On Saturday I had the opportunity to give a short speech at the opening of VR Corner in Chinatown, Sydney. Here’s my talk transcribed below. I’ve also included some pictures & videos of the VR Corner launch event at the end.
Opening speech for VR Corner
I’m excited to be here! I was here 2 weeks ago for the opening event of Haymarket HQ. When I was here, it was really dark and felt like I was in a nightclub. In that corner over there, there was an area sectioned off where you could try on the virtual reality (VR) headset. I tried it on and was blown away by the immersive experience. You remember the 1st time you try it on. About 1.5 years ago, I tried on the Oculus Rift. Then the HTC Vive 2 weeks ago. I decided after that experience I wanted to get involved in VR. Its the next frontier. So when I heard that VR Corner was having an opening launch, I wanted to be a part of it!
I wanted to tell you a little bit about my journey about starting a business. I started a business 6 years ago and ran it for about 5 years. The first few months felt awesome. You’re really excited about it and its the honeymoon period. Then the real grind kicks in after that. Its a tough journey.
One of the things that kept me going was getting customer feedback. Whether the customers hated or loved the products we were making, it really drove me to improve the product. So please use the products and give them feedback. Please support VR corner, not just today but become a returning customer. Become a PAID customer. Help spread the word about VR Corner.
The potential of VR
VR has the potential to change the world. We seeing that the development of VR is starting to intensify. It has some obvious applications to gaming and movies. We saw yesterday that the new Playstation VR was launched. But I wanted to speak briefly about some potential applications beyond that.
A few years ago, I was in Silicon Valley visiting a friend at Meta. They are working on an augmented reality (AR) headset. One of the applications of their technology was in the field of medicine. They’ve been working on a demo where a medical student could operate on a virtual patient. You can practice performing an operation on them. You can see the virtual patient react to what was happening. You can’t practice that in real life to a actual person and its not the same experience on a dummy. I believe that virtual reality & augmented reality will have a big impact in the field of medicine by helping to train the next generation of medical students.
Every week at Atlassian, I sync up on video conference with my colleagues from our San Francisco and Austin offices. It works ok but it can still feel like we are really apart. It would be awesome if we could all feel like we were sitting in the same room around a table and if we could have a more interactive experience with the information we’re presenting.
Last week, the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg did that when he showed off how the Oculus Rift could be used for communicating. He was able to communicate with his colleagues in virtual reality using messenger. He could transport them to anywhere. From the bottom of the ocean surrounded by sharks, to Mars or to the living room of his house. You could pull up information, talk to his wife on video, take selfies. I believe it will transform the way we communicate. It will help to break down distances when talking to people remotely.
(Note: I didn’t get to talk about this due to the time limit but I want to include this in the blog post)
The last area I’d like to mention is the potential impact in the field of education. I previously worked on an education technology business in the field of language learning. Imagine being transported to another country where you could interact & speak with local people. It would be incredible to have an immersive virtual experience. Where you were totally surrounded by the sounds of people talking and then being able to walk around famous sites. You could touch & grab items, and learn about them. It could introduce new, immersive learning experiences.
I believe that VR (and AR) has the potential to transform the way we do things. Beyond gaming and movies, I can see it having an impact in 3 fields – medicine, communication, education. I’m sure that there’s other applications beyond what we can see now. I’m excited about the future of VR / AR. I wish Lecky and the team at VR corner all the best with the launch of their new business!
Want to visit VR Corner?
VR Corner gives you the best VR experience you can ever have. They have the following equipment:
* HTC Vive, Oculus Rift
* Top rank PC with NVIDIA 1070+ and i7+ CPU
* Largest room scale VR experience with 8 sqm+
You can find them here:
Level 2, 63 Dixon Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
Open 7 days
For a 30minute session its $38/AUD. For 60mins, its $68.
VR Corner photos & video
Photo credits: Justin Liang, AMP New Ventures.
Sources of Inspiration
Here is some research I did and some sources of inspiration.
Virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, what’s the difference
Review of the best AR & VR headsets
Why Hunter Walk isn’t hopping on the VR train
HTC Vive demo video. It’s very impressive
A glimpse of the future through augmented reality. I was blown away by this talk by the Meta glasses founder.
I’m out like 2D,