Shared / Social Reality – doesn’t matter if the context is VR or AR

This kinda stuff keeps me up at night – how do you make sure that there is mass adoption of the technology – let people experience it together. With the Oculus it’s easy to imagine Facebook Connect getting added to the portal to enable any Oculus user to connect with their friends. The HTC Vive has SteamVR and Sony has its PSN – what’d be truly phenomenal is cross-connectivity for a shared experience in VR regardless of the exact hardware owned.

I understand how anybody without controllers enabling them to have HANDS inside Virtual Reality would automatically be crippled which is why I can’t wait for the Oculus Touch to start shipping. In the meantime having watched an episode of Will Smith’s Foo Show recorded with the HTC Vive I am feeling incredibly excited about the idea of hanging out with my friends in virtually (haha, I’ll be here all night folks…) ANY setting and being able to pick up any object and hand it over to my friend, talk about it, just have fun.

On the Augmented Reality side of things I don’t know what Magic Leap has but I’m truly hopeful that despite Microsoft Hololens and Meta being developed in different ways they can have some common reality – it would seriously help both headsets grow their user base respectively and I’m most hopeful they’d avoid the fitness tracker scenario where a Fitbit, a Jawbone Up and a Nike Fuelband all track steps but can’t talk to each other. Let them all have their competitive advantages but allow for a connection, a least common denominator, if you will.

Is there a use case in which you’d need/want a shared reality between AR and VR users? Sure, why not? Let’s say there’s a meeting happening in a physical location but there is AR visual aid (the focus of the meeting could be medicine, physics, aerodynamics, economics, you name it) and there are a few people who want to truly feel like they are right there with the rest of the users in the physical spot with the shared AR – but they don’t have teleportation – rather than try to mirror the setting somewhat via AR similar to what Microsoft Hololens showed up most recently the remote user could enter full-on VR mode and find themselves in a true replica of the physical space the AR users are in… next best thing to teleportation (until we finally figure out how to do that too).

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