The year was called XR. They all seem to be. The strong presences from Meta, Magic Leap, Sony andHTC led the way at this year's Consumer Electronics Show. I was impressed by a few demos, but left wondering what a true mainstreaming of augmented and virtual reality might look like.
There is something warm and welcoming about the technology that makes it feel like you are at home in Las Vegas. The show floor will slip away if you wear a headset. Most of the people who try these technologies get it, but there are too many barriers to overcome to get these products on most people's faces.
It's still expensive to use good virtual reality. There is not much content. Both of these factors are moving in the right direction, but there is a question of whether they are doing so at a fast enough clip to hit a critical mass in this iteration of the perennial hype cycle.
The approach is still in its early stages. Despite years of hearing otherwise, true mainstream adoption is still a long way off. The focus should be on a core audience.
The Vive XR Elite was the center of attention for the company. It is too expensive to see it as a breakthrough for the industry, even though it is a few hundred dollars less expensive than Meta's Quest Pro.
According to the company's Senior Director, Global Head of Product, "gamers and just people who want a good headset that is comfortable."
It might be unfair to set a bar for success at an XR headset in every home. Leap Motion is a good indicator of this. The company pivoted into enterprise, even more so. There is a lot of money to be made selling products to businesses.
Some impressive gains have been made by the company. The headset was comfortable and engaging, even though I didn't spend a lot of time in it. It is a piece of the puzzle that has been overlooked. It is odd to overlook a piece of hardware that is designed to sit on your face for a long period of time.
The image is of a phone.
Ye compares potential buyers to people who have been waiting a long time for a pro version of the Nintendo console.
People still want a switch pro. They don't want something portable but they do want something better. Currently, mobile virtual reality is similar to that. It isn't a good upgrade. The people who want a good experience are stuck with products that are not good.
The main talking point related to mainstream adoption is price. The market for low-cost virtual reality solutions has been around for a long time. The argument can be made that these things did more harm than good They did a good job getting some version of virtual reality into a lot of hands, but when that experience isn't a good one, it's easy to see people writing off paying a lot more money for virtual reality in the future.
Ye thinks that one day there will be a cheaper headset. We're focused on how we can drive the market to make it better, to be more inclusive, to have better experiences.
One thing is for certain, and that is that the company is committed to virtual reality. The company focuses on Vive hardware and related software/metaverse technologies as its phone business has slowed down. The company is dependent on its ability to push forward. It can be difficult to be all in on a technology while still being pragmatic about its growth.
Many in the industry are looking forward to Apple's validation. The hope is that the company will enter the category with guns blazing and the buzz will raise all boats.
Ye thinks that Apple isn't a social media company. Cheap headsets are being made by the giants that are trying to disrupt. What is the cost of your data? We don't use social media. Our business model doesn't rely on advertising revenue so it's not something we're doing Good hardware is something we want to build.