It’s that time again! Time for everyone to organize their new business card contacts, sort through their meeting notes, and vow to not drink for a week… another successful Mobile Marketing conference is in the books! If anyone went to Casual Connect this year, you know that along with the usual networking parties, expo floor, and panel discussions, there were even more great attendees to run into here in the city. Casual Connect did a great job of brining in marketers from all around the globe to share innovative ideas and super fun indie games.
One subject that has been popping up at conferences the past 6 months, with no sign of slowing down, is Virtual Reality for Mobile.
A couple of individuals who touched on the topic at the show include Mitch Lasky of Riot Games and Neil Young of N3twork who noted (respectively), “A lot of venture capitalists jumped into VR. It is a dramatically overfunded space. The consensus is VR is the next big platform. Facebook says it is the new mobile phone. I don’t share that view,” and “I want to believe it, but when you think of what is required for VR, there are limitations. There a lots of atoms required. It requires a lot of behavioral change.”
Perhaps Pokémon GO is the best example of an augmented reality excelling on Mobile at the moment, but these same industry leaders would agree with Young and speculate that there’s no real behavior change involved with the new popular app. Everyone is walking around looking at their phones already, but not with a head set on.
So where does that leave the VR industry for Mobile? Google seems to agree that AR is the first step towards a more viable VR solution, with their recent announcement that instead of building a stand-alone headset, they’ll be working to include the experience within their mobile devices. Other companies like Sony are using new products like the Xperia Z6 mobile device to work in collaboration with VR headsets. Even Unity Technologies (co. involved with development platform that created Pokémon GO) recently raised $181 million in funding to continue their R&D for VR and AR.
As for the future? Many industry experts are even thinking the big win for VR in mobile apps will be in the social casino vertical. Can you imagine sitting at home, playing a hand of Texas Hold’em with strangers, and being able to read their poker faces? That’d be pretty cool!