The Great Migration into Virtualisation
By Mic Mann, Co-CEO of SingularityU South Africa, Director Mann Made
In late 2019, when you were sitting at your dinner table surrounded by family and friends – whether you were celebrating Chanukah or Christmas – you didn’t imagine that by mid-March office blocks would become somewhat temporarily obsolete and that you’d be working full-time from home. None of us did.
No one imagined that physical conferences and events would be cancelled, that social gatherings would soon become distant memories, and that we would all have to adapt to using various online platforms and services, or be unable to work at all.
This is our reality and the pace of change we’re seeing around the world.
It’s just another of the many new existential threats that face humanity. Our ability to adapt needs to increase – and rapidly. It’s become a case of if your business or the services you offer don’t go online, your business is going to become outdated. This was already happening, just at a much slower pace. It’s not even a matter of choice anymore. If you want to survive, you have to migrate online.
Since the lockdown, Mann Made has been working double time (remotely, of course) to help local and international companies bridge this digitisation and virtualisation divide by offering immersive V-Hive virtual reality meetings, events and product showrooms through life-like avatars. Let us show you a demo of how V-Hive can help transform your business into an exponential organisation, much like our operations at SingularityU South Africa, which are driven by the latest exponential technologies.
Because when we come out on the other side of this global COVID-19 lockdown, things are never going to be the same. And yet, there are going to be so many new opportunities, such as virtual reality (VR) and online events, VR meeting spaces, press conferences, showrooms and trade expos.
The possibilities are endless, especially as people realise that many jobs and industries are well suited to remote working. They, too, will witness how the digitised work-from-home revolution is having a positive impact on their immediate and greater environment. Naturally, this will come with its own challenges, but we’ll surely come up with solutions to those too. And most of the time it’s simply a matter of mindset.
As virtual reality and augmented reality (AR) technologies mature and adoption increases, these exponential technologies are going to have the same – or an even bigger – impact on society than the internet once had.
Just as the manner in which we once communicated has changed from landline telephones to satellite phones and smartphones, and from 56 Kbps dial-up internet to high-speed fibre, so the space of VR and AR is exponentially evolving in terms of its technologies and everyday applications, all while developing a new world of spatial computing that’s going to change everything.
VR and AR are augmenting our world, creating value for businesses and consumers, while allowing communication to become more lifelike and immersive. While some may have first experienced VR and AR at The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida as early as 1998, today these technologies are being adopted by industries as varied as education, gaming and entertainment, travel, healthcare, real estate and mining, among others.
In the near future certain industries, such as ecommerce, will become predominantly VR-driven by allowing customers to get a realistic look of their purchases before they checkout. Soon enough, you’ll put on a VR headset or use your smart phone to experience 3D digital stores that will give you a sense of spatial perception and physicality within a VR environment. You’ll be able to shop using your avatar, with the help of virtual shop assistants and have your goods delivered in the real world.
With more than 171-million VR users around the world, the global VR and AR market is expected to grow to $209.2-billion by 2022, according to Statisa. And as these technologies mature, so the cost will decrease — even faster than Moore’s Law.
Today, medical students can learn complicated procedures in VR with no adverse consequences; pilots and soldiers can train in safe environments; potential buyers can “walk through” commercial spaces; chief executives can meet with their global teams in a virtual space or conduct a conference in VR; and holidaymakers can choose destinations and resorts based on a virtual trip.
In 2012, Oculus Rift’s Kickstarter programme was a sign of the times to come, especially as VR headsets were further developed on the back of the gaming industry. The crowdfunding campaign exceeded its $250 000 target within a day and made $2.4 million once completed. Oculus was acquired by Facebook in March 2014 for $3 billion and was the first billion-dollar company to emerge from the crowdfunding platform.
The latest $400 wireless Oculus Quest is $200 cheaper than its original prototype and doesn’t need to be connected to a $1000 computer that requires massive computing power. It’s also part of Mark Zuckerberg’s aim to get one billion people to use VR — Facebook is currently beta testing Spaces, its VR app.
Many of the world’s largest tech companies are playing in the VR space with Google’s Cardboard and Daydream, HTC’s Vive, Samsung’s Gear and Playstation’s VR, while more affordable headsets include the Pansonite 3D VR Headset, Topmaxions 3D VR Glasses and the Gearstone G1 VR Headset. Another company to watch is Magic Leap, which, after years of development, released its first headset, the Magic Leap One, in August last year.
A great migration into virtual worlds is taking place at warp speed. Now is the time for you to explore and discover the opportunities and potential that lie ahead. If you need a friend or someone to help you along this journey, give us a ring or pop us a line and we’ll transport you into other worlds, using V-Hive.