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AR tech not ready for mass market - Oculus CEO

Brendan Iribe says augmented reality currently lacks experiences that will actually drive sales

Augmented reality and virtual reality get lumped together a lot in discussions about new tech in games, but Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe sees some key differences between the two. Speaking with MCV, Iribe suggested AR is still a more speculative field than VR.

"It's one thing to make marketing videos, it's another to actually try the experience and say 'I want to buy that'," Iribe said. "Oculus Touch is an experience that's ready for consumers - we're not hyping that up with marketing videos, we're showing consumers. Most people come out saying it's something that they'd want to own, that it's something they'd want to do a lot more of. They want experiences built around that kind of user experience. That's ready today."

He added that augmented reality tech demos have given people an idea of the technology's potential rather than a product worth picking up today, and said that AR's primary market may end up being professionals and businesses.

"It's not compelling enough for mass-market consumers yet," Iribe said. "That could change at any time. Oculus changed it with a Kickstarter. It could change at any time, but it's not there yet."

Regardless of Iribe's comments, Oculus parent company Facebook seems sold on both VR and AR. Beyond the $2 billion the social network spent to acquire Oculus last year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that AR and VR will both be key elements for the next generation of computing.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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