology that’s in, say, the Rift.
0:03:52 JJ: Is it still a standalone walk-around?
0:03:53 JB: It is still a standalone walk-around. It looks a lot like the Go, but it includes a six-degree… What’s that term? Six degree tracking?
0:04:00 JJ: Yeah.
0:04:01 JB: Is it six-degree tracking?
0:04:02 JJ: So I’m not entirely sure what you’re referring to, but I know…
0:04:05 JB: Yeah, six-factor tracking? Whatever it is…
0:04:06 JJ: Basically the idea is that the tracking is better.
0:04:08 JB: Yes, that is correct. So it will actually do tracking, and it’s just the processor and it is more powerful, with better graphics, etcetera. It is much more of a Rift replacement or a Vive replacement than the Go is.
0:04:22 JJ: Okay. So get on to your next on, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to distract us that much.
0:04:25 JB: No, no, no, no, that’s great, that’s great. And my follow-up to that was one big reason that the talking heads will be eulogizing AR, 2009 is gonna be a graveyard for AR.
0:04:34 JJ: 2019.
0:04:35 JB: I’m sorry, you’re right.
0:04:36 JJ: That’s okay, just start over.
0:04:37 JB: I went to the past instead. 2009, definitely.
0:04:39 JJ: Yep, you went back to the future and the past.
0:04:40 JB: That was definitely a graveyard for AR software in 2009. [chuckle] Yes. So one of the big reasons the heads will be utilizing AR in 2019 is that it will be a graveyard for AR hardware. Yes, we’ll probably see a brand new Microsoft HoloLens at some point, perhaps as soon as January, but adoption will be limited to commercial applications like employee training or visual instruction manuals, repairs, very business-oriented things, not necessarily consumer tech.
0:05:05 JJ: So you and I are clearly on opposite sides of the AR is cool, VR is cool continuum. So the thing is, I don’t see anybody who’s actually pushing tech talking about VR right now. And you and I have talked about the fact that they know their roadmaps better than we do, and if VR is not on their roadmap, do you really think it’s gonna be a thing? How much do the big tech giants really determine what gets adopted?
0:05:30 JB: A lot, I would say. Very much so.
0:05:31 JJ: Okay, so you just gave me a point, you just scored a point for me.
0:05:34 JB: I did, I did, but we don’t…
0:05:35 JJ: You’re not good at this.
0:05:37 JB: No. I think you need to go back and listen to what you said. You said, “We don’t know what their roadmaps are.”
0:05:41 JJ: Did I just get hung by my own petard?
0:05:43 JB: You may have. No, we don’t know what their roadmaps are, and they have suddenly become very quiet about VR because I think the last set of releases led by the Rift and the Vive, those were interesting pieces of…
0:06:00 JJ: Duds?
0:06:01 JB: No, I mean, A, I’m gonna tell you that both have a lot of selling points. I think that the Vive Pro is pretty awesome. It’s still tethered to a computer.
0:06:11 JJ: Oh hang on, so there’s some real talk about that coming up. So literally over on Ken’s desk right now is the wireless kit…
0:06:16 JB: Okay.
0:06:17 JJ: For the Vive headset. I was talking to him about it, he says it works really well. The only problem is that the battery tether is kind of a pain in the ass.
0:06:26 JB: Sure.
0:06:27 JJ: But that’s just, again, one of those… We can overcome that later with materials technology or miniaturization or whatever.
0:06:32 JB: Yes. Let me use HTC as a perfect example of…
0:06:35 JJ: Yeah, I love perfect examples, yeah.
0:06:35 JB: So I’ve heard nothing really about what HTC plans to release in 2019. The Vive Pro is relatively new, it was announced early in the year, and it became available, what, mid-year towards the fall, whatever.
0:06:50 JJ: I’ll be honest I missed it because VR is not important right now.
0:06:53 JB: To you, sir. But at the same time, I’m sure that they are hyper aware of what Oculus is doing and what Facebook is doing, and will they decide to compete in that lower cost standalone headset market? I see no way that they won’t, but I also… They have not said anything publicly, and I think that part of this is that after all of the press from the last wave, they’re sort of figuring it out and being a little bit quiet about it as they try to figure out, what is the actual hardware that will break through?
0:07:30 JJ: Yeah, so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt here. I bet they have better numbers about adoption and use than I have ’cause as I’m fumbling through end of year stories for research for the podcast, one of the stories that I read was that basically Oculus was unsure about what it was going to do, and it was losing engineers from its own department because they don’t seem to have a clear direction. You can read that a couple different ways: Maybe they’re refocusing and they’re gonna have a better strategy and they’re letting people go or whatever, or maybe it really is kind of a crapshoot over there, and they don’t really know what they’re doing. That’s the one that I think is probably true. It might be my preconceived biases against Facebook about the fact that they’re not a VR company, they’re a social media data mining company that just happened to pick up all these other technologies, and they don’t really know what they’re doing. Maybe you’re right, maybe there’s some stuff coming, maybe there’s some skunkworks stuff coming up that I’m not seeing, but not seeing it is essentially the same thing as it not existing, as far as I’m concerned right now.
0:08:33 JB: Yes, that is very true. The Quest is scheduled for release in May or June, it’s mid-year basically, and we’ll see what shows up at the CES and the early year technology shows. It would not surprise me to see a lot of evolution on what a headset looks like.
0:08:53 JJ: You know what, I’m gonna jump the whole thing. I’m just gonna scrap this whole argument because I think the real thing that we wanna see is a mixed reality headset that can switch between both of those two. We talked about that before, that’s really the holy grail.
0:09:04 JB: And that will definitely not happen in 2019.
0:09:06 JJ: You think so? Because I think the fact of the matter is that if you took… Just as a brainstorming session, if you took a Vive2, a wireless Vive2, and you gave it a decent set of forward-looking cameras, stereoscopic cameras, you could probably technically create a augmented reality headset with that, except obviously you’re not looking straight through it, and it’s not a projection on your… On lenses or whatever, there’s no laser in your eye. It’s still effectively the same thing, and I think that that’s really the next step for all of this stuff. I think the next step is getting rid of the delineation between AR and VR entirely and creating a hybrid approach.
0:09:40 JB: Yeah. I think another problem with this, too… And it’s an interesting problem, and I think it’s one of the reasons why you’re not gonna see a truly effective version of that next year is that unlike in the past… So when the iPhone comes out, nobody had any real conception of what that would look like or what that would be.
0:09:55 JJ: Or even what it was for necessarily, yeah.
0:09:57 JB: Or what it was for. When I say AR smart glasses, everyone knows what that should look like and what that should be. That should look like your glasses but they do AR.
0:10:04 JJ: I don’t know.
0:10:06 JB: That is the goal.
0:10:07 JJ: So there’s this great photo of you that we’re gonna put in the show notes where you’re wearing the Magic Leap kit.
0:10:13 JB: I am.
0:10:13 JJ: And I referenced… At the time I said, “You look like a gargoyle from Snow Crash,” and everybody in the office is like, “What the hell are you talking about?” So I guess I also have to find a picture of a gargoyle from Snow Crash, which is a great novel by Neil Stephenson. And I think it looked… Honestly, I think it looked fucking cool, man. I don’t know that fashion trends need to stay the same, and as the glasses and stuff gets better and better, maybe that look becomes something that is its own cultural signifier that says to other people, “Yeah, man, I’m in the know about this and that.” I know that’s really… That might be pushing it for a tech thing, I get it, but that was…
0:10:50 JB: What I would add to that, though…
0:10:51 JJ: The Magic Leap ones have a certain style.
0:10:53 JB: Yes. And I would add to that that being the person who was standing inside of those goggles at that moment, it was horrifying.
0:11:00 JJ: Yeah, why is that?
0:11:00 JB: A, I’m waiting for the thing to load up, right, so it’s booting, it’s booting. And suddenly I get a little tropical island with some fish, but at the same time I’ve got… Ken is standing over to the left and he’s enveloped in dots because the thing is scanning the track.
0:11:10 JJ: Scanning points, yeah.
0:11:11 JB: And meanwhile, everyone else is just kinda staring at me because I’m wearing the weird goggle thing, and so I didn’t… I was enjoying it, I was trying it out, that was the point. But in everyday life or anything outside of a, I’m at work and I have to use this as a tool, I don’t know how that works.
0:11:31 JJ: Well, just some background, gargoyles in Snow Crash were basically the… They’re the ultra nerds of their time, and they are… [chuckle] It’s funny that I remark on them that way, but the fact of the matter is they… It’s people wearing computers on the outside of their body, laser scanners, stuff like that, and they are automatically the uncoolest thing that has ever existed in the book, so me using them as a comparison is not inappropriate here.
0:11:55 JB: Oh, oh, I see.
0:11:55 JJ: Yeah.
0:11:56 JB: Yes I admit… You could tell I’ve not read the book.
0:11:58 JJ: You’ve not read the book. That’s fine. I’ll put an excerpt up. It’s a whole thing.
0:12:01 JB: That’s… [laughter]
0:12:01 JJ: No, it’s great. You’re gonna read it and you’re gonna be like, “Oh, this guy literally wrote the future, I don’t know, 20 years ago.” It’s great that way. Do we wanna jump on to a new…
0:12:11 JB: Yeah, so…
0:12:12 JJ: Did I… Oh! So let’s stop talking a little bit about VR and about my AR prediction. So Tim Cook’s on Axios pushing landscaping AR demo, and talking about how it’s a transformative technology. If he knows his roadmap, and he understands that his devices are already in everybody’s pockets, and he can find useful tools that people can count on, I can’t see where VR can even compete with that because everybody already has it. You don’t need to work on adoption.
0:12:43 JB: Right. So I’ll jump to one of my predictions…
0:12:47 JJ: Okay.
0:12:47 JB: Which dovetails with this perfectly, and I sort of explain it, so I’m excited about this one. I wanna come back in a year and revisit this prediction. I feel really good about this one.
0:12:54 JJ: Okay. Are we gonna know each other in a year?
0:12:56 JB: Yes.
0:12:57 JJ: That’s fun.
0:12:58 JB: I think that’s probably true.
0:12:58 JJ: Yay.
0:12:58 JB: So [chuckle] my prediction is no Apple HMD in 2019. And why? ‘Cause there will be no new iPhone design in 2019.
