'Open Source' VR Experience Distribution — Oculus
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'Open Source' VR Experience Distribution

SawersadamSawersadam Posts: 49
edited April 2014 in General
I'll stick my neck out and guess that I'm not the only regular visitor to these forums who doesn't fall into the obvious categories of hardcore gamer/developer/tech hobbyist.

I wonder how many people here (like me) just love the idea of VR so much that they just had to be some part of it even without being able to lay claim to a relevant skill set as of right now. How many of us have wished we could find that area of passion in life that could also double as our field of work?

I suspect that there are lots of us thinking desperately of ways to find a niche for themselves in this fledgling industry, I bet there are lots of us that believe this is the very thing they've been looking for all along. Please understand, I'm not trying to take away anything from the enthusiasts/developers that have dedicated themselves to VR for the last ten-twenty years. I'm not trying to anger those that have had belief and passion in VR the entire time by using sentiment that they have earned the right to use. I abandoned VR as a feasible technology years ago, it was just never going to happen. Until that Palmer guy started meddling... :) .. then the dreams returned with such incredible force, I can't sleep properly any more.

My mind continually grinds a number of distinct trains of thought:

1. Envisioning the future VR industry in broader terms to work out where my current skills can be useful. So I'm an accountant, maybe I could work for Oculus when they're big enough to need back office staff. What kind of amazing peripheral can I think of that somebody else hasn't. Second Life retailer... Etc...

2. How to make the time to skill up on the things that are valuable now, art, code, design etc. I'm now in my forties, I've got three young kids, I don't have the time to read a newspaper. Something needs to change drastically

3. How to find a low skill foot in the door. And....

4. What does the killer app for VR look like..... aaaarrgh.

I am not an entrepreneur or an opportunist, my aim is not to be rich, I'd just love to spend the rest of my days doing something exciting, fascinating, fun. Who wouldn't. And so it goes, and my mind rests for awhile on the only really obvious business model I can think of:

VR experiences for rent (think DVD rental, think internet cafe, think games arcade).

A physical place, a building with some VR equipment (Rift, Omni, guns, motion detection, LAN, fridge filled with ginger beer etc) and people paying for one VR experience or another and paying by the minute (like fairground rides).

How many of us are thinking about the potential of a business like this? A lot I'd be willing to wager. I wonder if it could pay the bills whilst I taught myself to code and immersed myself day after day in the technology and the consumer experience.

In the last few days I have been wondering if it wouldn't be better to explore this collaboratively. I have been totally inspired by these forums and the openess of the devs in here. I'm NOT talking about a corporation, a partnership, a franchise or an investment - far from it. Just a willingness to collaborate and explore the value in taking a consistent, pragmatic approach to bringing VR experiences to audiences.

I'm wondering if there are other people like me willing to consider the benefits in a shared vision about what successful execution means, possibilities of leveraging group buying power, sharing knowledge about LAN specification /configurations. Branding by being voluntarily consistent. To be trusted by an open developer community such that it might be a place to showcase incomplete, non-final works both hardware and software.

In the short to medium term I really think VR lend itself to this kind of delivery, the expense, the physical bulk and experimental nature of VR equipment makes 'try before you buy' very appealing. It may be the only way to enjoy some multiplayer experiences because of the latency of the internet.

Very interested to hear what people think. Could it be done this way? Would devs be interested in the existence of some kind of open source rental distribution arrangement? Could it be trusted? What would happen if a dozen of these places popped up overnight in one city? (frozen yoghurt anyone?)....

Thanks for your time!

Adam

Comments

  • ftarnogolftarnogol Posts: 139
    Hiro Protagonist
    Hi Adam,

    I've also thought about the "VR Arcade or VR Spa" options but there's 1 big problem. In a few years it will go the way of the non-VR Arcade or cyber-cafes for Counter Strike LAN parties.

    You could be very successful for 2 or 3 years but once the tech becomes a commodity, people won't have a reason to leave their living rooms anymore.

    Still; done right, you could enjoy a few years of $$ success. If I understood you correctly, you are not after money but after a long term endeavour... so the VR Arcade may be too short lived for your plans.
  • SawersadamSawersadam Posts: 49
    ftarnogol wrote:
    Hi Adam,

    I've also thought about the "VR Arcade or VR Spa" options but there's 1 big problem. In a few years it will go the way of the non-VR Arcade or cyber-cafes for Counter Strike LAN parties.

    You could be very successful for 2 or 3 years but once the tech becomes a commodity, people won't have a reason to leave their living rooms anymore.

    Still; done right, you could enjoy a few years of $$ success. If I understood you correctly, you are not after money but after a long term endeavour... so the VR Arcade may be too short lived for your plans.

