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The Quest for Immersion
Humans' quest to immerse themselves in experience, to engage fully in moments and feelings, is a timeless endeavor.
This is MadeMeThink.xyz – A weekly newsletter for visionaries, innovators and critical thinkers exploring the world of tomorrow. Written by Prof. Thomas Metzler, Ph.D.
This MadeMeThink last week…
The Quest for Immersion
Humans' quest to immerse themselves in experience, to engage fully in moments and feelings, is a timeless endeavor. You can see it in children who, immersed in a told story, give free rein to their imagination and paint vivid scenes and figures. You can also see it in art, for example in DaVinci's "Last Supper," which not only shows a scene but draws the viewer into the narrative (I wrote about this a few weeks ago, check it out). Recently, technological advancements have expanded the realm of immersive experiences. Last week, the two notable developments marked another step in this field:
An immersive experience at the Las Vegas Sphere
First, the Sphere in Las Vegas, a $2.3 billion entertainment venue, opened. It stands as a testament to modern architectural and technological capabilities, featuring the world's largest spherical structure and LED displays. I was fascinated by the videos of Sphere visitors. It really seems to have succeeded in creating a new kind of immersive experience. The band U2 opened the Sphere with a live concert. In the video below you can see the Sphere from the inside. My favorite part was the visual experience during the song "With or Without You".
The outer shell of the Sphere also excites me. What a sight in the Las Vegas skyline 👀🔥
And just when I was wondering what it would cost companies to use the Sphere as an advertising space, a slide of a pitch deck of the Sphere was leaked showing the pricing (I can't judge the authenticity of the pitch deck, but it appears to be real):
$450k for a one day flight
$650k for a one week flight
Maybe I should advertise my MadeMeThink.xyz newsletter a week via the Sphere to finally get to 1,000 subscribers ;) Or you can help me by forwarding the newsletter to a friend 🙏🙌🤗
There is even a Las Vegas Sphere Live Stream, so if you want to checkout what’s displayed right now at the Sphere, you can have a look here:
Another notable development in the quest for immersion is the unveiling of Quest 3 last week.
Meta’s Quest 3 vs. Apple’s Vision Pro
Last week (September 27), Meta presented the latest advancements during their Meta Connect event. The highlight (at least for me) was their new Mixed Reality Headset Quest 3. Apple might have a hard time with its pricing strategy for VisionPro, as their upcoming Headset is set to be priced at 7 times the cost of Meta's Quest 3, yet offers a comparable mixed reality experience. The Quest 3, priced at $500, features full-color video passthrough, a 2064 x 2208 per-eye video resolution, and is powered by a second-generation Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 chipset, making it an enhanced version of its predecessor, the Quest 2. Apple's Vision Pro, on the other hand, while offering higher resolution and a more luxurious build, is priced at a steep $3,500. Although the device has more processing power and additional sensors for more accurate tracking, consumers may wonder if these improvements are enough to justify the significant price difference, especially considering Meta's established app and gaming ecosystem. The real test of value between the two will ultimately be determined by hands-on experiences and user feedback. But I guess that the folks in Cupertino got a little nervous at the sight of the Quest 3. Apple is already somewhat mocked on social networks due to their pricing strategy. But let's wait and see, it's Apple, different rules apply.
UploadVR made a nice comparison of VisionPro and Quest 3 tech specs (see below).
Meta focused on the following three topics at Meta Connect 2023 (watch the full Keynote here):
- Mixed Reality
- AI (Artificial Intelligence)
- Smart Glasses
The three topics should not be viewed in isolation, as the technologies being developed all contribute to a future where immersive experiences could become the status quo. For interested readers, here is a Summary of what they are doing in these three fields.
A Personal update…
Back at the University…
The winter semester is back in full swing at University and this week we also kicked off in the startupstube (our startup center) with a Fireside Chat featuring Rick Rasmussen - who came all the way from Silicon Valley - about startups and entrepreneurship. Last week I had our colleague Dawie Bornman from South Africa with me in class for a discussion with the students about cultural differences in marketing and innovation. Dawie is researching on the topic of Entrepreneurial Hustle with my startupstube partner Dr. Magdalena Meusburger. We currently also have researchers from Japan and Holland at our faculty. It's amazing to me to see how we, even as a small university, have such a global network and it’s great to discuss different topics with a variety of perspectives 😎 🙌
Disclaimer: The thoughts published in this publication are my personal opinion and should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation for any type of action. I am not a financial expert. The startups or corporates highlighted in the newsletter have caught my interest. This mention is not an endorsement or recommendation to engage with them. Readers should always do their own research.