0:13:08 JJ: Oh, interesting.
0:13:09 JB: Apple is gonna try to squeeze one more year out of the design they debuted with 2017’s iPhone 10 or X.
0:13:14 JJ: I think it’s X, isn’t it?
0:13:15 JB: It’s 10, they pronounce it 10. I like to pronounce it X, I don’t know why.
0:13:20 JJ: X.
0:13:20 JB: But then again, I guess I didn’t call it OSX, I always called it OS 10.
0:13:23 JJ: Keep going.
0:13:24 JB: So in 2020, Apple’s A14 Quadronic or whatever…
0:13:28 JJ: Quadronic.
0:13:29 JB: Whatever they’re gonna call the version of the A Series chip two years from now will be in the phone, and it will be, what, 400 times more powerful than whatever came out this year.
0:13:40 JJ: Eight billion times, whatever.
0:13:41 JB: Right. They’re also gonna add 5G at that point. So you’re gonna have much faster networking, much faster processor. And they know because of their roadmap that that will now make it possible to launch…
0:13:53 JJ: To launch smart glasses?
0:13:53 JB: Whatever their tethered smart glass approach is going to be.
0:13:56 JJ: Yeah, I could see it… So Magic Leap and HoloLens have really done a lot of the hard work for Apple, and this is a thing that they do a lot.
0:14:05 JB: Sure. Exactly.
0:14:06 JJ: Patrice predicted this a long time ago. She’s like, “What they like to do… ”
0:14:11 JB: Patrice shout-out.
0:14:11 JJ: Patrice shout-out, hey, Patrice. “What they like to do is let other people do a bunch of the hard work, and then they come in with their design methodologies and philosophies and then reinvent that space.”
0:14:21 JB: Yes.
0:14:22 JJ: So, okay, you’ve made the prediction. What do you think they reinvent the space with?
0:14:28 JB: I think they get as close as possible to…
0:14:32 JJ: To what Google Glass wanted to be?
0:14:33 JB: You know, I picture a pair of Buddy Holly’s, right?
0:14:36 JJ: Oh yeah, man. I could rock that look.
0:14:37 JB: You know, it’s a pair of Buddy Holly’s that are wirelessly tethered through 5G to a smart phone. So you have a… It’s a fat pipe of data going back and forth wirelessly, relatively lightweight. I don’t think Apple… I think Apple is great at industrial design, I don’t know…
0:14:54 JJ: Yes. They are, they are super good at it.
0:14:56 JB: I don’t know if they’re as great at style and fashion as maybe they think they are. I’m looking at the Apple Watch here. The Apple Watch is…
0:15:04 JJ: Hang on. I’m looking at the Apple AirPods. Those things are not stylish. I’m sorry, they’re not. You look ridiculous.
0:15:11 JB: So I’m just saying they’re definitely gonna… There will be some kind of tie-in with a…
0:15:17 JJ: Do you think they’re gonna Beats it up? Do you think they’re gonna reach out to other partners and try to get some sort of consensus on how to design something that’s fashionable for AR and VR?
0:15:25 JB: I would… So Warby…
0:15:26 JJ: That wouldn’t be a bad idea.
0:15:27 JB: Warby Parker is the company that sells glasses online, right?
0:15:32 JJ: I have no idea. You just dropped a name I’ve never heard.
0:15:33 JB: Yeah, I believe it’s Warby Parker and they have an AR try-on tool, I believe.
0:15:36 JJ: Nice.
0:15:39 JB: I see some kind of deal like that, where they team with one of these companies that already sells glasses online and they try to do it… They do it a little bit that way. And of course, through them, whatever. It’s really… When you look at Apple…
0:15:52 JJ: You know what? That makes a lot more sense… I’m sorry to jump in like that…
0:15:54 JB: No, go ahead.
0:15:55 JJ: But the idea that they would use 5G to tether their glasses to the phone is a big deal.
0:16:00 JB: Yes. The amount of information that’s gonna have to go back and forth to make it a good product…
0:16:04 JJ: Well, you and I know 3D models alone, even with us optimizing the crap out of them to deliver via the cloud, they’re still a little pokey when you don’t want ’em to be, and that’s not gonna work for end consumers trying to do stuff in AR. You’re not waiting for a load time, you’ve gotta walk to wherever you’re going.
0:16:21 JB: Right. And so Apple has… All of the companies now have developed their own AR file formats, there’s USDZ from Apple, and GLTF, I think, is Google.
0:16:29 JJ: Shout out to the dotBC.
0:16:31 JB: But so what those those are is reduced size AR files that can be used in any browser. So you can see the… I don’t feel like this is great.
0:16:42 JJ: It’s like a reality level of detail. That’s interesting, man.
0:16:45 JB: Yeah. I don’t feel like this is any real great… I’ll take the credit, but I don’t feel like this is any great prognostication. I think if you follow Apple, you can see all of these tea leaves are out there, all of their acquisitions, everybody knows they’re building this thing and we’re just sort of figuring what it looks like. And if you look at… Apple is in a position where they’re going to need some kind of super cycle upgrade for the iPhone or they’re gonna take a beating on Wall Street because already softness in demand for the iPhone is enough to panic investors and the whole thing.
0:17:14 JJ: Yeah, but fluctuations of 5% are normal for big guys like that; they don’t even feel that ’cause it’s not real.
0:17:20 JB: We don’t… After… As of now, we will never again know how many iPhones they sold because they have stopped sharing that information, because they were starting to sell less, and there was clearly a decline, and people are conscious of it. And you’re gonna see it in their revenue numbers coming forward. By the time we get to 2020… There’s another prediction. The press around Apple is gonna be they need a hit.
0:17:42 JJ: Hang on. Hang on. Hang on, chief. I need to make a prediction in counter to your prediction.
0:17:45 JB: You do?
0:17:46 JJ: So you talked about no Apple HMD in 2019. So I was talking about HMDs, AR smart glasses that a normal human being might actually wear and use will get developed near the end of 2019, and be commercially available, although no interesting software will exist for them. And a half decent standalone VR headset will also be released in 2019, but it won’t matter because you can’t see what you’re doing outside the HMD which will turn off users. Companies can make their workers use VR though, so HMDs will see a bump in training programs and stuff. It’s interesting how most of our predictions are sort of floating around and in counter to each other. I’m gonna defer to you on this one. I don’t pay enough attention to Apple to know what they’re doing, and I don’t know that you do either, necessarily. But I know that Huawei is definitely looking to develop smart glasses, probably in advance of Apple. I think everybody likes to release ahead of Apple.
0:18:40 JB: They do.
0:18:40 JJ: I think your Magic Leap antecedent… Is it antecedents? Yeah. Your Magic Leap antecedents will start popping up, and again, what software is there for them? ‘Cause even the stuff that Cook showed on Axios doesn’t really work in a headset; you don’t have any way to interact with that stuff. The killer app is still out there, and I maintain that it is some way to collaborate with other people in digital spaces, and I don’t see any push from anybody to make software that’s actually usable that way.
0:19:07 JB: I think that’s a very good prediction.
0:19:08 JJ: All right, all right. So one of my predictions for 2019, since gaming seems to be the primary way the general public is using virtual reality head-mounted displays, it does seem likely that the arcade might make a comeback as a new location-based entertainment since VR set-ups need space to work out, and there is a glut of retail space at malls that is just waiting to get used for something.
0:19:26 JB: Yes, 100%. I love this prediction. I think that there’s…
0:19:29 JJ: It’s a very me prediction.
0:19:30 JB: Yes, I think that somebody is gonna come up with a way to package that as a new brand.
0:19:35 JJ: Like a franchise that you can just deploy to any mall.
0:19:37 JB: Exactly. Yeah.
0:19:39 JJ: Yeah, we know there’s a couple of places, there’s one in, I think LA, and then there’s one in New York that have created these interesting location-based entertainments.
0:19:45 JB: Yes, yeah.
0:19:47 JJ: I imagine as the hardware gets better and the wireless stuff just gets more and more ubiquitous, that it’s just easier to set up… I don’t know, basically… You ever think about those escape rooms and stuff that have experienced a real growth in the last couple years?
0:20:00 JB: Yes.
0:20:00 JJ: The puzzle rooms or whatever? I think that it would be super interesting to be able to do that in a completely different environment and have way more control over everything.
0:20:08 JB: Yes.
0:20:09 JJ: You could create shooting simulators for the people who are into that, you could have puzzle games, you could do all kinds of crazy stuff, and really give people a reason to go out somewhere, and also be in a totally different world, and not… And isolate themselves from each other at the same time. It’s the movie theater all over again. You go to the movies, you’re around a bunch of people, but you don’t really interact with each other, you don’t.
0:20:31 JB: This is what we like as humans, we wanna know the other people who are there…
0:20:33 JJ: But we don’t wanna talk to them.
0:20:34 JB: But not actually interact. [chuckle]
0:20:35 JJ: All right, what do you got?
0:20:39 JB: Just to add to that, you’re 100% right about the idea of experiential entertainment. My wife, for my birthday, gave me two tickets to a smash room.
0:20:46 JJ: What is a smash room?
0:20:47 JB: You get 30 minutes to destroy everything in it.
0:20:48 JJ: Oh that’s interesting. What did you get to destroy?
0:20:50 JB: I haven’t gone yet.
0:20:51 JJ: What? Can I go?
0:20:52 JB: But everything in that room. I believe we’re going together. We’re gonna do some smashing.
0:20:57 JJ: Oh, man, that sounds fine.
0:20:57 JB: But the answer is, yes, if you’d like to, it’s in Lakeland or something. Okay. So…
0:21:02 JJ: Facebook tries to get into AR.
0:21:04 JB: Yes, yeah, that’s where I’m going.
0:21:05 JJ: Look at you, you didn’t make a little one, you’re like, “Let’s talk about Facebook.”
0:21:08 JB: Well, no, this one’s fun for me because I feel like it’s a confluence of a bunch of trends that are currently happening.
0:21:15 JJ: Well, tell me about it.
0:21:16 JB: And I may be a little early on this, but I really believe it is gonna happen.
0:21:19 JJ: Get it.
