Owning an Oculus rift: 6 months of excitement, 5 hours of set up, 2 hours on Ebay

 

Before I share my experience as an Oculus rift early adopter, I just need to say that I have no doubt that VR will transform the way we consume content.

I absolutely believe that VR is one of the biggest disruption the entertainment industry has ever seen…  even if the following might not sound like I believe in what I just wrote…

  • 6 months of excitement

I have been excited about VR way before I had my first experience with it.
Thanks to @WSL for letting me go on a surf trip to Teahupoo with Taj Burrows.

That’s why I was one of the 1st to pre order my oculus rift back in January 2016.

Since then I have been playing with Google cardboard and tried the Samsung gear VR 4D ride in the NYC Samsung experience store and was anxiously waiting for my Oculus rift order update.

So last week, when my huge Oculus box got delivered I could not wait to unpack it!

  • 5 hours of set up:

Discovering the product was fascinating. It’s a device of its own.

Just like an apple product, it is delightful to unwrap and discover. The material, the device and its components are beautifully designed.

The rift headset comes with a sensor, a remote control, an Xbox command and lots of cables….

Even though I was aware that it only works with a PC running windows 7 ore newer and with a GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 290 or better graphic card,… Plugging the cables, setting the sensor directly across the rift and getting error pop up upon error pups on our poor PC was not the best fun.

After upgrading the graphics card and testing every possible USB to cable configuration, we were finally ready to immerse ourselves in this new world and leave the reality of our tiny Manhattan living room scattered with cables, laptops, remotes and packaging everywhere .

Then I wen through this 3 stages…

Wooooooo!!!

The Oculus operating system is amazing.
The navigation system takes you into your virtual home, Japanese style with some water feature and a fireplace that you can hear gently crackling in the background… nothing like the cable & PC jungle I was in a second a ago.

Euh?

The visuals appeared a little blurry, like if I was extremely shortsighted… that was because our PC was giving all its power but still couldn’t keep up with how much the rift was sucking out of it!

And then for someone who more familiar with purchasing mobile apps than video game, $40 for an Oculus app (in this case a game) felt really steep….

Hmmm?

After playing with the operation system for a few minutes. My husband’s nagging, who was out of the experience, was too much so I had to let him try it.

So, if you have a crowded household… you might want to think about the dynamics the rift might create…

  • 2 hours on Ebay

With our living room taken over by the mess of VR, we were facing 2 options:
Upgrade our PC or get rid or the Rift.

We decided to put the Rift on Ebay and if it didn’t sell we would gladly upgrade the PC.

2hrs later the Rift was on its way to a state where space is a lot cheaper than NYC and hopefully to a home with a game room and a Oculus rift ready computer.

I loved this experiment and I can’t wait for VR to become a mass product.

It actually has led me to understand Google’s cardboard strategy a lot better.
It is actually with Google cardboard that I have (and will for the next few months/ years) consumed the most VR content, through New York Times, VRse, Discovery… through a library of content relevant to a standard consumer (i.e.: not a gamer).

Google cardboard is making VR accessible to all…. which is a pretty compelling proposition for today’s users and content creators… until the tech becomes accessible to a majority!

Marie Sornin

 

 

MEDIAWATCH #8: Mexico

Mexico is one of my favorite countries to visit for work and play.
Here are some key media trends for 2016 to 2020

MediaWatch Mexico

MediaWatch Mexico

Marie Sornin

Trends from SXSW- Day 2

Today I focused as much as I could on sessions about videos with a brand panel about Live videos and  a session New York Times CEO about VR .
Here is a summary of day 2 (and the last day for me)
Live video:
Just one year after its launch at SXSW, Meerkat has announced that it is abandoning live streaming
Many keynotes from SXSW were periscoped from the official @handle of shows/ influencers- check this one out if you are a fan of Mr. Robot.
Everyone is convinced that Facebook live is perfectly set up to be (a) the leader in live video: It’s got the reach/ it’s integrated with the Facebook experience & is easy to use.
Mashable had a big partnership with Facebook Live a booth at the Mashable house.
Periscope is perceived like the best tool, best features and a must when it comes to Live video strategy.
Advertisers love the lightweight/ low production budgets of live video + the fact that the audience is totally integral from to the storyline
Some grey areas for advertisers are:
They haven’t figured out when to start promoting a live video campaign (early is frustrating for the audience, close to the broadcast only brings little reach).
They all agree that it is important to promote live content across multiple platforms: FB/ Insta/ Twitter
VR:
VR cameras are already becoming easier & cheaper to access, however production and story telling still remain very complex.
Cross function collaboration is paramount to execute VR well.
Monetization potential is strong for the future but for now, budgets & commitment are only coming from partners innovation funds and from those ready to take some risks (doesn’t mean budgets are small, just scarce)
Based on the New York Times experience, we are not too far off from citizen journalism in VR. The Olympics might be the tipping point where we start seeing a lot of VR content from professionals as well as amateurs.
Google is fully invested in supported media outlet to produce VR content (Google cardbord + developing computing power & Software?)

Trends from #SXSW- Day 1

I concentrated my selection of keynotes and panels focused on the future of media.
Here are the key trends that emerged from what I have seen on the 1st day of SXSW.
1- Marketing moments:
From Google, to Facebook, Twitter and start ups in the advertising industry. Everyone is shifting from audience clusters to moments that matter.
Intent is the new demographic.
Marketing mastery is about predicting intent and providing passive automation (amazon, for instance, is already very good at it. ever noticed? no? that’s why they are good)
2- Instant gratification/ gamification:
In the wake of Periscope, Instagram, Snapchat, services like Uber, Instacart, Postmates and now magic & operator are transforming consumers expectations in fields a lot broader than social media.
These features are becoming key to consumer loyalty.
3- Connected devices:
The internet of things; that is when your car will allow you to buy a ticket for a movie on your way to the mall and have the soundtrack of the movie added to your playlist by the time you get out of the theatre.
This is making the 2 above points extremely more complex.
It is not about multi screen any more but a simple and ubiquitous user experience. That is the goal sought by marketers
For now, the majority agree that the experience must be centered on the smart phone. The device that is still at the core of the connectivity.
4- VR:
VR is the hot topic on everybody’s mind, from sport to media to retail.
It all seems very experimental still, which of course brings the questions about computer power and graphical computer. How long until this really hits us?
Haven’t heard a lot about live video yet, but that’s day one.
I have some more exploration to do!
Tweet @mariesornin if you are at #SXSW2016

MEDIAWATCH #7- India

India was the last (but certainly not least) stop on my Asia tour.

A fascinated market where media transformation is waiting to explode with the arrival for 4G network, accessible and available for everyone.

Here are some key stats

India Media landscape

Download the PDF  here: Mediawatch IN

Marie Sornin