Web: Smartphones and the power of VR on the go

April 2016 by: From The Web

You've seen the photo. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg striding through Samsung’s Mobile World Congress press conference, breezing past dozens of reporters and industry types too engrossed by their Gear VR headsets to notice the most powerful man in the Internet. Zuck’s smile suggests he can’t quite believe the scene. It’s an instantly iconic image, something that will make an alien race one day wonder what the hell those strange beings on Earth were doing.

It’s also incredibly revealing.

When Zuckerberg reached the stage, he waxed poetic on the social possibilities of VR. “Pretty soon,” he said, “we’re going to live in a world where everyone has the power to share and experience whole scenes as if you’re just there, right there in person.” The press ate it up. But go back to the people in the audience. They’re at Mobile World Congress, the annual smartphone extravaganza in Barcelona, Spain. They’re delirious from announcements and presentations. They’re experiencing the future through a smartphone strapped to their face. And they’re loving it.

For all the attention lavished upon the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive and Magic Leap, most people will experience the wonder of VR with the same device they use to send a text and summon a car. “While mobile VR may not trump PC-based VR gaming,” says Nick DiCarlo, Samsung’s head of immersive and VR products, “we do believe mobile VR can be the best when it comes to videos and social interactions.” This makes sense when you consider two things. First, no other tech approaches the smartphone’s scale: 6 billion people will own one by 2020, according to one report. And second, phones are relatively cheap. Even Oculus founder Palmer Luckey concedes that a Rift for everyone remains years away.


Continue Reading: Wired