0:21:19 JB: Facebook is gonna try to get into a AR hardware, a la Snap, so kind of… What was… They were the spectacles, what…
0:21:27 JJ: Yeah, it was a failed…
0:21:28 JB: It was more of a marketing thing than anything else. But it was a… Snap is big into AR, and so Facebook is obviously big into AR, too. It will also fail miserably. And then the public rejection of the product and the social network in general, due to privacy concerns, is gonna lead to Mark Zuckerberg’s ouster as CEO by the end of the year.
0:21:47 JJ: Are you just doing wishful thinking right now?
0:21:48 JB: I don’t think that’s wishful thinking.
0:21:50 JJ: You don’t think so, you think he’s on the way out?
0:21:51 JB: I think that company is in a lot of trouble… Not to bring this all back to Apple every time, but I always look back to…
0:21:57 JJ: God, you’re so predictable.
0:21:58 JB: I look back to Jobs getting ousted from Apple at a certain point in his life where he had lessons that he needed to learn. He had made mistakes, and then because he was an incredibly intelligent and talented man, he was able to have a second act. I think Zuckerberg, and maybe to a lesser extent, Elon Musk, are at this same point where the company has grown to enormous size, there’s stakeholders, and there’s shareholders, and there’s a board of directors…
0:22:21 JJ: And there’s too much stuff going on.
0:22:22 JB: And there’s all this power, and the company… I know that amongst people I know, and there’s a general sentiment that I’m gonna state, and maybe it’s true maybe it’s not, but I definitely think it’s true…
0:22:31 JJ: Are you projecting?
0:22:32 JB: A little bit. People aren’t as entertained by Facebook as maybe they were a year or two ago.
0:22:39 JJ: That sounds about right.
0:22:40 JB: It feels like usage is declining. Nobody’s giving it up…
0:22:42 JJ: At least in the States.
0:22:43 JB: At least in the States. Nobody’s giving it up, but we’re spending a little less time, a little less time. And they’re gonna have to publicly do something to restore faith in that company. The real problem is that people don’t trust Facebook.
0:22:55 JJ: Do they not trust Mark Zuckerberg or do they not trust Facebook?
0:22:57 JB: It doesn’t matter, Facebook’s way of solving that…
0:23:00 JJ: I thought I could segue this for you.
0:23:00 JB: Is to eject the top person, the most public person involved with the company. And then…
0:23:06 JJ: I don’t think Facebook is like GM or Microsoft or anything like that. So the reality of the situation is their tool is not mandatory. You don’t need it to work.
0:23:16 JB: No. I don’t know that that’s true.
0:23:18 JJ: You don’t think that’s true? I’m getting along without Facebook just fine.
0:23:21 JB: I think if you’re under 30, that’s true. And if you are over 30, that may not be true.
0:23:26 JJ: You don’t think Friendster is gonna make a come back?
0:23:28 JB: I take… [chuckle] Guys, I take it all back, that’s my actual prediction. Friendster makes a comeback in 2019. No.
0:23:33 JJ: Fucking print that. Let’s do it.
0:23:35 JB: Yeah, yeah. Exactly. [laughter] All right, your turn.
0:23:39 JJ: All right. So I think in 2019, we are going to see the first case or cases of VR addiction, people literally addicted to virtual reality, spending as much time in headset as possible. The major drivers of this addiction, in my opinion, and it’s sad to say, dating simulators and VR travelogues, stuff that make it possible to escape your crappy life. I think it was John Carmack over at Oculus that said something like VR adoption won’t be a problem as long as life is still whatever life is, and as long as you can create something that people can escape from their life into, even if it’s not a full and complete experience for life, people are going to become… I think that people are going to become addicted to it.
0:24:22 JB: Yeah, I think when you see the stories about how VR is being used to treat anxiety or PTSD…
0:24:31 JJ: Yeah, so you picked a happier version of what I’m describing.
0:24:35 JB: Well, what you see is that VR is able to affect brain change, and I don’t mean this in…
0:24:40 JJ: Well, human beings are remarkably plastic.
0:24:42 JB: It’s probably not the same as the way like crystal meth affects brain change.
0:24:45 JJ: Oh, you’d be surprised, buddy.
0:24:46 JB: But there’s always gonna be some subset of humans who can get addicted to whatever it is. We’ve all seen…
0:24:53 JJ: Like eating dryer sheets.
0:24:54 JB: Yeah, what’s that…
0:24:55 JJ: My Strange Addiction.
0:24:56 JB: Yeah, My Strange… Whatever. So everybody’s aware of that. This will…
0:25:00 JJ: The lady that kept eating her husband?
0:25:01 JB: Yeah.
0:25:01 JJ: Her cremated husband’s remains. That’s weird, man.
0:25:05 JB: This one woman was eating foam, and I was like, “How?”
0:25:06 JJ: Pillow foam, yeah, yeah, pillow foam.
0:25:07 JB: Yeah, right. She’d eaten 100 pounds of it or whatever.
0:25:10 JJ: So suffice to say VR can make the cut.
0:25:13 JB: Yes, VR is a thing that people do, [chuckle] they could become addicted to it. So it’s not… Chemicals are not necessary for this to occur. And I think your point is dead on, as an escape.
0:25:26 JJ: Well, let me tell you a story about VR gaming real quick.
0:25:29 JB: Okay.
0:25:30 JJ: So I was reading Polygon, and there was a story… I think I was reading Polygon. Anyway, there was a story about how weird gender issues are popping up in Japanese VR dating sims.
0:25:41 JB: Okay. [chuckle]
0:25:42 JJ: Yes, that’s right, I read very strange stories and I like to talk about them from time to time. The author posited that the reason that those games are so warped and twisted is because a certain subset of… Sorry, guys, young men who are not necessarily socially acclimated…
0:26:03 JB: Say it ain’t so.
0:26:03 JJ: Say it ain’t so… Are the primary users of that particular style of game. And I say users on purpose here because it is not about having a relationship with a normal human being, it’s about having a relationship with your idea, whatever you think your ideal romantic or sexual partner might be…
0:26:22 JB: We’re still so judgy, you know?
0:26:23 JJ: I’m trying not to be.
0:26:24 JB: I know you’re not, and I know that you have no intention, and that’s sort of my point, it’s like…
0:26:30 JJ: But I could see how those guys… They get called incels or whatever on Reddit or whatever, but they could definitely end up stuck in that place because you don’t have to challenge your preconceptions about what other people want, are, or do, and it’s real, real easy to get sucked into an easy life.
0:26:46 JB: Yes, and you can pre-program all your predilections in that… You will get the experience that you desire and that’s gonna be pretty powerful.
0:26:53 JJ: Yeah. For good and for evil. I don’t wanna say good or evil, for the benefit of humanity or the detriment.
0:27:00 JB: Yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
0:27:01 JJ: All right, well, what do you got? What do you got for a prediction?
0:27:02 JB: So my next one, I love this prediction, I really hope this one comes true, by the way.
0:27:05 JJ: I’m in, let’s do it.
0:27:06 JB: Live VR broadcasts are gonna be a thing.
0:27:09 JJ: Aren’t they already a thing?
0:27:10 JB: So the first one is appar… I was looking this up right before this. The first one is apparently gonna be some kind of European musical concert, and it’s gonna be a week from now.
0:27:19 JJ: Snoozer. Sorry, everybody who’s into European music.
0:27:24 JB: Yes, it’s a thing. Right now, for the most part, VR content is always “tape delayed,” you watch a basketball game after it happened or whatever.
0:27:33 JJ: It’s bandwidth.
0:27:33 JB: Exactly.
0:27:34 JJ: Yeah.
0:27:34 JB: But so by the end of the year, 5G is gonna start to become more prevalent, there’ll be devices, etcetera. You will start to see live VR broadcasts with the Lakers, the LA Lakers, basketball, playing the Golden State Warriors live in VR on Christmas Day 2019.
0:27:49 JJ: Wait. You’re predicting that?
0:27:50 JB: I’m predicting that.
0:27:51 JJ: Holy crap.
0:27:51 JB: And I’m predicting that millions will tune in to watch LeBron duke it out with Steph on the new Oculus Quest HMD that they just unwrapped that morning.
0:27:58 JJ: So this is a terrible prediction. [laughter] Hang on, hang on, this is a terrible prediction of something that should happen.
0:28:05 JB: Yes.
0:28:07 JJ: The idea that all of these tech companies that are trying to push their head-mounted displays have not actually considered the timing and the audience. The fact that they haven’t done that is a real detriment to the industry in general. And I think you should probably get a promotion.
0:28:21 JB: Yeah. Hey, if the NBA wants to call me, I have lots of programming ideas.
0:28:26 JJ: Shower you in ideas.
0:28:27 JB: That’s right. It does…
0:28:28 JJ: It’s great, it’s a great idea that will never happen.
0:28:32 JB: Well, or next year it will happen.
0:28:33 JJ: I love you to death, man, it’s never gonna happen, all right? [laughter] It’s not possible.
0:28:37 JB: Why is it not? It’s totally possible.
0:28:39 JJ: So here’s the thing. There’s this fundamental disconnect between tech companies and understanding that content is more important than what they make.
0:28:47 JB: True.
0:28:48 JJ: Sorry, sorry guys. The content is the reason that people use your crap. YouTube doesn’t matter… Unless all of the multitudinous beautiful pieces of humanity come together and make a tapestry of human content, [chuckle] YouTube doesn’t do anything otherwise. It’s true.
0:29:04 JB: Right. But so I think the reason that I think this is more…
0:29:06 JJ: Yada yada yada, the platform enables it, yeah, yeah, yeah.
0:29:08 JB: No, no, no, no, no, I think the reason that this is… I feel like this is more possible than maybe you do is that I kind of think of the Golden State Warriors as a tech company that’s pretending to be a basketball team.
0:29:17 JJ: That’s… Okay. Are we unpacking that right now?
0:29:20 JB: No. We don’t…
0:29:20 JJ: You’re gonna have to ’cause it’s insane.
0:29:22 JB: Let me put it a different way. That’s how they fancy themselves.
0:29:24 JJ: Oh, is that right?
0:29:25 JB: I think so. The Oracle Arena is the most wired arena in the league, and they were the first… There already are VR broadcasts of the Warriors, and it’s obviously the Silicon Valley basketball team so it wants to be forward-looking.
