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Google and Facebook doubled down on VR – but will blockchain be the launchpad for VR adoption?

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Google and Facebook doubled down on VR - but will blockchain be the launchpad for VR adoption?

Virtual reality [VR] has attracted significant investment from technology companies over the past few years. Google Ventures, the capital investment arm of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has previously invested over $500 million in VR company, Magic Leap. This investment is in addition to the development of Google’s own products including Daydream and Cardboard.

In 2014, Facebook paid $3 billion to acquire VR company Oculus Rift. The company was founded by a tech entrepreneur, Palmer Luckey, who recently gave an interview at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit.

In the interview, he described his new VR venture and visions for the future of the market, expressing his belief that “VR is the final medium.” Market forecasts predicting that VR will grow to $55 billion by 2021 appear to support his view.

Too Ambitious?

As things stand though, VR does not seem to be gaining the mass adoption that it needs to justify these investments and forecasts. More skeptical observers have implied that it could take years for VR to reach a tipping point for adoption.

Even industry insiders have commented that brands need more education if they are to embrace VR as a marketing tool, taking the travel industry as an example of where VR can be used to showcase destinations and experiences.

Commercial adoption offers other opportunities for VR companies beyond individual consumers. Skills training is one example, particularly in high-stakes jobs like surgery. Trainee surgeons can now learn and test their skills in a VR environment before they operate on a patient.

Source: BusinessInsider

Source: BusinessInsider

Pilots have long been trained using aviation simulators. Palmer Luckey pointed out, during his Vanity Fair interview, that while consumers may not pay for a 5% enhancement to their viewing experience, institutions such as the military would opt for technology that can provide a 5% advantage.

However, even with the increasing uptake of VR in training and education, the market still needs to reach a tipping point. Could blockchain provide the answer?

Accelerating Growth with Blockchain

One VR company is now building its long-term vision around blockchain, aiming to make VR users of everyday consumers of sports and entertainment. Ceek has already built up an active user base of its headset and VR content through collaborations with big music stars namely Katy Perry, U2, Megadeth, and Lady Gaga.

Users can download the Ceek smartphone app from either Google Play or Apple App Store, and start watching their favorite acts on a Ceek headset, streaming straight from their phones.

However, the company is now leveraging the use of blockchain to create a “digital entertainment metaverse,” incentivizing artists to produce, and fans to consume VR content in a bid to increase mainstream adoption of the technology. An artist or sports team will be able to stage an event in one of Ceek’s digital venues and sell virtual tickets, which fans can purchase using the CEEK digital tokens.

Source: Youtube

Source: Youtube

By providing content in VR, artists can access audiences in remote place; fans who would otherwise be unable to attend their live concerts and events. This also increases the reach of VR to audiences who would perhaps otherwise not use the technology.

To further enhance the overall VR experience, Ceek has also recently announced that it is set to launch its own 4D audio headphones, which will provide its users with fully immersive audio-visual VR. The headphones incorporate interactive audio. This allows the user to hear sounds that change as they move within the VR environment, in the same way that we hear sounds relative to our position in real-life.

Creating this kind of rich sound experience provides a further enticement for would-be concert-goers to purchase a virtual ticket with digital tokens, so they can watch their favorite acts perform in VR.

Beyond Blockchain – Broader Growth Levers

The VR industry as a whole appears to understand that a boost is needed to enable more mainstream adoption of the technology. This is part of the reason that prices have been steadily reducing over recent years. However, making cheaper headsets is not the only answer, when audiences are required to opt into pricey hardware or are tied down to content from just one provider.

Releasing a standalone headset, one that does not require additional hardware such as a gaming console or even a phone, has been a popular move by manufacturers during 2018. HTC now has its standalone HTV Vive Focus, while Oculus has released the Oculus Go.

Source: UplaodVR

Source: UplaodVR

The Oculus Go also shares an app ecosystem with the Samsung Gear VR, meaning any game released for the Gear VR can also be played on the Oculus Go. Increasing content libraries through sharing between manufacturers is a savvy move that will make buying a headset seem like a better investment.

