- Jack Lau
VR from Taiwan
It has been a back to back holiday in this part of the world for quite a number of us. Most of our acquaintance are on the road. We did not realize that before we arranged ourselves to visit Taipei to attend the TAITRONICS (the Taipei electronics fair).
For the few of us who have been dabbling in technologies in this part of the world, Taipei and Hsinchu have been two places we could probably call second home for decades.
So, there was quite a bit of expectations when we came. We did see quite a bit of the more traditional side of electronics and electrical components at the show. Smartly, the organizer has deliberately set up something a bit more on the fringe (from the really traditional perspective). There was a wearable section and a few sections here and there on big data.
We did see something which we thought we would share with the readers. Sorry to disappoint, but it will be a bit too boring to report the really classic stuff.
Some of you who have talked with us personally know that we are hardly the ones who easily jump on the bandwagon on technology trend. (Maybe we should have on a number of occasions though. Oh, well, that is another story.) So, we have been slow in warming up to the ideas of Virtual Reality, or 3D, and those stuff. Yes, we are guilty as charged. But, we often prefer to go see a 2D version of a movie than the 3D version. Headache, real physical headache, being the prime reason. As for VR, the headset has been a major turnoff (price, weight, comfort, etc.)
But then, we saw what Photontree did. They approached the problem from an optical point of view and had created a cardboard VR headset (with their perfected 39 mm lens). Users just slide their smart phone to the cardboard case. Consumers can VERY comfortably watch a virtual reality video clips. The result is a more than good enough and super low cost way to play a VR game and watch a VR video commercial.
We used the Photontree products and watched a VR introduction on Tesla, a tour of a Taiwan temple etc, all for the first time WIHTOUT any headache. The combination of a good lens and a light weight (paper cardboard) set makes the experience just very unique and hassle free.
We also saw an underwater clip which was supposed to have receive the sanction from Google. Fun!
We have always wondered what are the future of the game industry. More than once we have been told that VR would be an important driver. Now, we have finally seen something that clearly paves the way to a low cost VR game.
We won't be surprised if we see very soon popular mobile games on VR using technologies similar to this. The challenge of this of course again is on the content creation. (Again, software, software and more software). As for the headset, we feel that we have just seen something that is a definite high pass.