0:29:39 JJ: Yeah, I can see that.
0:29:39 JB: And these things… Sports broadcasting is too valuable, and they have to find ways to keep people engaged and showing up, right?
0:29:50 JJ: Sure, it’s kind of like retail, yeah, I get it.
0:29:53 JB: And again, both sports and music concerts, I have long felt, front row seat. You got a front row seat.
0:30:01 JJ: Okay, so there was this big thing when the “wireless” was developed; radio broadcasts of boxing matches and stuff like that. And people were like, “How are you gonna convince somebody to spend five bits to listen to something?” And then it went…
0:30:17 JB: Yes.
0:30:20 JJ: And then pay-per-view in the ’90s, was it the ’90s that pay-per-view became a thing?
0:30:22 JB: Oh, god, no, no, the late ’70s and ’80s, yeah.
0:30:25 JJ: Late ’70s was pay-per-view?
0:30:27 JB: HBO launches in the mid-’70s.
0:30:31 JJ: Okay.
0:30:31 JB: And by the early ’80s…
0:30:32 JJ: I’m just thinking of WrestleMania. Was WrestleMania ’80s?
0:30:34 JB: Yeah, ’84 is the peak of WrestleMania.
0:30:37 JJ: Sorry, I’m not quite old enough to…
0:30:39 JB: I think of when I was a kid, Mike Tyson boxing matches were always pay-per-view, and stuff like that.
0:30:43 JJ: Yeah, those were all pay-per-view. So pay-per-view is a thing, and they were trying to figure out how to price it effectively. What do you think a VR court-side seat goes for? That’s real ’cause it’s not the same as being there, but it is almost as good. And then is it the same price? What is the price that will be supported, and why will people go to games at some point?
0:31:04 JB: I think that whatever the price of a ticket is…
0:31:07 JJ: We’re literally having the same discussion right now that they will have.
0:31:11 JB: It’ll be… Undercut that price by 20% or something like that.
0:31:14 JJ: Oh, I can’t afford those tickets.
0:31:15 JB: But lots of people will be able to, and it’s the same as…
0:31:19 JJ: Oh, you know what, early adopters, early adopters of headsets can probably afford those prices.
0:31:23 JB: They can. And over time it will drop, because everything drops over time or whatever.
0:31:26 JJ: Yeah, to scale or whatever.
0:31:27 JB: But if you have a basketball arena, and you can sell 20,000 seats for the game, but then you can sell another million seats online…
0:31:33 JJ: Another million seats, yeah.
0:31:34 JB: At half the price, it’s a nice little upgrade to your revenue.
0:31:39 JJ: A little jingle.
0:31:39 JB: I feel like there’s too much money, too many people interested. And yes, I’m probably out on a limb too early. But that’s gonna happen.
0:31:44 JJ: I don’t know, I think it’s possible now, I just think they’re not doing it.
0:31:47 JB: Yeah.
0:31:48 JJ: Yeah. All right, well, is that all of our predictions?
0:31:50 JB: That’s all of our predictions.
0:31:51 JJ: All right, well, let’s do some predictions… Do we wanna do the predictions for our co-workers who can’t be with us anymore? That sounds dark. [chuckle]
0:31:58 JB: We’re gonna be… [chuckle] That does sound dark. Everyone is still alive.
0:32:00 JJ: Do we wanna do them in the second segment, or do we wanna do them right now?
0:32:03 JB: Let’s… We’ll save that for the second segment.
0:32:05 JJ: Okay.
0:32:11 JB: [0:32:11] ____ Turn it up.
0:32:12 JJ: I can’t hear myself on the monitor.
0:32:14 JB: More snare.
0:32:16 JJ: So sitting down with us is PhD Ken Moser, who’s been on the show a couple of times before. How you doing, Ken?
0:32:22 Ken Moser: I am well, gentlemen. Good to see you [chuckle] in person.
0:32:25 JB: You’re like the In Reality version of Steve Martin hosting Saturday Night Live.
0:32:29 JJ: Oh my god, that’s excellent…
0:32:30 JB: Or Paul Simon, the person who just kept coming on over and over.
0:32:32 JJ: Is that a cultural reference you understand, Ken?
0:32:34 KM: I think this may be a three-peat for me.
0:32:36 JJ: Oh, wow. Maybe four.
0:32:39 JB: Maybe four.
0:32:39 KM: Should we quadri-peat? [chuckle]
0:32:41 JJ: Do we count the one where he did all the predictions and we just picked it apart?
0:32:44 JB: That counts as two.
0:32:45 JJ: Okay.
0:32:46 KM: I wouldn’t count that at all. [chuckle]
0:32:47 JJ: So what are your predictions for 2019, Ken?
0:32:49 KM: I would like to focus on two predictions, hardware-related.
0:32:52 JJ: Are you gonna do ’em one at a time, or are you gonna do ’em both?
0:32:54 KM: I will say them both, and then if you would like me to elaborate on them, I will elaborate.
0:33:00 JJ: Yeah, let’s chat.
0:33:00 JB: Fantastic.
0:33:00 KM: First is that Oculus will either cease to exist as a Facebook-owned company, as in Facebook will pawn it off, split it off, or sell it.
0:33:13 JJ: That’s less dire than the first version of this prediction that I heard. [chuckle]
0:33:18 KM: Or they will just disappear as a tax write-off, possibly…
0:33:22 JJ: Wow.
0:33:23 KM: Into obscurity.
0:33:23 JJ: Okay, so what’s your second prediction?
0:33:25 KM: Is that Apple will in unveil something a little more concrete around their… I’m gonna call it AR hardware, but probably also VR hardware.
0:33:35 JJ: Okay.
0:33:35 KM: Their AR… Their headset hardware.
0:33:36 JJ: Oh, you think they’re gonna do a mixed headset?
0:33:39 KM: Their headset hardware.
0:33:40 JJ: Ooh, that dovetails nicely with what I thought the future looked like. So I said that the real magic, the real secret sauce…
0:33:46 KM: A Magic Leap? [chuckle]
0:33:47 JJ: Yes, a Magic Leap that is not bullshit. So the real secret sauce is what I said to Joe Bardi, I said it’s a mixed reality headset that can do VR, and has forward-facing cameras that allow you to do AR at the same time.
0:34:00 KM: I also agree with that.
0:34:00 JJ: Oh, snap.
0:34:02 KM: I think he’d be foolish not to do that.
0:34:03 JJ: Yeah.
0:34:04 JB: Yes.
0:34:04 JJ: Tell me why it would be foolish. I wanna know why an actual smart person thinks that.
0:34:08 KM: Well, naturally I think when you wear your headset… Whether you call it AR or MR or VR, whatever letters you attach to it…
0:34:14 JJ: Semantics…
0:34:15 KM: I think when people put on a headset I think it just… In the year 2019 we’re entering, it makes logical sense you’d have cameras on that. And then of course, obviously, ’cause you have cameras we can…
0:34:27 JJ: View something.
0:34:28 KM: Exactly. Technological marvels of superimposed… Superposition, stitching, all the various 2D effects you can do on camera.
0:34:35 JJ: I love hearing Ken say, “Technological marvels.” Can you say it again, Ken?
0:34:39 KM: It again, Ken.
0:34:40 JJ: It again. [chuckle] Oh, my god.
0:34:43 JB: What a ham.
0:34:44 JJ: The system you are describing also solves one of the single biggest complaints about VR which is, “I’m in a cave, and I can’t see what’s going on outside.”
0:34:52 KM: Especially things being untethered now, just safety reasons, I think it would be nice to be able to see what’s in front of you.
0:34:58 JJ: Yeah, you’re really concerned with safety. I like that about you.
0:35:01 JB: And so now, I wanna pick your brain about the Oculus thing because I also made an Oculus prediction, which was that the Oculus Quest would be a runaway…
0:35:08 JJ: Is gonna go big.
0:35:09 JB: Would be successful, and then on Christmas morning of next year…
0:35:12 KM: Of next year?
0:35:13 JB: Of 2019, millions…
0:35:14 JJ: Everybody who’s listening…
0:35:15 JB: Millions of people will open an Oculus Quest under their tree, and then watch the Golden State Warriors play the LA Lakers in VR live that afternoon.
0:35:24 JJ: Ken has never looked more dubious, by the way. His face…
0:35:26 KM: I don’t think anyone will do the second part of that. [chuckle]
0:35:31 JB: But you think millions will open it, though? [chuckle]
0:35:35 JJ: He doesn’t think millions will open it.
0:35:37 KM: On that day?
0:35:39 JB: We can disagree.
0:35:39 KM: I don’t think it will be on that particular day. I doubt a million would be opened total in its entire lifecycle.
0:35:46 JJ: Damn.
0:35:47 JB: Wow. All right.
0:35:48 JJ: Wow…
0:35:48 JB: So you are… So you do not feel that the Go and the Quest are the answer for Oculus?
0:35:55 KM: I am not a big… Nothing against Oculus other than that they’re awful and terrible. [chuckle]
0:35:58 JJ: Wow.
0:36:00 KM: I’m not a big fan of self-contained VR devices.
0:36:05 JB: Oh, interesting.
0:36:06 JJ: Unpack that for us, man.
0:36:08 KM: So, as you are aware, their latest offering…
0:36:12 JB: Yes.
0:36:14 JJ: That’s a word for it.
0:36:14 KM: Is a self-contained… It is wireless, in the sense that it’s not tethered to anything.
0:36:19 JJ: Is this the Oculus Go?
0:36:21 KM: This is the Go, yes, they just released.
0:36:23 JJ: Okay.
0:36:23 KM: It of course… I want to say it came with controllers?
0:36:28 JB: It did, yeah. It’s got one button. It’s not much of a controller, but it does have a controller.
0:36:32 KM: Yes. I don’t think they… Do you know if they’re six-degree tracked or are they just…
0:36:37 JJ: They are not. They’re next one will be.
0:36:39 KM: Okay, okay.
0:36:40 JJ: There we go, now Ken has confirmed what you were talking about.
0:36:43 KM: Even if the controls were six-degree tracked, when you have a self-contained device, that device either has to run on an operating system that is already… It has to run on Android, and obviously does not run on iOS ’cause Apple would not allow it. So it either runs on Android or it is worthless.
