Outlook 2019: AR/VR/XR - lights, camera, action
Rene Amador & Eric Navarrette
Issue: December 1, 2018

Outlook 2019: AR/VR/XR - lights, camera, action

Collaborating with television studios for productions and brands for event activations throughout 2018, ARwall was able to showcase large-scale Augmented Reality (AR) technology while keeping our ear to the ground for the year’s top Cross Reality (XR) trends and future forecasts. Eyeing developments in cameras, tracking and capture devices, and other XR tech, we have a strong perspective on how the XR industry will adjust for use among filmmakers, marketers, brands and beyond.

Photo (L-R): Eric Navarrette & Rene Amador

Capture This

In March 2018, Google VR bought Lytro, a startup that was in development on a light field camera and playback solution. Google VR is picking up on that promise. In 2019, we expect to see a professional solution from them for lightfield capture and workflow.

In addition, we look forward to the environmental capture pipeline becoming more efficient, which will allow assets to be acquired more quickly and with more manageable project sizes. This will increase the viability of XR film/TV production and the fidelity of location-based entertainment for AR/VR.

Tracking and depth cameras are becoming so accurate that they will let us place people in imaginary worlds in ways they haven't experienced before now. If companies tell people they can manipulate an object in VR or AR, and there's lag, it breaks the suspension of disbelief. As we get closer to 100 percent realtime scenes that rival offline rendered film VFX, plus realtime tracking and capture, users will lose their sense of where the real world ends and the metaverse begins.

Board the AR Enterprise

AR is slowly increasing in adoption with top brands around the world for enterprise services. For ARwall, we were able to showcase our film tool, ARFX, as a large-scale solution for film production, but also an immersive and frictionless opportunity to pull fans into the worlds of brands and marketers. We are poised to take this one step further with our interactive product, AR3D, which requires absolutely no headset or wearables. Further adoption for B2C and entertainment companies will continue to grow and we feel that AR will hit mass adoption with top brands worldwide in the coming year.

What does this mean for VR? We often find ourselves saying, "it seems like most of VR is going to enterprise," which isn't necessarily bad. We think that if organizations are truly interested in using VR, they can work with companies and institutions that already understand how VR can bring value to them as an organization. 

The cost of entry for VR is still too high for the average consumer; it makes sense for these companies to pivot to enterprise. As many have commented, there isn't an essential VR experience that people feel like they're missing. Users get HBO because they don't want to miss Game of Thrones or Westworld. But what is the content that is driving people to VR? That hasn't been created yet. Until that changes, we’re not sure we'll see en masse consumer adoption.

Rene Amador is the CEO of ARwall. He boasts 22 years working with 16 startups. He was inspired at age 10, when he got his start selling personal finance software his father developed for the Commodore Amiga computer. Amador served as rainmaker at digital agency Automaton Creative, taking on a sales, marketing and business roles, offering video, VFX, and tech solutions to media and entertainment brands.

Eric Navarrette is the CMO at ARwall (http://arwall.co). He co-founded the company with Amador in 2017 as an augmented reality solution for filmmakers.