    Thanks ftargnol, I appreciate your response. I think you're absolutely spot on, it may potentially drag out a little longer contingent upon interesting hardware maybe. By that I'm thinking of VR bikes, motion platforms, climbing frames (stuff that is truly impractical to fit in the lounge) but frankly I couldn't agree more.

    I have this notion that I would have developed skills on many VR fronts before the time was up. It may lead to an interesting perspective on what the general public are looking for from VR if one was to be around people using it a lot.

    So good to hear someone present a view on this (people in my real life seem to have near complete disinterest). :)
  • Yeah, I love the idea of "Open Source" businesses!

    For your particular idea, I think it's a cool idea. I think you'd might want to sell as well. Getting a bulk distribution discount would be important, unfortunately I think the margins on the Rift are a bit thin. Now, on the ODT ... :D
  • kevinw729kevinw729 Posts: 4,441 Valuable Player
    @Adam -
    A physical place, a building with some VR equipment (Rift, Omni, guns, motion detection, LAN, fridge filled with ginger beer etc) and people paying for one VR experience or another and paying by the minute (like fairground rides).

    Welcome to the Digital Out-of-Home entertainment (DOE) industry - this is exactly what a number of investors are looking at developing. What was the LAN site model employed to the VR HMD approach. You are right that the majority of interested parties (players) will not have the access to the hardware or firmware to run a VR experience to the level possible, and so visiting a VR-Site could be a very profitable business - much more vibrant than a home approach because of the social element of out-of-home entertainment.

    @ftarnogol -
    I've also thought about the "VR Arcade or VR Spa" options but there's 1 big problem. In a few years it will go the way of the non-VR Arcade or cyber-cafes for Counter Strike LAN parties.

    I think you may be over rating the demise of the Arcade and LAN sites - the LAN industry is still a very health business, you should check out LAN Parties like DreamHack (this week), eSports and ESEA League, and then try and tell me that that business is dead! Regarding arcade, the amusement sector is still very healthy - it is just migrated toward FEC and attraction venue business, with new developments in the approach to the market (check out the http://www.DNA-Association.com)


    Fundamentally, we have been her before - a company in the US called CyberMind set up a facility business that housed the latest VR arcade systems for guests to play on. The fundamental issue is the ware-and-tear on the machines, the need for the latest software, and a critical mass of attendance prices and facility chain size to make profitable.

    Adam, I would recommend some research into the LAN facility business, just due to the similarity of what would be needed with a VR-style venue. Also there is a need to understand the issues of operation entertainment in the public-space - can point you to some amusement based research on that matter. Also have a look at :
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=G54sKKKbfM0

    http://www.scale1portal.com/
    P6ftmuw.jpg
    ** New Book **
    "The Out-of-Home Immersive Entertainment Frontier: Expanding Interactive Boundaries in Leisure Facilities"
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Out-Home-Immersive-Entertainment-Frontier/dp/1472426959
  • SawersadamSawersadam Posts: 49
    Thanks Kevin
    I'm going to get stuck into your links right now!
  • smithysmithy Posts: 18
    Sorry for digging up an ancient thread but your ideas are exactly what i'm interested in. Do you still browse these forums?
  • vrfanboy37vrfanboy37 Posts: 158
    Brain Burst
    I think the most immersive experiences will always be out of reach cost wise of the low end consumer. A VRcade could be viable as long as people keep making progress on haptics. Until SAO style FULL-DIVE is achieved the arcade can stay profitable. I love the virtuix Omni, but I live in an apartment. Unless I throw out my couch and ask company to sit on the floor I'm not going to be able to have an Omni. That's without considering price or noise.

    A VRcade should be able to stay in business the next 20 years. But the equipment is gonna go obsolete fast. low profit, high stress. Arcades got so rowdy in my day they often had to hire security.
  • smithysmithy Posts: 18
    I've seen one website of a guy using rifts in his "VR arcade", with orders in for Omnis and Buckets seats for racing/flight sims etc. I've no idea how he's doing business wise tho.

    Its an area I'm currently very interested in, so I'f anybody is thinking of setting up something like this and would like to exchange ideas then feel free to send me a PM.
  • Hi everyone!

    have 1 important question: is it legal, to use Oculus VR Development Kit in internet cafe, as long as it's still a development kit?

    I would be really greatful, if inside people share their opinion, so i'm sure i'm not gonna break some copyrights, or any other law.

    best regards VR fans!
  • raidho36raidho36 Posts: 1,312
    Well if you bought it, it's yours. Disassembly and modification would void your warranty, but other than that, you're free to use it for whatever purpose.
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