Game risks to get tougher for startups in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) sector. After a couple of years marked by continuing announcements of startups focused on raise money to develop VR and AR content and platforms, the big names of the world high-tech industry like Google, Htc, Oculus/Facebook, Samsung, Sony and Acer have chosen to go in not only at first-hand, each one with its own product or service, but also to start a a non-profit organisation, the Global Virtual Reality Association (Gvra, here is the site).
Gvra is born
Until today a game bought in Oculus Store can’t be used on a Htc Vive VR viewer or on a Playstation VR console, sensors shich shall be used for Htc Vive VR aren’t the same as thos of Oculus Rift, indeed if you wanna download an app or VR movie on your smartphone you have to state which viewer you wanna use and which smartphone type you’ll put inside it.
Universal standard is coming?
An universal standard would therefore be desirable, but don’t get your hopes up: not only video games’ exemple shows us that frequently big business prefer to develop proprietary platforms and softwares rather then to join a standard alone, but the fact that Valve (to which Htc Vive VR’s development is due) is not among the Gvra’s founders raises some suspicious about it.
Some concerns remain
In a note the newborn association explain that “the association’s members will develop and share best practices, conduct research, and bring the international VR community together as the technology progresses”, also serving “as a resource for consumers, policymakers, and industry interested in VR”.
If it will be just a “think thank” called to do public relations in support of the VR technology that its members will decide to develop, the risk is that it may prove to be a means to retain power into the hands of big business at the expence of startups, without any particular benefit for the users.
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