New digital realities: future murky but endless for virtual and augmented reality.

Author:Christensen, Lisa
Position::SILICON SLOPES
 
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Technology is helping humanity approach a brave new world in communication, education, training and entertainment--but there is still a lot unknown about just what that world will look like.

At a panel moderated by Rob Rueckert, managing director of Sorenson Capital, Evangeline Marzec, director of business strategy for Microsoft HoloLens; James Thornton, CEO of Morph3D; and Ken Bretschneider, CEO of The Void talked turkey about virtual reality and augmented reality, and the potential the technology has for the future. One slight problem: getting that initial momentum is a little tough.

"It's hard for [developing VR or AR] to be profitable until the price point comes down, until it's more widespread," Bretschneider said.

That holds true not only for developers looking to build software or uses for VR goggles or other apparatus, but also for events, such as The Void's Ghostbusters Experience in New York City. Bretchsneider said although the company has had more than 50,000 people go through the interactive attraction, the new technology it uses is unfamiliar for many.

"We can put you in a world that feels massive in a very small space," he said. "Until you've experienced VR or AR, you don't really understand it, so it's been hard to get people to understand, but we are building a market."

Even making AR more ubiquitous than games like Pokemon Go! or filters on Snapchat by using devices like Google Glass can be tricky, said Marzec, because wearable tech branches into other areas of industry.

"Any time you put something on your face, it becomes fashion, because it's an accessory.... The players we've seen in wearables that have succeeded have had a foot in both spaces," she said. "Until we have substantial players in both of these things, it's going to be hard to implement."

Beyond entertainment and immersive video games, both VR and AR can be utilized in various arenas, including job training for people in highly technical fields, education and...

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