0:37:01 JJ: Man, Ken makes an excellent point about those devices not connecting to Apple’s ecosystem being a killer. And I hadn’t really actually thought about that, but it dovetails with the things that you like to say about Apple being important. So there you go, Joe.
0:37:14 JB: There you go, yeah.
0:37:16 JJ: There ya go.
0:37:18 KM: And honestly, once you know they’re tracking, you’re wireless tracking, I would say given in today’s ecosystem, as Joe J likes to say, it is…
0:37:28 JJ: I do. It’s all connected, man.
0:37:31 KM: It’s basically free to you because ARCore is available, ARKit is is available. You don’t have to do any of your own anymore, any companies out there listening, research…
0:37:41 JJ: Yeah, you can just develop…
0:37:42 KM: Yes, research into your own tracking, just use those if you’re gonna make your own standalone headset. Just put an Android phone in there that supports ARCore, and it tracks for you, literally.
0:37:53 JJ: So, here’s an opportunity for you to educate me. So, ARKit and ARCore… I don’t see a lot of discussion about ARCore from industry types or marketing stuff.
0:38:03 KM: Not as prominent, no.
0:38:04 JJ: Is it feature… Is it feature [0:38:08] ____?
0:38:08 KM: Identical in every way.
0:38:08 JJ: Is it identical in every way to ARKit?
0:38:10 KM: Just device support is really the only main thing.
0:38:14 JJ: Is that because the Android…
0:38:14 KM: But as time goes on, you know that’s gonna be more or less irrelevant.
0:38:16 JJ: Yeah, is that because the Android landscape is just so fractured?
0:38:19 KM: Basically, yes. I think it’s becoming now… ARCore I’m sure has helped this, but also the Pixel phone really I think is basically the main thing.
0:38:26 JJ: Yeah.
0:38:26 KM: It’s just starting to converge more or less.
0:38:28 JJ: Okay, that’s interesting.
0:38:30 KM: In terms… Oops, sorry, I hit the microphone for the folks at home. In terms of standard, like baseline hardware.
0:38:38 JJ: So, here’s an additional prediction…
0:38:39 KM: You still have your other crappy, like T-Mobile phones and your low-end phones that don’t do anything, they’re just phones. They can run stuff… They’re not gonna run ARCore but…
0:38:47 JJ: Ken, you made three predictions today. You just predicted that Google will care less and less about the lower-end of their Android user base.
0:38:54 KM: I feel very confident about that.
0:38:55 JJ: Yeah, and they will be pushing for a more Apple style premium development setup.
0:39:01 S?: It’s so odd to think they would move away from the area where there isn’t any profit at all for them to focus on the area where Apple makes 103% of the profit. [chuckle]
0:39:10 KM: Yes.
0:39:10 JJ: So does that represent basically a maturation of Google as a company in general? So when they started or whatever, the “Do no evil” crap and all that…
0:39:20 KM: I think they have since retired that slogan.
0:39:22 JJ: Yeah, it’s done, yeah.
0:39:23 JB: Be moderately evil. [chuckle]
0:39:25 JJ: I don’t wanna say that they were like…
0:39:26 KM: It’s a matter of opinion.
0:39:28 JJ: Grungy tech hippies to start, but to a certain extent, they were, and the idea that that’s gonna go away probably comes along with a lot of Apple style business maneuvering.
0:39:36 KM: I would like to briefly mention since you kind of have hinted at it…
0:39:40 JJ: I love hinting.
0:39:41 KM: The profit model on the mobile space for Google and Apple, especially with one of the predictions that I made. I didn’t mention it yet, but another prediction is the WebAR support for mobile phones. I suspect Google Chrome will probably be the first of that, only because, from a money-making standpoint, at the Play Store, Google probably does not make as much money off of their app store as Apple does, but Google makes me a lot of money if you use their browser and do other things where you’re getting information.
0:40:14 JJ: That’s true, yeah. They’re pumping out that ad information, yeah.
0:40:15 KM: So, it’s much more profitable for them for you to use their browser than it would be to use an app on their device.
0:40:22 JJ: God, I love having Ken on the show.
0:40:24 KM: Whereas with Apple, they make a lot more money on their app store than if you use their browser.
0:40:28 JJ: Yeah. I mean Safari doesn’t…
0:40:30 JB: Well, I mean just from the apps, developer is paid for it to put an app up there. It’s a paid service for a developer. And then you’d probably pay for the app…
0:40:36 JJ: So, the interesting thing about what you’re talking about is we literally just had a conversation about Tim Cook talking about Google’s search being pre-eminent on iPhones, and how much money they actually pay Apple to make that the case. I think it’ll be an interesting case where these two companies develop together basically simultaneously for the rest of their existence.
0:40:55 JB: It’s gonna be hard because they are competing so much, right?
0:41:00 JJ: No, no, no, but they’re also cooperating.
0:41:01 KM: I would say they compete less these days. Google, with the Pixel phone, is kind of getting into the hardware space, and obviously they have competing mobile operating systems, obviously.
0:41:09 JJ: Right. Sure.
0:41:09 KM: But otherwise, I think Google has to make… They make a Chromebook or whatever, but it’s nothing that can compete with a Mac.
0:41:15 JJ: Yeah, yeah.
0:41:15 KM: I would say Microsoft still is probably Apple’s biggest competitor.
0:41:18 JB: Interesting. And even they have… Office is on the Mac and whatever.
0:41:22 KM: Oh yes!
0:41:23 JB: I mean… Yes.
0:41:24 JJ: Alright, well thank you so much for sitting down with us, Ken…
0:41:26 KM: Thank you, JJs.
0:41:28 JJ: For educating the dirty plebeians that you work with. I appreciate it.
0:41:33 KM: I hope all of your predictions come true.
0:41:35 JB: Wow, not all of them. [chuckle]
0:41:36 JJ: I do too.
0:41:37 JB: Wait, you told me before you sat down that you had an additional prediction. Do you wanna go into it now?
0:41:42 KM: I always predict global annihilation.
0:41:45 S?: That’s… [laughter]
0:41:45 JJ: Are you a prepper Ken?
0:41:46 KM: I am…
0:41:47 JJ: Do you have a basement full of canned goods?
0:41:49 KM: I have recently, just as a side story, I won’t tell now…
0:41:55 KM: Become aware of a YouTube culture…
0:42:01 JJ: Phenomenon?
0:42:01 KM: Yes, with… I’m not a big fan of abbreviations or acronyms, but it is…
0:42:06 JJ: Lay it on me, man.
0:42:07 KM: It is S-H-T-F.
0:42:10 JJ: S-H-T-F. Okay, unpack it for us.
0:42:12 KM: For global annihilation, if you kind of interpret those letters, it involves the SHTF.
0:42:17 JJ: Oh I understand it!
0:42:19 KM: The fan, yes.
0:42:19 JJ: I understand it.
0:42:19 KM: It involves a spinning bladed object and various things hitting it.
0:42:24 JJ: I’m glad you guys could unpack that for me…
0:42:25 KM: I’ve become aware of this. Apparently it is growing in popularity.
0:42:28 JJ: They pantomimed it to me. Yeah.
0:42:30 KM: I’m not one of those people though.
0:42:31 JJ: Are we going back to the ’50s and people are gonna start building bunkers in their backyard and stuff?
0:42:34 JB: They keep getting bigger and bigger fans.
0:42:36 JJ: Nice. [laughter]
0:42:36 KM: I think so.
0:42:38 JJ: Well, thank you Ken.
0:42:38 KM: Thank you, gentlemen.
0:42:39 JJ: Have a good day, sir.
0:42:40 KM: Happy New Year.
0:42:40 JJ: Send somebody else in.
0:42:47 JJ: So sitting down with us is Vince Kilian, whose title I can never remember because he and I have worked together for so long. I just know him as my man Vince.
0:42:54 JB: Yeah. [chuckle]
0:42:55 Joe Kilian: Yes, I am title-less.
0:42:57 JK: I lead our product development team, and I also am a technical project manager for our enterprise accounts.
0:43:02 JJ: He sounds so much more important than I do. I love it.
0:43:04 JB: That’s because he is.
0:43:05 JJ: I know. He really is.
0:43:06 JK: But I’m not named Joe, so…
0:43:07 JB: That’s true. That…
0:43:08 JK: I feel like I’m outnumbered.
0:43:09 JB: We do have that over you.
0:43:11 JJ: Do you wanna be an honorary today?
0:43:12 JK: Yes, I’d like to be an honorary Joe Kilian.
0:43:14 JJ: This is Joe Kilian.
0:43:16 JK: Yeah.
0:43:17 JJ: I might deliver it that way. That might be fun.
0:43:18 JB: It’s pretty good.
0:43:19 JK: So my bold prediction. So to make it bold, you can’t say what everybody else is commonly gonna say. Of course, the Christmas season is gonna bring out a whole new onslaught of VR headsets and AR hardware to people.
0:43:30 JJ: Yeah.
0:43:31 JK: The adoption is growing and we’re seeing a lot of the e-commerce adoption is growing as well and folks that previously were not getting into the space are now clawing into the space or making big splash into the space. I would say a bold prediction would be that the top 10 retailers in all verticals will have some form of AR or VR support in-store in the next 12 months.
0:43:55 JJ: That’s interesting. That is… There are at least a couple that do already.
0:43:58 JK: Those that don’t will be looking at those that do with sad puppy dog eyes and wondering where all their revenue and profit is going…
0:44:05 JJ: Yeah.
0:44:06 JK: And it will be going to their competitors.
0:44:07 JJ: Tears of self-torture ’cause they didn’t get on the bus.
0:44:12 JK: Yeah.
0:44:12 JB: And do you see it affecting specific categories of products? I know we obviously furniture is a big focus for us…
0:44:17 JJ: Yeah, big [0:44:17] ____ for this one.
0:44:19 JB: But, so what other products across these top 10 retailers do you think they’re gonna be modeling into VR?
0:44:25 JJ: You’re on the spot now, buddy. What verticals are we talking about?
0:44:27 JB: Follow-up questions. I know we didn’t tell you…
0:44:28 JK: Sure. I’ll go out in left field and talk about one that we don’t work with often which would be grocery.
0:44:33 JJ: Oh, that’s interesting, man.
