VIRTUAL REALITY: Getting Used to Mixed Reality

Virtual reality is still missing its killer app, though VRChat is showing some real potential with 3 million downloads and 7,000 daily users. The app is an open environment where users can render both their world and their avatars. Think about a rudimentary version of Ready Player One that looks like Second Life. The app has had success for three reasons: (1) user generated content and thus endless variety, (2) the ability to use it even without VR on a regular desktop computer, and (3) video streaming of the app on popular video site Twitch, with nearly as many people watching the the virtual world as are actually in it. 

  Source:  Steam / RoadtoVR

VR games are essentially behavioral training for augmented reality commerce. If users build and value objects and experiences in a virtual world, users will value them when overlaid on the physical world. Think about how video games from the 1980s and 90s became the blueprint for gamified mobile interfaces in the 2010s (see Mary Meeker's thesis on this here, pp 103-155). And we already see this happening. One sign is the planned entry of Magic Leap into retail. Another sign is fashion brand Chanel investing into tech company Farfetch (which had already raised $400 million from Asian fintech JD.com). Chanel is explicitly not interested in distributing through mass online retail, but are moving towards creating highly personalized augmented reality shopping experiences. 

Weaving together some crypto projects in the space can also help us see ahead. AR glasses manufacturer Lucyd has partnered with Gaze Coin, so that interactions with objects rendered in AR can be monetized. Similarly, there's a partnership with gaming network Gizer and algorithmic advertiser Advir.co. Combined with a rights-management overlay like Bubbled, you get a coherent integration of services that replicate digital advertising and commerce infrastructure in the physical world. Because in reality, we search for things not by typing or speaking, but by looking.

  Source: Lucyd

Source: Lucyd