The coming stampede towards virtual and augmented reality applications will be a greater rush than the previous tectonic shift from character-based to graphics based applications. But unlike that earlier shift which mixed innovation and remediation, the move to VR is going to force content providers to look far and wide for new talent, including recent graduates of learn by doing film schools nationwide.
It would be easy to look back at the computer games market as an isolated, similar model. But that doesn’t scale here.
There’s likely to be as much demand for VR and AR educational and training applications as there are entertainment apps. But the economics of those two segments eclipse entertainment content, plus therer is an implied refresher revenue stream that’s absent in the entertainment model. And smart investors are much more likely to put their money into companies and technologies that play in a large markets.
But where will the talent needed to develop applications and content come from?
The answer is obvious: film schools nationwide plus lower level educational institutions that already teach the basics need to produce VR and AR content. Obviously students who understand the mechanics of developing stories and the basics of filmmaking are likely to be at the breaking curl of the first wave of professionals who will be hired to develop VR and AR content.
PBS and cable television stations that produce original content such as WGBH, KCET, KPBS and KTEH, Nat Geo TV, and the Discovery networks are also potential reservoirs VR and AR talent.
I’ve lived through enough revolutions to understand that new technology often needs pushing and that corporate product evangelists can supply that force. Apple’s original Mac marketing manager, Mike Murray, gets kudos for pushing hardware into the hands of developers in an effort to foster innovative applications for the Macs graphical interface.
I sincerely hope that companies like Facebook Samsung, HTC, and most of all Microsoft, seed not only developers but also four year universities and community colleges. There’s a lot coming and I can’t wait to see what’s on the horizon.—Jim Forbes on 13 March, 2016