0:44:35 JK: I believe the same thing, Joe, as you said that folks would be watching sports games in VR on Christmas Day or doing these kinds of things. I think you will see people who will be virtually shopping store aisles and buying things from their couch, but they still want that tangible, “see it before I buy it” kind of experience.
0:44:51 S?: Oh wow!
0:44:53 JJ: Man, so, yeah, the buying produce or meat or whatever, so much of it is tied to the experiential part of it. Like, how would that work? How would you design that?
0:45:02 JK: I would design it just like you’d design it in the physical world. I would, of course, look to a user experience that would take out the things that make shopping really painful. I personally don’t like grocery shopping. I don’t know a whole lot of people that do like grocery shopping.
0:45:14 JJ: I’m a weirdo that does. Yeah.
0:45:15 JK: But I think one of the things that they could benefit from in that is the instant reorganization of the storefront and the aisles and the products and where they’re placed, that is a planogram and merchandising effort that has to be reset in the stores.
0:45:28 JJ: This is amazing. As you are describing it, I am literally imagining what you’re talking…
0:45:30 JK: Yeah.
0:45:31 JJ: It is a genius idea that you can just flip through the entirety of the store and you can do the VR experience. Oh my God! Shopping that way would be amazing.
0:45:38 JK: Yeah, and one of the things that I don’t like about grocery shopping is that the stores are so massive, so you have to… And even track the path that users go through stores. And they try to put certain products in certain places where there’s high traffic.
0:45:50 JJ: Manipulate you, yeah.
0:45:50 JK: I think that you could get to this kind of, akin to the matrix, this endless aisle concept where rather than me parsing through a big VR physical space in store, I could pre-load that configurable store, let’s call it, with my preferences and brands that I like and don’t like, and then could walk down one or two aisles that include everything I want.
0:46:12 JJ: Wow, yeah. We literally have never thought about this as a thing for grocery. So are you anticipating like a live feed from their produce section? So if somebody wants to get in close or something to check out specific items or is it just… ‘Cause this is obviously the sort of thing where somebody shops for you or picks an order, like you send an order and then somebody picks your stuff?
0:46:32 JK: Yeah, I could even see it in both cases. I could see you sight unseen buying things from VR in a rendered context. I could see you then saying, “Hey, show me the real-life context so I can see the exact brands and the exact box that I’m buying.” And some products, you need to kind of physically inspect the product, I think produce and things like that. You don’t just wanna take someone’s word for it, that that 3D banana will come ripe and be ready, right? [chuckle] But in that same context, it could be assisted shopping where I’m in VR, I’m in the aisle, but a physical person is at that store in the aisle, picking the products, and I tell them, “No, not that one, this one,” that kinda stuff.
0:47:08 JB: Almost like they were like in a body cam that’s showing the…
0:47:10 JJ: Gargoyles, baby.
0:47:11 JB: I don’t know if you remember, when we were both at NRF in ’16, there was a booth behind us and over that had an early sort of version like of groceries… The thing that I remember about it was it looked cartoony, it was still very much a… Whatever. But I like you’ve added to that idea, and the idea of…
0:47:30 JJ: Now I can see why you have a much more important job than I do.
0:47:32 JB: Yes, that’s right. [laughter] But it certainly seems possible.
0:47:37 JJ: Yeah. That’s a great prediction Vince, Joe? Joe Kilian?
0:47:41 JK: Joe Kilian, yes.
0:47:41 JJ: Joe Kilian.
0:47:42 JK: Credit that idea to Joe Kilian, if it’s…
0:47:43 JJ: That’s right. [laughter]
0:47:45 JK: If it turns out to be right, Vince said it. If not, Joe Kilian. That’s how it works.
0:47:49 JJ: Yeah, Joe Kilian. That scumbag said…
0:47:50 JK: It’s my alias for terrible ideas that were generated by free pizza.
0:47:53 JB: Free pizza and pressure from two Joes staring at you, going “Tell us something.”
0:47:57 JJ: Tell us something we don’t know.
0:47:58 JK: Yeah, so I think that would be my bold prediction, if I’m looking for more… ‘Cause that may or may not happen or could happen 10 years from now. And it’s largely around the adoption of it. If customers enjoy it, it could take off like Uber or Door Dash, where people prefer to shop that way, and it could be enhancing an already existing consumer base that use those services. To your point about things looking cartoony, yes, realism is key and that’s one of the things that drives high consideration purchase, but I don’t believe that folks wouldn’t buy things if they weren’t hyper-realistic, because people are already buying things off of 2D images, and in some cases, the image and the product don’t even… They’re not even matches and people are still keeping those products and not returning them.
0:48:41 JJ: Yeah. I’ve got something for you here. So I shop Instacart from time to time. It’s a miserable experience. It’s like Publix’s internal delivery system. It doesn’t really matter because I don’t get to pick my produce, I don’t get to pick [0:48:52] ____ meat or whatever. The real value of it is convenience. And honestly, if I could shop my local Publix’s layout… You were talking about not enjoying layout. I do enjoy going up and down the aisles and remembering where things are and picking them out that way. Anyway, when I shop on Instacart, often the shopper gets the thing wrong, they end up giving me the wrong thing, but I know exactly where it is in that Publix. So if I could go and be like, “It’s right here”…
0:49:16 JK: Yeah, that’s right.
0:49:16 JJ: I would love to be able to do that for them.
0:49:18 JK: Yeah and you could even plant waypoints, if you’re in the virtual environment and you know, “Hey, there’s a couple versions of this product, but please pick the one on shelf three in the back corner in aisle 12″…
0:49:27 JJ: Oh man it’s next level stuff.
0:49:28 JK: You could flag those notes and allow them to do that. And of course, you might not always get it right, you might have returns, but the things with VR and AR is to reduce that return rate and to increase that basket size. So I think that…
0:49:42 JJ: You are on message, bro. I love it.
0:49:44 JK: Hey, when… I think when folks look to making their life easier, those products that disrupt the industry most effectively are those that take the current experience and just make it easier. The real money ideas come from taking something that everyone complains about, but just puts up with and just make it better. And I think that VR and AR can help with that. And I think the other movement, you’ll see is that this is a really powerful technology for folks with disabilities. This is for folks who don’t have the mobility or are sick or immobile, can then have these life experiences like sitting and watching a basketball court from court side.
0:50:21 JJ: Yes. I gotta tell you another one of my predictions. We talked about VR addiction. I think in 2019, you’ll see your first legitimate case of actual virtual reality addiction, and he makes a point. There’s a lot of things that are good and bad about VR and the good thing is that it can let you get out of your space, and the other bad thing is it can let you get out of your space.
0:50:42 JB: Yeah.
0:50:42 JJ: Yeah.
0:50:43 JB: Well, all things that help can also be abused usually, isn’t that like how that works?
0:50:47 JK: Yeah, and one of the things is like some folks are more introverted, they don’t like the social crowds, they don’t like to be in those places, but it doesn’t mean they don’t wanna visit these places or experience some of these things. So for me, I would much rather watch a basketball or football game from a preferred seat in the comfort of my home, where I can pause it, I can go grab a drink, I don’t have to beat the crowds, I don’t have to wait in a three-hour Uber or Lyft line afterwards to get out of the sea of chaos, and I still get almost the same fidelity, and in some cases, better. You don’t get the real experience where you’re breathing in the snow on the cold days.
0:51:21 JJ: Sure. Yeah, but on the plus side, if…
0:51:22 JB: You don’t get the real experience that you’re breathing in the snow, that’s the plus side. [chuckle]
0:51:25 JJ: I was gonna say, you don’t get the real experience of somebody coming up into the stands and punching you in the face.
0:51:29 JB: There’s that too.
0:51:29 JK: Right. And I mentioned…
0:51:30 JB: I can’t remember that dude’s name, I’m pretty sure… Ron Artest.
0:51:31 JJ: Ron Artest. It happens rarely.
0:51:33 JK: Yeah, and I mentioned the snow, because up here in Winterfell, for you…
0:51:36 JJ: Yeah, that’s right. That would be Dayton, Ohio, for everybody who doesn’t know.
0:51:38 JB: If you lived out in King’s Landing, it’s much warmer.
0:51:40 JK: Yeah, so that’s one of the things that you know… Football is one of those sports that as the weather gets colder, it becomes harder, and the teams that practice in the sun, they say it’s not a big deal…
0:51:49 JJ: It’s a big deal.
0:51:51 JK: But they come up here and they get blown out in the sub-zero temperatures. And I think that that’s something that stadium owners and sports team owners and vendors would look forward to, as a way for them to capitalize on folks who are not making the trip to the stadium, but still would buy merchandise.
0:52:08 JJ: Green Bay Packers, right? Green Bay Packers, buddy.
0:52:10 JK: Right, right. And the reason I mention the snow is because two years ago I went to Lambeau and watched the Bears play the Packers in the front row. My buddy had…
0:52:18 JJ: Were you dying?
0:52:18 JK: Season tickets. No, it was amazing because the whole experience that I wanted was Lambeau in the snow, Bears, Packers.
0:52:23 JJ: Right, that was the Tundra.
0:52:27 JK: That’s the Ice Bowl 101 type stuff that I wanted that experience, but you ask my dad or my mom and they’re gonna say, “Oh, have fun with that. [chuckle] Enjoy the zero degree weather there in Wisconsin.”
0:52:39 JJ: Alright man, well thank you so much for sitting down with us. That was all great.
0:52:43 JB: Yes.
0:52:45 JJ: So, sitting down with us right now is John [0:52:47] ____. John, what do you do here?
0:52:48 John: I’m a software engineer primarily leading our web team.
0:52:51 JJ: Nice. That’s kind of an important thing, WebAR coming up, WebVR stuff.
0:52:54 John: It’s coming. It’s a little scary. [chuckle]
0:52:58 JJ: What is your big prediction or not big prediction for 2019?
0:53:01 John: 2019. It’s probably just going to be that the things that are already here become more and more available. The technologies already exist, they’re just being slowly adopted especially by the browsers, by people that actually bother to update their browsers so they can actually use it. Right now, I don’t think it’s really hit that critical point for some of the WebVR, WebAR, where there’s enough people using it that companies think it’s worthwhile.
0:53:28 JJ: So, you’re predicting slow but steady adoption for both AR and VR this year?