Ceek is also in the process of distributing its content to other VR manufacturers such as Facebook’s Oculus VR and Samsung’s Gear VR, with upcoming partnerships planned for sharing content with Microsoft’s Mixed Reality and HTC Vive.

The Tipping Point Is in Sight

Although it is true that the VR market has shown signs of sluggishness, all these developments provide positive indications that VR is now starting to appeal to a far broader base of consumers than ever before.

The incorporation of a blockchain token economy, as well as more accessible headsets, a rich audiovisual experience and integration between VR content providers and headset manufacturers, will create a more robust market than the current consumer base of hardcore gaming enthusiasts. It seems that mass adoption of VR could be right around the corner.

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Guest Post

Vid App Lets Users and Influencers Monetize Personal Videos

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Vid App Lets Users and Influencers Monetize Personal Videos
Source: Twitter

We’re visual creatures. That’s why we’re captivated by films and shows that have great storytelling. According to reports from Insivia and Cisco, mobile video consumption doubles every year, and by 2021, videos will comprise 82% of internet traffic.

One venture believes it’s possible to make money from our personal video collection through tokenized rewards.

According to Jag Singh, CEO, and co-founder of the Los Angeles, California, based startup:

Vid is a social app that empowers users to create beautiful videos, control their data, and monetize their memories. We use artificial intelligence [AI] to generate memories from a user’s video feed. These are then organized into an interactive calendar. The resulting video journal can be edited with a patented editing tool before users publish their captured memory.”

Privacy and Protecting Data

Publishing personal journals on public platforms is tricky. But Singh says Vid places a premium on privacy.

“We use zero-knowledge encryption as well as blockchain tech to give users complete control of their data. It also gives them opportunities to monetize their videos with brands—without interference from us or anyone else.”

Bad data practices [e.g. Experian hack] and harvesting user data without consent [e.g. Facebook] have led to regulatory actions such as GDPR [“General Data Protection Regulation”]. Vid’s solution is to encrypt data and let people select what data to make available. Moreover, the app lets users connect directly with brands that might be interested in their video journals or creative talent.

Singh added:

“Users who opt-in to generate video memories in conjunction with an advertiser will receive 100% of the advertising revenue,” whose app can be found at. “No cut is taken by Vid or any third-party ad marketplace.”

So what are the implications of a 24/7 connected world?

People now view one billion hours of YouTube videos each day. There are several large platforms that are capitalizing on viewing trends. With this massive shift, influencers and brands have much to gain: Audiences retain 95% of a message when delivered in video format compared to just 10% when reading in the text, according to Insivia.

Opportunity for Users and Influencers

Vid’s CEO launched the venture in December 2016. He says the app is a unique opportunity to offer a superior, privacy-protected social experience to a massive crowd.

According to Singh:

“We launched a test version in early 2018 and added more than 30,000 users within a month. We were trending up the social media application rankings before taking the app offline again for further development. No marketing dollars were spent on the test launch. It was purely organic.”

The firm has boarded more than 50 top Influencers across social channels to support the app’s public release. The Influencers have more than 250 million followers, and they know they can increase their revenue from brands by using Vid. The app has a swipe-up ad model where ad revenue flows directly to the Influencers.

The app’s target audience is younger generations [Millennials and Generation Z] since they prefer short-form video content.

The Process

“We poured more than $1.5 million of our own funds into product development and have been working on the platform since the end of 2016, we have filed seven patents for the technology underpinning our platform.”

The team consists of Jag and Josh Singh, and now includes computer scientists, engineers, financial experts, marketers, and business development professionals. Maciej Dziedziela, another co-founder, is Chief Technology Officer. He has a background working in major enterprise firms.

Before Vid, Jag and Josh launched and exited a company that grew to nearly $30 million in annual revenue over four years.

Singh also detailed about:

“Contrary to the pump-and-dump ICO and IEO models of most cryptocurrency and blockchain platforms, we have opted for a five-year rollout of the Vid native token. The details of our tokenomics can be found in our whitepaper, which is accessible from our main website.”

The Vid token pre-sale is scheduled for launch on June 14, 2019, and will conclude on August 9. There is no soft cap, and the presale hard cap is $60 million. There will be no airdrops. Smart contracts are audited by Certik.

For further details contact here.

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