Google and BBC scrap VR initiatives

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The BBC made a spread of content material, together with academic VR content material

The BBC has disbanded the workforce it created to make digital actuality (VR) content material, saying its funding has ended.

It comes as Google halts gross sales of its Daydream View headsets, admitting it doesn’t see a future for smartphone-based VR.

There have been questions over the long-term future for the know-how which has didn’t change into a mass market product.

One analyst mentioned it could possibly be a number of years earlier than VR lived as much as its hype.

In a press release, the BBC mentioned: “The VR Hub had funding for 2 years so is now wrapping up its manufacturing and commissioning.

“It has been an vital a part of our constitution dedication to advertise technological innovation and keep a number one function in analysis and improvement which advantages the entire business.”

The workforce was arrange in November 2017 and has created VR movies throughout information, comedy, drama and historical past. Its closure was introduced in a weblog put up.

In keeping with analysis agency IHS Markit, there might be 51 million client headsets in use all over the world by 2023.

“In comparison with cellular gadgets, this represents a distinct segment viewers so it’s comprehensible the BBC is reconsidering its VR content material technique,” mentioned analyst Piers Harding-Rolls.

However he added: “With the introduction of volumetric video and 5G networks able to offering distribution, VR video content material is anticipated to change into extra compelling, however we’re a number of years away from realising that imaginative and prescient.”

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Daydream View headsets

Talking about its choice to desert Daydream, Google mentioned it had initially seen loads of potential in smartphone VR.

“However over time, we seen some clear limitations constraining smartphone VR from being a viable long-term answer. Most notably, asking individuals to place their cellphone in a headset and lose entry to the apps they use all through the day causes immense friction,” it mentioned in a press release.

“There additionally hasn’t been the broad client or developer adoption we had hoped, and we have seen reducing utilization over time of the Daydream View headset. Whereas we’re now not promoting Daydream View or supporting Daydream on Pixel four, the Daydream app and retailer will stay obtainable for current customers.”

It added that it was investing closely in AR (Augmented Actuality) experiences that use smartphone cameras to bridge the digital and bodily worlds.

Mr Harding-Rolls was not stunned by its choice. “Daydream VR underperformed from launch and didn’t get the broader business help that was anticipated. The choice can have a minimal influence on the patron VR market, the place the agenda is being set by Oculus/Fb within the standalone area, and Sony within the console section,” he mentioned.


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