0:53:33 John: Yeah. I think you’ll see one company try and get on the WebAR or WebVR train.
0:53:38 JJ: Do you know who that would be? Who’s the company?
0:53:40 John: I don’t.
0:53:41 JB: You mentioned browser-based AR, and my conception of AR up until now has always been sort of app-based. It’s, you download an app that does AR. But that’s definitely a big change that’s sort of coming and it’s gonna affect a lot of things. So, sort of explain what that is and how it’s different than app AR that we’ve seen up ’til now.
0:53:56 John: Yeah, and I think the big thing is you don’t have to download anything, it’s just there.
0:54:01 JJ: God bless, God bless ’em.
0:54:02 John: And that’s the big… That’ll end… I think that’ll be the big game changer, is you don’t have to tell consumers to download anything. They can just go to your website and they’re there.
0:54:10 JJ: That is a pretty good prediction. I had not even remotely considered that WebAR or WebVR was gonna be a big deal.
0:54:18 John: Yeah. And it’s already supported, technically supported by all of the major browsers and…
0:54:22 JJ: Really?
0:54:23 John: Yeah, even Edge.
0:54:24 JJ: I thought it was…
0:54:25 JB: Even Edge.
0:54:25 JJ: No, no, no, hang on, hang on. I thought only Chrome had real good native support for this sort of thing.
0:54:31 John: Well, it depends how you define good. [chuckle]
0:54:32 JJ: Okay. Well lay it out for me, why… In what way do they all support this currently?
0:54:37 John: So, there’s a WebVR standard that mostly Chrome came up with and standardized, and the browsers started rolling it out, and that is technically supported by all the browsers. Then Chrome came back and said, “Let’s take another stab at this,” and they introduced Web XR, which is the second rendition of the standard…
0:55:00 JJ: Extended reality?
0:55:00 John: Yeah. Well, it also includes AR, along with better VR support.
0:55:06 JJ: Sure. Let’s just make new names all the time, I love it. I’m not as dialed in to all this stuff as the software guys up here in Dayton are, obviously. What do you see as the actual application for WebAR or VR? What do you think is its current best application?
0:55:20 John: Commerce is definitely a huge thing. You just think about e-commerce in general, people just wanna go to the web and buy stuff from home easily. And so, we’ve kind of started doing that a little bit here, but obviously, it being three-dimensional and a headset in the web is the next big step ’cause you don’t have to download an app or you don’t have to… And as phone technology improves, I think you’ll see more headsets that are driven by…
0:55:47 JJ: Tethered devices, yeah. Big prediction, your big prediction is that AR and VR slowly gathers more and more adoption until somebody makes a decent usable WebAR or WebVR application, and then it starts to pick up much faster. Is that basically what you’re saying?
0:56:04 John: Yeah, it think that’s reasonable.
0:56:04 JJ: I think that sounds good. And will it be Amazon? That’s the real question.
0:56:08 John: Yeah, I think Wayfair is probably working on it, just from how quickly they are to adopt AR and VR technology. But Amazon just has money to throw at everything.
0:56:18 JJ: Money to burn forever and ever, yeah. Alright, well thank you so much, John, for sitting down with us.
0:56:21 John: Yeah. Thank you.
0:56:22 JB: Thank you.
0:56:22 JJ: I’m gonna give you a high… A crisp high five. There, they heard it on the…
0:56:28 JB: Yeah.
0:56:30 JJ: Yeah. So we’re sitting down with Ryan Roche who’s the UX Lead here at Marxent. How you doing, Ryan?
0:56:34 Ryan Roche: Pretty good. Yourself?
0:56:36 JJ: Been better, been worse. No, I feel great.
0:56:38 JJ: So we’re sitting down, we’re doing predictions. Do you have a big one or a small one? What are you doing? Or do you have several?
0:56:43 RR: Mine are gonna be more probably towards the design area realm.
0:56:48 JJ: Okay. Good, expertise. Yeah. SMEs.
0:56:51 RR: I don’t know much when it comes to predicting trends, or outside of my realm.
0:56:55 JJ: It’s okay, I don’t either. We just did a terrible job predicting tons of them so we’ve got that covered. We’ve got you covered on that front.
0:57:00 RR: I will tell you though, I follow the design approaches to VR and AR UX and how to follow best practices for designing for that and what people are doing.
0:57:14 JJ: We’ve established that he knows about it than me. Let’s do it.
0:57:16 JB: I can’t wait to hear what he’s about to say. I mean, do you wanna jump in, man? You wanna do the big one first?
0:57:21 RR: My biggest prediction…
0:57:22 JJ: Oh, that’s right.
0:57:22 RR: Is that there’s gonna be more guidelines and best practices for interface design for VR.
0:57:29 JJ: Okay, so for people like you, they’re gonna be a lot, there’s gonna be a lot more structure coming up.
0:57:32 RR: Yes.
0:57:33 JJ: And so what is that… Unpack that a little bit.
0:57:36 RR: So currently, if you go into any kind of virtual reality application, or even use PlayStation VR or anything that’s coming out on Facebook, you’ll notice that even those different applications have different looks and feels, and best practices and as users…
0:57:54 JJ: So it’s the Wild West right now?
0:57:55 RR: It’s the Wild West right now.
0:57:57 JJ: Okay. So you see standardization starting to come?
0:58:00 RR: Yeah. Exactly.
0:58:01 JJ: Gotcha.
0:58:02 RR: There’s more focus on it. Now that more people are using the tools, you need to start focusing on making it easier for consumers to use.
0:58:09 JB: And will this also lead to then more standardized experiences across platforms?
0:58:14 JJ: Well, I mean if you think about… So let’s just use sports again as an analogy ’cause we’ve been doing that all day. If you think about the broadcast difference between say Fox and CBS when it comes to a football game, there’s very little difference actually in how they present stuff.
0:58:25 RR: Exactly. Yeah. Right.
0:58:26 JJ: And they’re definitely looking at the other person and saying, how are you helping people experience the thing they’re trying to get to? So that makes sense. Yeah. I like that.
0:58:33 RR: Yeah. Yeah, I’m all for the sports analogies too.
0:58:36 JJ: Okay. You’re gonna love this show when you hear it then. Yeah. [laughter] He made this crazy ass prediction that somebody would be opening an Oculus Quest on Christmas day.
0:58:44 JB: Christmas day, and then they’re gonna watch the Lakers play the Golden State Warriors in VR.
0:58:47 JJ: Yeah, you’re insane. It’s not gonna happen.
0:58:48 JB: I kinda hope that does happen someday.
0:58:51 JJ: I cannot wait to watch it one year from two weeks from now.
0:58:54 JB: So the UI, UX standardization practices. That seems like a strong prediction. What else do you got?
0:59:00 RR: My list of notes basically had that, plus designers actually creating more of the experiences and prototyping them, so…
0:59:09 JJ: Oh, interesting.
0:59:10 RR: So right now, designers’ workflows are very set much into the ’90s, 2000s and you wire frame, you prototype, you… But you know that process and it’s all done on the computer. Actually getting designers’ hands into building the experiences, designers jumping into Unity or…
0:59:29 JJ: So you’re saying less of developers creating the user experience?
0:59:33 RR: They’ll be always the one to do the end result.
0:59:35 JJ: Yeah, of course.
0:59:37 RR: But…
0:59:37 JJ: Better prototyping tools for you guys.
0:59:39 RR: Yep. Even on… Instead of having to jump into the end tools like Unity to develop those prototypes, a lot of the companies are coming out with more VR tools to help designers create VR experiences. So…
0:59:55 JJ: Do you have any in particular that you know about? ’cause we can link them in the show notes.
1:00:00 RR: The biggest ones are gonna be InVision and…
1:00:04 JJ: Wait. InVision has VR design tools now?
1:00:06 RR: They’re getting there.
1:00:07 JJ: What?
1:00:07 RR: It’s coming from a designer that works with VR, InVision’s always kind of like, they help you with transitions for animations.
1:00:16 JJ: Sure, yeah.
1:00:16 RR: So it’s more like a presentation, but they’re getting there and then more companies like Figma and the tool we use, Origami, actually has some ways to export to VR.
1:00:27 JJ: Oh my God, that’s amazing.
1:00:28 RR: Yeah. It’s very cool.
1:00:29 JJ: I need to come up here and talk to everybody more often. Well, thanks for sitting down with us, Ryan.
1:00:34 RR: Absolutely.
1:00:34 JJ: Yes. Alright, man.
1:00:34 RR: Thank you. Cool.
1:00:34 JJ: Alright, man. Let’s do one of these.
1:00:39 JJ: So we’re sitting down with Jeff Cowgill, whose title eludes me at the moment. Who are you, Jeff?
1:00:43 Jeff Cowgill: I’m the Director of Software Development.
1:00:45 JJ: So what is your bold/not bold, whatever, prediction for 2019?
1:00:51 JC: AR, VR, right? That’s what we’re…
1:00:53 JJ: Whatever you want. It can… So, Ken predicted the end of civilization. Not even a joke.
1:00:58 JB: And the end of Oculus…
1:01:00 JC: He does that every year.
1:01:00 JB: He did, one of each… Yes, yes, he does. It’s a standard.
1:01:02 JJ: So what do you got?
1:01:04 JC: Microsoft HoloLens 2 was coming out in 2019.
1:01:06 JJ: Hey, that lines up…
1:01:07 JC: And people are gonna freak out cause it’s gonna be really good.
1:01:09 JJ: Really? Do you have one or something?
1:01:11 JC: I might…
1:01:13 JC: Enterprise is gonna be the future in 2019 for AR.
1:01:16 JJ: Oh, that’s a good prediction.
1:01:17 JC: And probably VR.
1:01:19 JJ: Why?
1:01:20 JC: Because that’s who’s spending the money and buying the headsets, and…
1:01:24 JJ: That’s a good answer.
1:01:25 JC: HoloLens, they’re marketing right now, all enterprise.
1:01:29 JJ: Yeah, they’re real heavy into that.
1:01:30 JC: And they’re getting big, big contracts on the old hardware.
1:01:33 JJ: So, what applications are they developing for these things that are so good for enterprise?
