Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a motivational speaker who can cover virtual reality and augmented reality at your next business event. Contact us to check availability. The full transcript of the above video is included below.


Full Video Transcript:

Hi and welcome to another edition of Strategic Business Insights. Today we’re going to talk about virtual reality and augmented reality. And I’m recording this video in July 2016 and the game Pokemon GO was just introduced like two weeks ago, and it has been a global phenomena. It’s had enormous media coverage. And in fact, just the other day I was walking with some friends at a park that’s just about a mile down the road from where I live and we ran into five different groups of kids that were—and this was in the evening. This was 9:30 to 10:30 in the evening, so it was already dark out. There were five different groups of kids that were walking around with their cell phones in their hand playing Pokemon GO and exploring the world around them. Those kids never would have been outdoors if it wasn’t for Pokemon GO, and they texted each other or called each other and said, “Hey, let’s go play Pokemon GO,” and they were out there interacting with the world. I thought it was fantastic.

And this is the first step in a whole new arena of technology that we’re seeing, which is essentially a combination, or actually it’s just augmented reality, is what it is. So the phone has a camera which shows what’s in front of them, but then it puts a filter on top of some Pokemon GO character, which they can find on maps. They can find these things in the real world and interact with it. So it’s encouraging them to interact with the world and go explore, and it’s been an unbelievable success.

But later on this year, in 2016, Facebook purchased Oculus Rift in 2014 and their plan is to introduce their first virtual reality headset—goggles, it’s a headset—at the end of this year, at the Christmas season of 2016. And I’m telling you right now, if we want to talk about the future of virtual reality, the future of augmented reality, we’re going to see those headsets outfitted with cameras on the outside, allowing users to see the world around them in fact maybe even better than they would normally because there could one day be infrared cameras that actually show the outside during nighttime better than you would see with your regular eyes, but in the short-term, just regular cameras allowing them to see the world around them with an augmented reality filter on top of it. And I am placing my bet right now that within two years, maybe even one year but certain two years from now, it will be a regular occurrence to see someone, probably a young kid, teenager, whatever, walking around the world wearing a virtual reality headset, and they can see the world because it’s got cameras on it but they’ve got some sort of a filter, some sort of augmented reality filter on top of their interaction with the world that they live in. We are seeing the merging of the digital world and the real world and it’s happening through a combination of virtual reality and augmented reality.

So what do we have when we go in the future? What’s going to happen down the road? And of course in the early days of augmented reality we saw companies like Zillow had an augmented reality app where you could point your phone at a house and see what that house is worth and maybe some other statistics about the house, and there’s been other apps that allowed you to look into a crowd and see friends of yours that might be on Facebook based on the location of their cellular phones so they can see each other effectively through that filter, and of course Google Glass was as early iteration of trying to create a headset for augmented reality. But with the introduction of the virtual reality headsets, we’re going to see this is going to be such a game changer. I think it’s going to be unbelievable.

And of course, there are pros and cons associated with such dramatically new technology. On the downside, we’ve already had stories of people getting effectively addicted to playing video games and in some cases playing for hours or even days without eating properly and getting no exercise. We’ve already seen stories like that. But I tell you right now, virtual reality is so immersive and the experience is so captivating, allowing you—if you haven’t tried a virtual reality headset, you really should go somewhere that allows you to give it a try because, effectively, when you turn your head you see the graphics adjust the movement of your own head and it almost tricks your brain. It’s an incredibly immersive experience. Like for example, when you watch something on an iMac movie screen and, for example, if it was a movie of you being on a rollercoaster, you actually get those butterflies in your stomach even though you’re not moving at all because it’s such an immersive experience. Well, virtual reality is even more that way. It’s an incredibly immersive, incredibly captivating experience. So we’re going to hear stories in short order, two or three years, certainly four or five years from now, we’re going to hear stories of people who literally leave their real world behind and just live almost exclusively in some sort of virtual reality world, which is going to be far more captivating and probably far more exciting than the real world could ever be. We’re going to see those. We’re going to hear those stories and that’s going to be an issue going forward.

