Why are so many people and companies failing to see real value from Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality? Almost everyone is failing to provide real and lasting value with Augmented Reality and/or with Virtual Reality. There is so much false hope being built up right now, it’s insane. Will we live to see this technology find deep roots in our lifetime? To answer that: It’s up to you.
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
Many projects in Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are not surviving long enough to see the light of day. Most non-AR/VR companies who are creating Augmented and Virtual Reality content are doing so with large doses of fear and hesitation. They are limiting team headcount, budgets, time allotments, and hardware acquisition. Why is this? I’m going to show you where the gap is and how we can fill it with high-value content. There are two primary targets here: first is, high-yield one-off applications. Second is high-value dynamic applications.
Fear and Hesitation
Nearly every large business is made up of increasingly smaller hierarchical groups nested within each other. From the top down view, they might resemble a fractal pattern of nested baskets with some form of leadership being at every level.
There are a variety of ways I am seeing emerging tech find life in enterprise right now. Some groups within a company’s hierarchy are flying under the radar when they create AR/VR solutions for the challenges they want to solve. They might be afraid that their manager or department head may disapprove of the effort or they may be afraid of something else entirely that I haven’t captured yet. Maybe they are just scared to admit that they are badass and that they take initiative beneficial to the company, when others, even those above them, will not.
Other groups within the company may be open about what they are creating and telling everyone about their work. In the strongest cases for Augmented and Virtual Reality adoption is being initiated by people in the director, vice president role, or even the president’s seat for that business unit.
I am interested to know if there is any activity coming from the C-suite yet. Many times, C-level execs are interested in stability and proven processes to keep the business running efficiently and to protect shareholders interests. There are some exceptions to that but I’m willing to bet new emerging technologies such as AR and VR are considered too much of a risk from that level within the organization.
Here is the gap. People in some roles are viewing emerging technology as necessary, bold, and as a highly valuable move to secure the companies future competitive advantage. While others in higher roles, such as c-level or greater, are viewing AR/VR as a risk to the company’s future stability. They might be waiting to see where the tech goes first before making moves, which is totally reasonable. I’m not saying “all people” for any of the roles I’m mentioning because I’m sure there is a good portion of c-level execs who are excited to harness the value of emerging tech. On the flip-side, there’s no doubt that some people in other non-c-level seats are concerned about the value and future of Augmented and Virtual Reality as a whole thus they are not pursuing it’s implementation.
The fear, doubt, and hesitation on either end though are resulting in low buy-in, small budgets, limited team headcount, and limited room to grow for many projects and teams. As I stated in my previous episode, “How I Started an Augmented and Virtual Reality group at Tesla”, I stated that one of my colleagues, one of Tesla’s Senior Council, said that he believed AR and VR competence was a must have for the company. It was a requirement for us as a company to become highly competent with Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality and to spend the money now. His reasoning is that he has seen companies spend millions of dollars to become competent in a given technology instead of just hundreds of thousands of dollars if they got started earlier on when the tech was new. There are countless other stories of companies dying off due to their lack of competence in a new technology such as Kodak, Blockbuster, Circuit City, and Borders Books. Hell, even Wal-Mart is beginning to scratch at the walls of e-commerce because they are near the tipping point of having their asses kicked by Amazon. Now, it isn’t technology alone that is taking companies off the map, according to Rahul Varshneya, a guest writer for entrepreneur.com, it is not new technology that kills companies. Rather, it is oblivious leadership refusing to adapt. It is they who are wielding the ax to their own demise.
Where is the risk? Where is the value? How do you mitigate risk and greatly increase value? I’ll tell you here. As I mentioned previously there are two ways to almost accidentally gain maximum value from Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. First is high-yield one-off applications, second is high-value dynamic applications.
Almost all AR/VR applications I see coming about are single use, low hanging fruit, one-off applications. Low hanging fruit is cool and all if you are either looking to learn the technology or waste time and money. There is a way to maximize value though from one-offs. A one-off application is like a website where nothing can change. It’s static. Things can move around, be interacted with, and even make you feel incredible in the moment. The novelty wears off quick though along with the application’s value. Instead of an asset it’s almost like you’re creating a liability. You put people on a project, they spend time and money to build it and it is high-value upfront in the beginning. Eventually, the excitement wanes and the value depreciates. It’s a liability. Before long, it is just another app that no one uses. The value you got from it may have just been a feeling you had or a touchpoint with a potential future client… cool.
If you’re going to have a one-off, let’s make it highly impactful and reusable. The biggest bang for your buck is to affect human lives – in a physical sense. Anytime you can place an individual into a life-threatening situation while in Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality without them being physically harmed the value of your application shoots through the roof. If you are following this principle and can increase the value by 10 fold you should certainly do it. What if you could place a person into a situation that they very likely could face at some point in the future and teach them how to stay safe and even how to stay alive? That’s huge fucking value. Especially for an application you just build once. It’s reusable and the value only deprecates if you haven’t updated the content to meet current safety requirements. If you’re doing one-off solutions, this is where you should be thinking, save a life.
HIGH-VALUE DYNAMIC APPLICATIONS
These are applications that can save inputs, possibly have user accounts to access certain parts of the application, and reflect the information that a given user has input. These applications do not need a developer to go in and change anything aside from feature support, and bug fixes after the application is built. Think of these similar to web-based applications like Google Drive, Canva, Trello, Mailchimp, Quickbooks online, LinkedIn, and Slack. Two of the best Spatial applications I’ve seen yet that represents the idea I’m talking about well are Tilt Brush and Rec Room. They are both dynamic applications and give people the ability to have persistent data across sessions. They both can change over time based on user interaction as well. That’s the target.
WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED
Now that you know how to create real and lasting value using Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, what will you do next? Will you build a high-yield one-off? Maybe a high-value dynamic application? How about a combination of the two? Save lives by creating a platform application. Stop your fears. Stop hesitating. Just as Dan Peña says, “Once you become fearless, life becomes limitless”. Quit playing the game to not lose and start playing to win. Get focused, create value. No regrets.
If you’re ready – start with my free training.