1:01:38 JC: Right now what we’re seeing, particularly in the AR with HoloLens, and Magic Leap is trying to compete there as well, is, really the ability to overlay AR on top of mechanics for repair or onsite visits. They can bring up the diagrams, they can bring in a person remotely…
1:01:55 JJ: So literally create visibility into systems that you could not normally see into and get some sort of information that way? Is that what you’re talking about?
1:02:02 JC: Yeah.
1:02:02 JJ: Visual instruction manual…
1:02:04 JB: Wow.
1:02:04 JJ: Where you’re actually looking at the thing…
1:02:04 JB: Operations manual.
1:02:05 JJ: Pointing. Trouble-shooting… Yeah.
1:02:07 JC: Mechanics, they can bring up, how does the part come apart, see how it works…
1:02:11 JJ: Man.
1:02:12 JC: Order parts that they need right there on the screen, have another mechanic remote in, that’s, I think the military is looking at it. That’s the big contract Microsoft just won.
1:02:20 JJ: That seems like a big deal.
1:02:22 JB: It does, doesn’t it?
1:02:24 JC: And so, obviously Pokemon Go has some AR credibility, but…
1:02:29 JJ: It’s got some chops.
1:02:30 JC: I’m gonna predict that the future is the enterprise and that kind of stuff for 2019.
1:02:34 JJ: That’s a good idea, yeah.
1:02:36 JC: And that’s gonna drive the business probably for the next few years.
1:02:39 JJ: Man.
1:02:40 JC: Luckily…
1:02:40 JJ: That’s a big one.
1:02:41 JC: I happen to work at a company that focuses on AR/VR, and enterprise. I have the urge to predict the possible collapse of Magic Leap, to be a negative for the…
1:02:52 JJ: Woah, alright. So now we’re gonna throw some shade. Let’s talk about it.
1:02:54 JC: But they have so much money that they probably can buy their way out of it, for the next year.
1:02:58 JB: Okay.
1:02:58 JJ: So, why do you, why do you predict that they are going to fail?
1:03:01 JC: Their product is not as good as the HoloLens or is as good.
1:03:04 JJ: So, it’s interesting, we got to screw around with one yesterday.
1:03:08 JB: Yes.
1:03:08 JJ: And I’ve used a HoloLens before. I didn’t really use the Magic Leap because it wasn’t working when I put it on.
1:03:14 JB: I did for two minutes.
1:03:14 JJ: Why is it so much better? Oh sorry, let me rephrase. Why is the HoloLens so much better, John?
1:03:20 JC: I don’t think it’s so much better, as much as it’s as good, right?
1:03:24 JJ: Yeah.
1:03:24 JC: And it’s two years old.
1:03:27 JJ: Oh, it just developed longer.
1:03:29 JC: And they’ve got a base, they’re ahead, they’re first to market. And the Magic Leap had all these promises of the future being…
1:03:36 JJ: Yeah, they really did. There were some pie in the sky stuff happening there.
1:03:38 JC: Yeah.
1:03:39 JB: Yeah.
1:03:39 JC: And then they didn’t deliver.
1:03:40 JJ: Shout out to Weta.
1:03:40 JB: Yes.
1:03:40 JC: So, the question is, are there, is there… What’s their burn rate, is gonna be my question for 2019.
1:03:46 JJ: Oh wow. Prediction for 2019, Magic Leap’s burn rate sucks.
1:03:51 JC: Yeah.
1:03:51 JB: Oh, yeah, exactly, whatever it is, it’s too high.
1:03:52 JJ: If you’ve seen their media presentations you know their burn rate is real high, cause they’ve spent a lot of money on that stuff.
1:03:57 JC: Probably our entire marketing budget.
1:03:58 JJ: Thanks, Jeff.
1:04:00 JC: Alright, thanks.
1:04:00 JJ: Have a good one, man.
1:04:00 JB: Thank you.
1:04:04 JJ: We’re sitting down with John ‘Skip’ Petty, and old friend of mine. John, what do you do here, man?
1:04:08 John ‘Skip’ Petty: The triple name… I am what you would call a Technical Artist.
1:04:11 JJ: So, John ‘Skip’ Petty. I always like to do the three name with him.
1:04:15 JP: The trio-name.
1:04:16 JJ: So John ‘Skip’ Petty, what is your big bold prediction for 2019?
1:04:20 JP: I’m gonna go ahead and say the continuing trend of VR not being adopted into any kind of major game.
1:04:27 JJ: My man, my man…
1:04:29 JP: I don’t see it happening.
1:04:31 JJ: So, what he said right there, for everybody who talked over, and that would be me, is that VR will not be adopted into gaming, major AAA gaming. Is that what you said?
1:04:39 JP: Yeah, it’s not gonna happen. I think there’s a lot of tech advancement in GPUs, especially with NVIDIA dropping the RTX 20 series. I think that’s awesome, but there’s very clear lines of direction that don’t at all indicate VR, it’s going to be a thing. It’s just, we want visuals. We want more computing power for visuals and things like that.
1:05:05 JB: How much is the success of the PS VR sort of causing that, because if you’re gonna develop a game…
1:05:11 JJ: In VR…
1:05:11 JB: You probably wanna go… A VR game, right… You probably wanna go to what is the major platform for VR games, whereas it seems to me like all the rest of the hardware, the Vive and the Rift, and then the smaller ones, are sort of split between actual enterprise uses or just sort of content consumption and that’s it.
1:05:28 JP: Yeah, so the PlayStation VR is kind of an interesting thing and I don’t own one myself, but for me, I feel like it’s a footprint problem. So…
1:05:38 JJ: You’re gonna wanna unpack what footprint problem means, sorry.
1:05:40 JP: Yeah, yeah/ What I mean is, if you have an HTC Vive you need the little sensors up in the corners…
1:05:49 JJ: Sure, sure.
1:05:51 JP: They have a cordless version now, so that’s made it a little bit better, but the peripherals involved in those things are just cumbersome. PlayStation VR kind of condensed that, which was nice, and I…
1:06:01 JJ: How did they manage to condense it?
1:06:04 JP: ‘Cause, I’m pretty sure it’s just the headset, and then you have controllers. That’s literally…
1:06:07 JB: They eliminated the ability to move around.
1:06:10 JJ: Oh, that’s interesting.
1:06:11 JB: It does not track your position.
1:06:12 JJ: Okay.
1:06:13 JB: It will track head position, but it doesn’t track where you are in the room.
1:06:16 JP: Yeah, I mean it’s got…
1:06:17 JJ: I guess I need to try it.
1:06:18 JP: It’s got the inertial unit.
1:06:21 JJ: Accelerometer, yeah.
1:06:21 JB: Yes.
1:06:22 JP: To govern head, or your, you know…
1:06:24 JJ: For everybody who can’t see John ‘Skip’ Petty right now, he’s bobbling his head. It’s great.
1:06:29 JP: Yeah, I got a little bobble-head action going on, nothing wrong with that. Yeah, so I think that they have found a nice medium in terms of limiting the user experience in the right ways to still make it playable and usable and still not be cumbersome and even overly expensive.
1:06:50 JJ: Sorry. So I actually made a prediction already, that with the death of retail as a physicalized location, as Amazon takes all of their lunch money, that all of that wasted mall space may eventually end up becoming an experiential VR experience. That the arcade might come back to the mall because it needs more space to spread out, and that’s perfect for that sort of thing.
1:07:15 S?: That would be rad.
1:07:18 JJ: I figured the other gamer on this show would probably care about that one.
1:07:21 JB: Oh yeah, no, that’d be really cool. I’d enjoy that, yeah, I would go.
1:07:26 JJ: Yeah, absolutely. Alright John, well, thanks for sitting down with us, man.
1:07:28 JP: Hey, glad to be here. Thanks for having me.
1:07:29 JJ: Do you have anything you wanna plug for yourself, chief?
1:07:31 JP: Oh no, I can’t do that here.
1:07:33 JJ: You can’t plug your personal Twitch channel?
1:07:35 JP: Oh well, if you wanna stop by skippybananas on Tuesdays…
1:07:38 JJ: There you go.
1:07:38 S?: Twitch.tv/skippybananas.
1:07:41 JP: Tuesdays through Thursdays 10:30 PM.
1:07:45 JJ: Alright. Thanks, Skip.
1:07:45 JB: Right on.
1:07:45 JP: Thanks so much, man.
1:07:46 JJ: Have a good one, buddy.
1:07:50 JJ: You know what my personal wish for 2019 is?
1:07:54 JB: What is your… I’m gonna go with world peace. Except for Australia.
1:08:00 JJ: Oh, that’s harsh.
1:08:00 JB: Hey.
1:08:01 JJ: That seems unreal.
1:08:02 JB: They gotta stop being down under.
1:08:04 JJ: No, mine’s pretty simple. I want a virtual reality sailing simulation where I can learn how to do anything so that I don’t make an ass out of myself the first time that I go sailing with somebody.
1:08:15 JB: You think that it will teach you how to tie like the sheepshank and do this…
1:08:18 JJ: The sheepshank?
1:08:20 JB: Everything I know about sailing comes from Jaws.
1:08:21 JJ: The windlass or whatever?
1:08:22 JB: Just so you know, and there was no sail boats.
1:08:24 JJ: I don’t know things. Somebody told me what a spinnaker was the other day. And it’s the big sail at the front that provides all the power. Yeah, so there’s a fun little note.
1:08:31 JB: Actually, I’ll take that back. It’s Jaws and One Crazy Summer which ends in a regatta.
1:08:35 JJ: Wow. Technically it goes back to our conversation about VR training being a thing. But I want specifically VR recreational training.
1:08:40 JB: Just like the…
1:08:41 JJ: Recreational training…
1:08:43 JB: I’m just laughing at the phrase “recreational training.”
1:08:46 JJ: Hey buddy.
1:08:47 JB: It’s like…
1:08:48 JJ: I’m pretty sure VR…
1:08:49 JB: I wanna have some fun, and in only six lessons, you too can learn about recreation.
1:08:54 JJ: But that’s it, man. Virtual sailing.
1:08:56 JB: Alright.
1:08:56 JJ: Alright, man.
1:08:57 JB: Good luck.
1:08:57 JJ: Alright.
Welcome to the In Reality podcast, where we cover all things Augmented & Virtual Reality. The In Reality Podcast is… continue reading
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