But where is the technology likely to evolve? And again, it’s the combination of this artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality which I believe is going to define the future. So imagine a world, imagine a technology platform which will probably be some sort of open-source platform not unlike the Internet today where we have—like I have a website, every company has a website, different people have blogs, everyone has their own space on the Internet which they create. Well, imagine an open-source platform where people can create virtual reality and augmented reality experiences for the public to interact with in the real world, all on one primary platform where you can surf around and walk around perhaps even in the real world like Pokemon GO is interacting in the real world, at parks and monuments and different buildings. All around the world, people are interacting with these monuments through the technology filter. Well, imagine a world where companies can put up a virtual reality experience anywhere they choose and I can do the same thing and you can do the same thing and another company can do the same thing, and all these companies and all these people are competing with each other to create increasingly immersive experiences to attract the public in a much more engaging experience and interaction than they have today on a website. I mean, again, you go back 20 years, people interacting with their company would be at a retail location or perhaps at a trade show or some other actual location. And then the Internet was created, and so now people can interact with companies online through their websites, and these websites have become more and more robust and more and more engaging and more and more interactive, allowing people to learn about the company and interact with it and do things online and purchase products or take questionnaires or quizzes or whatever it might be. Well, imagine just taking that another step forward in a world that’s defined by a combination of virtual reality and augmented reality and where people are walking through the world wearing virtual reality headsets that are outfitted with cameras on the outside as well, allowing them to function, know where they’re walking, not be inhibited by wearing this headset, but at the same time being able to superimpose an incredibly immersive augmented reality filter on top of their experience of the world. That’s what’s coming.

That’s what’s coming and that’s what we all have to look—I believe that’s going to be an incredibly dynamic living experience for all of us and the challenge, number one, as the headsets, the mass production of the headsets is coming our way—again, HTC is in the game, Facebook’s going to have a big launch, I think even Samsung has a headset that they’re working on, I’m not sure on that—but as those get launched and as the technology becomes ubiquitous, the cost of those headsets in going to plummet, so eventually people will be able to buy a virtual headset probably with some incredible features added to it for maybe a hundred bucks or something like that, a hundred and fifty bucks. It may be less in five to seven years, who knows. And there probably will be a whole bunch of other experience enhancers. Like I just watched a video the other day of something called the SubPac, which is, you wear it like a vest and it transmits vibrations into your body in conjunction with music you’re listening to or a movie you’re watching. So imagine a virtual reality headset being connected to something that delivers those vibrations. Imagine being at a concert hall and you hear the bass so loud in those concert halls. Well, this vest can deliver the same experience as you’re walking down the street. So people are going to have these experience enhancers. Maybe there are special gloves that people can wear or actual clothing that can see the person’s movements and deliver experiences that are in conjunction with whatever it is they’re seeing in their headset. These are the sorts of technologies that are coming.

Initially, the cost has to come down, and it will. It will. The cost of all of these things will come down. So that has to happen. The second thing that has to happen is the development mechanisms have to be created for people like you and me to create virtual reality/augmented reality experiences. Right now we have tools where we can build websites like WordPress or Wix or Squarespace and all these different platforms that make it very easy for a regular person like me—like I build my own websites. So if you visit my website, it’s not fantastic but it’s pretty good, it’s pretty clean, it’s pretty professional, and I built it myself because today it’s easy to do that. Well, that’s what’s going to come in the virtual reality space too with 360-degree cameras, with drones with video footage. There’s going to be all sorts of tools that are going to be developed in the years ahead allowing regular people like you and me and businesses out there, whether they’re small or huge businesses, to create these virtual reality experiences. And once that begins, there’s going to be a competition where these companies try to outdo each other with more and more unbelievable and more and more captivating experiences for all of us to enjoy.

I believe this is going to be something eventually that we can all enjoy free of charge in an open-source environment just like the Internet except that it’s the merging of the digital world and the real world and we can actually go out and walk and interact with these experiences wherever and whenever we choose. It’s an exciting time. This is the beginning of a whole new phase of our technology and how we interact with that technology, something that’s going to be fun to watch and something that’s going to be fun to interact with.

Thanks so much for watching this video. My name is Patrick, reminding you as always to think bigger about your business, think bigger about your life.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a keynote speaker who has spoken at business conferences in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.